Extraordinary X-Men 011
Writer - Jeff Lemire
Penciler - Humberto Ramos
Inker - Victor Olazaba
Color Artist - Edgar Delgado
Release Date: 06.29.2016
Cover Price: $3.99
Ya know, reviewing Marvel books is pretty different from reviewing DC books. Not only for the different characters and creators... but, for the different ways each company spells the word "pencil(l)er". DC usually spells it with two L's... and Marvel uses one. Which one's right? Well, neither of them pass the spell-check test, so your guess is as good as mine... Maybe we should be asking "which one's less wrong?"... I'll just continue spelling it however they decide to list it in the credits.
Anyhoo... X-Men... Apocalypse Wars (still)... Old Man Logan is Venom... let's hit it and git it.
As has been something of a trend in the X-Books of late, this issue is broken up into two main stories... and honestly, I cannot pick which one is intended to be the "main-est". Quick reminder: This X-Team is fighting the forces of Apocalypse in the far-flung future.
The cover alludes to a battle between the Venomized Logan and Jean Grey, which kind of happens... on the astral plane, while the rest of the X-Men face off with the Horsemen of Apocalypse. The scene is quite well done, however still something of a let down given the cliffhanger last issue. The relationship between Old-Wolverine/Young-Jean is still the most compelling thing about this series. There is a genuineness here... that I cannot quite put into words. These aren't my Logan and Jean... but, they don't feel entirely unlike them either. Makes me wonder if they're ever planning on bringing the "real deals" back.
In the other main story, we follow Storm and Nightcrawler as they attempt to get to the "heart" of Omega World. After fighting their way through several booby traps, the pair are surprised to discover that Apocalypse IS the heart of Omega World! I really enjoy the way Lemire writes Nightcrawler. This is the first time since his resurrection in the pages of Amazing X-Men that he actually feels like a member of the X-Family. His design is great as well!
The old "Special Class" from the Grant Morrison New X-Men run gets a chance to shine here. Ernst, Martha, and Glob Herman have been relegated to background characters for the better part of a decade and a half (it's crazy to consider they've actually been around that long!), it's great to finally see them in action. I really don't dig the more bulky take on Anole, however.
The lingering Magik's apprentice subplot lumbers into its next chapter... with the young girl, Sapna fleeing X-Haven fearful that she will bring ultimately bring harm to Illyana. Her "visions" were drawn to look amazing... but I still cannot help but be bored by this bit. I'm fearful that this will take over as the main plot thread in the months to follow.
The cliffhanger is yet another shocker... Not yet falling victim to the law of diminishing returns, however. This is a future story, so it's not entirely out of the question that what occurs in the closing pages actually sticks... I'm interested to see how this all gets worked out, even if that does mean we get yet another issue in the Apocalypse Wars.
Bits and Pieces:
While the Apocalypse Wars story line has overstayed its welcome, Extraordinary X-Men still manages to deliver a fun and compelling offering. The action may be a bit boilerplate, but the characterization is solid. Humberto Ramos' exaggerated art is a welcome treat (especially when it comes to all matters symbiotic)!