Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letters: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover: Mark Brooks
There was a time when I looked forward to the next X-Event. If there is one franchise that does Events and Mega-Crossovers right it is the X-Men. Unfortunately it’s been some time since I was excited for an X-Event that is until I heard about Extermination. Not only was I excited at Ed Brisson and Pepe Larraz as the creative team but also that it is finally time for the time-displaced original five X-men to go home. I enjoyed the Bendis era of the X-Men (All-New X-Men & theUncanny X-Men) but at this point the shear continuity nightmare of the time travelling mutants needs to be rectified and it would appear Extermination is just the event to remedy this dangling plot thread.
Extermination #1 is a comic cloaked in nostalgia with an added murder mystery to heighten the already (always) present tension in the X-Universe. Beginning in the future, a future where the X-Mansion is in ruins and the grounds are littered with the bodies of fallen X-men. We are introduced to a cloaked figure; a mystery mutant whose motives and identity are veiled in secrecy notifies the readers that none of what he sees is right and that some old man “screwed this all up.” Jump to the present and the lives of Marvel’s Mutants are status quo with a lot of persecution and a bit of mob violence. Mixed into this violence are two young amnesic mutants thankfully rescued by the time-displaced X-men who have been joined by Bloodstorm (from Mutant-X). Where this opening scene helps establish the world of the X-men and catch readers up on the current situation in the Marvel Mutant Universe. The real story kicks off with a date that goes horribly wrong between young Cyclops and Bloodstorm when Ahab and his hounds crash the restaurant. Simoultaniusly young Iceman finds himself under attack as well but luckily Cable is on the scene, but is he enough back up to save Iceman? Throw in a double dose of Jean Grey (returned and young), multiple classic X-Men, a murder mystery, and a great cliffhanger Extermination #1 does an excellent job of drawing the reader in and leave them wanting more.
Ed Brisson made his name in the independent comic scene while Pepe Larraz has come up through the Marvel superhero ranks. Two very different paths to get to this moment that will no doubt catapult them to stardom. Marvel needs the X-Men to be a hit. Comic readers want to love the X-Men again. Old time fans want a sense of nostalgia combined with a new take on Marvel’s Mutants while all fans want wonderful art with a great story. Thankfully Extermination gives everyone what they want. Extermination #1 is an engaging comic book that will draw in new and old readers (I haven’t read the X-Men since Bendis left & I had no trouble picking up the comic) with its great story beats, wonderful nods to comics of the past but with the gas on the accelerator to what will hopefully be a renaissance of the X-Universe. Brisson’s story is pitch perfect with a sense of history but a modern take on the X-Men and Larraz’s art is magnificent. The pages are glorious with depth and detail and somehow colorist Marte Gracia’s colors are both bright and vibrant with amazing darkness at the same time which only amplifies the already incredible artwork. It’s a great sign when I close a comic book and want the next issue instantly and as I closed Extermination #1 I wished for #2 to already be on the stands. It’s been some time since I was excited for an X-Event but here I am, geeked for an X-Book and loving every minute of it.