Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Colors: Marte Gracia
Letters: VC’s Joe Sabino
Extermination #5 brings a delayed yet very satisfying conclusion to the mini-series that kicked off the current reboot of the X-Men franchise. With the death toll ramping up, Ahab and his Hounds breathing down their neck and an uneasy alliance with ‘New’ Cable the X-Men must once again save time and space from the utter decimation of anyone carrying the X-Gene, so nothing truly unusual for Marvel’s merry mutants. Extermination #5 is a non-stop action packed comic that is a perfect cap to what was an excellent mini-series that thankfully brought the X-franchise back to my pull list.
Extermination #5 picks up after the shocking cliffhanger death of young Cyclops in last issue. The core concept of Extermination has been that the original five X-Men brought forward in time several years ago by Brian Michael Bendis in All-New X-Men must go home, they must go back to their time. Ahab, a mutant hunter from the future, has returned to the past to kill the original five and put an end to mutant kind. To accomplish this goal he just has to kill one of the original X-Men, since the death of one of them will shred the space time continuum and change history forever. New Cable also returned from the future, to kill and replace the older version of himself with the mission to restore the original X-Men to their classic iterations and take them home. At the end of Extermination #4 it appeared that Ahab had been successful, with young Cyclops impaled up one of Ahab’s harpoons. But this is the X-Men, and looks are not always what they seem with so many shape-shifters or mimics running around and a little bait and switch saves our young protagonist and sets off a battle that begins in Searbro (base of the X-Men: Red Team) but ends up going forward and backward in time and culminates with a classic showdown and what I will say without spoiling anything a perfect cap to what Bendis began and for some fans (yours included) a jaw dropping, fist pumping last page.
Ed Brisson was an excellent choice to write Extermination. The X-Franchise was in desperate need of some new creative blood and Brisson brought an excellent mixture of classic fan but indie comic edge. His story telling was fast paced, with loads of action but great character moments. Brisson has an obvious respect for these characters, both from their classic interpretations but also with how they have evolved over the past few years, and was even able to bring tears to my eyes as young Bobby Drake worries about having to go back into the closet with his sexuality but his older counterpart assuring him that his coming forward in time freed him from hiding who he really is, and that even if he has to hide for awhile nothing will stop them from being who they really are in the future. It was a wonderful piece of dialogue that was only amplified by the amazing artwork of Pepe Larraz. Larraz is a star in the making, with his detailed paneling, beautiful layouts and amazingly detailed characters. I hope these two work together again in the future since what they put together here was simply amazing.
Verdict: Extermination #5, and the entire Extermination mini-series, is a BUY! Anyone who wants a great X-Men story or any longtime fan wishing to return to the X-Universe this is the mini-series for you.