Comic Review – eXtermination #1 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“You’re relieved of your duty” – Mysterious masked assassin

Cover by Mark Brooks

So I’m back to pick up another comic review, having been brought up on a diet of X-Men as so many other kids were in the 90s I felt I had to check out this new short series, especially as it picks up with the young, classic X-Men who have more in common with the cartoons I watched as a kid (X-Men: The Animated Series and X-Men Evolution). With a title like eXtermination Marvel again appear to be hinting at some kind of mutant-wide wipe out or at least a few big names being bumped off. Naturally I’m a little sceptical as to if any will stick, though you never know! This comic was bought to us by:

  • Writer – Ed Brisson
  • Artist – Pepe Larraz
  • Colourist – Marte Gracia
  • Letterer – VC’s Joe Sabino
  • Cover Artist – Mark Brooks

The story begins in a post-apocalyptic city setting, mutant bodies lying about and a hooded figure swearing to clean up this mess who travels back in time to do so. The young X-Men pick up a couple of mutant children who are fleeing a mob of anti-mutant protestors. The X-Men comics have often been used as a metaphor for minority groups within the Marvel universe, this latest incarnation is a fairly clear one on immigration with cries of ‘they don’t even speak English’ when the mob realised they speak French. We are then bought into the current dynamics between the young X-Men team and have a little crash course on where the team is (some surprises to me, Storm seems a little more bitey than when I last saw her!) before all hell breaks loose. The hooded figure from the future appears to be chasing down X-Men and is set up to be the primary antagonist for at least the early part of the series.

Art by Larraz, Gracia & Sabino

The art is full of deep colours with a vibrant feel, even during scenes of destruction. Gracia does an impressive job of adding colour in dark scenes which is often avoided. Larraz provides excellent detail in the characters themselves and their features, especially in smaller panels during conversation where expression is communicated very efficiently. Sabino does a solid job with the lettering, tucking them into tight panels weaving the reader’s eye through the pages and allowing the reader to appreciate the art.

Final Verdict

These are character I had a strong connection with while I grew up and it’s been too long since I’ve checked in on them and seen what they’re up to. I want to see where this story goes. I think my main concern as with so many of these dramatic sounding titles is nothing really changing. Characters may die, but they get better, a relationship may end though it’s either fixed or the characters bounce back immediately/carry on in a separate series.

It’s well worth a look to X-Men fans though, especially if you’re more into the Evolution style X-Men and not their grown up, comic book counter parts.

Final Score: 8 psychic screams thousands of feet beneath the ocean out of 10

Comic Review: Avengers #675 (Marvel Comics)

1

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Then he reviews one every other week.

This week I picked up Avengers #675, also numbered as issue #1 of Avengers: No Surrender, a new event that sees the current disparate Avenger-affiliated titles Uncanny Avengers, U.S. Avengers and Occupy Avengers combined into the main title into a 16-part weekly series. Avengers #675 was written by Mark Waid, Al Ewing and Jim Zub, with art by Pepe Larraz, colours by David Curiel and lettering from VC’s Cory Petit, with Mark Brooks drawing the cover.

Cover art by Mark Brooks

Someone has stolen the Earth (and the Moon apparently). In an instant it disappears, leaving Captain Marvel and Alpha Flight adrift in space, scrambling to find out what has happened. Meanwhile, the planet is wracked by earthquakes, tidal waves and all manner of other weather-related disasters, and the variously prefixed or suffixed Avengers teams (including the plain ‘Avengers’), along with every other hero, fight to simultaneously save lives and figure out what is going on. Then a bunch of them inexplicably freeze, and the remaining Avengers, considering active or reserve, are called together by a mysterious figure to save the world.

This issue is all set up, stopping in on various characters only briefly as they battle this latest calamity. But the three writers deliver a tight script and a compelling kick off to this event, and the premise is promising. With a few key characters benched early on in the event, I am looking forward to some lapsed Avengers taking centre stage. I’ll admit, when No Surrender was announced I was a little worried that it was going to be yet another cross over (so soon after the last one between Avengers and Champions), but I was happy that the various titles were consolidated into a single book (even if my wallet won’t be happy about it being weekly!).

Art by Larraz, Curiel and Petit

Larraz’s art is very well suited to the frenetic action here, and he does a great job of juggling so many heroes and so much action. Falcon’s opening pages are particularly impressive, as is the scene of the Human Torch battling a tidal wave. Rogue’s hair is weirdly very big, but I think it may have been for a while so that isn’t really on Larraz. The bold lines are fleshed out with deep colours from Curiel with a clarity that helps to distinguish the various costumed characters.

Avengers #675 (or Avengers: No Surrender #1) is off to a good start, and with the writers involved and the art so far there is a lot of promise for No Surrender. Hopefully the weekly format will allow for it to remain interesting, unlike the often delayed big events that lose steam over the course of the months they take to play out. This is well worth your time, so pick it up at your LCS now!

Score: 7.5 secret Frozen Heroes out of 10