You know, a comic named Extermination, designed to do away with my beloved original X-Men, shouldn’t be so much fun to read. And yet, I couldn’t help but finish Extermination #3 thinking about what a great time I had reading it! For me, the surprises didn’t end there, which is a credit to writer Ed Brisson and artist Pepe Larraz for crafting a comic more than worth its price tag.
While Extermination has been pretty action-packed from the get-go, its third installment, especially, goes heavy on the fight scenes. No complaints here, because Larraz is back penciling the hell out of it all. I said it in my review of Extermination #1, I said it in my review of Extermination #2 and you better believe I’m going to say it again–this artist is a star! There’s just so much to love about the visuals, which are only elevated by colorist Marte Gracia. The details on Old Hound Logan’s set of bone claws (yes, Ed Brisson, I give you permission to use Old Hound Logan) to breathtaking battles on land, sea and air, every single page in this comic is a feast for the eyes.
Extermination may also be the first time I’ve ever thought Ahab looked cool.
Speaking of Ahab, he’s pretty much the driving force behind this issue’s action. The mad mutant from the future wants those original five X-Men, and he’s got a few secret Hounds to lend a hand. How he got the upper hand on Marvel’s mutants is pretty inventive and it helps solidify Ahab as a force to be reckoned with so long as Brisson’s writing him.
Kid Cable, the mini-series’ other antagonist, continues to be a real a-----e… and a lot of fun to follow. Just wait until you see what he needed Mimic for. Teenage Nate Summers is going to some pretty extreme lengths to #SetItRight and, though pretty twisted, it’s also crazy fun to watch.
But without a doubt, the most fun in this issue comes from the team-up between the original X-Force and teenage Jean Grey (no wonder it landed on the cover!). I’ll be honest, I read a lot of the classic X-Force series when I was younger, and pretty much just read it because it had an “X” on the cover. I don’t remember much about the stories and, as a result, I’ve never cared much about that iteration of the team. However, after reading Brisson’s take on Domino, Warpath, Shatterstar, Cannonball and Boom-Boom, I’d be lying if I wasn’t a lot more interested in reading Marvel’s upcoming relaunch spinning out of this title.
This crew is full of badasses, but they may have met their match in teen Jean. Clearly, they haven’t been following her modern adventures the past few years. This issue’s final page has me very excited to see what happens next.
Three issues in, Extermination has far exceeded my expectations for a mini-series that could have been nothing more than an uninspired, by-the-numbers clearing of the board ahead of November’s Uncanny X-Men #1. Every issue features surprises that guarantee this event will keep me guessing until its very last page.
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