Review: EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #1

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EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #1
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba, and Edgar Delgado
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: November 4, 2015

For decades of X-Men comics, one of the most consistent themes is the hatred and fear of mutants. Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos’ new series takes place in a darker world where anti-mutant sentiment has increased. On top of that, mutants face a new threat: the Terrigen Mists which give Inhumans their powers are killing and sterilizing mutants. Storm leads the X-Men but is struggling to respond to growing danger.

This new series stays accessible by focusing on a core group of familiar faces: Storm, Iceman, Magik, and Colossus. We also see Nightcrawler held captive by an evil group that is conducting experiments on him. I wish this had been explained in more detail. Jean Grey School students from the past three years of X-Men comics appear silently in the background, including Rockslide, Glob Herman, Anole, Ernst, and Blindfold.

Two scenes hook us most for their character interaction. First, Storm goes to Empire State University to persuade Jean Grey to rejoin the X-Men. I wish Jean’s reluctance had been elaborated on. The scene felt cut short, and we’re not told what Scott Summers did that both Jean and Storm refer to. It would be fascinating to know more about Jean’s life apart from the X-Men. What is she studying? Whom does she live with? It will be unfortunate if this bit of backstory is not addressed.

The second noteworthy scene is Magik finding Colossus and asking him to return. I like how Ramos, Victor Olazaba, and Edgar Delgado illustrate Colossus’ solitary life in a two-page spread. Ramos and Olazaba give definition to the metallic grooves on Colossus’ arms and torso. Delgado creates beautiful scenery with bright blue mountains and carefully differentiated shades of green grass. Lemire adds a flashback of Colossus’ childhood that instantly wins our sympathy.

This issue feels more like a prelude than a definitive series debut. We learn the current state of Storm and the X-Men, but we don’t know how these characters will tackle anti-mutant violence or the Terrigen Mists. While this first chapter is less than gripping, Extraordinary X-Men‘s phenomenal creative team and all-star cast make it a series to watch.

The Verdict: 7.5/10

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