Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by Greg Brothers
So, way back in 2012, Brian Michael Bendis came up with this idea. The X-Men had lost their way, and Beast thought there was only one way to fix the problems: bring the original five X-Men to the future to restore Xavier’s dream. Anyone who has followed the exploits of the original five since then can tell you things have not always gone as planned, and some feel that having them in this time has made things worse. Because of that there have been attempts to send the original five back to their time before it it too late and the future was destroyed. With Extermination #1, it might be too late.
Extermination #1 begins with a cloaked figure 20 years in the future walking among rubble and dead X-Men cursing at an unseen foil, who has made a mistake. Just as quickly as the scene starts, we jump to the present and the original five saving two young French Mutants from getting attacked by an angry mob. And in New York they take advantage of some downtime to head out on some individual excursions. It is then that Extermination #1 begins to really pick up as members of the team are attacked while out.
From that first panel it is obvious that Extermination #1 is going to be high stakes. That said, with all the action, Brisson does not let the emotion and the plot development sag. Instead we are treated to some X-Men R & R, emotional dialogue, and even a bit of an awkward romantic relationship budding. And with all that character development already being explored, we haven’t even touched on the plot development. Brisson is able to create not one but really two threads to follow, and neither of them feel neglected. We get the return of a classic X-Men villain who could have a major impact on one particular member of the team. And we are also introduced to a new character who makes an immediate and lasting impact in the series. Equally impressive is Brisson’s ability to unveil several shocking moments and make each of them important without overshadowing the moments that came before. Each one is given room to breathe, as the characters react to the moments, until we get to the cliffhanger which leaves plenty of questions for the next issue.
The art is bright and colorful. The linework allows the characters to stand out as the action happens around them. It also allows for the characters’ emotions to be prominent as they deal with the shocking events around them. It is dark in spots, but never does it feel as if it is hard to see the action. Varying layouts allow for an easy read, with the action flowing from one panel to another.
Verdict: Buy it.
With any event, one of the biggest concerns is how much previous knowledge is needed to understand the impact. Thankfully, in the case of Extermination #1 very little is needed, and much of what may have been needed is introduced somewhere within the book. Because of that, Brisson is able to introduce what feels like a story that is going to be moving at breakneck speed. The shocking moments feel as if they are going to have a lasting impact on both the characters and the world around them. The art compliments and enhances the story to the point that I found myself stopping and gazing upon the panels for longer moments, wanting to take it all in.