The first story ark of Jeff Lemire’s Extraordinary X-Men comes to a close with issue number 5. Does this rising in fame writer deliver with his first entry in the X-Men universe? Lets find out..
The issue begins with the X-Men finding out that the mutant and inhuman hybrid version of Cyclops, which was revealed in the closing panel of the previous issue, was a clone. Which given that the experimenting was done by Mr. Sinister, should come as a surprise to no one. We then get into a well paced and well drawn battle scene between this Storm lead X-Men team and Mr. Sinister and his latest creation. Storm, Iceman, young Jean Grey, and Old Man Logan take on the clone of Cyclops while Colossus and Magik deal with Mr. Sinster. Eventually an attack from Logan destabilized the clone and it turns out to be a dodgy experiment. Storm and Jean together lift the clone at a distance so it can safely explode without causing any casualties. Meanwhile Sinister is finally dealt with with a head chopping blow from Illyana.
With the battle at a close a short but assertive speech is delivered by Storm to the surrounding public. In it she makes X-Haven open to all mutants and states that the X-Men will still be a protecting force for not only mutants but for humans and now inhumans. Storm as well made it clear that any violence against mutantkind will be met with retaliation. What is also worth of note is that for the second time in the this story we see Professor X and Ororo seems to be the only one who sees him.
The issue comes to an end with the X-Men returning to their new home, X-Haven. Forge informs them Storm that Shield’s Maria Hill has offered to help them with the “search and rescue” of mutants and Jean convinces Logan to stay.
So how does issue 5 and the overall conclusion to this first story ark hold up? The first thing to note is the familiarity of the whole sterilization of the mutants race by the Terrigen Misst as this was done not long ago with the events of House of M. That time it was done with the Scarlet Witch’s hex powers. However when it comes to themes, this is as true an X-Men story as one can tell and the keyword is execution.
It’s clear that Lemire understands the X-Men through his writing of these characters. The highlights of this issue are definitely the character moments. In particular the brother/sister relationship between Illyana and Pitor. Colosus still feels the need to play overprotective older brother but Magik once again proves that she is more than capable of looking out for herself. Also seeing Storm grow as a more effective and assertive leader was great to see and only makes me hungry to see where she takes the X-Men from here. I’m also very curious as to what the deal with Professor X is. Is it her imagination? Is he alive now in All New All Different Marvel? Is he communicating with her telekinetically?
The artwork with pencils done by Humberto Ramos and colors by Edgar Delgado are also very enjoyable. Ramos’s pencils give a lot of expression to the characters and has a bit of a mixture of cartoonish and realistic vibe to them. Sometimes though he can go too cartoonish which makes it difficult for dramatic tension but I like what he’s doing here. Delgado’s colors are fantastic and makes what needs to stand out to the viewer really pop.
Score: 3.5 out of 5
Review by Eric Bradach
So what did you think of Extraordinary X-Men #5? Agree or disagree with the review? Leave a comment and let me know.