Extraordinary X-Men #9 Writer: Jeff Lemire Pencils: Humberto Ramos Colors: Edgar Delgado Letters: Joe Caramagna Publisher: Marvel
In the previous issue, the X-Men discovered that 600 new mutants have suddenly shown up on Cerebra in Japan. Colossus and his team of young mutants in training, go to investigate and uncover that Sugar Man had engineered viable mutant embryos. He planned to use them to create an army at his command. A battle ensued and as a result, Colossus, his team, and the embryos were warped into the future. Then Storm and her team of X-Men go to their rescue only to find out that a hefty amount of time has passed, as the once young mutants are all grown up and mature. Not only that however, Piotr Rasputin is now a Horseman of Apocalypse.
Coming in, I was expecting writer Jeff Lemire to show the conflict between Storm and her team of X-Men against Apocalypse’s new 4 Horsemen. Instead, what we get is a flashback story to show and tell what the X-Men in training were up to in-between the time when they went to the future and when their rescuers arrived. This issue has some great positives in its favor but unfortunately a lot of negatives as well.
What’s really enjoyable about this issue is seeing Glob, Anole, Ernst, and Martha(No Girl) in somewhat of a buddy roundtrip action, adventure, comedy. In the future there are multiple different worlds under the rule of Apocalypse. Where is he at? How is he controlling them? What happened to the other mutants? Lemire unfortunately doesn’t supply those answers but what he does present is entertaining and memorable character interactions between these fun mutants. I was really relishing seeing these characters work off one another, we’re provided with some good laughs, and it’s clear that Lemire has a firm grasp on the various X-Men’s identities.
The problem with this issue is that when it’s all said and done it comes off as filler. Extraordinary X-Men #9 doesn’t drive the narrative forward and the plot unfortunately comes to a halt. While there are some great character moments, it’s more about the interactions and there is really nothing going on in terms of development. There is the advent of these characters growing up but there isn’t much context to it and we aren’t presented with much of what their thoughts are towards it.
It just feels like nothing was accomplished and Marvel Editorial mandated that Lemire, along with the other X-Men writers, draw this story out for a certain number of issues. Rather then letting this needless crossover event be told naturally, you get the sense that its building up to climax with the release of the upcoming X-Men movie. Which by a crazy coincidence, just happens to have Apocalypse in it.
This issue sees the return of the art team that launched this series, with Humberto Ramos on pencils and Edgar Delgado on colors. Ramos’ pencil work is full of expression and filled with emotion. His style is very much as one would think of when thinking artwork for comic books but it’s not over the top and works very fluidly. Delgado’s colors are bright and really help Ramos’ pencils come to life. Overall, issue number 9 is a welcome return for this art team.
Extraordinary X-Men #9 is very much a mixed bag like the previous issue, enjoyable yet frustrating. Once again Lemire demonstrates how well he knows these characters as the interactions between them feel natural and genuine as well as amusing. The dialogue is engaging and it’s fun seeing these characters work off one another. The artwork is colorful and filled with emotion. However the overall plot stops and nothing seems to be accomplished narrative wise. Hopefully this sort of prequel comic will pay off in the upcoming issues in terms of character development but at the moment, it comes off as filler.
Score: 2 out of 5
Review by Eric Bradach