Extraordinary X-Men #12 Writer: Jeff Lemire Artist: Humberto Ramos Colors: Edgar Delgado & Dono Sanchez-Almara Letters: Joe Caramagna Publisher: Marvel
The Apocalypse Wars are coming to a close in the X-Titles and Extraordinary X-Men #12 ends Storm’s team of mutants journey in “Omega World”.
When the “event” began, Colossus and his team of X-Men in training investigated an emergence of 600 new mutants, in Japan detected by Cerebra. They discovered there were artificially crafted mutant embryos, created by MODOK who planed to use them as soldiers of war. A scuffle ensued and the X-Men were teleported a thousand years into a despotic Earth under the rule of Apocalypse called, “Omega World”. When Storm and her team came to their rescue, they discovered that the young X-Men have aged significantly and Colossus has become one of Apocalypse’s Horsemen.
They were unable to reclaim the mutant embryos, which were destroyed by Apocalypse. Old Man Logan had been taken over by the Venom Symbiote, and Nightcrawler laid a heavily blow to Apocalypse. Unknowingly putting the stability of the world in jeopardy as well as the survival of the X-Men.
To start off, this arc and overall cross-over screams of editorial mandate. Apocalypse hasn’t appeared as a villain in X-Men books for years and this entire event started just before the X-Men: Apocalypse movie was released. It was an obvious cash-grab but those can be saved if an interesting story with compelling character development come about. Misfortune has struck however as this story is anything but engaging. The beats of time travel and heroes becoming one of the four Horsemen is far too familiar. I’m all for sticking to the lure that have made X-Men so alluring, but there comes a point when you’re thirsty for something out of the ordinary.
Writer Jeff Lemire does his best to intrigue readers. It’s clear that he has a passion for these character, as each one of them are characterized on point. Everyone spot of dialogue is genuine, comes off naturally, and what you’d expect to come out their mouths.
However it’s obvious that he isn’t interested in telling this story and two examples exhibit this. Logan is taken over by the Venom Symbiote and Jean, unsurprisingly the one who saves Logan from its influence, but it’s incredibly half-assed and glossed over that it makes the entire plot point meaningless. Aside of creating a cool cover from the previous issue, this was a moment for Old Man Logan and teenaged Jean Grey to really bond, become closer, but it was simply brushed over and nothing is made of it. A prime scene for character growth that’s skimmed over to push the narrative forward.
The second piece of evidence for this is that the most interesting character arc in this issue, and this entire arc, is Illyana Rasputin(Magik). In an interview with Jeff Lemire before the series launched, he expressed his love of the character. Magik doesn’t even involve herself with the plot until the final pages. Instead she’s spent her time back at X-Haven, teaching its new resident Sapna. The most engaging part of this entire series as a whole has been the mentor/protegé relationship between Illyana and Sapna. Lemire uses her un-involvement in the Apocalypse Wars to create an even stronger bond between them. We learn what lies in Sapna’s future had Illyana not train her and it makes the emotional investment in the relationship all the more compelling.
Needless to ask, has the Apocalypse Wars come to an end? With the this issues ending, not really. I can’t go into detail, so lets just say that its closing is open-ended and there are still implications that Apocalypse will be playing a role in the next story arc.
With the annoyance that have come from the pain that is editorial mandate, you’d hope that this comic could supply with some nice visuals. Unfortunately Humberto Ramos seems to have rushed this issue. It’s his style without a doubt, but it looks as if he himself had lost interest in this story as well. The line work isn’t as nearly detailed in some of the panels in comparison to his previous work. The only memorable images within come from Magik’s arc. It’s beyond a disappointment.
Extraordinary X-Men is in dire need of a new arc. I for one was hoping that it’ll be focused on the Illyana/Sapna relationship but with the open-ended closing page, it doesn’t look too bright. That along with the upcoming “Death of X” story, the future doesn’t look to optimistic for this series as it’ll detract from its own story. The supposed new flagship title of the X-Men could have been something to treasure. The potential it had with Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos attached had me pumped, but they’d been sidetracked from telling their own stories in favor of cross-overs and events. This is unfortunately a comic that isn’t worth the sticker price.
Score: 2 out of 5
Review by Eric Bradach
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