EXTERMINATION #1 proves that Ed Brisson should write more X-Men books. It’s just a fabulous book chock full of huge, harrowing moments. It looks like it’ll change the X-Men status quo for the near future. Pepe Larraz makes the book look absolutely stunning. You owe it to yourself to get this book if you’re an X-Men fan.
97 %
Shockingly Suspenseful

Months of buildup in the pages of various X-books finally culminates in EXTERMINATION #1. Ed Brisson focuses on the Original Five time displaced X-Men in this opening salvo to the long awaited miniseries. In this issue, a mysterious new villain and a semi-forgotten old villain attack two members of the Original Five. This results in some bloodshed and a few truly tragic moments. I have no clue where Brisson is going with this series, and I can’t wait to see where it leads. He opens this series with much action and excitement and shows that he’s not pulling any punches. Artist Pepe Larraz brings frenetic energy to the pages, making the action look fantastic. It matches up perfectly with the breakneck pace of the action in EXTERMINATION #1.

Days of Future Now in EXTERMINATION #1

EXTERMINATION #1 opens with a mysterious hooded figure standing in an alternate future, surrounded by death and destruction at the X-Mansion as he promises to fix a mess that an old man caused. In the present, the Original Five X-Men embark on what may very well be their last mission together. They save two French-speaking young mutants from an angry mob in Chicago. They bring the kids back to the X-Mansion, where it’s revealed that the kids don’t remember anything leading up to their rescue. Young Jean Grey notes that they seem to be from France, making their appearance in Chicago more bizarre. After dropping off the kids, Scott Summers goes to dinner with a member of his team. Suddenly, they’re ambushed by Ahab, a mutant enslaver from the Days of Future Past timeline.

EXTERMINATION #1 page 7. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

He and his mutant slaves nearly subdue Cyclops, but not before they kill his teammate. Filled with rage, Cyclops blasts them away at full power and Ahab teleports away. Back at the X-Mansion, Rachel Grey gets shaken up by the news, since Ahab was the one who enslaved her when she lived in that alternate future. Young Jean corrals her team to the mansion, but on the way there, Bobby Drake is ambushed by the same hooded figure from the opening. Cable arrives and tries to help Bobby, but not before the mysterious stranger knocks Bobby out. Will Cable save Bobby? Who’s under the hood? Pick up EXTERMINATION #1 to find out!

Brisson Brings the Tragedy in EXTERMINATION #1

I’m not going to spoil who dies in EXTERMINATION #1. I just want to say that Brisson fills the issue with unexpectedly tragic moments. Brisson shows that the title isn’t just a fun X-pun. This really feels like the endgame for the Original Five. It was a long time coming. We all knew when Brian Michael Bendis brought them to the future, they wouldn’t be here forever. I’m personally surprised they were here so long. I really enjoyed how gritty Brisson made this first issue. He makes all the major beats in the story feel suitably heavy and serious for the X-Men. It really makes me intrigued to see what’s to come in the series. No one seems safe, which is always scary in a Marvel book.

In a lot of books, the writers sort-of telegraph where the story may head ahead of time, whether intentionally or not. In EXTERMINATION, Brisson throws the reader through a loop. That’s much appreciated. We still don’t know what the connection is, if any, between the two villains. We don’t know if any character is truly safe.

I’m actually eagerly anticipating the next issue because of this. That’s pretty high praise from me for an X-book. I have to say, I don’t feel the same way for X-MEN GOLD or BLUE. To me, Brisson breathed new life into a franchise that was beginning to go stale after a big fake-out wedding and a too-long storyline about Mothervine. It seems like a perfect lead-in to the rebooted UNCANNY X-MEN series that was just announced. Here’s hoping Brisson keeps the same momentum going.

Larraz’ Kinetic Art in EXTERMINATION #1

Pepe Larraz’ art this issue is just divine. Every page, whether it just features two characters talking or a big ol’ action scene, is practically overflowing with energy. The action scenes, though, look particularly stupendous. My favorite is when Ahab first bursts into the scene. There’s so much to this page I love. Scott’s startled expression is perfectly captured. The woman shielding her head from the glass is a nice touch. The two hounds’ foaming mouths and poses, along with the female’s dead eyes, make them look suitably crazed and ravenous. Ahab even manages to look menacing despite his lamentably 90s getup. Larraz manages to make him even look slightly cool in all his gaudily purple and ginormous shoulder padded glory.

EXTERMINATION #1 page 11. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The best part about this issue is that nearly every page is just as beautiful and frenetic-looking as this one. It makes you feel the insanity of Brisson’s script.

Final Thoughts: EXTERMINATION #1

EXTERMINATION #1 is well worth the wait. It’s a big, exciting event that actually manages to shock and surprise. It’s one of those rare events that actually feels like it deserves its own series and not just an individual story arc in an already established book. I cannot wait to see where Brisson goes from here. If you’re reading any X-Men books, you must pick up this issue.

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