While the core Secret Wars book lumbers to it’s conclusion, we’ve already been exposed to the X portion of the all-new, all-different marvel universe. While I’m itching for the return of Uncanny X-Men in January, We’ve had one issue of the all-new, All New X-Men, and THREE whole issues of Extraordinary X-Men. But, has it been extraordinary? So far these issues can be summed up as follows:
Something old, something New, something Borrowed, Something blue. Something cold, Something renewed, something wicked, and siblings cool.
Check below the break for my pros and cons, bullet style.
Con: I have to mention Old man Logan #5. When I read this issue I suddenly freaked out thinking that this was the issue that Logan suddenly found himself in the new 616 and it had all been a lie that Emma was missing in action as there she was flanked by Young Jean. That crafty Bendis. That guy knows and writes a wonderful Emma. unfortunately, it’s yet another battle zone that Logan has woken up in, and he’s introduced to his ultimate son and all the X-men. It’s rather good, but the issue ends with some interesting words from Emma.
“Maybe everything in your life–Your lifetimes–all of it was training for this. Maybe the universe trained you for the day it would need you to be you the most. Or maybe only a bastard can beat a bigger bastard. And you’re just the bastard we need when we need a bastard the most… After all you’ve been through… if the universe can’t see fit to give you a second chance then what the hell, right?”
So then Logan drops into the 616, and we know there’s a few months that pass in the newer old man Logan book before he is confronted by O5Jean in Extraordinary #3, but after leaving Bendis’ pen, you’d think he’d be over this whole “woe is me” schtick and start seeking that second chance. I mean to quote Emma, again, What the Hell? And so that’s the con for something old. Melodrama has finally caught up with Logan.
I swear, that was the longest bullet point you’ll read in this article.
Con: I’m really not feeling this Jean Grey. I’m a huge fan of the Mcrey pairing (or is it Jank). And we’re faced with the above panel only a couple of weeks after Jean putting the moves on Hank. I know I know, there’s been 8 months of time between issues, but…this feels rushed. I feel slighted by not being allowed to see that relationship run it’s course. Maybe it will be addressed.
Pro: Everyone’s got mini Cerebros, but one of my favorite things in Extraordinary is Cerebra. A female-centric cerebro unit housed in a sentinel with a lovely turn of phrase and teleportation capabilities. Cerebra seemingly has human emotions, can think for herself, and uses words like Negative Nelly. I love that she is concerned for Magik.
Pro: Also to go along with Cerebra’s borrowed body, I love that the X-men made their haven in Limbo. Last we saw of Limbo it had been absorbed into Magik’s body. Still, love the concept despite how dangerous everyone must know it is for Magik to be on active duty in on earth. They do right?
Pro: Nightcrawler on a team book. I Love him and there just wasn’t enough of him. And what happened to his tail? His interaction with the villainous mutants, who we can safely say are working under Sinister’s orders, was rather good too. Not really a fan of Chimera, she only ever seems to be there to get her ass kicked, but Azimuth, Coda and Aries seem cool, at least when they’re not going up agains our favorite Rasputins. More on that later. Azimuth seems to be the most powerful member here and I’m not even sure what her power is. Does she have a black hole in her mouth or some other demonic force? And what of Coda? I know he hasn’t done much but he’s interesting to me. There’s a heavy demonic influence in this run so far.
Con: Let’s talk about Iceman. I say Iceman but I really Mean Lemire. The offending article is to your right. I feel this was a too easy joke that felt sooooo old and fell flat on its face, even for Iceman.
Pro: But then Iceman does this whole Zen thing, which isn’t new, it hails back to Wolverine and the X-men, although they are currently in Limbo which has got to be a whole lot of hot so I forgive them. However, I loved the deep freeze trick.
Con: Glob. Ive read that Lemire really likes writing Glob. “Oh Goody, more of that transparent nonce, who I really don’t know why he’s still around after betraying the X-men to Mystique.” Well. I guess they made him a feature character in that pile of slop, Spiderman and the X-men, but still? Bloody Glob and now he’s been Deputized. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. I had this discussion yesterday with a friend who said he was excited about the deputising of lesser characters. My main thought was dismay concerning Glob, but that leads to a…
Pro: Anole is an official X-man. YES. It is about time. I’m only sad that Glob has seemingly taken Rockslide’s role as screen partner.
Pro: Where do I begin? Storm has not been an enjoyable character for a long time. But here, Lemire, makes her that character that I didn’t realize I had been missing. And look at that badass image to your right. Stunning. This book has renewed my interest in Storm. It’s actually exciting, and in itself quite extraordinary. Right away we are left wondering if Storm is going mad, talking to Xavier’s ghost, or is she talking to a hologram?
Pro: Forge is back. Is Forge responsible for Storms visions of Xavier? He may well be. Seeing his former love struggling, Forge decides to give her the mental support he knows she will not take from him personally. That doesn’t explain the telepathic boost Storm receives at the end of issue 3, but it…could.
Pro: Ramos Draws a gorgeous Storm. He actually draws a gorgeous X-Men including Nightcrawler, Magik and Colossus.
Pro: Lots of wicked here. I mentioned Sinisters cronies earlier, but pulling off Nightcrawler’s tail is harsh.
Pro: and talking about wicked, Sapna has a pretty wicked power as a Demon Whisperer? if that’s what you call it. It’s like Hijack but for demons, complete with it’s own little font treatment. Well done Lemire and Ramos. I really like this new Hindu, mutant, Kali Ma.
Pro: The Limbo demons. Some of them look pretty cool. I like how Ramos makes them look. The image in the header here, where they all start breaking into X-Haven is pretty lush.
Pro: I did mention above that Ramos makes the Rasputin’s look quite attractive. I think Magik is the one that really shines though and is completely tied to this book. She is the lynch pin that everything depends on and is given the artistic shine.
With all the demonic and sinister goings on, these three issues of Extraordinary have been action packed, and yet I keep thinking that somethings missing. Despite loving the interactions, I’m missing the characters who up until this point have had the spotlight. With Cyclops having died in an attack on the Inhumans, and other heavy hitters like Rachel Grey, and Emma Frost, and even Tempus missing, I need more. I’ve enjoyed these books but are they particularly extraordinary? No. Not yet. There are a lot of new ideas here but still a lot of seemingly rehashed ideas, The No More Mutants theme being one of them. Didn’t we only just fix that? I guess I’m still hanging on Cyclop’s seeming victory over in Uncanny X-Men #600. Can’s seem to let go of my Uncanny peeps. I’m really intrigued to seee what is going on with Storm and I love that Ernst and Anole were made X-men. This makes me happy. Can’t wait to see who else shows up.
Also, for your benefit, here’s a list of minor characters I noticed in the three issues. Let me know if you identified any others.
Match/Ernst/Blindfold/Rockslide/Shola/Inhuman with fire abilities?/Surge/Hellion?/Transonic/Indra.