Ed Brisson sends the time displaced X-Men teens back to their own timeline for good. Extermination ends in an explosive and exciting fashion, marking the end of an era for X-Men comics.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
After making a huge mess and murdering his own future self, Young Cable completes his mission and sends the original X-Men teens home–avoiding Ahab’s mutant murder party of the future. As always, there are a few lingering elements going forward and a HUGE reveal at the end.
Ed Brisson did a wonderful job crafting a story to not only send the kids back home, but also put the modern X-Men in a good place to build on. Extermination succeeds as a hug X-Men crossover story where others have failed. This story leaned heavily on the Cable-timeline-surgery that has made X-Men comics great and frustrating for so many years.
Ahab’s plot to wipe out mutants, utilizing two powerful French kids, could’ve easily been stale. However, setting up the bare bones we needed to buy-in and just racing off into the fun made this a pleasure to read. Not being dragged done by bloated plot or trying to dress-up a simple antagonist plot made the story feel honest and wholesome.
Brisson had a task, send the teens home. He and the creative team turned that simple endgame into an exciting adventure. This was as an examination of the X-Men, Cable, mutants, hatred, and the idea that brought the kids here in the first place. It also helps that this didn’t just end up as a launching pad for a bunch of new X-Men titles that’ll be cancelled within a year.
Artist Pepe Larraz and colorist Marte Gracia were absolute rock stars throughout this story. Extermination #5 is an extremely satisfying finale for your eye balls. There’s so much to appreciate about every panel on every page.
You could get lost in the backgrounds of panels for hours, just admiring the action and showdowns. It’s not just a bunch of faceless mutant fodder blasting each other, each card-carrying X-Men is on display in the most glorious fashion. This action sequences are nerve-racking as they burst off of the page, keeping this from ever feeling generic or half-assed.
Letterer Joe Sabino gets to shine as well, there is a massive amount of texture and swagger to the lettering choices.
Going forward for X-Men comics, Young Cable is an interesting character to follow. This is uncharted territory for Nathan Summers, it’ll be a joy to see him develop in Ed Brisson’s upcoming Uncanny X-Force. Not to mention that HIS F*CKING DAD IS BACK.
It was the ultimate cliffhanger reveal to see Cyclops appear at the end of Extermination. Having Scott come back while his son is still at an impressionable age makes for some potentially great X-Men stories. That final page will make any dedicated X-Fan drool at the mouth despite having seen that Scott’s return was imminent from Marvel’s Previews.
Extermination #5 wraps up a quietly monumental X-Men event that will find itself among the “essential X-Men reading” lists in no time. Ed Brisson was the right man for the job, his X-Men credibility continues to grow. Larraz, Gracia and Sabino make this a comic book that you’ll not soon forget. It’s definitely worth a second read immediately for the art alone.
This story will make you want to read all the X-Men titles that follow, that’s a big win for Marvel and this stellar creative team.