Extermination #4 by Ed Brisson, Pepe Larraz, Ario Amandito, Dexter Vines, Erick Arciniega and Joe Sabino raises tension, action and shocks as it heads to next month’s final chapter of another classic X-Men saga.
AHAB, A MUTANT HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE, HAS COME TO THE PRESENT TO KILL THE TIME-DISPLACED X-MEN AND ANYONE WHO STANDS IN HIS WAY. LIKEWISE, A YOUNG CABLE KILLED HIS OLDER SELF AND HAS NOW CLAIMED ICEMAN, ANGEL AND BEAST.
WHILE PURSUING THE REMAINING TIME-DISPLACED X-MEN, AHAB REVEALS HIS CONTROL OVER SLEEPER MUTANT-HUNTING HOUNDS WITHIN THE X-MEN’S RANKS: OLD MAN LOGAN, RACHEL GREY, NIGHTCRAWLER AND SHATTERSTAR!INITIALLY, THE ORIGINAL FIVE X-MEN WERE SPLIT UP FOR THEIR PROTECTION…BUT WITH CYCLOPS INCAPACITATED BY HOUND NIGHTCRAWLER AND THE OTHER THREE CAPTURED, YOUNG JEAN AND X-FORCE DECIDED TO TAKE THE FIGHT TO YOUNG CABLE’S DOORSTEP!
Written by: Ed Brisson
Layouts by: Pepe Larraz
Pencils by: Ario Amandito
Inks by: Dexter Vines
Colors by: Erick Arciniega
Letters by: VC’s Joe Sabino
This issue was non-stop action from beginning to end, with an excellent sense of pacing. Brisson picks up right from the prior issue, unleashing a series of fantastic and energetic scenes that get you turning pages rapidly. This issue also brings the two parallel fights together, as X-Force, joined by…SPOILER ALERT…young Cable finally shows up on the deck of Searebro. Everyone is ready to face Ahab now. It’s a great moment and one readers have been waiting for.
Brisson does throw in some great quieter moments though. Cannonball arriving at the X-Mansion and seeing the devastation has a nice amount of pathos to it. And the highlight of the issue has to be young Jean Grey’s ‘interrogation’ of the younger Cable, which is a turning point for both the story and the characters. This scene (the whole series really) almost serves as a meta-commentary on the often discussed X-Men time-travel themes that have always been a huge part of the mythos. It shows Brisson has both a fan’s and creator’s handle on these characters. The man is both. That’s who you want writing your X-Men comics.
With one issue left, this chapter ends on a violent and shocking cliffhanger. The implications, especially when you factor in what Cable revealed about the time-stream, could set the course for the upcoming Uncanny X-Men relaunch.
All hands on this artistic deck did an amazing job. Larraz’ layouts are arresting and inviting. They come to life under Amandito’s kinetic pencils, Vines’ weighty inks and Arciniega’s eye-popping color palette. This comic looks great. And not just the big moments. The art team excels and giving pathos and drama to faces and reactions (you can find a perfect example right below).
If what we have been getting in Extermination is any indication of what we can expect from the X-Men books in the near future, then it’s a welcome return to form for Marvel’s Merry Mutants. Classic fans will enjoy this and new fans will be made.