By Chris Burnham, Ramon Villalobos and Ian Herring
Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly’s run on New X-Men was a defining time for the merry mutants. Even if you didn’t particularly care for some of his stories or the new leather outfits, hopefully you understood that what happened in his run would be important down the road. Here’s proof enough, we’re revisiting his run with its own battle world. E is For Extinction takes a look at how things might have turned out if Xavier never survived his battle with Cassandra Nova.
You didn’t read the cover of the comic wrong, Chris Burnham is writing this series instead of drawing it. The surprise may be what an excellent job he does with this issue. Burnham does a great job of capturing the tone of the original Morrison run. There are so many nods to the original work from Burnham, such as Beak using a metal bar as his weapon of choice or the U-Men showing up. Burnham really seems to have done his research for this title and it clearly shows. He also introduces some new developments as well. While the “Classic X-Men” team of Cyclops, Emma and Wolverine are still in the picture, Morrison’s idea of secondary mutation strikes. It’s nice to see Burnham adding to the mythos of the story. This was surprisingly well written issue from Chris Burnham, you should not judge someone by their day job.
The pencils this issue are handled by Ramon Villalobos with colors by Ian Herring. For as good of a job as Chris did capturing the writing of Morrison’s run, Villalobos did an equally good job with Quietly’s art. While you could consider the art to be pretty crude and disgusting looking, it absolutely fits this type of story. Many of the characters look like they constantly have gross skin flakes falling off their faces. Villalobos also has a great panel where a man is getting his sperm sampled and we are taken into a room that has enlarged sperm swimming around the people inside. For as good and gritty as the art is, it seems that Ramon can’t quite get Beast in his secondary mutation from. He just looked off and resembles something that you may find in an illustrated children’s book. As far as the colors go for this issue, Ian Herring is a compliment to the dark style that Villalobos pencils. The art could be a turn off for some fans, but it fits the feel of the story wonderfully.
Marvel has really been putting out some great books for the battle worlds. E for Extinction was a book with no expectations and it turned out to be incredibly enjoyable. Chris Burnham appears to have talent in the writing and drawing department because this was a great introductory issue. The art is gross and dark, but it keeps with the tone of the book and really compliments the story. This is a series that may take you by surprise, so pick it up if you can.