By Jeff Lemire, Victor Ibanez and Jay David Ramos
Extraordinary X-Men has been a rough series so far. Out of all the new X-books that came out after the re-launch, this has been the most disappointing. There were many problems: bad first arc, rough pencils, odd characterization, but most importantly a lack of payoff from the series. As we enter the second story arc, this is a ‘must hit’ for everyone involved in the series.
There are still a few inconsistencies in this book as far as characterization goes. Due to the 8-month time gap, we can’t be sure what exactly happened, but Jeff Lemire’s portrayal of Storm comes off very hypocritical. She blasted Cyclops for the creation of X-Force, a glorified kill squad, but at one point in the issues tell Logan to kill someone if he feels he needs to. That aside, Colossus has some great moments in this issue. His attempt to bring Nightcrawler out of his disillusioned state is something that remind us why he is one of the most beloved X-Men. Sapna, the mutant rescued in the first issue, has some good interaction with Magik too. Lemire introduces some cool possibilities within limbo that should lead to an interesting plot in the future. There is an uncomfortable conversation between Iceman and Anole in here as well. This is uncomfortable in the sense that if you are an Iceman fan you hate everything about the character now. Many didn’t care for Bendis’ execution of revealing that Bobby’s gay, and this talk likely won’t bring you around either. The reveal at the end is pretty exciting, though. It will be great to see what comes of this in the future.
The pencils this issue are handled by Victor Ibanez with colors by Jay David Ramos. Ibanez is filling in for Humberto Ramos this issue and honestly, the pencils are excellent. There isn’t any type of over exaggeration with the characters that Ramos in known for, just nice and clean lines. The great thing about Ibanez’ pencils is that in close up panels many of these characters look very familiar, almost like friends of your. It’s just a different look where characters don’t seem like movie stars. The colors by Jay David Ramos are pretty good here. They are a little light in some spots, but overall work well with Ibanez’ pencils. Fires look intense and hell demons are a dark red, Ramos is a good fit with these pencils.
This is the best issue of Extraordinary X-Men yet. Lemire has given us a more interesting premise for the story and he writes it well. The art team has come out and put together the best art this series has seen so far. If this keeps up Extraordinary X-Men could be back to getting on track and being the first book read off of the pull list.