By Jeff Lemire, Victor Ibanez and Jay David Ramos
There have been many criticisms from fans about Extraordinary X-Men. Some of them are warranted (slow pacing and uninteresting story) and others could be a bit petty(bad characterization). While the book may not be the powerhouse Marvel was expecting, it has been selling reasonably well. As the story progresses, more story elements start to unravel and things start to be more enjoyable. As we move onto the seventh issue, things need to wrap up before the Apocalypse War crossover happens.
Jeff Lemire’s version of the X-Men hasn’t been as exciting as one might think. We’ve actually been treated to a slow burn that hinges on what Cyclops did, and mutants being discriminated against and dying off. This is nothing new, and the exciting stuff involving Cyclops continues to be danced around. Lemire is a writer who usually makes his endgame’s count, so hopefully things will pick up. This issue mostly focuses on Jean and Storm invading Nightcrawler’s mind. While this may be necessary to further examine why Nightcrawler has gone insane, as a reader, it didn’t feel like a good enough payoff. Nightcrawler is an X-Man that has seen good friends get killed in front of him; there shouldn’t be too many things that rattle him. The other half of the book involves Magik and company in Weirdworld attempting to rescue Sunfire. Lemire does a better job in this section of the book as the story is more engaging andbetter holds your attention. We learn a little more about the 8 month gap, which is still not been entirely pieced together. Lemire shows us where others fell on the Cyclops debate and some dear friends seem to have turned into bitter rivals. The ending of this issue seems a bit rushed to make way for the upcoming Apocalypse War story.
The pencils on this issue are handled by Victor Ibanez with colors by Jay David Ramos. Ibanez is again filling in for regular series artist Humberto Ramos and he continues his hot streak on this book. With Ibanez on the book, the exaggerated style of Ramos disappears and we get some more realistic images. Panels of Jean and Storm leaping from a pirate ship onto a gigantic Cyclops look great. There is more detail in his images and things aren’t muddy or hard to make out, and there’s a clear direction for your eyes as you scan his panels. We also get some upside down panels that will make you flip your book upside down and truly appreciate the fine art on the page. The colors by Jay David Ramos really fit with the pencils Ibanez lays down. His colors are clean and vibrant and there are no blotchy spots like there have been in other issues of this series. The past two issues of Extraordinary X-Men have been very good in the art department. Ibanez and Ramos work very well with one another and it shows on the page.
Extraordinary X-Men #7 is another decent issue, but nothing that will amaze you. Jeff Lemire is leaning too much on what Cyclops did and it is hurting this series. The strong showing in the art department makes this issue more enjoyable, but the story needs a few tweaks for this series to be considered a flagship book.