Extraordinary X-Men #18
By Jeff Lemire, Victor Ibanez, Andrea Sorrentino, Jay David Ramos and Marcel Maiolo
We all know how this goes. There is an event involving one of the comics on your pull list, so now that issue has to work as a tie-in to the main event. The problem is that sometimes these tie-ins can be pretty bad. There are some that shed a little more light on the bigger event going on, but there are others that just seem forced and are a waste of money. This brings us to Extraordinary X-Men. We have to question if this will be a good tie-in and add to Inhumans Vs X-Men, or if it will simply just be a throw away issue that wasted our time. After reading issue 18, you may be pleasantly surprised at how you feel.
Jeff Lemire has had his struggles on this series, there is no denying that, but he has turned in some good issues recently. This month we get an issue that focuses on Forge and Old Man Logan as they head off to place Forge’s machine to stop the Terrigen cloud. Lemire writes Forge very well here. He’s been a forgotten character in this series, but he gets his chance to shine and he doesn’t blow it. He comes off as funny and deep, especially when he talks with Storm near the end of the issue. It was also nice of Lemire to incorporate the Old Man Logan story, which he’s also currently writing, into this issue. It was a nice break from the Inhumans drama and it added to the history of the old man mythos. Forge’s internal monologue works well here too in the early part of the book. He becomes very relatable as someone who is misunderstood and almost passed over many times. Lemire also allows Logan and Forge play off each other well. There were many things that worked well this issue. It seems Lemire shines when he has a smaller group of characters to work with.
The pencils this issue are handled by Victor Ibanez with colors by Jay David Ramos. The Old man Logan panels are done by Andrea Sorrentino and Marcel Maiolo. For the most part, this is a well drawn issue. Ibanez seems to struggle drawing Storm though, she looks odd in some panels, especially in the face. There seems to be no problems drawing Forge though, and Ibanez does excellent work in a full-page where Forge’s mind is shown revealing how he would build a machine. It’s cool seeing a panel like this come together and Ibanez really does a good job. The colors by Ramos are very nice and integral to the pencils Ibanez lays down. They are light and bring hope that contrasts what the other artists do in this issue. This brings us to the guest appearance by Andrea Sorrentino and Marcel Maiolo. Their work together on Old Man Logan is awesome, and that train doesn’t stop here. The jaw dropping double page spread of the Rhino’s forces as they drive through the desert should remind you of a Mad Max Fury Road slide. Sorrentino and Maiolo are so good together that there isn’t much more to say about them at this point.
Extraordinary X-Men has been very good lately. There could be any number of reasons why, but it seems like Lemire is thriving with these smaller, self-contained stories. The art has also gotten better as Ibanez has gotten more comfortable with the characters. It’s a shame the title will be ending as it starts to heat up.