By Leah Williams, Georges Jeanty, Roberto Poggi and Jim Charalampidis
Age Of X-Man is about halfway through their first issues of the event currently taking over the X-universe. This week we get a look into the police of sorts, with X-Tremists. This is the group of mutants that handle the dirty work. If there is any sign of affection or intimacy, you’re likely to receive a visit from this group of mutants.
Leah Williams has the tough job of making us see the viewpoint of the villains in this line wide crossover. She’s working with a good line up of mutants, with the exception of Moneta, who is immediately unlikable. This issue has some issues, the most important being that it’s very slow. It’s not a bad set up, but this is a book that is easy to lose interest in waiting for the build up. Williams starts us off with a joke between Bobby and Jubilee about the difference between a baking sheet and wax paper. While this joke has a part to play in the story, Williams beats it into the ground. It’s essentially said for almost half of the issue between them. The next problem is that Moneta and Northstar speak French, which is fine here and there, but this issue they do it too much and there isn’t a translation. On the positive side, Characterization for characters like Northstar, and oddly enough Blob, are fun and refreshing. It’s nice to see Blob take a leadership role and be a decent mutant for once. We are left with an interesting send off, but it does kind of end on a downer for the team. This is an issue that should leave you wanting to read the next book, but not desperately wanting to read it.
The pencils this issue are handled by Georges Jeanty with inks by Roberto Poggi and colors by Jim Charalampidis. The pencils have a few problems with them as well in this issue. For starters, early in the book, Bobby and Jean-Paul look very similar. There also seem to be a few problems with details on faces. In a panel where Moneta is upset that Northstar called her a name, Jeanty draws her with very little detail. Her eyes look similar to something you would see in a Sunday morning newspaper. Jeanty does have some good panels here as well though. As the team goes to arrest a repeat offender, there is a panel where the mutant transforms into a giant rat. This is a nice panel and shows what Jeanty is capable of. The inks by Roberto Poggi help Jeanty in these panels, as he allows Jeanty’s pencils to pop. The colors by Jim Charalampidis are very good here. Charalampidis uses some vibrant colors in this issue when dealing with the pink from Psylocke’s psychic knife, or the blue when Bobby ices up. Little things like a blue painting in the background draw your attention because of how well and detailed Charalampidis work is.
X-Tremists is most likely a slow burn and this issue is no doubt a set up for the series. Having said that, it had it’s problems and at times was too slow moving. Williams will bring people back for the next issue, but it really needs to pick up to maintain interest. The art this issue also had it’s hiccups, but it’s by no means terrible. Sometimes it takes a while to get used to an artists style. X-Tremists is a decent start, but the weakest of the Age of X-Man stories so far.