Sunday, February 21, 2016



[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

WRITER: Jeff Lemire
PENCILS: Humberto Ramos
INKS: Victor Olazaba
COLORS: Edgar Delgado
LETTERS: VC's Joe Caramagna
COVER: Humberto Ramos with Edgard Delgado
VARIANT COVERS: J. Scott Campbell with Nei Ruffino; Pascal Campion; Todd Nauck with Andy Troy; Sanford Greene (Hip Hop Variant); Amanda Lynne Shafter photographed by Judy Stephens (cosplay variant)
36pp, Color, $4.99 U.S. (January 2016)

Rated T+

X-Men created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Uncanny X-Men has been the flagship X-Men comic book for most of the past five decades, but it recently came to an end (for now?) with the publication of Uncanny X-Men #600.  The status changes as a result of the All-New, All-Different Marvel re-branding of Marvel Comics.  Now, the flagship X-Men title is Extraordinary X-Men.

This new series is written by Jeff Lemire; drawn by Humberto Ramos (pencils) and Victor Olazaba (inks); colored by Edgar Delgado; and lettered by Joe Caramagna.  The series finds the X-Men fighting to escape the threat of the Terrigen Mists which gives Inhumans their powers, but harms mutants.

Extraordinary X-Men #1 opens with Storm struggling with the weight of the task she finds before her.  She must fight to save mutantkind, which may be facing extinction because of the mass release of the Terrigen Mists.  Now, with her lieutenants, Iceman and Magik, at her side, Storm must gather a new team of X-Men to help the mutants now living in a place called “X-Haven.”  Not everyone, however, wants to join Storm's mission, even if they believe in it.

Upon first seeing a teaser about Extraordinary X-Men, I was dismissive of it.  Now, I cannot wait to read the second issue.  Marvel has found a way to make the X-Men interesting – by marking them destruction.  Their numbers are shrinking, and they may not be able to reproduce, which means extinction.  Having a streamlined X-team will give writer Jeff Lemire a chance to build the characters into this new paradigm of peril.  Lemire will also be able to tell fresh stories using classic or familiar personalities, but from a different point of setting or perspective.  Lemire's take on Storm reminds me of the boss-lady of Chris Claremont's run on Uncanny X-Men, and for me, that is a good thing.

In the meantime, Humberto Ramos' run as penciller on the 2014 relaunch of The Amazing Spider-Man reinvigorated my interest in Ramos (and Spider-Man, for that matter).  For a few years in the 1990s, Ramos was one of my favorite comic book artists.  Hey, in a way, these are the same old X-Men, but Ramos, both in terms of drawing style and graphical storytelling, makes everything seem fresh and new.  I think the possibilities are endless for Extraordinary X-Men, even if corporate demands mean the X-Men comic books won't stray too far from the familiar.

Still, I am excited, so I will recommend Extraordinary X-Men #1.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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