Extraordinary X-Men #11

by H├ęctor A on July 03, 2016

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Penciler: Humberto Ramos
Inker: Victor Olazaba
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Published by: Marvel

If you ask me, Apocalypse Wars will be one month too long. With the Civil War II mini-series that started last month, it's going to be 3 or 4 months where none of the X-teams had an issue that wasn't part of a crossover or an event. It's particularly unfortunate timing with another crossover (“Death of X”) coming soon. I don't buy into the conspiracy that Marvel is trying to tank its properties but it's been a while since we had a really good series for any X-Men team.

 

Lemire is a very talented writer and Extraordinary X-Men has been entertaining for most of its run. But while issue #9 was really good, I would say this series has rarely reached my expectations. This issue keeps in line with previous ones as it's bogged down by uneven pacing, we get to see a series of vignettes that begin and end without much consequence. The strength of issue #9 was that Lemire got to focus on telling one story but having to service so many characters makes every issue feel jumbled. The book keeps building up in interesting ways but most issues lack structure.

 

It's good that the relationship between Magik and Sapna might be brought to the foreground soon, as some of the most effective emotional beats throughout this series have come from that pair and having new characters always gives a different energy to the X-Men, even if we don't see many of them recently. Sapna's powers make her a natural protegé for Illyana and exploring that relationship in greater detail while Sapna grows as a character could really benefit the book going forward. Having the team split up for the last few issues has allowed us to see which characters can be grouped together succesfully, and even if Young Jean and Old Man Logan are straight up weird; Sapna/Magik, the younger X-Men (Martha, Anole, Glob and Ernst) and Nightcrawler/Storm all work well together. Nightcrawler being charming, funny and confident again was definitely a welcome sight, as he and Storm go searching for Apocalypse as the rest of the team fight the Horsemen.

 

Regarding the art, Humberto Ramos has never been my favorite penciler. He's definitely nowhere near a bad artist, especially compared to someone like Greg Land on Uncanny, but a lot of his female characters have the same body type. One thing that ticks me off is that we constantly get to see Jean Grey and Storm's ribs through their uniforms. It is a detail that is often used in superhero comics but it isn't really realistic nor necessary. Furthermore, Joe Caramagna's lettering in this issue is a bit too on the nose in the action scenes and having so many characters with distinct word balloons makes the book a bit too loaded for my taste. I do like Ramos' version of Apocalypse a lot, he isn't as towering as the Apocalypse from the early X-Factor run or AoA but Lemire and Ramos have played up some of the most unsettling aspects of the character so he remains a formidable villain. And between Deadpool's bee swarm mouth and Wolverine being absorbed by Venom, this version of the Four Horsemen is also very striking.

 

As it has become usual in the last few months for the X-Men titles, this issue has some good ideas but sub-par execution. Lemire and Bunn might be some of the best writers working for Marvel right now but neither of their X-books have had great art and they are about to spend the better part of a year tied up in events, which is ultimately what is limiting these books from achieving their potential.

Our Score:

7/10

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