Extraordinary X-Men vol. 1: X-Haven



Jeff Lemire takes on the “X-Men” and Bendis’ run isn’t even in the ground or cold yet over here.  (But that’s coming, sooner that I was expecting.)  The bad news is that due to Marvel’s decision to give additional prominence to the Inhumans — and get their own “X-Men”-esque film/TV franchise that they can have all to themselves — we’re stuck with another riff on the “No More Mutants” story that was set up after “House of M.”  In this case, the Terrigen Mists that were dispersed during “Infinity” are now revealed to be poisonous to and have sterilized mutants.  This has led to Storm re-locating the school and all the mutants she and her team can find to someplace… warmer while they figure out what to do next.  However, at least one individual has taken a proactive stance in dealing with this crisis.  Unfortunately for everyone, that person is Mister Sinister and he just got his hands on Nightcrawler.

As familiar as parts of this storyline are, Lemire’s take on this iteration of the “X-Men” could also be described as traditional.  That’s actually not a bad thing in this case as Bendis’ run has come off as somewhat aimless and lacking in cohesion.  So the decision to get back to focusing on a specific team of mutants fighting to protect a world that hates and fears them (more than ever, of course) actually comes off as a welcome nostalgia trip for this longtime fan.  It helps that the writer has a good handle on these character.  In particular:  Storm makes for a satisfyingly authoritative team leader, there’s some good interplay between Young Jean Grey and Old Man Logan as they overcome their mutual reluctance to join the team, and it’s nice seeing Colossus in a straightforwardly heroic mindset again after all these years.  Granted, Nightcrawler appears to have fallen into a manically religious fugue state and Lemire has ditched Kieron Gillen’s revamp of Sinister, so there’s some irritation here.  We also the always-energetic art of Humberto Ramos driving the action here and that helps make this volume a visual standout as well.  Vol. 1 of “Extraordinary X-Men” is all about embracing the familiar, but in this case it’s the warm, welcoming kind that reminds you why you liked these characters and their world in the first place.

jason@glickscomicpicks.com


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