In the last issue, Jean Grey and Old Man Logan finally joined the X-Men team, only to find themselves in the middle of a battle in Limbo. That’s where this issue picks up, but it’s not just the limbo fight like the last issue. This issue reveals at least part of Mr. Sinister’s plans and his intentions. But the real question is whether this issue is good or not.
The thing that bothers me the most about Extraordinary X-Men so far is that everyone seems to hate mutants again. It feels excessive and it’s also unrealistic. Even in the worst of times for prejudice, there are plenty of people who are accepting of others who are different. That’s something that All-New X-Men is capturing much better so far. In this issue the mutant hate isn’t mentioned too much in a story-packed issue, but there’s a random family on the street that clearly fears the X-men. It’s getting frustrating and makes this series hard to enjoy.
Apart from that, this issue is alright. The characterization with the X-Men and Mr. Sinister is strong across the board, and the occasional banter is kind of fun. Colossus’s issue opening nightmare captures his fears quite well. All that said, there’s nothing particularly special about this issue. With Jean and Logan’s help, the X-Men seem to easily hold back the Limbo demons, and the X-Men make short work of the Marauders. There’s not all that much tension in either fight scene, even if they are kind of fun.
This next paragraph contains spoilers – be warned.
At the end of the issue, it’s revealed that Mr. Sinister is holding Cyclops, whose body is clearly modified and he’s not of his own mind. On the one hand, a lot of people saw this coming and it’s not that great of a twist. On the other hand, it leads to the possibility that whatever Cyclops did, he did it under Mr. Sinister’s control. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part. We won’t know until this is further explored, but this moment is the one thing that makes me kind of excited for issue 5.
The art by Humberto Ramos won’t be in everyone’s taste, but it’s not bad. Mr. Sinister’s lab looks appropriately creepy, as do his new Marauders. Exaggerated facial expressions capture character emotions and reactions well and it’s easy to tell them apart. On the downside, there are a couple panels in the fight scenes that are hard to follow, most notably one larger panel in the Marauders fight where Storm’s electricity obscure what’s going on. Also this may be a personal taste thing, but Colossus looks way too big. The colouring by Edgar Delgado is good for the most part. It’s bright, colourful appealing to the eye, but it does nothing to make the more confusing panels any easier to follow.
My feelings on this issue are mixed. On the one hand, things are happening and the story is starting to come together. The characters are written well and their banter is usually amusing when it tries to be. On the other hand, this is such a dark and depressing storyline that it’s hard to enjoy. It’s at least worth a look if you’re an X-Men fan, but you should read it before you buy it. Right now I’m not sure whether I’ll continue with the next issue or not.