This series has been on and off for me so far, but if I look back, that’s also how Extraordinary X-Men’s writer, Jeff Lemire, started off his Justice League United run. That series ended up being really good as a whole, it just took too long to build up to that for a run that only lasted 13 issues. Extraordinary X-Men started off as a book with some decent storytelling, but it was a bit too dark and depressing for the X-Men’s flagship title. Since then the mood has lightened up again, and although this book isn’t great yet, it is getting better overall. So how is Extraordinary X-Men 8?
Today’s issue kicks off Extraordinary’s Apocalypse Wars tie-ins. The issue begins with a short but sweet conversation between Storm and Old Man Logan, which explores both of their mindsets a bit. This issue also shows some humans who don’t have problems with X-Men, a nice touch that helps brighten the mood a bit. The story really starts when Colossus’s team runs across the Sugar Man, in the middle of another one of his projects. The following fight scene is fun, and it explains how the X-Men end up thousands of years in the future for the rest of this arc. The ending teaser not only reveals this arc’s Apocalypse, but a new lineup of Horsemen that’s at least intriguing.
The art by Humberto Ramos isn’t in my tastes, but it works for the most part. You can see the frustration in Storm’s eyes on the opening page. The panels in Tokyo are complete with a lot of shiny displays and a good variety of civilians in the foreground and background. The future is a neat post-apocalyptic world with green plant life taking over the ruins. The action also flows well, and the warped spread when the X-Men are time traveling is crazy in all the right ways. What doesn’t work is that character shapes are often exaggerated, most notably with Colossus, whose arm muscles are twice as wide as his head even in human form. He’s supposed to be big, but here he’s proportionally ridiculous. Edgar Delgado’s colouring is fantastic either way. The orange glow in Storm’s office works well for her reflective mood, and the rest of the comic is bright and colourful.
There’s also a backup in this comic, which is easily the best part of this comic. It stars Magik and Sapna, a young girl introduced in the first arc of this series, as they visit Dr. Strange. Sapna’s mutant powers are explored much deeper than before, and it’s a fun little story with some great dialogue, a short but fun action scene and some great art by Victor Ibanez and colouring by Sotocolor. My favourite panel is the one where there’s a bunch of strange lettering floating in the air. Judging by this, Old Man Logan, All-New Hawkeye and all the DC material of his that I’ve read, I’m thinking that Lemire is better at writing solo titles than he is at writing team books.
I’m still not sold on this series as a whole yet, but despite my complaints about Ramos’s art, this issue is a good sign. The Apocalypse Wars arc has the potential to at least be fun, and Magik’s trip with Sapna already is. I hope this series continues to improve, because it’s looking like I’m going to drop All-New X-Men, and I would rather keep reading at least one X-Men team book.. In any case, this issue is at least worth reading for X-Men fans, and those who have enjoyed Extraordinary X-Men so far should enjoy this.