An army of Beasts, the six-in-one, the return of a presumed dead hero – as well as a villain – and what’s inside the Phoenix Egg – this is going to be one hell of an issue!

E IS FOR EXTINCTION #3 by Chris Burnham and Ramon Villalobos!

After the battle between Xorn and Magneto over the Phoenix Egg and the arrival of a ginormous army of different versions of Hank McCoy, the Atom Academy X-Men and the former team consisting of Wolverine, Cyclops and Emma have to unite against a powerful, common foe. As they wage war, two characters presumed dead enter the battlefield again, and the one big powerful villain who has been pulling the strings in the background all the time is revealed! And in the end, the Phoenix Egg finally hatches…


Against the Beasts

Many things that happen in E IS FOR EXTINCTION #3 could very well have been part of the original Grant Morrison run, and both author and artist definitely pay respect to the run that this book is revisiting. Its fun to constantly be reminded of this great era of X-Men comics, and this book definitely makes a reader a bit nostalgic. Every time the children of Angel and Beak appear, or the rivalry between Emma and Jean is hinted at, it brings a little smile to my face.


E is for Extinction no retreats

However, what this series has been lacking is the drama and focus on character development of the original stories (even though Burnham did have the great idea to confront Beast with his increasing inhumanity!). Heroes die, are reborn or powerful new threats appear, but it just doesn’t feel as dramatic as it did in the original comics. This is probably due to the fact that most of the things that happen just feel too absurd and the book does a horrible job at explaining anything that happens. Seriously, where do all the Beasts come from? The explanation this issue offers is not only a blink-and-you-miss-it, it also has many logical inconsistenties. The plot is extremely knotty, and most of the events just feel really silly. Which is not necessarily bad, because it keeps the book entertaining if you’re into the absurdity.

Psychic dampeners

Still, even though the issue is extremely action-packed, the reader barely feels any tension, because this book lacks dramatic impact. Also, as mentioned above, the plot is just too knotty, with too many antagonists and plot twists. There’s no time to actually explain the motivations of any of the people in the book, and instead, it mainly focusses on action sequences that are fun, but not gripping. The reader feels like he has absolutely no clue what’s going on (which is probably what the protagonists feel like, as well) and is just left totally confused after each new cliffhanger and each new villain suddenly appearing. “Over the top” is probably the best way to describe this book; it’s just too much happening at once. The only characters that really get to shine are Beak and Beast.

The art remains as good as it was in the previous issues and is still extremely fitting for the book, because it resembles the art of Frank Quietely.

All in all, E IS FOR EXTINCTION #3 is a good addition to this fun book, but there’s not enough drama or focus on characters in it, and the plot just feels ridiculously overcharged.



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