EXTERMINATION #2 is a solid comic. It’s not quite as exciting and suspenseful as the first issue, but it more than makes up for it with substantial characterization. Ed Brisson makes his mark as a great X-writer with this series.
96 %
X-cellent Art

EXTERMINATION #2 backs away from the, admittedly successful, shock tactics in the first issue. Brisson slows it down just a bit in order to let the entire X-family, including former members of X-Force, know about the shocking events of last issue. Ed Brisson continues making this series feel, in spirit, like the many X-events of the ‘80s and ‘90s. It feels like a return to form for the X-Men, and I still greatly enjoy it. This issue fleshes out the internal conflict between young Scott Summers and the X-Men, as well as the ruthlessness of the younger version of Cable. Artist Pepe Larraz and, especially, colorist Marte Gracia add in moments that look downright beautiful.

The Beginning of the End in EXTERMINATION #1

Cable Gets Desperate in EXTERMINATION #2

In the last issue, Ahab, a time-traveling mutant hunter from an alternate future, killed Bloodstorm and attempted to kill young Cyclops. Shortly after, a younger version of Cable killed his older counterpart and kidnapped the younger Iceman. EXTERMINATION #2 deals with the fallout of these events. Scott feels utterly hopeless after Bloodstorm’s death and questions if the Original Five ever really accomplished anything in their long trip to the future.

Meanwhile, Kitty Pryde calls a meeting of all currently living X-Men in order to discuss the many-sided threats they’re facing. Rachel Grey lets them know that Ahab means business and that the X-Men must stop him before he kills the Original Five. Kitty suggests that each member of the five splits up with a team of X-Men. They’ll take each member to a safe house until the danger subsides.

EXTERMINATION #2 page 10. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Scott, angered that he won’t be able to fight his own battle, storms off. Outside the mansion, Cable ambushes the younger versions of Cyclops, Beast, and Angel. He manages to tranquilize both Warren and Hank, but Hank pulls his tranq out before the full dosage could inject. Jean fights Cable off, and he takes Warren with him. Older Hank surmises that Cable wasn’t being bold by fighting the X-Men on their home turf; he was desperate. Is this the only danger the X-Men will face this issue? Read EXTERMINATION #2 and find out!

Old School Feel in EXTERMINATION #2

Ed Brisson manages to recapture the feel of events like X-TINCTION AGENDA and X-CUTIONER’S SONG with this series. EXTERMINATION #2, in particular, adds to this feeling. By rounding up all the disparate X-Men, including members of X-Force, Brisson adds an important story beat that was present in those two events. It makes the old-school crossover event feel all the more authentic.

That’s not where the similarities end. They all have the same amount of exciting action and feel like legitimately important events in the characters’ lives. The action in this issue, as well as the last one, actually has major stakes. In some comics, it feels like action scenes are obligatorily inserted. Here, they not only move the plot along but also feel seriously suspenseful. We still have no clue what Cable is doing with the X-Men, but he may very well be killing them, or worse. He also keeps getting away with it.

Brisson makes us feel genuine surprise whenever Cable shows up. This goes hand-in-hand with the issue feeling like a major event in their lives. Scott seems like he finally has had it with living in the future. He’s been through major changes and, already, some major heartbreak. In past series, he’s felt similarly, but not to this degree. He’s starting to act more and more like his older counterpart. I’m intrigued to see where Brisson goes with younger Scott.

Mesmerizing Art in EXTERMINATION #2

Pepe Larraz and Marte Gracia make EXTERMINATION #2 memorable. I enjoyed the story, but the art was on a whole other lever. Gracia, especially, went all out for this issue. It’s filled with beautifully lit pages, from the dark, grim interior of the X-Mansion during the meeting to the hazy blue look of the X-Men’s battle with Cable in the rain. The most beautiful page, though, is when Scott and Jean sit and contemplate the events of the first issue. It takes place right at sunset. The background, as well as the characters, are cloaked in a mixture of warm yellows, oranges, and reds. It looks both realistic and somewhat stylized at the same time. It’s an amazing look that serves to calm you, as the dialogue does, before the tense action.

EXTERMINATION #2 page 6. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Final Thoughts: EXTERMINATION #2

Jean Grey Speaks World Peace in X-MEN RED #7

EXTERMINATION #2, while not quite as exciting as the first issue, is still a solid book. It continues the fast-paced action. It even furthers the characterization. It’s not my favorite book of the week, but it’s not a bad book in any way. I recommend it to X-Men fans since it sure seems like it’ll have a big impact on future issues.

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