EXTREMITY #7
EXTREMITY #7 BY DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON AND MIKE SPICER
Art
Plot
Characterization
Summary
After an amazing first volume, EXTREMITY #7 picks up right where #6 left off -- with more amazing art and story. Daniel Warren Johnson does a particularly fantastic job in this comic with the complicated characters in this series.
95 %
Into The Dark

Daniel Warren Johnson’s beautiful and powerful series, EXTREMITY, had a fantastic start earlier this year. Now this Skybound Original is entering its second arc with EXTREMITY #7. There is still a lot of blood and violence in this issue as there was in the previous arc. However, the defining aspect of this issue is how Johnson continues to expertly develop his characters. Furthermore, we get to witness additional gorgeous locations and imagery that really sets this series apart.

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A House Divided

EXTREMITY #7 finds our main characters scattered after the major battle in the last issue. Thea and Rollo have escaped their enemies, the Panzina, but now they struggle to survive on their own. Thea especially is dealing with a crisis of faith. After dedicating her life to vengeance against the Panzina, she finds herself at a crossroads. Will she continue in her father’s footsteps and massacre the Panzina? Or will Thea learn to let go of her hate and “forgive and forget,” as her brother suggests?

Thea’s brother, Rollo, shines in this issue more than he has in any of the previous ones. Before, Rollo was nothing more than a weak, whining teenager whose only purpose was to question his father Jerome’s decisions and then get kidnapped by the Panzina. In this issue, however, Rollo manages to be useful to his sister. He proves himself very adept at handling Thea’s wounds and detailing the history of the local area — all the things that could be useful for their survival.

EXTREMITY #7
Extremity #7 pg. 12. Image courtesy of Image Comics

Meanwhile, Jerome continues to direct his tribe, the Roto, in a war against the Panzina. Out of every character in EXTREMITY, I find Jerome to be the most fascinating. He is a man who’s whole tragic existence is dedicated to attaining some form of retribution. Tragedy and bloodshed have had such a presence in his life that it no longer phases him. He is willing to do whatever it takes to vindicate the loss of his wife and his daughter’s hand. Even when he believes his children have died, he continues with his mission because it is his sole purpose in life.

Mutually Assured Destruction

While it is unclear whether it takes place on Earth or some other place, EXTREMITY clearly exists in a post-apocalyptic world where civilization has reverted to tribes. In this issue, Thea and Rollo explore the place they call The Ancient Dark. Johnson hasn’t really told us, nor do the characters seem to know exactly what The Ancient Dark is; we can only guess. To me, it looks like a modern civilization which destroyed itself in the fires of nuclear war. This would make sense as, in this issue, a strange species of wolves attack the siblings. These irradiated wolves perhaps are from a nuclear war.

EXTREMITY #7
EXTREMITY #7 pg. 10. Image courtesy of Image Comics

The equally interesting question is why does Daniel Warren Johnson choose to set his story in a post-apocalyptic world? He could have easily told a tale of competing tribes at any point in history. However, I think showing the destruction of the old world may connect with the themes that this book is going for. EXTREMITY shows that war and violence can never lead to anything good. If humans destroyed themselves by dropping nuclear bombs on each other, that would further prove Johnson’s point. Basically, he is showing that humans should learn to coexist if they want to maintain their privileged place in the world.

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Furthermore, EXTREMITY #7 questions whether enemies can learn to forgive and live side by side. This issue shows groups of people from both the Panzina and the Roto are trying to end the bloodshed between their tribes. The issue asks whether years of hated and war can be resolved in peaceful matters. I’m extremely interested to see where Johnson stands on all of these problems presented in EXTREMITY.

Art in EXTREMITY #7

Fans of the art of EXTREMITY will rejoice because it is just as rugged, gruesome, and fascinating as before. There’s not a whole lot of action in EXTREMITY #7 (after all, they are setting up a new arc). However, readers do get to see some classic, brutal, and intense EXTREMITY fighting as Thea and Rollo square off with the pack of wolves.

Daniel Warren Johnson, who also provides the pencils for this book, and colorist Mike Spicer, do a spectacular job providing an exciting yet unique look to this story. The book is a lot less glamorous and more hardened than most comics. Its characters aren’t classic representations of beauty and strength. Instead, they have rough, unpolished features. This truly makes the look of this comic stand out and feel much more striking. Yet EXTREMITY #7 doesn’t just depict a harsh, unsafe world.

EXTREMITY #7
Extremity #7 pg. 4. Image Courtesy of Image Comics

There is also a sense of magic and allurement in Johnson and Spicer’s art. There’s always enough color in each panel to give the reader a sense of wonder and spectacle. It never feels like BATMAN V SUPERMAN or even LOGAN, where cinematographers intentionally drown out the rich color on screen. I particularly love the panels which depict The Ancient Dark. The Dark is supposed to look like the wreckage of a modern city. Johnson and Spicer manage to make this post-apocalyptic trash bin look riveting by using a beautiful shade of purple and immense detail to depict the landscape. This is comparable with how MAD MAX: FURY ROAD found a way of showing a desolate, gritty wastelands but heightened the vibrant colors within each frame. EXTREMITY is very similar to this — it is able to find the beauty even in the harshest environments and the darkest of times.

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Final Thoughts

EXTREMITY #7 maintains the excitement and intensity of the last few issues, while also furthering the arcs of its characters. After reading this issue, I have a feeling Johnson will bring this comic to some interesting new places. I don’t want to get too into it in case of spoilers, but there’s enough in EXTREMITY #7 to point towards exciting developments to come. If you love intriguing, engrossing adventure comics, I suggest that you check out EXTREMITY #7! You will not be disappointed.

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