Storm and Magik continue their quest across dimensions to save new mutant Sapna in the latest installment of Extraordinary X-Men by Jeff Lemire and Victor Ibanez. But despite this issue’s main plot, I found myself more engaged by its subplots. Read on to find out why…
Extraordinary X-Men #15 (Marvel Comics)
I’ll be honest – I’ve never been too big a fan of X-Men stories that pit the team against magical forces, so getting through this arc has been a bit of a chore. No fault to the creators, of course – just my personal bias toward the mystical (maybe seeing Doctor Strange will change that).
With that said, I’ve been impressed with the work Lemire and other writers have done on Magik in recent years, to turn a character I never cared much about into an A-list X-character. Introducing a protégé in the form of Sapna back in Extraordinary X-Men #1 has added new depth to Magik, a character not always known for her humanity.
In this particular issue, Lemire and Ibanez continue to give Sapna her own Dark Phoenix moment as we learn she’s possessed by The World-Eater – an entity with a hunger for the X-Men’s current home, Limbo.
But, as I was saying earlier, I felt myself more engaged when reading the issue’s subplot. To Lemire’s credit, he’s done an excellent job throughout his run adding new layers to his cast. Whether it’s Forge’s jealousy toward Storm and Old Man Logan’s burgeoning affection for one another, or Cerebra’s attempts at humor, you feel as though each character is growing from one issue to the next.
My favorite subplot of late has been young mutant (and Grant Morrison creation) Glob’s romantic interest in fellow young mutant Jean Grey. It’s been nice to see Lemire devote panel time to growing newer Marvel creations like Glob and Anole. I mean, he literally grew them up.
While previous Extraordinary X-Men artist Humberto Ramos’ style better serves more dynamic superheroic stories, Ibanez’s pencils suit this arc’s supernatural tone. The art’s indie tone enhances the horrific World Eater and creepy, fragile Apocalypse.
On the Apocalypse note – his story, as well as that of his horseman Colossus, continues this issue. But as a longtime comic reader, I can’t help but feel like we’re in one of those in-between phases I’ve seen so many times before. After all, Marvel just announced that in a few months we’re going back to the Blue and Gold X-squads.
While I’m more than happy to put this unpleasant Inhuman-tainted X-era behind us, I just hope Lemire’s terrific character contributions aren’t swept under the rug as Marvel embraces a more nostalgic approach to its X-line.