After 20 issues of what has to have been one of the darker X-Men series in recent memory, writer Jeff Lemire brings Extraordinary X-Men to a close on a surprisingly optimistic note.
Extraordinary X-Men #20 (Marvel Comics)
The stars of Extraordinary X-Men #20 seem to be as relieved as readers that Marvel’s Inhumans Vs. X-Men event is finally over.
“It is good to see you smile, Kurt,” Colossus tells Nightcrawler. “Believe me, Piotr…it is good to smile again,” Kurt replies.
At the start of the story, the various mutants who sought refuge at X-Haven are being transported from Limbo back to Earth, where x-gene carriers are safe to breathe air free of Terrigen Mists. Of course, as is customary following a major X-event, X-Men lifers like Storm are suddenly conflicted as to whether or not they’ll continue to follow Professor Xavier’s dream. Before Jean Grey can remind Storm that she’ll be starring in X-Men: Gold starting in April, Old Man Logan interrupts with a mission.
Martha, aka the mutant brain in the robot body, alerts the team of a distress call–coming from a familiar voice. I won’t say who that familiar voice belongs to, but we are treated to an appearance from Grant Morrison’s Wild Sentinels.
Overall, it’s an uplifting done-in-one X-Men story that reminds readers these characters don’t have to be surrounded by doom and gloom to be interesting. The issue even ends with a classic X-Men trope that shows just how dedicated Marvel is to returning these characters to their roots in the post-IVX universe.
I’ve enjoyed becoming more familiar with artist Victor Ibanez’s pencils throughout this series. His detailed line work complements Lemire’s scripts well. His rugged pencils especially shine when the X-Men battle the textured Wild Sentinels. Also, any time Ibanez draws Glob it’s a treat.
One note about Glob–one of the most interesting subplots in Lemire’s run was the ongoing crush Glob had on Jean Grey. Lemire touches on it here, but I feel as though it didn’t reach much of a conclusion–unless future writers plan to pick up Glob’s torch for Jean.
Ultimately, I’m sad to see Lemire leaving the X-universe after this issue and the upcoming Old Man Logan #24. Any readers who weren’t really paying attention to Extraordinary X-Men should definitely check out the eventual omnibus of the run. Lemire and his artistic collaborators managed to mix strong character work, a willingness to experiment and high stakes to create a truly unique X-Men book. One can only wonder what types of stories the writer would have told if not saddled with Marvel’s Terrigen Mists plot.
Either way, here’s to Jeff Lemire, Victor Ibanez and every other creator who helped provide readers with a quality X-Men series from one month to the next.