Written by KIERON GILLEN
Art by CARLOS PACHECO, JORGE MOLINA, RODNEY BUCHEMI, CAM SMITH, ROGER BONET & WALDEN WONG
Colors by FRANK D’ARMATA, RACHELLE ROSENBERG, JIM CHARALAMPIDIS & JORGE MOLINA
Letters by VC’S JOE CARAMAGNA
When we last left our hated heroes, Mr. Sinister melded together with a Celestial and was about to cause some major damage in the Bay Area. Looks like a job for Cyclops’ all-new, giant-sized Extinction Team! The results are interesting.
Frankly, the Extinction Team kind of sucks. Despite the big heroics, the screws are already coming loose. Magneto has been tasked of holding the Celestial together while Sinister’s new species of Dandified clones takes to fight the rest of the squad. Scott’s leadership abilities are in serious doubt here. A lot of things happen to these X-Men but they don’t make a lot of the decision making in this battle.This is, of course, in part due to the fact that Sinister has become one with a Celestial. And that sentence right there is what I liked about this issue.
Sinister is the perfect first villain for this team. He’s been on the fringes of the X-books recently with his death around M-Day and his subsequent resurrection in X-Men Legacy. But he’s a character that has been around the X-Men historically for a while. He’s fought them before. He understands their team dynamic. Now with his powers and British wit amplified by the force of the Celestial, he sees right through Scott and his Extinction Team. Simply put, Scott wants to be King.
Gillen hits the nail on the head. Sinister finally sees right through Scott and it’s a little twist that is surprising but entirely makes sense. The best part is that Scott can’t respond and even when he is able to he never refutes Sinister’s assumption. Gillen has been escalating this plot pretty well so far with S.W.O.R.D. and the other Celestials sure to get involved.
What I liked about the first issue is that it very quickly established the new status quo for this group but with just one short scene Gillen has managed to completely unravel so much of Scott’s aspirations for this team. This book looks to become altogether everything is set out to be: interpersonal drama played out on the largest of scales. The X-Men know how to fight amongst themselves like no others and it’s only a matter of time before all this tension explodes.
We get an improvement from Carlos Pacheco in this issue but I can’t help but feel that some of his establishing shots feel somewhat empty and antiseptic. This guy does action sequences really well but my favorite part of his artwork this time around are his Sinsters. From the giant floating head tot he British soldier types, each one is the same but shows a different side of Nathaniel Essex. Of course, we know that this kind of quality won’t be kept up because Greg Land will be filling in sooner rather than later.
This is what I was expecting, a raising of the stakes. I’m hoping nothing too drastic happens to Sinister in the future because I see him being a thorn in Scott’s side for long time. And Scott is going to have a lot to answer for once this mission is over. Gillen continues to compound the script with more and more threats to the Extinction Team’s survival both personally as well as on a grander scale. Now that all the introductory “getting the team together” stuff is out of the way, we are treated to Gillen really beginning to stretch out this book and tap into its potential.
WRITING: 4 / ART: 3.5 / OVERALL: 3.75