Life is never easy for the X-Men, no matter what era you’re from or in.
Back in late 2012, Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen brought the original X-Men into the present. It was the modern day Beast who felt he needed to bring back the younger versions of the team to the present to try to knock some sense into the modern day Cyclops. The young mutants ended up getting stuck in the present.
It appears this series is going to deal with the time-displaced mutants in an extreme fashion.
Time travel has frequently been a part of the X-Men’s lives. Even in the current X-Men: Blue series we’re seeing events take place nineteen years into the future, with the original X-Men having aged as well.
Something must have gone horribly wrong after those events because a mysterious stranger surveys the death and destruction that has taken place in Extermination #1. This person decides it’s their duty to rectify the mistakes that have happened. That means within the opening pages, we already have an enigmatic new character introduced and the ominous nature of time travel.
What about the title of the comic? You can’t call a story Extermination without some death. That’s the unfortunate thing. Comic book deaths often play a big role in these big epic stories. Readers may have become slightly desensitized when characters die only to return in another story event. Even so, one of the deaths here was pretty unexpected and is something you’ll want to read for yourself before you come across spoilers.
Comic book deaths are a way to raise the stakes. You can’t help but wonder might happen to certain characters, especially when many are absent from the recent Uncanny X-Men Disassembled teaser.
Ed Brisson does a good job setting up the story. The fate of the original X-Men has been floating around for some time now. Will they return to their original time period or stay in the present and live to face the coming disaster that’s been hinted at here and in X-Men: Blue? Brisson adds more suspense and gives us a perplexing character with interesting motives. At the same time there’s a familiar X-foe has his own sites set on the X-Men.
Pepe Larraz’s art with Marte Gracia’s colors sets a stellar stage for an X-Men event. The action takes place across in different places and eras with a large cast of characters. They depict the happy, frightening, and tragic moments with ease.
Mystery, a classic X-Men villain, time travel, and death–these are things you can expect in Extermination #1. The story may be focusing on the time-displaced original X-Men, but clearly there’s no telling what might happen. Brisson is taking the title literally by killing off characters, but, of course, there is more to the story. Wait until you see the last page.