Comic Reviews: Extermination and Pearl!
Extermination #1 (Marvel Comics)
It’s been a while since we’ve had an X-Men event, but all that is changing now with Extermination. Serving as the catalyst for the next big refresh of Marvel’s Mutants, Extermination, from Ed Brisson and Pepe Larraz, is chock full of what makes the X-Men, well, the X-Men. No, not mutants fighting one another (although that’s certainly here in this opening issue), time travel!
Yes, the X-Men are back into some time travel shenanigans, and it’s all centered around the young original X-Men that have been hanging around the Marvel universe for years now. When the Mutant hunter from the future, Ahab, attacks Cyclops and Bloodstorm (a vampire version of Storm-yes, regular Storm is around, don’t ask), Scott Summers needs to assemble his teammates to find out the mystery behind their attacker and what role they play in the time stream (despite them not being in the right timeline to begin with).
Ed Brisson’s script sets the stage really well for this crossover. Brisson’s slowly been making a name for himself in the Marvel writing stable, working his way up the ranks, and Extermination serves as arguably the biggest story he’s written for the publisher. While his opening for the storyline isn’t very new reader friendly, I’ll admit that it’s really engaging, and legitimately has me wondering if the X-Men from the past will (finally) be sent back to their home timeline by the time this wraps up.
Like Brisson, Pepe Larraz has been working his way up the ranks at Marvel, though his rise has been at a much faster pace than Brisson. Much of this is due to his art style, which is pretty impeccable. A mix of Humberto Ramos and Joe Madiuera, Larraz is able to give his characters a slightly cartoony look, but not so much that it ruins your ideas of what the characters should look like.
While it remains to be seen how easy to follow Extermination will be, this opening installment is well-crafted, and as someone who only reads the Red and Gold iterations of the X-Men books, this does have me interested in picking up the crossover as a whole. Whether I’ll regret that decision remains to be seen, but I have hope that this could be one of the better stories out of the modern age of the X-Men.
Pearl #1 (DC Comics/Vertigo)
Now that Brian Michael Bendis has jumped ship to DC, he’s back on the indie circuit game with Pearl. Teamed up with his Jessica Jones artist Michael Gaydos, Pearl focuses on the title character, a tattoo artist in San Francisco who accidentally becomes an assassin. While that sounds like an intriguing premise, unfortunately there’s just not enough in this opening issue to really hook you in.
One aspect of Pearl that sets it apart is the characterizations, and in that regard Bendis’ script is pretty great. But as good as his introduction to Pearl is, there’s really not much plot wise that comes into play here. For such an interesting premise, it’s a bit of a bummer to read this opening issue and come to the end, only to go “that’s it?” instead of wanting to read the next issue.
Michael Gaydos’ art in Pearl is very similar to his work from Jessica Jones, but it looks a little more rushed than usual. That may be because much of this issue is set in seedy bars and nightclubs, but there were many panels that looked a little muddy and rushed as opposed to the art guidelines set by his previous work.
While Pearl‘s opening issue isn’t the debut most Bendis fans are hoping for, it’s got the potential to be a cool crime story, provided the plot starts kicking into gear within the next few issues. If they’re anything like this issue though, it’ll unfortunately become a boring slog.
Posted on August 15, 2018, in Comic reviews and tagged Brian Michael Bendis, DC Comics, Ed Brisson, Extermination, Marvel Comics, Michael Gaydos, Pear, Pepe Larraz, Vertigo Comics, X-Men. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.