Ahab reveals that he used those creepy children of his to transform Shatterstar, Nightcrawler, and Old Man Logan into instant Hounds. Evil Nightcrawler teleports Tyke into the depths of the ocean, but before either can drown or be crushed to death, Kurt Bamfs away and Young Cyclops is rescued by Jean. Kid Cable cuts off Calvin’s wings (as part of his bid to reset the O5 to their original factory settings) while drinking coffee from a nifty personalised mug. And Teen Jean has a murderous heart-to-heart with Domino.
The action comes on thick and fast in this book, with only a minor interlude for exposition. The last issue could afford to spare a beat for necessary character moments but there wasn’t any room for such talk, here. The plot and pacing demanded all of the artists’ attention, but that is hardly a flaw since more than enough groundwork has been laid to support it.
The plot remains fairly predictable. It was clear from the start that those kids were trouble (come on. When has a character ever turned up at the X-Mansion with a tabula rasa brain without becoming a catalyst for mayhem?) and Kid Cable’s plan to reset the O5 and return them to their time was fairly obvious from the first page on. Brisson’s playing with a lot of old tropes here but none of this is a problem because the story he’s telling us so much darned fun.
In narratives, the ‘what’ of a story is often far less important than the ‘how’. The manner of telling, the action, the voice — those little character moments slipped in between fight scenes — are the things that readers most remember. And there is a lot of good stuff happening here.
Teen Jean and Domino connect over a blood debt. Kurt and Shatterstar endure the memories of years of torture, delivered in a fingersnap. Kid Cable channels his fear and anxiety into sarcasm. All of that is woven into 23 pages, and all of it is delivered with enough flair to make the readers love it.
The art helps. The line work is clear. The colours are rich, and dark. It’s clear that the artist is having as much fun as the writer (there are a couple of nice little gags, seeded about) while at the same time treating the story with professionalism and verve.
And although we all know how this story is going to end, we’re still able to care about it. I’m irrationally worried, for example, about Nightcrawler and Shatterstar. I’m rooting for Teen Jean to get her taste of blood.
If you haven’t started reading this one yet, what are you waiting for?
This is an action packed, well-written (slightly familiar) story told and illustrated with style, verve and more than a few hidden jokes.
Extermination #3: The Kids Aren’t Allright
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 7.5/107.5/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 7.5/107.5/10
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