X-Force finds Kid Cable hiding out in his bunker and confirms his story, discovering that the future has been imperiled by the O5's refusal to return to the past. Gathering their former foe, along with Angel (now sporting his original white wings) and a Mimic (who, apparently, consented to help 'in any way I can’) the crew make their way to Searebro, where they reunite with Tyke — who is still recovering in the infirmary. Unfortunately, this is when Ahab attacks the base with his hounds (Nightcrawler, Rachel, and Old Man Logan among them) and Gabby is converted into a hound even as Nightcrawler is recaptured and subdued. Ahab makes his way to the infirmary where Tyke is being manhandled to safety by Mimic. They are, by the way, both shirtless. With identical powers and builds. Hm. And (after some confusion) Tyke(?) fires his force-beams at Ahab — and is skewered through the chest by a harpoon.
The penultimate issue of this limited series was, unsurprisingly, primarily focused on propelling the action of the plot. We were treated to an espresso shot of backstory (provided, under duress, by a telekinetically-suspended, upside-down Kid Cable) which revealed the character’s genuinely-noble intentions. The move from enemy to ally happened a little too quickly to be entirely satisfactory, but this was primarily due to the limited size of the event rather than bad writing and it was mitigated (if not entirely redeemed) by the fact that there was a self-aware (if not quite fourth-wall breaking) quality to the dialogue.
Boom Boom proved especially useful as a means of addressing possible concerns from the reader, calling out the fact that the fight between the various branches of the X-Men (and the subsequent death of Cable) need never have happened — if only they had paused long enough to have a conversation.
The line art was very good in this issue. Anandito had to pack a lot of details into a very limited space and he did a wonderful job of managing it — throwing in a great many nods and winks to the attentive reader while still keeping pace with the requirements of the script. The fact that the scenes were laid out by Pepe Larraz contributed to the flow.
As for the story: well, it ended with another murder, one which could be potentially devastating for the X-Franchise. But if you’ve read my recap, you can see that I have my doubts about the identity of the victim. I’m glad that it appears that most of the captured X-Men have been subdued (although Gabby would be terrifying as a little murder puppy) and I’m sufficiently emotionally invested to be irritated by the delay of the release of the final issue.
All in all, this is a continuously enjoyable book.
The penultimate issue is fast-paced and well-plotted, with enough action and banter to keep the readers entertained — and anxious about the safety of their favorite characters.
Extermination #4: Loose the Dogs of War
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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