X-Treme X-Men #5
X-TREME MEASURES! As the battle between the wounded X-MEN and mighty GALÉRER reaches a deadly climax, the anti-mutant PURITY demonstration boils over into unbridled chaos! Can the mutants save the innocent civilians and stop the villains at the same time? And at what cost - to themselves and the city of Chicago? The epic conclusion to Chris Claremont and Salvador Larroca's latest chapter of X-TREME X-MEN!
We come to the grand finale of Chris Claremont and Salvador Larroca’s X-Treme X-Men’s mini that pitted our team against the oppressing soul demon Ogun, Alice Tremaine, her junkyard Sentinel SCRAP!, and the mutant hate group Purity, and new group Galérer, super powered humans that were operatives of Purity, formed to be a thorn in the X-Men’s sides. They’re Claremont creations with names like Beasty-Brute, Soulscream, and Sanzu. Claremont and Larroca did what they do best, and what they do is a whole lot of fun. As this title ends, we return to our regularly scheduled program…
That ending was just what was needed. It scratched all those itches but wasn’t satisfied with them during the Krakoan era. It felt like an X-Men book, chock full of twists and turns while focusing on character, which has always been one of the hallmarks of a Claremont book. Was it wordy? Absolutely. But it’s one of those things that you expect from a Chris Claremont book. It’s like reading a book by George Perez and not expecting the costumes to be highly detailed and busy. You already knew what you were getting into.
Claremont likes to show and tell, overloading us with what these characters are thinking amid battle. Whether that’s Storm wanting to stab a witch for attacking her family, of which Kitty is the one she cares for more than all of the world, or how intimate Rachel and Kitty’s relationship is. They are soulmates, intrinsically linked in ways that few can hope to have, and these character moments draw you in. Claremont wants to flesh out the cast as deep, flawed, and, most of all, human. It’s this technique that Claremont’s perfected to make the X-Men one of the most celebrated franchises over the last 60 years.
Salvador Larroca is here, and he’s giving us some of the best work of his life. He and Claremont have a long relationship dating back to the 90s when they worked on the post-Heroes Reborn Fantastic Four series. They would follow that up at the end of his first return to the Uncanny X-Men title, so it would make sense that they’d be teamed together to launch the first X-Treme X-Men title. The duo would pull off new, non-stop action books that bounce worldwide. From Spain to the Australian Outback and beyond, all the way to Shi’ar space. That same energy from 20 years ago can be felt in this mini, and the two working in tandem again seem to be bringing out the best in each other.
Because of Claremont, I have become a fan of the X-Men for more years than I care to remember. This mini has been one of the strongest that Marvel has put out, giving readers these untold tales that take place between the pages in the past, where we get a treat from some classic creators returning to characters and franchises they’ve been associated with. These veteran creators are sometimes combined with newer artists, but that’s not the case. Watching these two pros reunite to give us some of their best work that we haven’t seen since their last time together is quite a treat. I hope if newer readers pick this up, they’ll be compelled to search out the trades of the original series so they may see why I hold such reverence for the book and these characters.
As the X-line continues to meander, moving from one pointless crossover to the next, muddling along until the next status quo shaking era, this mini was a bright gem that shined brightly, not only reminding fans of a team and a time that seems so long ago, but also reminds fans of why they became fans of the X-Men. If this and Gambit were just the beginning, I can’t wait to see what comes next.
X-Treme X-Men #5: Please don’t go, please don’t go, please don’t go away…
- Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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