Hmm, you know I feel like we haven’t checked in on the X-Men in a while. I wonder how our Merry Mutants are doing?
Oh Look! Extermination #1 is out!
Let’s see what’s… oh… ohhh….ooooohhh…. Well. This is gonna be interesting.
Alright, before we get down to business and review the comic, let’s backtrack a bit. Back in 2013, Beast (actually Brian Michael Bendis) brought the original five X-Men, Jean Grey/Marvel Girl, Scott Summers/Cyclops, Hank McCoy/Beast, Warren Worthington III/ Angel, and Bobby Drake/Iceman, to the present from the past to show present day Cyclops how much of a jerk he was being. For further context he had started going down a darker path in recent years, culminating when he (spoilers for a 6 year old book) was possessed by the Phoenix Force and killed Professor Xavier. Now granted there is an argument in his defense but that’s a whole separate article and honestly I’m not the biggest Cyclops fan so we’ll leave it at that. Anyway, the younger/time-displaced X-Men have been here ever since, and personally I feel they’ve overstayed their welcome. Extermination is supposed to fix that problem, but by what means?
So the book opens up 20 years in the future with a hooded figure at a decimated Xavier Institute covered with scattered bodies of the X-Men. A dark future with dead X-Men huh? Must be a day that ends in Y. It’s also somewhat important to note that there were some build-up back-up stories spread across the various X-titles but I think the only takeaway is that sentinels have killed off all the X-Men in the future and this has present day Cable’s alarms going crazy.
Anyway, our hooded figure finds more dead bodies, blames a “crazy old man”, and portals out of there. Back in the present, there is an anti-mutant protest in Chicago and two French mutant kids trying to hide from it until they are found by the protestors and subsequently saved by the time-displaced X-Men. In taking them back to the Xavier’s, they find out that their minds have been wiped clean of any info as to who they are or where they came from.
We jump to later in the day where past Cyclops and Bloodstorm, (the vampire version of Storm the X-Men Blue team picked up from the Mutant X universe), are on a date. Scott flusters on the matter of it being a date, but he really wants to talk about how much longer they’ll be in the timeline and together. Bloodstorm says to worry about the here and now and not the future or the past. Define irony as Ahab and his hounds crash their date. You remember Ahab, right? He’s the cyborg mutant hunter from the Days of Future Past timeline that brainwashed and turned Rachel Summers into a hound. He shows up and harpoons Bloodstorm through the chest killing her. Cyclops freaks out and blasts him and his hounds through the door and attempts to chase them down but they teleport out.
Next we see past Iceman attending a showing of Hamilton that gets interrupted by Jean Grey’s telepathic message to get back home immediately because Bloodstorm has been hurt. As he’s rushing out to rejoin the X-Men, he’s attacked by our mysterious cloaked figure but is luckily helped by Cable but not before getting tazed. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Scott goes to Rachel to find out who Ahab is and why he’s here. Rachel explains to him what he did to her but is shocked to find him in the present. Scott just wants just wants to know how to find him, but is interrupted by past Hank asking if anyone knew where Bobby is.
We cut back to Cable who is trying to get Bobby out of there before the hooded man can finish the job. We find out he’s only partially here for Bobby but also here for Cable, and blames him for the young X-Men still being here, claiming he has “neglected his duty”. Cable retorts by saying they needed to stay here so that they could eventually go back to the past with the knowledge they’ve learned and be better X-Men. The hooded figure then kills Cable and takes an unconscious Bobby with him.
After finding out what happened both sets of X-Men go collect Cable’s body and mourn, as well as try to figure out how this is possible. Cable wasn’t killed by Ahab and his hounds but then who did it? We turn the page and find out that the hooded figure that kidnapped Iceman and killed Cable was in fact… a younger Cable!!!
Before I give you my thoughts I have to say that I’m a little biased on this. I really don’t care for the young X-Men. They’re not terrible but like I said earlier, they’ve overstayed their welcome. That being said, Extermination #1 is an interesting start of the end of the time-displaced X-Men saga. I’m not wowed by this issue but it does leave me wanting to find out more. Ed Brisson does a great job here as the writer. Everyone is in character, the twist at the end is interesting and bringing back Ahab is a cool choice, Cable being at fault here is a little strange because this is actually present Beast’s fault for bringing the time-displaced X-Men here but then again Cable is always screwing with time so fair enough. Pepe Larraz does a great job on art for the issue, as well as Mark Brooks for the stellar cover. All in all a good X-Men comic and I can’t wait to see where the story goes next.
Verdict: 7.5/10 Classic Sentinels