Welcome to The Pull List, a weekly column where we check out a first issue of a new series and tell you whether or not to follow the comic based only on that. This week, I’ll be taking a look at one of the new post-Secret Wars X-Men title, this one with the weirdly wordy title of E is for Extinction.
E is for Extinction takes place in the land of Mutopia, a section of Battleworld where the mutants reside amongst themselves. If any of that sounds confusing, don’t worry, all you really need to know is that most of the X-Men you know are old or dead (or dying), and a new class of mutants now study under Magneto.
An older, grizzlier Cyclops and Emma Frost hunt down Wolverine, all of whom find their mutant powers to be slowly fading away, and convince him to help them fight back against Magneto and his new mutant crew. It’s not an entirely new concept, we’ve seen older X-Men, we’ve seen a new school of X-Men, and we’ve seen Magneto being evil before, but I don’t know that we’ve seen them all together like this.
Weirdly enough, though, putting all these elements together doesn’t necessarily make for a new concoction. The first issue feels like its treading a lot of ground that previous X-Men series have explored already, and nothing about what’s in this book feels like its taking a particularly fresh or new direction with any of it.
Which isn’t to say that it’s not still interesting territory to explore, only that those more familiar with the X-Men might have a sense of deja vu. Honestly, I’ve always considered myself more of an X-Men fan than a fan of any other Marvel sub-category (certainly more so than Avengers, pre-MCU). With that in mind, I’ve actually been looking for a good, non main-series X-Men title that I could follow.
Which is part of the reason that I picked up this title, and the problem is that, for readers like myself, there’s not much here that hasn’t already been done, but for readers who are maybe not as familiar with the X-Men, it’s still a little too inaccessible. There’s a lot of backstory and characterization that’s glossed over because the assumption seems to be that if you’re reading this series, you’re already familiar with the characters.
Also, a quick side note on the artwork: while the character designs and the actual art style are great, there’s a certain something lacking in the visual storytelling of this issue. There was more than one occasion where I found myself confused because action seemed to jump too drastically from one panel to the next. There are a lot of times when it felt like the artist was using two panels to convey information that really required four or five.
Overall, though, I do feel like there is a niche that this title fits into, I’m just not a member of that niche, and I feel like that group is not particularly large. I’d be interested to see where this story goes, but if this first issue is any indication, it’s not going anywhere particularly interesting.