To say that the Original Five X-Men have had it rough as of late would be an understatement. Since being brought forward in time they’ve had to deal with a unparalleled hatred for Mutant-kind, a resurgent Apocalypse, War with the Inhumans, the resurrection of Jean Grey and the all powerful Phoenix Force and most recently, a fracture in their own timelines that spilled out into the greater Marvel Universe.
Well, the hits just keep on coming for the beleaguered team as Marvel has announced Extermination, a new event series debuting in August from the creative team of writer Ed Brisson (Iron Fist, Old Man Logan), and artist Pepe Lorraz with covers by Mark Brooks (Secret Empire).
Brooks’ art shows the Classic incarnations of the team apparently merging, albeit painfully, with the current versions of the characters as they appear in X-Men Blue. This appears to be a move by the publisher to streamline the rather turbulent X-Men universe.
Since 2012 the Original Five X-Men have shared space with both the current members as well as some alternate universe versions. At first it was a breath of fresh air for the stagnant and often rudderless franchise. The reintroduction of the younger and less jaded versions of the heroes served to remind the audience of the heroes that once were and could be again. Unfortunately the team has been stuck in neutral for some time, hoping from one doomsday scenario to another.
As a preamble to the 2018 “Fresh Start” initiative, several classic characters and story devices have found their way back into the X-Men World. Professor X has returned from the dead, Jean Grey has returned from the dead. Rogue and Gambit are back to their on again, off again relationship and Old Man Logan seems to have one foot in the grave as the Marvel Universe prepares for the return of the mainstay Wolverine.
With all these elements rolling back to something closer aligned to what it was before, we’re left to wonder how this event will reconcile the older and vastly different original X-Men and their current era counterparts. The boat has seemingly been missed with both Jean Grey and Cyclops, given how Phoenix Resurrection unfolded but if there is one constant in the Marvel Universe it is that anything can change, especially where yearly relaunches are concerned.
No information on release dates or issue counts have been revealed as of yet.
X-Men: Extermination debuts in August.