Oct 30, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 248: E is for Extinction #2, September 2015


See, I would absolutely keep reading this take on the X-Men, for as long as Burnham and Villalobos wanted to do it. At the end of last issue, the elder X-Men rescue Xorn from a facility in which he is being used as a power source.

But....wait a minute (SPOILER AHEAD!!!!)
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Isn't Xorn Magneto?

I know that at some point after Morrison left the title, a character called Xorn was introduced into the X-continuity. I have the suspicion that this was because so many people loved the character of Xorn, and when he was revealed to actually be the X-Men's greatest rival, it probably irked a lot of people. I know it irked me, because Xorn was awesome, but it was also perhaps one of the greatest deceptions ever in superhero comics, on par with Busiek's deployment of the Thunderbolts right up until the end of that first issue (So. Great.). But if that's the case, then who is the sun-headed Xorn who is facing off against the master of magnetism in this issue? Methinks something weird is going on.

Well, when all those Beasts show up, I guess that's obvious.

What's striking me really about this series is that it's trying very hard, and largely succeeding, in being a kind of weird, off-kilter superhero book, something that, as is well known, Morrison excels at. We can read the strangeness of the book, the visual aesthetic, everything, really, as a love letter not only to New X-Men, but also to Morrisonian superhero writing in general. But here's the thing: if you look back at New X-Men, it is pretty much the most mainstream thing Morrison has put out in superheroes. Even his JLA run, which was pretty mainstream, had weird story lines like "Rock of Ages" and "Crisis Times Five," stuff worthy of an Animal Man or Doom Patrol arc (okay, maybe not Doom Patrol. That shit was out there). The closest New X-Men comes to a Morrison story, in my humble opinion of course, was the silent "Psychic Rescue" issue. Everything else was actually pretty normal (for the X-Men) stuff.

So E is for Extinction is actually a newer, stranger take on a fairly mainstream comic written by Grant Morrison? I think we must be in for some high weirdness over the next couple of days. Join me, won't you?

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