Legendary X-Men scribe Chris Claremont and artist Salvador Larroca return to the pages of Marvel’s X-Treme X-Men.
X-Treme X-Men #1 (2022)
- Chris Claremont
- Salvador Larroca
- VC’s Clayton Cowles
- Cover Artist:
- Salvador Larroca, GURU-eFX
- Release Date:
X-Treme X-Men originally ran from 2001 to 2004, featuring a globetrotting team of X-Men led by Storm. Now, the legendary writer and artist duo of Chris Claremont and Salvador Larroca reunite for a new story set after the final issue of that original run. When Kitty Pryde suffers a high-powered psychic attack from her old enemy Ogun, the X-Treme X-Men are brought back together for a high-stakes mission. Written by Claremont with art by Larroca, colors by GURU-eFX, and letters by Clayton Cowles, X-Treme X-Men #1 is an exciting return to the world of mutants pre-Krakoa.
This issue covers a lot of different backstories, given that it’s set directly after an issue from nearly two decades ago. It has to catch readers who may not have read that original run. It does so relatively well. Readers get a clear understanding of the main antagonist, Ogun, and his motivations. It’s obvious what kind of physical and psychological threat he poses and why the X-Men have to treat the situation seriously.
Claremont’s writing can be exposition-heavy, but that’s a given going into a Claremont X-Men book. The inner monologue of Kitty as she’s fighting Ogun is sprinkled with vivid detail and explanation. The interpersonal drama between team members is the biggest strength of the writing. Claremont obviously has a deep understanding of these characters. Ogun is written with the heightened operatic drama of an evil villain, and the fear the heroes feel is palpable.
Larroca’s art is stunning from cover to cover. The action is kinetic and dynamic. A wide variety of panel layouts keep each page feeling fresh and the book moving briskly. Larroca focuses on the characters’ costumes, and they look awesome. The level of detail in both characters and backgrounds is impressive. Each hero’s facial expressions convey what they’re experiencing internally. Larroca takes advantage of the space on each page to control the pace and guide the reader through this exciting but dense first issue.
GURU-eFX’s colors look fantastic over Larroca’s art. Everything looks smooth, and the highlights are accented well. The opening sequence is rendered in almost complete monochrome, with blood red punctuating the black-and-white action. It’s a striking effect that adds to the atmosphere of the scene. Cowles’ lettering is also top-notch. The dialogue is placed intelligently across each page, guiding the reader and never letting the amount of text become overwhelming. Sound effects add another layer of immersion to scenes as well.
Fans of the original run of X-Treme X-Men will be happy with this book. It’s action-packed and rife with intrigue and character drama. The book is accessible to those who haven’t read the stories it references. It gives enough context to ensure readers aren’t confused and will likely leave some readers wanting to go check out those earlier tales. With X-Treme X-Men #1, Claremont, Larroca, GURU-eFX, and Cowles deliver an exciting issue that picks up a suspenseful story thread from the X-Men’s past.