After a rocky start, issue number two of Extraordinary X-Men suggests that maybe Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos are finding their way on this new X-book. The first issue of the new ongoing set up a new (but all-too-familiar) reality for the X-Men: Storm is leading the team, mutants aren’t reproducing and the Terrigen mists that create the Inhumans are poisonous to mutants. This new entry finds the team sorting out who’s going to be on it and who’s taking some additional persuading.
Lemire does a better job this time out with tracking all of the different characters and voices. Characters who seemed weak in the debut issue (especially Magik and Storm) have a much more unique characterization. And Lemire is beginning to use the characters’ histories in interesting ways—Old Man Logan meeting Jean Grey is a culmination of a tangled history of love, hate and time travel. There are also some interesting developments regarding the actual location of the new Xavier School for Mutants (or whatever they’re calling it these days). Add to it the emergence of a familiar villain, and it seems that Lemire might be gaining his footing in sorting through the decades of history with this team.
Ramos’ art continues to be a love-it-or-hate-it prospect—his exaggerated cartoon style works better on the larger battle set pieces than it does with close-quarter character work, but so many of the X-Men have crazy looks and powers that there’s plenty for Ramos to play with.
It remains to be seen what kind of future this particular team of X-Men have. But this second issue suggests there might be more interesting plans than the debut initially suggested. Coming issues will no doubt reveal if this will become a must-read arc in the X-Men history, or if it’s a forgettable entry for a team that’s slowly being eclipsed by the Inhumans.