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Boom! Studios’ Extermination

I started watching Falling Skies last year, and found that I enjoyed it overall. Granted, I “lost track” of it along the way and have yet to finish the first season, but look forward to catching up on both seasons on DVD in the not-to-distant future. I mention that because in a way, I think this title could be (in broad strokes) described as Falling Skies with super-heroes.

We open with a character that fits the Batman archetype, Nox. Human, no powers, self-made and all that; even has the dark uniform and cowl/mask. With him is the Red Reaper, a science-based villain…yet the two are working together. Of course, in a world overrun by aliens that have practically exterminated humanity and are trying to finish the job, the whole “hero vs. villain” thing doesn’t hold up–after all, even the villain bent on ruling the world, accumulating vast financial gain or pretty much any goal that’s roughly sane doesn’t want the world destroyed by a third party.

By the second issue, we have a bit more camaraderie between the two–they’ve survived some alien attacks and had some setbacks. When they find a band of survivors, they’re put to the test. Reaper is quite happy to throw in with the survivors…but Nox can’t get over the fact that he recognizes their leader as a former villainess.

The third issue involves more characters in the story as we continue to learn about this world past and present–what it was like before the invasion and where things sit at present. Particularly memorable is what we learn about Nox and where his motivation may not actually be what it seems to be, which could be trouble for the survivors.

I particularly like the story so far. There’s plenty of the familiar–especially in the flashbacks–with heroes and villains fighting, and even some in-fighting with the heroes. But the post-apocalyptic “present” holds a lot of potential and details a situation that I haven’t seen all that often for an ongoing series. Obviously a post-apocalyptic future setting isn’t new; even forcing a hero to work with his enemy isn’t new. But as the status quo for an ongoing series, I like it, and it actually seems a bit fresh…particularly compared to the standardish fare from DC and Marvel of late that just isn’t doing it for me anymore.

The art’s good, and nicely captures both the past and present settings. I also (once I picked up on it) like the way the “present” is conveyed with full-bleed pages while the flashbacks maintain the blank white borders. The story often compares and contrasts the two time periods, and the art drives it home without the need for captioning to describe which is which or when.

As with Higher Earth, I find myself giving this title a “pass” when it comes to the variant covers and $3.99 price point. While this could easily be just one of a number of titles exploring the after-effects of some temporary-status-quo-changing “event” that ties in with other titles to give a full picture…this is just one title, isolated to itself, telling THE story. That there’s room for so much more makes it feel that much more epic, but as of present, it’s a single title that doesn’t require any other series to “complete” the current/ongoing story. As to the variant covers, I’ve simply requested the “A” cover for consistency, and ignore as best I can the solicits and advertising and such that show other covers.

I look forward to seeing the progression of the relationship between Nox and Red Reaper, as well as what becomes of the survivors. In that regard, I definitely hope that this becomes something comparable to The Walking Dead in that it’s a superhero story, a story of characters interacting, and the aliens trying to exterminate humanity become background in the setting. While I have little hope , really, of any new comic making it even past a full year, I would love to see this last awhile…at least long enough for the creative team to tell their story in full, if this proves a finite series.

Also: My thoughts on Higher Earth #s 1-3 at Fantasy Rantz.

One Response

  1. […] then, I ended up deciding to throw in with several Boom! titles (Higher Earth and Extermination as well as this one) and though it lacks the familiarity of a Marvel or DC title, I’m quite […]

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