Review by Ian Keogh
Warzones graphic novels revisit eras from Marvel’s past to present a varied scenario, or take another look at alternate worlds created over Marvel’s rich history. The bigger picture is that they tie-in to the 2016 Secret Wars graphic novel, but aside from a few comments about the world being ruled by Doom, there’s little that causes head scratching, and the Warzones stories stand alone. ‘X-Tinction Agenda’ was a 1990 story in which some X-Men were abducted and enslaved by those running the island kingdom of Genosha.
The original story concluded with all well and a free community of mutants established on the island. Marc Guggenheim picks up a few years later when an unknown plague is ravaging the population and causing civil unrest, which sets up an intriguing political problem. Should mutants with the possible power to make a difference be sent to Genosha and risk themselves, or does the greater expediency determine the population of the island is quarantined and written off? It further neatly echoes earlier circumstances, now reconfigured.
Carmine Di Giandomenico can draw a story populated by realistic people, but his pages lack a wow factor. The story is told, but not in a very memorable manner, and eccentric colouring is unhelpful. He’s also inconsistent. There are pages with the cast floating on backgrounds of billowing smoke or crumbling stone as battles occur, and others packed with detail. The lack of consistency is a shame, as the longer the story goes on, the greater the depth of layers Guggenheim pulls back until an old threat is revealed.
However, any misgivings about the work of the 2015 creators is placed in perspective by the opening chapter of the original story being reprinted. It’s almost unreadable. Messy art from Jim Lee emphasises big distorted figures, and that’s if it can be seen through all the narrative captions and word balloons Chris Claremont applies.
Despite the wretched name, X-Tinction Agenda delivers a fair percentage of twists and thrills for your money, but could have a looked a whole lot better.