This is it, guys. They're going to eat the world.
Marvel's under-promoted and pretty much ignored X-Termination crossover has it's penultimate part this week written by David Lapham, Marjorie Liu and Greg Pak and drawn by Renato Arlem, Matteo Buffagni, Carlos Cuevas, Klebs deMoura and Raul Valdes. Yes, that's a lot of people together for such a below average fare.
Jean Grey is now the heir to Apocalypse (or rather the heir to the heir of Apocalypse) and she's slowing losing her humanity and she starts to show signs of basically being Apocalypse. Meanwhile, the X-Men and X-Terminated run around like headless chickens complaining about how they're all doomed. They decide to defeat the evil cosmic villains they'll just let the monsters consume the entire Age of Apocalypse reality because Marvel couldn't sell it. Actually they try to build this up like it's a noble sacrifice that Prophet is willing to let his entire universe be destroyed to save the 616 universe, but it's not noble. It's just Marvel getting rid of something they couldn't currently sell.
Yeah, I've forgot what part we're even on now of X-Termination but it kinda just stopped advancing the plot much about three parts ago. The heroes are still stood around dwarfed by giant Cosmic baddies who they don't really have much of a hope against. Characters who Marvel can't sell are killed off to no real purpose and others are just ignored - for example Deadeye who is so far one of the two only remaining members of the X-Terminated has just appeared in the background of every X-Termination issue and had nothing whatsoever to do (until she presumably dies next week). With this issue some of the Jean Grey stuff is ok but nothing to write home about, the rest is mostly just contrived Cosmic origins for the villains and little else.
Now onto the art. Sheesh, this is a goddamn mess. Some of the talent is perfectly fine (Arlem and Buffagni) and I can't really determine what is Cuevas and deMoura but Valdes I recognized from a past issue of X-Termination. He was an artist I noted drew awful noses and here he really tears into the realm of bad artistry. The highlight of which is when he draws Deadeye (for her sole one panel appearance) but draws her as Prophet. She's not tucked away in a crowd, she's just up front wearing Prophet's red mask. But it's not just Valdes bringing this down, it's all the art styles jumbled together here and they don't work together at all. The book's art is just an inconsistent mess to accompany a story that's nothing but disappointing.
I definitely do feel that with each progressive issue of X-Termination that the storyline is getting worse and worse. Maybe it's because it's so dragged out or maybe it's just that it's not that good a story. I'd much rather see the X-Men fight these bad guys and lose than have them standing around moaning about how they can't fight them because they'll lose. Combined with the fact that there's been like 12 different artists across like 4 issues, this is a real miss of an excuse to kill off the Age of Apocalypse and X-Treme X-Men books, cast and worlds.