Review - Extermination #2

Extinction level events have a way of bringing people together, even archenemies such as The Red Reaper and Nox. The brothers from a different justice mother are on the same side in Extermination #2 from BOOM! Studios.

The second issue is written by Simon Spurrier, illustrated by Jeffery Edwards, colored by Blond and lettered by Ed Dukeshire. It features covers by John Cassaday and Laura Martin, Trevor Hairsine and Blond, Michael Gaydos and Ben Oliver.

The Red Reaper and Nox are fighting their way through the aliens that have arrived, using everything at their disposal to survive. That includes help from their new friends, wayfarers being led by Kass, a killer Nox knew from his crime-fighting days.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the planet, it appears key leaders and heroes are being targeted for destruction, likely to make the invasion go that much more smoothly. These scenes are interspersed throughout and add some context to the extermination threat.

Spurrier spends most of the second issue by giving Nox a beef with Kass. It's actually interesting, because Nox and Red Reaper end up debating morality and how things don't matter in the face of catasrophe. Even when the two of them learn how Kass has been feeding the group, Red Reaper still doesn't seem to mind.

The duo at the heart of the series are probably its strongest characters and that's likely because they're given the most dialogue. Their character does show through well from the start. For example, Nox narrates his combat moves, a nice touch. The concepts of secret identities and past histories are nearly thrown out the window in the issue, making for a solid backdrop.

Edwards' art is a little muddled. It might have been the digital copy, but a lot of the pages just look blurry and difficult to discern; some of the fighting panels especially. His portrayal of the Promethean was haunting though, but other than that the art has its ups and downs.

The series seems to be turning into something about the reverance paid to superheroes, a plot that is intriguing set against a backdrop of complete annihilation. Everyone counts on individuals like Nox to save them from the threat, but what happens when they need help? What happens when they turn to their greatest enemy? What will the people think then?

Extermination #2 is in stores now with interiors below.