Review - Extermination #5

Heroes and villains come together under the strangest of circumstances. An alien invasion qualifies as truly strange in Extermination #5 from BOOM! Studios.

The issue is written by Simon Spurrier, with art by V Ken Marion, colors by Michael Garland and lettered by Ed Dukeshire.

The origin of the Nox/Red Reaper odd couple pairing is explained somewhat in this issue. Turns out Red Reaper escaped from prison (after the world fell apart) and was immediately set upon by Nox to be apprehended again. Their partnership is born under the direst of circumstances: an encounter with a vicious alien invader.

Their story is told to set the context for the present, where the two (and others) are attempting to derail the Edda Landtrain. The alien vessel is designed to ferry the "human herd" to the slaughter, chugging along at an incredible and frenzied pace. The vehicle's psychic engine is feared and renowned, making the job for the heroes and villains that much more difficult.

Spurrier spends the most time with the characters' past in the fifth issue, but it helps set the stage for the future. The forced partnership between Nox and Red Reaper is actually thoughtful and logical; that is, they're together more for the sake of the story. Their interplay is very amusing and adds a certain bit of brevity to an otherwise dark and depressing situation their faced with.

Marion's art is highlighted primarily by the panel backdrops and settings. They seem to be the focal point of the art, with the character depictions viewed almost secondary. The work effectively showcases a ravaged world with humans clinging to hope, where every issue shows even less optimism for the humans.

Extermination #5 continues the story well, maintaining the relationship between Nox and Red Reaper. They haven't really explained so much what stopping the Edda Landtrain will do in the grand scheme of things. What's more, the alien invaders seem almost absent, but chances are they'll make a grander return in the near future.

Extermination #5 is available in stores now with interiors below.