In a time when there are so many good comics, it’s hard to decide what should take precedence. Every artist is a student of Scott McCloud and it’s very rare to find a book that doesn’t at the very least read well, and at the most blows you away. How Extremity sets itself apart is not necessarily by being the best, but being one of the more original books out there. It breaks a lot of formulas successfully, finding its own rhythm, largely in the visual aspect. Artist Daniel Warren Johnson, who also writes the book, constructs these explosive, crude panels almost reminiscent of the old 2000 A.D. comics. To say they’re sophomoric would be a disservice, but if there’s a respectful alternative to sophomoric then they’re definitely that.
Again, writing is not the drawing point in Extremity #11, but that doesn’t mean the dialogue isn’t engaging. More than anything, Johnson’s dialogue lends to the action taking place by conveying a similar emotion. It’s simple because the art isn’t roundabout when it comes to what you should feel, due to Mike Spicer’s muted colors that really drive home the post-apocalyptic vibe of the book.
If you’ve been following the narrative, and this is the kind of book you should be doing that with, this issue is when everything building over this series is finally coming crashing down in the most beautiful way. Extremity is one of those books that can be visually engaging without showing a whole lot of action, so it’s only that much better now that we get to see some action. The creature designs and clashes between man and beast bring to mind the work of David Cronenberg and J.R.R. Tolkien at the same time. This is epic grossness, again in the best way.
There’s a lot of reasons Extremity #11 is worth your dollar, and the book as a whole is deserving of at least a nomination for one of the major comics awards. The visuals aren’t just amazing, they’re bizarre in the best way, so the only reason not to get into this thing is if you like a more conventional style. Other than that, it’s the perfect way to fill that Cronenbergian void you’ve noticed in most other dystopian comic works.
Story: Daniel Warren Johnson
Art / Cover: Daniel Warren Johnson, Mike Spicer