Ever since they were transported from their time to the present-day Marvel Universe, the time-displaced original X-Men —Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Beast, and Angel— have (somehow) existed alongside their older selves.
But when a familiar foe comes to rid them from existence once and for all, it's all hands on deck for the X-Men past, present, and future to protect the time-displaced Original Five — or else.
Extermination is touted as the grand finale of a years-long story arc involving the time-displaced Original Five from All-New X-Men that started in 2012. Obviously, it promises nothing will be the same anymore for the X-Men moving forward.
Preceded by a series of stingers (titled Countdown to Extermination) that appeared in various X-Men titles note that tease developments in the storyline. There is also the X-Men: The Exterminated one-shot that deals with some of the fallout from the event. Finally, the series also leads into a new X-Force ongoing.
Not to be confused with the 2001 video game of the same name, nor the 2012 comic book from Boom! Studios also titled Extermination, or even the (similarly-titled) 2013 storyline X-Termination, also starring the X-Men.
Extermination contains examples of:
- A Day in the Limelight: The Exterminated is one for Hope Summers, as she comes to terms with Cable's death.
- Back from the Dead: At the end of the story, it's revealed that the original Cyclops is back.
- Bat Family Crossover: Involving all the major players of the X-Men franchise; notably, this is the first time the coloured teams have all been together.
- Bittersweet Ending: The Original Five are back in their old time, but they are forced to erase their memories of their time in the future, setting them back to normal. Ahab is defeated, but Rachel Summers remains a Hound due to her past as one. Kid Cable escapes punishment from Domino and the other X-Force members, but he's prepared to return the modern day Cyclops to the present day.
- Black Dude Dies First: Bloodstorm is stabbed in the back by one of Ahab's Hounds, and dies, the first casualty of the storyline.
- Brought Down to Badass: Younger Cable surgically amputates Angel's Black Vortex-granted flame wings and replaces them with the angelic wings from Mimic.
- Call-Back: Apparently when a team mate dies you send the telepathic message "code blue".
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Cable is casually and anti-climactically killed off in the first issue, and then is later replaced by a younger alternate version of himself, who is the one that murdered him in the first place.
- Episode 0: The Beginning: The Countdown to Extinction stingers.
- Five Stages of Grief: Deadpool observes that Hope has reached the second stage as she attacks him with a burning sword.
- Grand Finale: Extermination has been promoted as being this to the original run of All-New X-Men, which brought the original five X-Men from earlier in their timeline to the present.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Ahab impales O5 Cyclops through the head. At least that's what he thinks. Turns out it was Mimic's Heroic Sacrifice.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: When Hope runs into Deadpool while cleaning out Nathan's safehouses, he makes a point out of sayingDeadpool: I was really Hope-ing you wouldn't show up.
- Meanwhile, in the Future...: The Countdown to Extinction stingers play as this to the happenings of the present day in their respective comics.
- The Mole: The French twins rescued by the Blue team turn out to be working for Ahab.
- No Infantile Amnesia: The backup story in The Exterminated shows that Cable has clear memories of being a baby, and he claims to remember every moment of his life.
- Recycled Title: There was an X-Termination storyline featuring the X-Men in 2013, but it's not related to this one outside the similar titles.
- Revenge: The original X-Force's goal in the story is to kill Kid Cable, as Domino warns Jean. Jean knew this and wanted to help them.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Younger Cable's motivation.
- Temporal Suicide: Old Cable's murderer is a teenaged Cable.
- The Reveal: The villain is a younger version of Cable.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Inverted. Older Cable is much kinder than his time-travelling younger self.
- Tricked Out Time: The O5 are still expected to go home at some point and repeat the time between their time and the present the way their now-adult counterparts did. They end up doing so, and Jean locks their memories away so that their older selves will remember everything they went through when they reach the point in time just after the O5 left.
- Shout-Out: In his first panel, Iceman is watching Hamilton on Broadway. Adult Bobby can't believe he went to see it without him.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Maxime and Manon, who we meet when they were even younger than in the main story, before Ahab got his hands on them.