This is Mark Millar’s last work on the title for a while. Brian
Michael Bendis has already taken over. Did Millar go out on a
high note?

General Information

Title: Ultimate X-Men Vol. 6: Return of the King

Author: Mark Millar

Illustrator(s): David Finch and Andy Kubert, and Art Thiebert and
Danny Miki

Original Publication Date: July 30, 2003 reprint of material first
published in 2002-2003.

ISBN: 0-7851-1091-7

Cover Price: $16.99 US, $27.25 Can

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Premise

In the aftermath of the Ultimate War, a very angry Magneto starts
recruiting more mutants, and the X-Men have to face him without
Charles Xavier.

High Point

The return of Cyclops.

Low Point

The return of Wolverine. I know he’s a popular character and all,
especially with the latest movies, but the X-Men should read like
a
team book. They’ve had six collections of Ultimate X-Men now,
and
five of them have had Wolverine as the only character on the
cover.
The sixth cover was to Ultimate War, in which Wolverine shared
the
cover with Captain America. No other X-Man has rated the front
cover,
it seems.

The Scores

This isn’t a particularly original plotline. Magneto
tries
to destroy all humans, again. However, the precedents set for
the
upcoming stories are very interesting, and hold a lot of potential
for
setting the Ultimate version of this team apart from the regular
MU
version. I give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork is usually very good. I’m quite happy
with the
idea of David Finch taking over from Andy Kubert, whose work
still
doesn’t quite have enough detail to satisfy me. I give it 5 out of
6.

The story is one of the best told stories on this title.
This is Mark Millar’s last work on this title in the forseeable
future, and it’s the first time since the Return to Weapon
X

story that I’ve been really pleased with what I’ve read. The only
part I’m not particularly happy with was where Wolverine was
found
near the end. I know it’s meant to be an homage to the normal
version
of the character, but it just doesn’t seem to fit here. That’s a
minor blip, particularly in the setup that Brian Michael Bendis will
be able to work with in his run. I give it 5 out of 6.



The characterization is lacking in a lot of characters.
Mr. and Mrs. McCoy are well defined in a rather short
appearance, and
we see new depths to the characters of Magneto and Cyclops.
I’m still
not convinced that Professor X is as peaceful as he wants the
world to
believe. (I think General Fury’s paranoia may be well founded,
actually.) Wolverine gets a lot of page time, but the character
doesn’t really go anywhere, which makes his usurption of a team
book
all the more frustrating. (This may not have been Millar’s
decision
entirely, though. The back cover of the collection states “Starring
all the X-Men you met in the movie – including Wolverine,
Cyclops,
Jean Grey and Storm.” It’s probably an editorial decision to give
the
characters the same focus they get on the big screen.) I give it 4
out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was fairly
positive. A
lot of it felt like a variation on stories Millar has already told,
but it was the most interesting variation. I give it 4 out of 6.

The flow was well done, particularly considering all
the time
shifting that takes place in the volume. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is Millar’s best work since he started on
the
title. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Ultimate X-Men Vol. 6: Return of the King
receives
32 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

This is the last trade paperback I’m getting for this title. I’ve
already started buying the monthly issues instead, so expect a
review
of the first two issues under Brian Michael Bendis’ pen to be up
by the end of the weekend.