Comic Review – “Ultimate X-Men Vol. 8: New Mutants”

I’m still trying to catch up on all those comic book
reviews. Here’s today’s review.

General Information

Title: Ultimate X-Men: The New Mutants

Author: Brian Michael Bendis

Illustrator(s): David Finch

Original Publication Date: Issues 40-45 were
published from December
2003 until May 2004.

Past comic reviews can be found here.

Premise

Newly identified mutants are creating complications
for the X-Men,
especially whent the government forms its own mutant
group to distance
the President from Charles Xavier.

High Point

Issue 41. Interesting ramifications, especially when
we think about
who may have sent Wolverine there. Very well done.

Low Point

Bendis’ version of Charles Xavier doesn’t fit my view
of how Millar
wrote him. I think Millar’s version would have been
guilty of the
accusation.

The Scores

This may be called “New Mutants,” but these aren’t
the new mutants I
remember. One of the classic new mutants is here,
but the rest of the
new ones are Angel, Emma Frost, Dazzler, Havok,
Polaris, and other
classic members of the X-Men. There’s also a new
direction for the
story that I haven’t seen in the mainstream. I give
it 5 out of 6.

The artwork by David Finch is just
fantastic. I can’t wait
to see this team dismantle the Avengers. I give it 6
out of 6.

The story is a good one. It’s interesting,
it’s compelling,
and I think it would even serve as a good jumping-on
point for those
who only know the X-Men from movies and cartoons. I
give it 5 out of
6.



The characterization is a big part of this,
bringing the new
mutants out in ways that teach us about them and make
us care about
them. Apart from what I perceive as a shift in
Xavier, it’s very well
done. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is good, particularly
at the end of
issue 44. I’ve been waiting for Havok and Angel to
show up for a
while, and Angel is very well done. (Havok doesn’t
get enough space to
really let us know how this version works.) This
take on Dazzler is
pretty interesting, too. I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow pick up, but at the beginning, the
first two issues
seem pretty disjoint. It’s not until the third issue
of the story
that the first two start to fit together, which is a
problem for this
category. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a good story arc, which will
be very enjoyable for
people who prefer Xavier closer to his original
incarnation than what
Millar was writing. (I preferred having the two
versions more
distinct, myself.) I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Ultimate X-Men: New Mutants
receives 35 out of 42.

One reply

  1. Babbster says:

    Resetting Ultimate Xavier A Bit
    My feeling is that the change in Ultimate Xavier’s character was necessary and, to some extent, justified by events. He’s the most powerful telepath on the planet and if there is going to be any kind of government connection with, and acceptance of, mutants he can’t be as devious as he has been portrayed earlier in the series. If there was evidence that he and the X-Men could easily return to self-sufficiency then he could probably have gone on unchanged, but that door was closed with the revelations about Xavier’s finances. As a bonus, since the world already knows about him, it would be hard for him to use his abilities for any big-time money/stock manipulation without the possibility of destroying the world economy (just imagine the market reaction if no analyst or broker could be trusted to be free of invisible, telepathic influence – it gets bad enough when the influence can actually be certain and traced to Bahamian accounts).

    Of course, it’s also possible that we’re being set up for a revelation that Xavier’s mellowing is yet another of his ploys, which could also be an interesting direction in which to travel.

    My only complaint has to do with the event mentioned in “emotional response.” I mean, damn, how much punishment did they have to mete out on one of my all-time favorite muties? It was well done, but damn…

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