Comic Review – “Ultimate X-Men: The Tempest”

This is the first story arc by the Vaughan / Peterson
team, and the trade paperback ships out tomorrow. Is
it worthwhile?

General Information

Title: Ultimate X-Men:

Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Illustrator(s): Brandon

Original Publication Date: These issues (Ultimate
X-Men #46-49)
published through the summer of 2004. The trade
paperback shipped out
for a September 8 release.
ISBN: 0785114041

Cover Price: $2.25
US each issue, $3.25 Canadian each. (There were four

Past comic reviews can be found here.


The Ultimate version of Mr. Sinister starts hunting
down mutants.
He’s very, very different from the traditional
version. Nice job,

High Point

Our first look at Ultimate Apocalypse.

Low Point

Our last look at Ultimate Apocalypse. The first just
seemed so much
more appropriate.

The Scores

This gets a lot of credit for originality.
It does introduce
new versions of several characters, as the Ultimate
line is designed
to do, but those versions are significantly well
removed from their
previous incarnations. Sinister himself is very well
distanced from
the original, as are Apocalypse and Dazzler. Sunspot
is here, with
his temper intact, but otherwise distinguished from
his previous
self. Northstar is a bit different as well. (His
first meeting with
Ultimate Colossus almost made the High Point; it’s
very amusing.) I
give it 6 out of 6.

The artwork by Peterson is good, but not
great. Part of the
problem could be that he’s the artist they brought in
after Finch,
who is an extremely difficult act to follow.
Peterson is a good
storyteller, but he has a hard time staying on model.
I give it 4 out
of 6.

The story is very well written. It’s got a
decent little
mystery in here, wrapped up just in time for issue
50. I give it 5
out of 6.

The characterization is excellent. The
interaction between
these characters, particularly Nightcrawler and,
well, anyone, is very
well written. (The button-pushing scene is
excellent.) Each
character has at least one completely character
driven moment in these
four issues, which is hard to manage in a team this
large. I give it
6 out of 6.

The emotional response is very strong. It’s
obvious Vaughan
loves the history of the X-Men, but he’s not binding
himself to it too
tightly, which is exactly what you want in the writer
on an Ultimate
title. The way things are now, it’s shaping up to be
a great run on
the title. I was sad to see Bendis go, but I’m
starting to think that
Vaughan may be a better fit. He seems to be better
at team dynamics
and group action sequences than Bendis is, which are
two vital
elements in this title. If you dropped the title at
any point, this
is a good place to give it another shot. I give it 6
out of 6.

The flow is interrupted only by off-model
artwork. I give it
4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a great arc to kick off a new
creative team. I
give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Ultimate X-Men: Tempest receives
36 out of 42.