Comic Review – Ultimate X-Men

The first twelve issues of Ultimate X-Men have been collected in a single hardcover.

General Information

Title: Ultimate X-Men
Author: Mark Millar
Illustrator(s): Adam and Andy Kubert
Original Publication Date: 2002 reprint of material first published in
1975, 2001, and 2002.
ISBN: 0-7851-1008-9
Cover Price: $34.99 US, $56.00 Can
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The legend of the X-Men is restarted from scratch in the Ultimate
comics. The first six issues cover the X-Men vs. Magneto
origin story, and the next six issues cover the new version of the
Weapon X program.

It also contains unused plans and sketches, as well as a reprint of
Giant Sized X-Men #1 from 1975, in which Chris Claremont
redefined the X-Men withint regular Marvel continuity.

High Point

The new Weapon X project. This version means something to the entire
team, and adds a whole new meaning to The Ultimates.

Low Point

Issue six has one hell of a deus ex machina moment.

The Scores

The originality is better than I’d expect from the Ultimate
lines. It’s definitely a greater departure from the mainstream
continuity than Ultimate Spider-Man was, but then, this
wasn’t the first Ultimate title, so they could afford a greater risk.
Still, the character names, powers, and alliegances are the same as
we’re used to. I give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork is stylish, but sometimes off-model. The art in
the flashbacks is wonderful. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is fairly well formed. The first arc was good but
not great, and should have been at least one issue longer to fix the
deus ex machina moment, in my opinion. The second arc was much
better, creating a tighter narrative with a more fitting resolution.
I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization is very good, with two abberations.
Most of the characters are very well understood and clearly different
from their regular counterparts. There are two characters who reform
in the first arc, and I don’t buy the reformations. They just came
too far, too fast. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was fairly high in both
arcs for different reasons. The first arc sucked me in as I learned
about the new version of the characters, while the second sucked me in
from the story alone. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow was much better here than in the traditional Marvel
universe. Beast is still verbose, but he’s drawn in situations in
which he’d have time to say all of that. Most of the other characters
are a lot more quiet in battle, saying only what needs to be said to
fight as a team, which is easy to accept. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is one of the better entries in the Ultimate
universe. It’s not as good as Ultimate Spider-Man, but it’s
better than Ultimate Marvel Team-Up and The
. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Ultimate X-Men receives 32 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

Each of the six issue runs here can be found in trade paperbacks,
titled Ultimate X-Men Vol. 1: The Tomorrow People and
Ultimate X-Men Vol. 2: Return to Weapon X. The next story
arc should arrive as a trade paperback at your local retailers on
Wednesday, titled Ultimate X-Men Vol. 3: World Tour.