Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ultimate X-Men #1

First issues usually offer up some kind of origin or explanation for what the series is all about.

Not so much these days.

The first issue of Ultimate X-Men would leave a new reader completely confused, because little to no attempt is made to introduce any of the characters. Not a problem for long-time readers, but a big problem for newbies.

Through a series of vignettes, we meet some of the former members of the original Ultimate X-Men, we meet the new faces from the Ultimate X series, and we meet some homeless heroes from Ultimate Spider-Man.

They're a pretty dysfunctional group of heroes - some aren't even identified - and they're all on the run from the government, which has declared all mutants should be considered terrorists who should be shot on sight, while at the same time admitting a surprising connection between the mutants and the U.S. government.

For all the angst and anger, nothing really seems to happen here beyond the sketchiest of introductions, and the whole story seems to be moving at a languid pace.

The art by Paco Medina and Juan Vlasco is quite good, with some great character work - but it's almost all talking heads.

I hate to sound infantile, but I'd expect first issues to start like a crack of thunder - this one is just the rumble of possible stories down the road, if the reader can stick around that long.

Grade: C


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