The GeeksverseUltimate Comics X-Men #1

Ultimate Comics X-Men #1
Published on Thursday, September 22, 2011 by

Written by: Nick Spencer
Penciled by: Paco Medina
Inked by: Juan Vlasco
Colored by: Marte Gracia
Lettered by: VC's Joe Sabino
Cover Art: A- Kaare Andrews; B- Paco Medina w/ Juan Vlasco & Marte Gracia; C- Mark Bagley w/ Andy Lanning & Jason Keith
Associate Editor: Sana Amanat
Editor: Mark Paniccia

Normally Spencer, who apparently is getting a reputation as a long form writer (according to him in an interview), spends alot of time setting things up that really don’t go anywhere. Morning Glories is interesting but it’s being dragged out and the biggest problems with the book are being ignored. T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents was alot about not much. So when I saw he was writing Ultimate Comic’s X-Men I was a little worried. I was worried that there would be alot of set-up, big concepts, but not amount to a whole lot.

Luckily and surprisingly I shouldn’t have worried.

I’d like Spencer better as a writer if the rest of his work was like this.

X-Men presents some broad ideas, hints at some big moments that will be upcoming, but at the same time provides a complete story that people can jump on and follow. He lays out a bunch of paths that we know will come together someday, but we can already see how the different threads will come together.

Unlike his other work, this isn’t big ideas as a framework and filling in the pieces. This is more centered and grounded. The basic change in the landscape for mutants is something we can follow and see how the different characters are affected.

That being said, it’s not really that new reader friendly. You have to be pretty up to date on the Ultimate universe to understand some of whats going on and who some of the characters are. If you hadn’t read the Loeb/Adams Ultimate X then you’d have no clue who three of the characters are (one of them we find out pretty quick, but we’re still left hanging on how they got there). Even if you had read Ultimate Fallout you’d still be at a loss. And most of us will know that the Peter that Kitty refers to is Peter Parker, now deceased, and not Colossus. But it can be confusing as there are alot of scenes showing Colossus and she only calls Parker by his first name. It’s not impossible for a new reader to jump into this, or even a lapsed reader (which is what I would be classified as) but a broader knowledge will help.

Spencer keeps the story moving by showing us different points of views on the news. The opening sequance with Karen Grant (aka Jean Grey) is very strong. Even the panels showing life in the concentration camps and the prison camps are well done and strong., words matching up perfectly with the actions shown.

This is one of Spencer’s best efforts to date.

And so is the art by Medina.

I’m a big fan of Medina and this is his best work to date. He doesn’t get to strut his stuff with lots of action scenes or big splash pages. This issue is all about the emotion able to be carried through the art. It’s here that Medina has really strengthened. He captures it all and does so extremely well.

Ultimate Comic’s X-Men #1 receives
4.5 out of 5

A new direction for mutantkind looks like it’s in good hands.

Go to the Pryde’s forums and share your thoughts on this issue.

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