Jeremy Reads – Ultimate X-Men Volumes 1-6

Welcome fellow mutants,

to my new review column/blog. It’s come to my attention that it’s pretty hard to find any good places that still do reviews. I’m gonna fill that space. I’m gonna wade through the thick and the thin to tell you what comics are worth reading. The general format for this entire thing is gonna be as simple as I can possibly make it. I’m gonna tell you what I read, if I liked it, and why I did or didn’t. I’m gonna try to make these as simple as possible.

At the end I’ll give it a score out of 5.
1 – The comic is not worth reading.
2 – Only read if you’re really interested.
3 – Solid read. Not the greatest, but still solid.
4 – Good read.
5 – Fucking God-Like.

As of 7/4/2017, Amazon has reduced the prices of all Marvel Kindle/ComiXology properties by a lot. I’ve been buying up Marvel digital books like crazy. One of the things I picked up after a recommendation by one of the folks in the LFG:Comics discord chats was Ultimate X-Men.

For those of you who are completely new to the comics world, the Ultimate universe was an imprint of Marvel Comics that reboot and updated all of Marvel’s original properties in the year 2000. The Ultimate Universe was lead by one of the edgiest writers known to man, Mark Millar, who would later go on to write the comics Kick-Ass, Civil War, Wanted, and much more.

But fuck all that noise. Right now we’re going to focus on the Ultimate X-Men. I’ve only read 13 volumes of it, so we’re going to focus on just those right now. Out of these 13, it’s best to split them 3 ways. 1st being Mark Millar’s run, then Brian Michael Bendis’, then Vaughan’s.

I’m probably the only one who found Wolverine’s creepiness charming.

The story begins by painting a world where mankind’s first introduction to a mutant group was declaration of war from the super-terrorist Magneto. So in this universe, America really hates mutants. This point is driven across clearly in the opening scene, where mutant-killing Sentinels come out of the sky in New York city and crush a few mutant teens into dust. This act of brutality is met by celebration. Professor Xavier realizes he can’t sit around any longer and proceeds to recruit a group of teenage mutants, put them in black spandex, and makes them play superhero.

What makes Millar’s run so great are the characters and the attitude they all have. Millar’s portrayal of Magneto might be my favorite character in this. Normally Magneto is portrayed as this reluctant villain done wrong because of his time in the Holocaust. Millar’s Magneto is a sick bastard who, after years of telepathically conferencing with Charles Xavier, completely believes that mutants are the superior race and all humans need to be eradicated. Millar even does a really sweet commentary

…or maybe not

on the nature vs. nurture debate when Charles Xavier mind-wipes Magneto into forgetting his mutant powers and finds that the new Erik Lensherr is more happy and forgiving than he ever was.

Of course, the rest of the cast are well written and so very fleshed out. Cyclops acts like a true leader, Wolverine is a man severely damaged by his war-time programming, Beast is an extremely self-conscious but able-bodied teen. It doesn’t stop there, but I could go on for pages on each of them.

Millar hits all the beats nearly perfectly in his run. He’s got some touching romance scenes, some entertaining fight scenes, Millar-esque dark humor, and some awesome cinematic badassery.

 

So overall I’m giving this mother a 4/5.

If you’re looking for a good X-Men story with no continuity-strings attached, this is it.

 

This one went on for 300 more words than I wanted it to. I promise my next review of Bendis’ Ultimate X-Men run will be much shorter and to the point.