Writer: Mark Millar
Art: Adam Kubert and Art Thibert
Release Date: February 1st, 2001
With all the love that the current X-Men books are getting, they remind me of a past X-Men run that is very underrated. Ultimate X-Men! The current X-Men run seems a bit darker than what we have been getting for the past few years as well as a bit real-world essence. Which is what I felt when reading the Ultimate books. Of course, being in the Ultimate world, it can play by some new set of rules with who is who and how they behave. The same could be said on how some of the characters in Hickman’s run, as well as other X-Men books, are a tad bit different than what we are used to. Enough with the intro, it’s time to take the Retro Rover inside to check out what we have got…
Because this is an issue one, there is no need for recap even with this being in a universe that some people aren’t familiar with. We begin our issue with a gruesome attack from the Sentinels. The way the attack pans out kind of reminds me of the intro to the X-Men animated television show back in the ’90s. Of course, with this coming out in the early 2000s wouldn’t be shocked if the creative team wanted to do a tribute. The Ultimate Spider-Man book did that a couple of times like with callbacks to the Raimi films. With an opening like this issue had, I can already tell I am in for a treat!
Now we do get some recap on what has been happening in the Mutant community from a news anchor. Done in a nice way that we get an idea of who some of the bad humans and bad mutants as well as what is a Sentinel. Unfortunately, it isn’t the most enjoyable part. Sort of like those pages in the current X-Men books that are just filled with words and outside information.
Now I guess it is time to show us who is our first round X-Men team in this universe. We first start off in a bar in San Diego. If your mind went straight to Wolverine, you would be wrong. We actually get Hank McCoy. Who has the body of the animated shows but currently is still white. Now while he doesn’t have the body of Nicholas Hoult, what Hank does next kind of reminds me of Hoult’s portrayal of Beast in the recent X-Men films. Unfortunately, even with Beast doing nothing wrong, we see the cruel human nature of everyone taking place. Thankfully as we end our scene we see a beautifully drawn redhead gal, none other than, Jean Grey.
Next, we see Jean again, but this time we are in Texas. Now the way we pick up Ororo Munroe in this book has a slight similarity to the way we see her in the film X-Men: Days of Future Past. Getting caught and that is how she got recruited. Just as well, we do learn a bit about Ororo’s powers without going too much in-depth. I will give Millar credit also, we do get another name drop of Magneto. Apparently Jean isn’t the only one to be on the hunt for new recruits.
Next stop on Grey’s tour, New York. During a Russian trade, that goes sour and we do see a sneak at what Piotr’s powers are. Now up until this point, I have thoroughly enjoyed the artwork. But when we see Jean and Piotr hugging in the distance, the artwork just looks sloppy.
Now for what we have all been waiting for, the recruits finally meet the boss in charge as well as Cyclops. We even learn about a bit of backstory between the Professor and Magneto, as well as how did Charles Xavier locates all of the new recruits. But guess there is still room on the team for one more, due to a runaway mutant needs their help. The way that we find our new pal, Bobby Drake, has a familiarity like how we found Rogue in the first X-Men movie.
But just their luck, a Sentinel also is looking for your Drake. Going in for an issue one, I really would not have guessed we would get an amazing fight scene. With this being a number one issue on another Earth, I would assume you would set up your characters and what we need to know and then issue two show us an unbelievable action scene. But nope! We actually got one here at the end of this issue. Some of the art throughout is, really did not live up to what we have been getting throughout the book. Other than that great part of the story! We get a glimpse of everyone’s abilities as well as their teamwork. If anything, it is a tease for what we will be getting in future issues! If the book doesn’t is boring you, I would just recommend reading and looking at that epic fight scene.
Now just like a TV show, at the end of episode one, we have to get a feel for our big bad. The name we have been hearing about so much throughout the issue, Magneto. The introduction we get to meet him, screams “WATCH OUT! DON’T MESS WITH HIM!” We get a tease of how powerful Magneto is and how easy it is for him to dominate. Of course, one would assume that would be our cliffhanger, but we actually see Wolverine. And he is working for Magneto! Different universe from what we are used to, but the risks are even more dangerous!
For a first issue, Mark truly hit it out of the park! A great introduction to our characters and very nice nods to past media on this team. The art only had a couple of pages out of like the mid-’30s to really hit a nosedive. But other than that, the art was gorgeous. At times the issue is very dialogue-heavy. Would highly recommend this. If you are enjoying the current X-Men books, then give this one a whirl as well!