Collects Ultimate X-Men (2001) #1-6. Driven by a dream of peace, Professor X forges his X-Men into a strike force capable of defending the Earth from the evil of Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants.
Release Date: June 2002 (graphic novel edition)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
“Ultimate Marvel, later known as Ultimate Comics, was an imprint of comic books published by Marvel Comics, featuring re-imagined and updated versions of the company’s superhero characters from the Ultimate Universe. Those characters include Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. The imprint was launched in 2000 with the publication of the series Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate X-Men, providing new original stories for the characters. “
Ultimate X-Men was the first comic from the Ultimate Marvel Comics Universe that I read, and ever since I first discovered it, I have been hooked. In fact I was only around 13 or 14 when they first came out, if not younger, so I basically grew up reading this comic. I think what I loved so much about this series, was that it was a fresh start alternate universe of Marvel Comics that I was able to pick up at issue 1 and not have to know what was happening, because nobody else knew what was happening.
In this version of the X-Men, we meet a very different, yet familiar roster of X-Men: Cyclops, Jean Grey, The Beast, Colossus and Ice-Man. As the story begins, we meet Jean Grey breaking into a police station so she can free a young Ororo Munroe, aka Storm, so she can recruit her to join the X-Men. The Charles Xavier we have leading this group of X-Men isn’t the normal Xavier we are all used to. While he still has some of his characteristics and traits, he comes across as a younger version of the character, more like his James Mac Avoy movie version, as opposed to the Patrick Stewart version. I also have to admit I really like their costumes in this version as opposed to the usual bright yellow and blue (and whatever other colours) spandex that they normally wear. It appears to be some sort of black leather/faux leather material, with yellow/gold embellishments with their trademark black and red “X” to finish it off.
The graphic novel is action packed, full of adventure and reads more like a movie, with a lot more realistic events as opposed to in the traditional X-Men comics where there it is more prone to a lot more unrealistic fictional events which you just couldn’t imagine happening in a real life scenario. Although, there is one scene where Xavier has Magneto hovering way over Manhattan and uses his magnetic powers against him and crushes him into a ball of a dozen or so Sentinel robots and propels him into space, so…
If I were to pick out some flaws that I didn’t like about the graphic novel, it would be how it plays out the awful love triangle that is Cyclops-Jean Grey-Wolverine, and they have the cliche of Scott looking out the window, while Logan swoops in for a “romantic” kiss with Jean and then behind the scenes Wolverine is smiling. Beyond corny. Also the edge is strong here, and everyone insults everyone, which could be considered very out of character even if these are new takes on beloved characters.
Overall it is an excellent read if you’re slightly familiar with the X-Men world, and want a fresh new take on them, then this graphic novel is ideal, and even if you aren’t familiar with the X-Men, and new to their world, and the world of graphic novels, this is a perfect starting point to ease your way into the Marvel Universe. Just don’t get too held up if you spot any differences in characters/story-lines if you go on to read non “Ultimate” universe comics or graphic novels, as the Ultimate universe can be considered non-canon to the main Marvel titles.