Friday, February 05, 2010

The Longbox

Ultimate%2BX%2B001%2B%28Four%2BCovers%29%2B%282010%29%2B%28Steam-DCP%29.cbr%2B-%2BPage%2B1.NFs6dH7b2iqA.jpgUltimate X
issue: 1
writer: Jeph Loeb
artist: Arthur Adams
publisher: Marvel

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Jeph Loeb and his work on the Ultimate Marvel Universe since Ultimates 3.  Then, he turned around and delivered some pretty fantastic annuals for Ultimate Hulk and Ultimate Captain America.  Then, Ultimatum happened and I wondered what had happened between those annuals and the mini-series.

Well, Loeb has won me back with this amazing restart to the mutant narrative of Marvel’s Ultimate Comics line.  Like a phoenix from the ashes, Ultimate X looks set to rise above and move beyond what Ultimate X-Men accomplished.

Following the events of Ultimatum, mutants are once again hunted as criminals.  In Florida, a young Jimmy Hudson survives a flaming car crash thanks to a previously unknown healing ability.  His adopted father and town sheriff James Hudson takes him home not really knowing how to address this with his wife Heather.  The next day, Kitty Pryde shows up with a box for Jimmy from his real father.

Without giving too much more away, Loeb builds a strong start with this book.  His pacing and dialogue move the story and really brings the characters to life.  This is also the first time in a long time I’ve seen Arthur Adams’s work and his art has advanced in an incredible way.  I was sad that Ultimate X-Men met its end at a time when I felt it was just getting its second wind, but with Ultimate X I feel like the book has been given a whole new set of lungs.

The only problem I could find was one of the nit picky observations about just how Kitty seems to get around between Florida and New York and the recent developments in the Ultimate Spider-Man title.  However, there is no time frame set up for this story so there’s no telling where it fits into the new continuity.  Even the rather odd evolution of Jimmy’s powers is handled so deftly that it doesn’t have a chance to be considered tacked on or out of place.

You’ve won this reader back Loeb and I’m looking forward to revisiting this book here in the coming months.

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