Comic Book Review: Ultimate X-Men #68

Ultimate X-Men is probably the weakest of all the Ultimate titles. That isn’t really a terrible insult. It is more of a compliment to the Ultimate titles and how it is a strong stable of comics.

Creative Team
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Penciller: Tom Raney
Inkers: Scott Hanna

Rating: 2.5 Night Girls out of 5.

Synopsis: This issue starts off with Prof. X immobilizing a woman from the Church of Shi’ar Enlightenment and demanding to know their connection to the Hellfire Club.

We then cut to Nick Fury and SHIELD trying to take a mutant into custody. This powerful mutant just manifested his powers and he is totally out of control. The mutant starts blasting the SHIELD agents and we cut away too…..

Prof. X and Lilandra. She is telling how the Phoenix has the ability to reform, rebuild and recreate life. That their Church worships the Phoenix and they are all about peace and self-improvement and the belief that the Phoenix will bring about a Utopia for all people to live in. (The Revolution thinks that is the wuss’ way out of toppling governments and building the perfect society).

The Hellfire Club simply wants to use the power of the Phoenix to remake the world in the image of the Hellfire Club. Lilandra says that the Phoenix may be the spark that brought life to the universe. That she created an entire race of people who then rebelled against her (we like rebellion!) and imprisoned her in a special prison that eventually became Earth.

We then cut to Xavier’s School and we see a lot of whoring going on. Scott and Jean in bed. Bobby and Rogue in bed. Papa’s out of the house and the kids are gonna have some S-E-X!!

We then cut to Wolverine fighting Sabertooth who is claiming to be Logan’s son. Storm lightning blasts Sabertooth who then runs off.

We then go back to dinner between Prof. X and Lilandra. She tells Prof. X that the Phoenix is what helped life on earth to evolve into what it is now. And that the next evolution step for humans into being mutants is also because of the Phoenix. Lilandra then says the only catch for her Church funding the X-Men is that they get to conduct examinations of Jean Grey since they think she is the one in the prophesy who will bring the rebirth of the Phoenix. Prof. X believes that Lilandra is telling the truth and says he will talk to Jean and if she agrees then they have a deal.

We then go back to Xavier’s School and see Kitty coming home from whoring with Spider-Man. Nick Fury is in the house with the young mutant he was hunting sedated and restrained. Prof. X then rolls into the joint and Nick asks him to take custody of this young mutant named Elliot Boggs.

We then end the issue with Sabertooth going back to his secret lair and reporting back to the evil Dr. Cornelius. Sabertooth gives the doctor a large chunk of Wolverine. The Doc then says from this sample he can make their own Wolverine. Uh, wait, isn’t that what Sabertooth is for?

Comments: Ok, the Revolution did not give this issue a high score because not much happened that was too interesting. The Ultimate version of the Phoenix is kind of neat, but nothing particularly different or shocking. I actually like how they are taking what was a very cosmic entity and storyline and micro-sizing it into our world only. I like the Shi’ar being a cult that worships the Phoenix and is opposing the Hellfire Club. I think I’m going to end up enjoying the Ultimate version of the Phoenix and the Phoenix saga more than the regular version.

Not much else happened. This issue just felt slow. And not in a good way. A teeny bit of fighting. A new mutant introduced to the X-Mansion. And the corny evil doctor saying he has enough to build his own Wolverine. Ok, here is my big beef with this issue. Why the hell do they need to build another Wolverine? They already freakin’ have Sabertooth!! He is an evil version of Wolverine. Healing factor? Check. Heightened senses? Check. Retractable claws? Check. Berserker rage instinct? Check. Done! There is no need to make another Wolverine. Plus, the Revolution is sick of rip-off Wolverines. We have one Wolverine. DO we really need a lame ass character like X-23? We at the Revolution say “Hell no!”

The writing itself is average. Kirkman doesn’t really move me one way or the other. Kind of like an average dish of black beans and rice. I don’t think that Kirkman’s dialogue is particularly well done. I think he is coming up with a pretty cool plotline, but his layout of the story is a little fractured. Scenes cut away and start at awkward times. The issue itself does not have a good flow.

The art is nothing special. Raney is ok, but sometimes the way he draws the facial expressions do not match the dialogue. It is like watching President Bush smirk/smile when he is talking how tough the war in Iraq is going to be. It just doesn’t look right. Even worse, the majority of the time the characters just have flat facial expressions altogether. Raney places little to no emotion into his art.

With the average writing, this title really needs a dynamic artist to pick up the slack and make this a good read. If Marvel wants to keep Kirkman as the writer, then they need to put a much better artist on Ultimate X-Men.