Comic Book Review: Ultimate X-Men #77

The Revolution has not enjoyed reading Ultimate X-Men in a very long time. I have found this title to be a rather boring read. What is so surprising is that I am having a blast reading Kirkman’s new Ant-Man series. However, Kirkman has failed to impress me with his run on Ultimate X-Men. Can Ultimate X-Men #77 finally get me to change my opinion on this title? Let’s find out.

Creative Team
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Pencils: Yanick Paquette
Inks: Serge LaPointe

Art Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Scott moping under a large tree. Iceman sits down next to him and tells Cyclops to not worry. That they will get Jean back. Scott asks how Iceman and Rogue are doing. Iceman says not so well since her powers have returned and now they are back at square one. The two men then go inside the mansion for the meeting with Bishop.

We shift to Professor X on the phone with Syndicate. Professor X directs Syndicate that he has a mission for Syndicate. Professor X directs Syndicate to meet some of Professor X’s colleagues at a specific address. Xavier’s colleagues will tell Syndicate what to do next. (We haven’t seen this two-headed mutant since Professor X stopped him from robbing a bank back in issue #58).

We cut to Storm walking with Professor X to Bishop’s meeting. Storm tells Xavier that Kitty is unhappy with the X-Men and that she wants to leave.

We shift to Bishop’s meeting with the X-Men. Bishop says that time travel takes an immense amount of energy and it can’t be done twice in one day. Therefore, Cable could not have taken Jean to the future. That Cable must have a base here in this time. Bishop says that time travel leaves a chronal imprint, an energy signal that Bishop can track. Bishop says that Wolverine, Storm, Iceman, Rogue and Colossus will come with him. That Cyclops will stay with Professor X and guard him. His job is to ensure that the Professor stays alive.

Cyclops is angry about not being included in on the mission. Bishop counters that Scott is too emotional and that will cloud his judgment on this mission. Also, if Cable comes for Professor X, then Cyclops’s aggression will work to his advantage. Cyclops then storms out of the meeting room. Wolverine then tells Bishop that if he double crosses the X-Men then Wolverine will gut him.

We cut to Bishop informing the X-Men that Cable’s base is an old Weapon X facility in Finland. The X-Men gear up and then teleport to Finland. We shift to the X-Men arriving at the Weapon X facility. Suddenly, Rogue gets her arm blasted off. (Damn!) We see Domino, Grizzly, Hammer and Kane on the scene. And the X-Men and Cable’s group brawl. Wolverine tells Rogue to absorb his healing factor. Rogue says it isn’t enough and passes out. Domino then takes out Wolverine. Bishop then teleports Iceman with Rogue back to the X-Mansion. Iceman places Rogue in the infirmary and then alerts Professor X. Iceman then teleports back to the battle scene where the X-Men and Cable’s team are going at it.

We cut to Cable checking in one Jean Grey. Cable asks Jean if when she uses her telekinesis that she sees little Goblins doing all the work. Jean says yes. Cable says that seeing the Goblins is the first sign. Cable tells Jean that it will happen soon, but that she will get through it. It will take some time, but she will do it.

We shift back to the infirmary at the X-Mansion. Rogue absorbed enough of Wolverine’s healing factor so her arm is beginning to regenerate itself. Professor X has a shocked look on his face and he suddenly wheels out of the room. Cyclops runs after Xavier yelling for him to stop. Cyclops asks Xavier what is wrong. Xavier says that he is putting an end to all of this. That he won’t have any of his students put in harm’s way because someone is after him. Xavier tells Cyclops to get the X-Jet ready for launch.

Cyclops tells Xavier that he can’t go. He is too important and is the prime target. That Cyclops can’t let Xavier do this. Cyclops asks Professor X why he would be so careless. Professor X snaps at Cyclops and says “Damn it, Scott. Can’t you see? Do I have to spell it out for you? I’m in love with Jean.” (Double damn!) End of issue.

The Good: Wow. You’ll have to excuse me because my freaking jaw is still on the floor. That was one hell of an ending! Kirkman finally did it. I have been complaining that Ultimate X-Men was just too similar to their 616 counterparts. The only real differences were that Ultimate Colossus is gay and Ultimate Nightcrawler is a freak show. Other than that, everything felt just like the 616 X-Men. I never got the same distinct Ultimate Universe feel from Ultimate X-Men like I got over on the Ultimates, Ultimate Spider-Man or Ultimate Fantastic Four.

Well, Kirkman has certainly taken care of that issue. Professor X confesses his love for Cyclops’s girlfriend to Cyclops himself! C’mon, that is some juicy stuff! Not only is Jean Grey much younger than Professor X, she is also one of this students. Professor X’s love for Jean breaks all sorts of taboos.

And poor Cyclops. Cyclops just stands their totally stunned as his mentor and father figure professes his love for Cyclops’s girlfriend. Could you imagine your divorced dad telling you that he is in love with your girlfriend? No way. Cyclops has to be in a total state of shock.

With this bold move, Kirkman is really going to shake things up for all three characters. To me, Professor X, Cyclops and Jean Grey are the holy trinity of the X-Men. I know there are other very important characters in X-Men lore, but I feel that Xavier, Scott and Jean are the alpha and omega of all that is the X-Men. Clearly, this is going to place a huge stress on Cyclops’s relationship with Professor X.

Now, I’m curious to see how far Kirkman takes this development. Does Kirkman have Cyclops tell Jean about what he has learned? Does Professor X decide to tell Jean himself? Or do Cyclops and Professor X decide to keep it between each other, thereby creating many awkward scenes between the two men whenever Jean is present. This plotline has so many great possibilities. It should be fun seeing where Kirkman goes with this plotline.

I thought the scene with Rogue getting her arm blown off was pretty cool for a couple of reasons. First, because it was just plain shocking. I certainly wasn’t expecting Rogue to get blown apart like that. It definitely made the fight scene much more exciting. Second, Kirkman can use Rogue’s horribly injury as further incentive for Kitty to decide to leave the X-Men. Kitty had a look of horror as Rogue was teleported back to the infirmary. Kitty already is unhappy being with the X-Men and Rogues serious injury will undoubtedly provide Kitty with the last bit of proof that she needed to realize that she is doing the right thing by leaving the X-Men.

Kirkman also revealed to the reader some more information on one of his newer plotlines. The first new plotline involved the scene with Cable and Jean talking about the Goblins that help her use her telekinesis was rather interesting. Plus, we learn that the Goblins are only the beginning and that “it” is going to happen soon. Just what is “it?” How about the Ultimate Universe version of the Goblin Queen? This could be a little twist on the 616 version of the Goblin Queen who was Madelyne Pryor who had her latent telekinetic and telepathic powers activated by demons. This plotline has plenty of potential to be rather exciting.

Another new plotline was the scene between Xavier and Syndicate. We haven’t seen the two-headed Syndicate in a while. I’m curious to learn what secret mission Xavier has for Syndicate and why Xavier is keeping a secret from the X-Men.

The Bad: The pacing was better on this issue, but it still needs improvement. The first 10 pages were slow and rehashed the events of the past two issues. This entire Cable story arc is rapidly losing my interest. It hasn’t developed quickly enough and it lacks any real direction or purpose. Then we get more fighting and that is about it. If it weren’t for the final four pages that contained the scene with Jean and Cable and the scene with Scott and Xavier, then this issue would have been one boring issue. As it is, the Cable story arc seems to be stuck in neutral with not much occurring over the past three issues other than some mindless fighting and a re-hashing of the same dialogue over and over.

I thought the artwork was lousy. Paquette and LaPointe delivered the same type of art that Olivetti has been putting out on this title. And that definitely isn’t a good thing. The art looks sloppy and dull. The inks were drab and boring. This title hasn’t had good artwork in quite some time.

Overall: Ultimate X-Men #77 was saved a low grade by the wonderfully intriguing final four pages. I have a feeling that there just may be hope for this title after all. Kirkman may finally be getting hot and poised to deliver some entertaining issues. Now, if we could just get some quality artwork on this title.

1 thought on “Comic Book Review: Ultimate X-Men #77

  1. Serge is not only drab and boring, he also hates puppies. Also, I have it on good authority that Yanick once killed a hobo.

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