This is the debut of the Revolution’s Quick Hitter reviews. I have found that I’m reading far more comic books that I can possibly review each week. My lengthy reviews are partly to blame. My life outside of the Bunker is also partly to blame. I don’t want to gut the style review that I give here at the Revolution. So, I decided that the comic books that I can’t get to by Tuesday I will review in my Quick Hitter format. It won’t have a lengthy synopsis and my comments will be short and to the point. Let’s kick this one off for Ultimate X-Men #72.
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Penciler: Tom Raney
Inker: Scott Hana
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue centers on a huge brawl with an anti-mutant group known as the Friends of Humanity. During the fight, the leader of the Friends of Humanity strike force reveals that he is a mutant. Except he doesn’t think he is a mutant. He believes that mutants somehow turned him into one. The leader is able to take out all of the X-Men except for Elliot Boggs a.k.a. the Magician. The Magician easily dispatches of the villain.
Dazzler wakes up out of her coma. Jean continues to be held in isolation with just her “inner demons” to keep her company.
Nick Fury shows up to talk to Professor X about the Magician. Nick tells Professor X that he never turned Elliot over to Xavier’s custody. That he had never even heard of Elliot until he appeared on the news with the X-Men. End of issue.
The Good: Ultimate X-Men #72 was an average issue. Nothing terrible, but certainly nothing great. The brawl with the Friends of Humanity was designed simply to establish how the Magician is incredibly powerful. Such a powerful person can be a great addition to the X-Men or a dangerous threat to the world if not properly trained.
I liked the ending with Nick Fury and Professor X. That was a pretty cool twist. I definitely didn’t see that coming. I’m very curious to see where Kirkman takes this plotline. For the first time in quite some time I was actually intrigued by the ending and am interested in reading the next issue. Usually, I finish Ultimate X-Men with little to no interest in the next issue.
Kirkman’s dialogue still isn’t anything incredible, but it is at least average. I think that the twist ending shows some improvement in Kirkman’s writing. I have been very critical of Kirkman’s run on Ultimate X-Men. Maybe Kirkman is going to finally turn the corner and start to make this title an interesting read.
The art is significantly better on Ultimate X-Men #72 than on previous issues. The reason for that is Tom Raney taking over the penciling duties from Ben Oliver. I simply didn’t like Oliver’s style. Raney isn’t spectacular, but at least he is a solid artist. The artwork isn’t so bad that it makes reading the comic book a total chore.
The Bad: The biggest defect with Kirkman’s writing is that there is little to no character development. I feel like all the characters are stagnant. There has been a general lack of excitement or buzz with this title. There haven’t been any large plotlines that intrigue the reader. There also have been a lack of smaller plotlines that have a purpose and direction. I think that this new plotline with Nick Fury and the Magician may finally be what this title needed to generate some type of buzz.
I’m not interested at all in the Jean Grey storyline. Kirkman dropped the ball with the Phoenix story arc and has failed to get me into whatever direction he is leading Jean.
The Nightcrawler/Dazzler storyline is also pretty uninteresting. It has drug on at an agonizing pace and doesn’t seem to have much purpose.
Overall: The addition of Raney as the artist and a truly interesting twist at the end of this issue made Ultimate X-Men #72 better than previous issues. Ultimate X-Men is still an average read and I’m not sure that Kirkman is going to be able to invigorate this title to the point that I change my opinion about his run on this title. At this point, I still can’t recommend Ultimate X-Men. There are far too many titles on the market that are deserving of your hard earned money.