Ultimate X-Men #1 Review

Ultimate X-Men #1 Review

The Ultimate Universe continues to slowly expand. It started with Ultimate Spider-Man to kick off 2024. Ultimate Black Panther soon followed last month. Now it is time for the Ultimate X-Men to join in on the fun. The series looks to go in a different direction than the usual X-Men titles. Rather than beginning with the Xavier Mansion or the classic roster we are heading to Japan. With a new location Hisako Ichiki, aka Armor, will be the lead of the Ultimate X-Men. What kind of X-Men world will Peach Momoko create? Let’s find out with Ultimate X-Men #1.


Writer & Artist: Peach Momoko

Script Adaptation: Zack Davisson

Letterer: Travis Lanham


“Visionary creator Peach Momoko (DEMON DAYS, STAR WARS: VISIONS) creates a new generation of X-Men for an all-new universe! Hisako Ichiki is a teenage girl who just wants to live a normal life—go to school, hang out with her friends, ignore the political strife broiling over after the events of ULTIMATE INVASION—but life has other plans for her.

In Japan, urban legends have sprung to life and brought some unusual new powers with them…Meet Armor, Maystorm and a group of new Ultimate X-Men the likes of which you’ve never seen before!” – Marvel Comics


Providing variety will only enrich the potential of a universe. That is what we get with Peach Momoko’s Ultimate X-Men #1. It isn’t one single element that makes this debut issue special. Everything from the setting to design to storytelling approach builds an investment in the foundation Momoko creates.

Having each of the initial three Ultimate Universe titles set in three different countries is a great approach. This builds on what Jonathan Hickman established in Ultimate Invasion with the more global outlook for the Ultimate Universe’s direction. Ultimate X-Men being set in Japan gives us a look at another country that, like Wakanda in Ultimate Black Panther, was not spotlighted yet. Momoko, along with Zack Davisson, who handles the script adaptation, taps into this potential.

As she has done in the Marvel’s Demon Days Universe, what stood out was the vibe that Momoko gives Ultimate X-Men #1. Momoko’s art style is visually distinct from everything else we get from Marvel. The framing of everything has a more manga look to it. The visual distinction grabs your attention with all the details Momoko adds to the setting and facial reactions.

Most importantly, Momoko understands how to balance the writing and artwork to maximize the storytelling. Momoko makes sure even when Hisako Ichiki doesn’t have dialogue or inner monologue you understand what she is going through. Her facial reactions during silent panel scenes reflect a previous line of dialogue or inner monologue. It all works to create a distinct personality for Hisako compared to Peter Parker and T’Challa that isn’t just based on her age.

Armor in Ultimate X-Men #1.
Hisako Ichiki manifests her mutant powers for the first time in Ultimate X-Men #1. Credit: Marvel Comics

The focus on developing Hisako does give a vibe that Ultimate X-Men is a solo title rather than a team book. Especially since Hisako is the only X-Men that we see appear in this title. There is a missed opportunity to not at least have other X-Men teased as part of this series. Even if it was from background characters that have recognizable designs would’ve helped. Right now, Ultimate Black Panther, with Storm’s appearance, has as much of an X-Men vibe as this first issue did.

That said, Momoko does introduce another X-Men element with what appears to be the Ultimate Universe version of Shadow King. The Shadow King is the perfect villain for Momoko to utilize Japanese horror elements into this series. Shadow King is such a different threat than the typical Marvel villain. And we see that with their approach to terrorizing Hisako throughout Ultimate X-Men #1.

Adding to the intrigue of this Shadow King-esque villain was how Hisako’s childhood friend, Tsubasa, factored into this story. While it is not directly said, it appears that Tsubasa was manifesting his powers and was being bullied because he was different. That bullying leading to his death as no one, including Hisako, would help him would establish how mutants are still ostracized.

How Momoko handles a lot of the general concepts of mutants in the Ultimate Universe will be interesting to see. Because while we saw characters Magik, Colossus, and Silver Samurai in Ultimate Invasion we don’t know if mutants are common in this universe. Shadow King appears to be using that to terrorize new mutants like Hisako. This all adds intrigue to what direction Momoko goes with this series.


Peach Momoko delivers a unique reading experience with Ultimate X-Men #1. Everything from the design to storytelling approach gets you enamored with what Momoko is building with this series. While more X-Men elements need to be added so this doesn’t feel like a solo series, the foundation that’s been created has a lot of potential. It all leads to Ultimate X-Men being a strong addition to both the X-Men and Ultimate Universe franchises.

Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10