Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Ultimate X-Men #99

By Zak Edwards
January 6, 2009 - 11:45

This is it!  The second last issue before the end of it all, that is, Ultimate X-Men as an ongoing, and what do we have?  Mutants fighting each other only to suddenly stop so they can join together to save the institute from a plot line used by New X-Men about a year and a half ago.  The ultimate climax of this series is disappointing to say the least.  The series continues to represent all that is (was?) wrong with the whole Ultimate line nowadays.  Before, it was cool, modernized, and grittier than its counterparts, now its a recycling station for things used by the main Marvel universe over the past twenty years.

The plot revolves around wayward X-Men Rogue adopting and abandoning character traits just as fast as she takes powers and eventually trying to help the X-Men institute from an attack by William Stryker and his religious cult followers in souped up robot Sentinel gear.  Now I’m not sure if Rogue going from kicking the crap out of a tied up Sabertooth to feeling sorry for a man who tried to kill her out of jealousy is bad characterization or has a point, but it’s a little poorly done.  Perhaps Rogue absorbs more than powers and memories, but character traits as well, but this would be something developed very late in the game to fully explore in any way.  Besides Rogue’s random switching around, which is just as sudden and as much as the loyalties of her enemies, the issue is a big fight sequence.  Rogue vs. Sabertooth, Institute vs. Stryker’s men, Stryker’s men vs. just in time X-Men, the list goes on.  So for a series that’s ending next issue, its too bad Coleite isn’t going the route in which the series came in but just blowing everything up.  We’ve seen the reckless abandon violence occurring in Ultimatum to disastrous results, must it be done to Ultimate X-Men as well?  And the final ‘revelation,’ that Rogue is a killer, as told by a man who was seen earlier in the issue to be killing children, is really anti-climactic.  I mean, it doesn’t even make any sense, are we supposed to believe this guy started killing children just to prove mutants kill back?  Hardly the martyr moment he was looking for.

The art changes four pages in and then changes three more times after that at random intervals.  It seems like Mark Brooks drew the six or so pages he liked in the script and then let Dan Panosian do the rest, and it is jarring, especially the first one.  I turned the page, flipped it back, and flipped forward again to see what was going on.  It just looks bad, and it happens multiple times.  But Mark Brooks is a capable artist already familiar with the story, considering he drew it for the New X-Men series this story ripped off.  His art is expressive and can handle the action very well.  But Panosian is of a different quality.  It’s more cartoon influence and looks directed to a younger audience than Brooks.  The men have very square jaws and chiseled features in a cartoonish kind of way.  The art switching back and forth is distracting, unfortunately, and with a noticeable change in quality, it suffers.

3/10    Distracting art and recycled story lines are burning this series to the end.

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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