Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Ultimate X-Men #88

By Zak Edwards
December 7, 2007 - 19:23

Ultimate X-Men #88

Issue #88 of Ultimate X-Men is the supposed “epilogue” to the Sentinels story arc, an arc that was weighed down by too many reused ideas from previous stories told in the mainstream X-Men titles ten years ago.  Legacy Virus?  Done that.  Also everything else done in this comic book for the past long while.  There is a panel in this issue that really says everything about what this series is doing right now: Emma Frost in her old costume from when she was the White Queen.  It’s a complete copy of what used to be, and that is all this series seems to be able to do.  Unfortunately, with the mainstream X-Men comic books enjoying a bit of a revival in quality, Ultimate X-Men is a boring redoing of past story lines rushed through at a very quick pace, focusing on nothing and cramming as much into one arc as possible.  I have officially given up on this title and if it wasn’t for Ultimate Spider-Man, I would be honestly hoping that the upcoming Ultimatum event will, in fact, end this whole entire line.  While Ultimate Spider-Man has become one of the best Spider-Man comic books out there, Ultimate X-Men has become the worst.

While Kirkman has become steadily worse, Paquette's artwork displays improvement with every issue
One major problem is how long Kirkman has chosen to wait and tell the stories of many of the things he’s done.  Jean Grey turns into the Phoenix again, Beast finally meets up with his former teammates after months and months of him running around, Professor X is still alive but in the future.  For all of these things my reaction is “I just don’t care anymore.”  And why should I?  This series has been boring at best for so long now, with only minor lapses into better quality which almost seem by accident, that indifference is all it deserves.  Where Ultimate Spider-Man has been careful not to become to unwieldy in its stories and universe, Kirkman has created way too much for anything to matter.  As for this issue specifically, it has its moments that almost make me care.  The baseball scene is actually entertaining, despite anything really actually happening.  But it is still more entertaining than the completely unoriginal reaction of Storm to the resurrected Beast.  That baseball scene was the only decent part of this issue.  The problem with all these ‘re-imaginings’ of older X-Men stories is that most of those original stories are still in print as graphic novels.  If I wanted to read the Dark Phoenix Saga, I would go and get that or sign up for Marvel Comics new digital comics service.  Ultimate X-Men was supposed to be a new vision of the X-Men free from the forty years of continuity the mainstream titles have to deal with.  But Kirkman has created just as convoluted of a mess and it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to tell the two apart.

The saddest part of this whole entire comic book has got to be poor Yanick Paquette.  While Kirkman is busy running what’s left of this series into the proverbial ground, Paquette has been improving greatly in his artwork.  One can honestly track his progress issue to issue, watching this artist grow and improve.  Every aspect of his work, from panelling to clarity and sharpness, is imroving.  Hopefully he will be moved to other projects and this series does not become a career ruining run for him.  None of the bad in this series is his fault.

2/10    Paquette gets full marks, but Kirkman gets negatives, so it becomes this.  If your looking for decent X-Men stories, look to Astonishing X-Men, New X-Men, X-Men, and even Uncanny X-Men.  Pretty much anywhere but here.

Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25

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