Marvel Comics
Ultimate X-Men #87
By Zak Edwards
October 22, 2007 - 12:45

Marvel Comics
Writer(s): Robert Kirkman
Penciller(s): Yannick Paquette

Ultimate X-Men #87

Ultimate X-Men’s current arc is a convoluted mix of undeveloped stories and unexplored elements put into one arc that can’t support the weight of all these things going on.  It’s like the third Spider-Man movie, way too much going on to make a movie that is any good, except in this case, it’s a comic book.  Robert Kirkman has no focus and the entire story is suffering for not having anything concrete to build off of.  The story so far has seen many things go on, but primarily it involves Stryfe, the Fenris Twins, new Sentinels, and a new X-Men team.  Four issues in and the general feeling is that there is more being ignored than addressed.  Robert Kirkman has built up too much and is now giving his readers stories that are resoundingly poor.

A major problem is that this story could have been either three issues or three separate arcs, Kirkman just didn’t make up his mind.  In four issues, Kirkman has addressed the return of the Fenris Twins, Bolivar Trask and new Sentinels threatening the mutant populace, a fledgling and leaderless Xavier School for mutants, a brand-new X-Men team, the list goes on.  That’s a lot of characters, ideas, themes, and plot.  Right now most of these elements are rushed through or just plain ignored.  The original team still at the mansion have been addressed only to show Jean Grey in her underwear dealing with her powers, something that really is unnecessary.  If Kirkman simply explained that the former X-Men at the mansion were going to be absent in the next arc, things would have been better; not great, but better.  The rest of the arc is a remix of way too many story arcs told in previous X-Men stories.  Stories carefully built up over time are now simply thrown at the audience in a mass lump.  But all of these problems stem from Kirkman putting way too much early on in his run.  The “death” of Xavier and the return of Beast produce drastic changes to the Ultimate X-Men, and eagerly anticipated stories dealing with these new scenarios.  Then what happens?  A arc about the Morlocks, and now an arc introducing new characters and recycling old ones.  Now Beast is back and I have a feeling even that will be swallowed up in the overbearing amount of content.

As for Yannick Paquette, his art is getting better with each issue.  The new look for the new team went over very well and now it’s exciting to see other parts of his work.  The facial expressions are great, but the most impressive part of his art is how his characters look like the race to which they are descended.  Psylocke actually looks asian rather than a white person with a slightly different skin tone.  So often characters are depicted as white people in features with a colour change, but Paquette seems set on making people look like their race in features as well.  It makes the comic book feel like a more multicultural experience.  Paquette is getting increasingly better with time, if the series is not.

4/10    Just when you think there’s hope for a title, they let you down.

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