16
Feb
2012
Ultimate Comics X-Men #7
Review
Chris
Ultimate X-Men #7
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Nick Spencer
Penciller: Carlo Barberi


I realize that there is a large number of reviewers and readers who are not particularly enthused with this book. As a standalone issue, I have to admit that this is not the best offering from the creators involved. However knowing what I know about Nick Spencer from his work Morning Glories, I am confident that all is not as it seems, and that pay off and fireworks are coming soon.

This issue begins an arc that will step away from our five central protagonists and explore the current predicaments and recent dealings of other notable mutants in the Ultimate Universe. This time around, the spotlight falls squarely on Quicksilver, as we see that his recent efforts to ingratiate himself with both a titan of industry and the president of the United States himself are parts of a larger plan that he himself may not quite understand.

Quicksilver's blind devotion to his sister Wanda is nothing new, even when taken to its creepy extreme in the Ultimate Universe. And while seeing Pietro melt down as his entire world spins out underneath him adds to the dramatic tension and humanizes him a bit given his recent dealings, I can't help but be disappointed that the calm, confident, smooth talking Pietro from issues past was just an act. I hope that this is a low point for the character from which Spencer intends to rebuild the fascinatingly morally gray character.

Carlo Barberi is an excellent counterpoint to Paco Medina on art. Switching off, these artists create a stylistic synergy and consistency that fans of the book are sure to appreciate. I especially love the layout designs of the early pages superimposing Quicksilver's run over scenes of the whole world and everything he was worked for going to hell, emphasizing just how quickly everything has fallen apart.

Quicksilver's characterization in this spotlight issue was disappointing, as it felt like a huge step backwards for the character. Likewise, the cliffhanger reveal, similar to last issue's, also feels like a retread of well worn territory in a book that had the potential to be nothing but new. However from what I know of Nick Spencer, his work is nothing if not a slow burn and a string of misdirection during the set up phase.

While I did not like this issue very much, I still see the same thing in Ultimate X-Men that I did the day I cracked open the first issue of this most recent volume: unbridled potential.

Grade: C-

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