Tag Archives: ultimate x-men

Underrated: Ultimate X-Men

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week:  Ultimate X-Men


Ultimate_X-Men_Vol_1_1.jpgUltimate X-Men was a series launched under Marvel’s Ultimate Marvel imprint that aimed to do away with 40 years of so called convoluted continuity into a more modern and updated setting. The second title to launch after Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men was written by Mark Millar and drawn by Adam and Andy Kubert. Millar was largely ignorant of the storied history of the X-Men, and reinvented the characters with the 2000 X-Men  film as his primary reference. Millar has admitted in an interview with Sequential Tart that he knew bugger all about the characters before Joe Queseda and Bill Jemas asked him to pitch for X-Men, expecting them to use the script as toilet paper. Instead, because Millar knew next to nothing about the franchise, they decided that he should be the one to reboot the X-Men for Marvel’s Ultimate line of comics.

Free from the shackles of the past Millar set about crafting a new, and more modern universe for the X-Men to inhabit aimed to bring a return to the mainstream appeal the franchise enjoyed years before.

Launching in 2001, Ultimate X-Men was also part of Marvel’s “dot-comics” format, which was an early translation of print to digital using a slightly animated Flash format. Comic pages would appear on the screen showing a handful of panels at a time, and speech and thought bubbles hovering over the characters. The format would eventually pave the way toward Marvel Unlimited. Although not the first comic on the dot-comics format, it was one of the first that I read that way. Because the dot-comics were free to whomever had an internet connection and the patience to read the comics in their episodic form (if memory serves, five or so pages were uploaded every few days), they were a great way for people like myself to get introduced to a series that I otherwise would not have before.

Ultimate_X-Men_Vol_1 interior.jpg

Although I had previously dabbled in the X-Universe before, I was never a constant reader. Ultimate X-Men drew me into reading an ongoing series featuring Marvel’s merry mutants for the first time. The characters were familiar and yet felt fresh, the situations they were in reflected more of the world around them than the main Marvel universe characters did. Or at least that’s how it felt at the  time. It was here, with a newly discovered love of the characters that I truly became an X-Men fan and not just a Wolverine fan. At the time the irony that the series was being written by a man who knew bugger all about the characters was something I was unaware of, but the benefit of hindsight brings into sharp focus that provided one is a competent writer and has some understanding of the subject, then the essence of characters one is writing about shine through. And Millar, for the most part, had that understanding.

Running from 2001 until 2009 where it was cancelled at the conclusion of the critical and commercial failure of the Ultimatum crossover, Ultimate X-Men enjoyed nearly a decade as the fan favourite X-title. Although it was eventually relaunched as Ultimate Comics X-Men in 2011, the series never enjoyed the success of its pre-Ultimatum days.

Would Ultimate X-Men have worked had it been released today? Although we’ll probably never know, you can look at DC’s New 52 and to a lesser extent the successor to the Ultimate line (Ultimate Comics) to get an idea – although there are obvious faults with either comparison. The New 52 replaced DC’s continuity in its entirety, to much chatter from fans, and the Ultimate Comcs line tried to pick up after the failure of Ultimatum which had driven many fans away already. However you look at it, for nearly ten years Ultimate X-Men, and some of its companions under Marvel’s Ultimate line, were among the pinnacle of superhero comics. The reimagining of the characters, stripping them down to their core and putting them in a different world was a brave choice, but one that I, and thousands like me, fell in love with.

I grew up reading Ultimate X-Men, both as a comics fan and a human, and it hurts me a little to see people ignore it as an unimportant part of Marvel’s past because it’s not chronologically relevant in the X-Men’s story. It’s not, not really, but that doesn’t mean the stories told under the Ultimate X-Men banner remain among some of my most cherished to this day. If, for whatever reason, you haven’t read them then you can find the collected editions easily enough at your favourite online retailer (or, maybe your LCS can get them in for you).

That’s all we have for this week, folks. Come back next time  when there’s something else Underrated to talk about.

 

ComiXology Delivers 8 New Digital Comics Including Titans, Thunderbolts, Ultimate Marvel, and Manga!

There are eight new digital comics available now on comiXology! You can get new comics from Marvel, DC, and Yen Press now including new Titans, Ultimate Marvel, and more! Check them all out here or the individual issues below.

Goblin Slayer #49

Written by Kumo Kagyu
Art by Noboru Kannatuki, Kousuke Kurose
Purchase

This series is rated Adults OnlyDISCLAIMER: graphic sexuality goreGoblin Slayer’s party finally starts to break through Noble Fencer’s shell, but what will happen when they encounter the goblin paladin…? Read the next chapter of Goblin Slayer at the same time as Japan!

Goblin Slayer #49

Hinowa ga CRUSH! #32

Written by Takahiro
Art by Strelka
Purchase

This series is rated Adults OnlyDISCLAIMER: graphic sexualityAs Akame readies to join the fight, Hisame continues his solitary stand against the enemy…Will he be able to withstand their attack? Read the next chapter of Hinowa ga CRUSH! at the same time as Japan!

Hinowa ga CRUSH! #32

Thunderbolts: Guardian Protocols

Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Gary Erskine, Tom Grummett
Cover by Tom Grummett
Purchase

Collects Thunderbolts #106-109.

The Civil War gave Zemo a chance to amass a super-villain army – and now he is ready to unleash that fighting force on the Grandmaster, who plans to release an energy force across the planet that will lead to victory in his cosmic game of good and evil. But in this fight, who is good and who is evil? When the dust settles and the Guardian Protocols are enacted, the T-Bolts will never be the same again

Thunderbolts: Guardian Protocols

Titans: Titans Together #1

Written by Phil Hester
Pencils Tom Grummett, Scott Koblish
Inks Scott Koblish
Colored by John Kalisz
Cover by Brandon Peterson
Purchase

When one of Raven’s college professors goes missing, Nightwing is convinced the Titans should investigate. But the danger they uncover is far greater than one missing person—the fate of humanity is at stake, and only Beast Boy can save the day!

Titans: Titans Together #1

Ultimate Comics Iron Man Ultimate Collection

Written by Orson Scott Card
Art by Pasqual Ferry, Andy Kubert
Cover by Andy Kubert
Purchase

Collects Ultimate Iron Man #1-5 and Ultimate Iron Man II #1-5.

Tony Stark seems to have the perfect life as a billionaire playboy, genius-level inventor and founding member of the world-class super-hero team the Ultimates. But Stark’s life in the public spotlight is merely a small part of the picture. What is the untold story behind the man in the iron mask? How did Stark develop from a gifted child prodigy into one of the most powerful men on the planet? In ULTIMATE IRON MAN, legendary science-fiction writer Orson Scott Card delves into Tony Stark’s childhood history, exploring the makings of a hero from the very beginning.

Ultimate Comics Iron Man Ultimate Collection

Ultimate Marvel Team-Up Ultimate Collection

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Mike Allred, Chynna Clugston Flores, Phil Hester, David Mack, Jim Mahfood, Rick Mays, Ted McKeever, Terry Moore, Bill Sienkiewicz, John Totleben, Matt Wagner
Cover by Leinil Francis Yu
Purchase

Collects Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #1-16 And The Ultimate Spider-Man Super Special.

Collecting all 16 issues of Ultimate Marvel Team-Up, plus the star-studded Ultimate Spider-Man Super Special! Teenager Peter Parker may just have started out in the crime-fighting game, but there are plenty of heroes and villains already doing their thing. And it doesn’t take long for Spider-Man to encounter these strange new allies and enemies – including Wolverine, the Hulk, Iron Man, the Punisher, Daredevil, the Fantastic Four, the Man-Thing, the X-Men, Doctor Strange, the Black Widow, Shang-Chi and more! Take a wild tour through the ever-exciting Ultimate universe, as Eisner Award-winning writer Brian Michael Bendis teams up with the comic industry’s greatest artistic talents! Through the eyes of Peter Parker, Ultimate Marvel Team-Up showcases all the Ultimate heroes. From uncanny mutants to gleaming Avengers to rampaging green brutes, this volume has it all!

Ultimate Marvel Team-Up Ultimate Collection

Ultimate X-Men: Ultimate Collection Vol. 1

Written by Mark Millar
Art by Tom Derenick, Adam Kubert, Andy Kubert, Aaron Lopresti, Tom Raney
Cover by Leinil Francis Yu
Purchase

Collects Ultimate X-Men #1-12 & 1/2.

Collecting the first year of Mark Millar’s groundbreaking ULTIMATE X-MEN – issues #1-12 – in one colossal volume! Featuring an all-new cover by ULTIMATE HULK VS. WOLVERINE artist Leinil Francis Yu! The world stands on the brink of genetic war. Mankind has made the first move, launching an army of giant, cybernetic executioners called Sentinels – programmed to target and eliminate the mutant DNA strand. Now, Magneto and his mutant terrorist cell are preparing to follow through on their threats of Homo sapien genocide. The only force that can prevent total annihilation: five awkward teenagers and their crippled mentor! Plus: The inexperienced X-Men must rely on the enigmatic and unproven Wolverine when they become pawns of the mysterious Weapon X program. Can Logan go it alone against the shadow-ops organization that transformed him into one of the world’s most lethal killing machines?

Ultimate X-Men: Ultimate Collection Vol. 1

Ultimate X-Men: Ultimate Collection Vol. 2

Written by Chuck Austen, Mark Millar
Art by Kaare Andrews, Chris Bachalo, Adam Kubert, Esad Ribic
Cover by Mark Brooks
Purchase

Collects Ultimate X-Men #13-25.

Collecting the second year of Mark Millar’s groundbreaking ULTIMATE X-MEN – issues #13-25 – in one colossal volume! As the X-Men embark on their inaugural world tour, they must confront some unsettling truths about their mentor, Professor Charles Xavier. Before founding his school for young mutants, Xavier abandoned his only son, David, a mutant with uncontrollable reality-warping abilities. Now, David has returned, looking to exact revenge on the father who left him – and he’s willing to eradicate anyone who stands in his way. Will the X-Men be forced to kill Xavier’s son to end his threat against the world? Following the tragedies of their world tour, the X-Men seek the calming protection of Xavier’s school – but their suspicions of his methods only increase. Xavier’s mental blocks on student Jean Grey’s psychic abilities continue to crumble, and she grows increasingly unstable – plagued by visions of a world engulfed in the flames of a fiery phoenix. When the X-Men finally meet Xavier’s mysterious financial backers, Jean’s hallucinations become reality as the otherworldly Phoenix takes possession of the teenage telepath. Also included in this volume is a bonus tale of Gambit, a Cajun street hustler who must use his mutant gifts to protect a homeless boy in great danger.

Ultimate X-Men: Ultimate Collection Vol. 2

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Underrated: Ultimate X-Men

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week:  Ultimate X-Men


Ultimate_X-Men_Vol_1_1.jpgUltimate X-Men was a series launched under Marvel’s Ultimate Marvel imprint that aimed to do away with 40 years of so called convoluted continuity into a more modern and updated setting. The second title to launch after Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men was written by Mark Millar and drawn by Adam and Andy Kubert. Millar was largely ignorant of the storied history of the X-Men, and reinvented the characters with the 2000 X-Men  film as his primary reference. Millar has admitted in an interview with Sequential Tart that he knew bugger all about the characters before Joe Queseda and Bill Jemas asked him to pitch for X-Men, expecting them to use the script as toilet paper. Instead, because Millar knew next to nothing about the franchise, they decided that he should be the one to reboot the X-Men for Marvel’s Ultimate line of comics.

Free from the shackles of the past Millar set about crafting a new, and more modern universe for the X-Men to inhabit aimed to bring a return to the mainstream appeal the franchise enjoyed years before.

Launching in 2001, Ultimate X-Men was also part of Marvel’s “dot-comics” format, which was an early translation of print to digital using a slightly animated Flash format. Comic pages would appear on the screen showing a handful of panels at a time, and speech and thought bubbles hovering over the characters. The format would eventually pave the way toward Marvel Unlimited. Although not the first comic on the dot-comics format, it was one of the first that I read that way. Because the dot-comics were free to whomever had an internet connection and the patience to read the comics in their episodic form (if memory serves, five or so pages were uploaded every few days), they were a great way for people like myself to get introduced to a series that I otherwise would not have before.

Ultimate_X-Men_Vol_1 interior.jpg

Although I had previously dabbled in the X-Universe before, I was never a constant reader. Ultimate X-Men drew me into reading an ongoing series featuring Marvel’s merry mutants for the first time. The characters were familiar and yet felt fresh, the situations they were in reflected more of the world around them than the main Marvel universe characters did. Or at least that’s how it felt at the  time. It was here, with a newly discovered love of the characters that I truly became an X-Men fan and not just a Wolverine fan. At the time the irony that the series was being written by a man who knew bugger all about the characters was something I was unaware of, but the benefit of hindsight brings into sharp focus that provided one is a competent writer and has some understanding of the subject, then the essence of characters one is writing about shine through. And Millar, for the most part, had that understanding.

Running from 2001 until 2009 where it was cancelled at the conclusion of the critical and commercial failure of the Ultimatum crossover, Ultimate X-Men enjoyed nearly a decade as the fan favourite X-title. Although it was eventually relaunched as Ultimate Comics X-Men in 2011, the series never enjoyed the success of its pre-Ultimatum days.

Would Ultimate X-Men have worked had it been released today? Although we’ll probably never know, you can look at DC’s New 52 and to a lesser extent the successor to the Ultimate line (Ultimate Comics) to get an idea – although there are obvious faults with either comparison. The New 52 replaced DC’s continuity in its entirety, to much chatter from fans, and the Ultimate Comcs line tried to pick up after the failure of Ultimatum which had driven many fans away already. However you look at it, for nearly ten years Ultimate X-Men, and some of its companions under Marvel’s Ultimate line, were among the pinnacle of superhero comics. The reimagining of the characters, stripping them down to their core and putting them in a different world was a brave choice, but one that I, and thousands like me, fell in love with.

I grew up reading Ultimate X-Men, both as a comics fan and a human, and it hurts me a little to see people ignore it as an unimportant part of Marvel’s past because it’s not chronologically relevant in the X-Men’s story. It’s not, not really, but that doesn’t mean the stories told under the Ultimate X-Men banner remain among some of my most cherished to this day. If, for whatever reason, you haven’t read them then you can find the collected editions easily enough at your favourite online retailer (or, maybe your LCS can get them in for you).

That’s all we have for this week, folks. Come back next time  when there’s something else Underrated to talk about.

 

Around the Tubes


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It’s new comic book day and don’t forget this Saturday is Free Comic Book Day. That just means you should be at your local comic book shop twice this week.

Around the Blogs:

MTV Geek – Help Grant Morrison, Kevin Smith, and Neil Gaiman ‘Illuminate Parkinsons’Time’s are tough, but this is a great project.  Get to KickStarter and pledge as much as you can.

The Mary Sue – Marvel Entertainment’s President of Production: Dr. Strange is NextThis one I can see on the big screen. Who do you think should fill the good doctor’s shoes?

Kotaku – DC Universe Subscribers Get a Free Month, Free Cowl Over Hack AttackHave it sitting on my shelf and still haven’t played….

The Mary Sue – Pretty Much Every Marvel Cartoon Show Will Be Available On Netflix’s Instant Queue SoonA new way for me to entertain myself at work.

IGN – The Ultimate X-Men ReturnIs it the right time to finally check out Marvel’s Ultimate line?

Adam WarRock – Adam WarRock “Sinister Six”Adam WarRock has some more free music for you.

Around the Tubes Reviews:

The Fandom Post – Danger Unlimited

The Fandom Post – Robin: Search For A Hero

Comic Book Resources – Review Search: 2011-04-27

Marvel’s Greatest Comics Return!

Official Press Release

MARVEL’S GREATEST COMICS Return!

Marvel is proud to announce the return of the Marvel’s Greatest Comics program, spotlighting Marvel’s most acclaimed series with new printings of these fan-favorite titles priced at only one dollar each! Returning in March 2011, Marvel’s Greatest Comics offers an affordable introduction to some of the hottest selling Marvel Collected editions.

“This program was a huge success last year,” said David Gabriel, Marvel Senior Vice-President of Sales & Circulation. “In our ongoing efforts to help retailers we’re offering a new group of titles at one dollar that serve as primers for some of our best collections.

These are great items to have on hand all year round, and especially beneficial to have during the annual Free Comic Book Day (May 7th, 2011).

The Marvel’s Greatest Comics titles for next year are:

March

Astonishing X-Men #1 – Astonishing x-men vol.1: Gifted tpb

The Ultimates #1 – The ultimates vol. 1: super-human tpb

X-23 #1 – X-23: INNOCENCE LOST TPB

Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born #1 – Dark tower: the gunslinger born tpb

Reborn #1 – captain america: reborn tpb

Ultimate Spider-Man #1 – ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL. 1: POWER & RESPONSIBILITY TPB

April

House of M #1 – HOUSE OF M TPB

Ultimate Fantastic Four #1 – ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR VOL. 1: THE FANTASTIC TPB

Thor #7 – THOR BY J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI VOL. 2 TPB

Ultimate X-Men #1 – ULTIMATE X-MEN VOL. 1: THE TOMORROW PEOPLE TPB

May

X-Force #1 – X-FORCE VOL. 1: ANGELS AND DEMONS TPB

Cable & Deadpool #1 – DEADPOOL & CABLE ULTIMATE COLLECTION BOOK 1 TPB

Wolverine #20 – WOLVERINE: ENEMY OF THE STATE ULTIMATE COLLECTION TPB

Stay tuned for more details on Marvel’s Greatest Comics at www.marvel.com!