"Ultimate X #2
Written by Jeph Loeb
Art by Arthur Adams and Aspen MLT's Mark Roslan
Colors by Aspen MLT's Peter Steigerwald
Lettering by Richard Starkings and Comicraft's Albert Deschesne
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by David Pepose
When you think "Ultimate," you think high-octane action, explosions everywhere, pulse-pounding, rock 'em sock 'em never-ending action.
That's not what this book is. And that is possibly Ultimate X #2's greatest strength.
In recent years, Jeph Loeb has been associated with a lot of action books. Hulk. Ultimatum. Even Superman/Batman and Batman: Hush placed singular value on action, even at the cost of characterization. Not so in this book -- this is a sweetly-composed character piece through and through, one that's particularly heartfelt and heartbreaking. In a lot of ways, Loeb knows how to make characters that are compelling, with our ordinary narrator and our extraordinary protagonist having a star-crossed relationship that has an almost song-like quality to it all.
And of course, a lot of this misty-eyed romanticism comes from the legendary Art Adams. His mutant power must be to have the most emotive characters on the stands -- he tells stories within stories, with subtleties and panache to spare. In particular, the introduction to this book looks great -- let's just say you fall in love with Karen Grant almost effortlessly, as Adams masterfully illustrates how pervasive her mutant powers are in her life. Of course, he also knows how to switch gears, and when he does there's both humor and action, and even a little bit of fear involved.
In a lot of ways, the Ultimate Universe has been a much more sedate place since Ultimatum. And I'd argue that that's not a bad thing. Ultimate X is akin to Jeph Loeb's version of Adventure Comics -- it moves at a relaxed pace, and is in no rush to do anything other than paint pictures of people, of personalities, of lives. In many ways, it hearkens back to Marvel's ads of old -- it's books like these that are putting the character back into comics.
And there's no mutant power more ultimate than that."
I agree wholeheartedly...
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