Ultimate Comics The Ultimates (1-13) and X-Men (1-14)

Because I was interested in the Ultimate event Divided We Fall but had only been reading Spider-Man, I read all issues of The Ultimates and X-Men to get up to speed. Since the first is written by Jonathan Hickman and the latter now by Brian Wood, my interest was more than marginal. And for the most part, they delivered.

I really like Hickman's storytelling style, but I'm worrying a bit if he can't also try to tell smaller stories once in a while. The story about Reed Richards, the Children and the City reminded me both of his Fantastic Four run but also of the Dark Angel Saga in Uncanny X-Force, especially with Esad Ribic brilliantly pencilling both. I liked X-Force better, but the Ultimate version had some nice ideas, too. But it's always so very much that Hickman puts into these stories and sometimes it feels a bit hollow to me. It's grand and everything but emotions and characters tend to get lost in the shuffle. It's still very good and sometimes more concept than content.

The X-Men are nice, too, not on the same epic level as the Ultimates but more on their standard "Mutants are hunted down" idea. I liked the camp revolution and am interested to see where their road trip brings them but here I was bothered by too many hints at characters and developments that were never really followed through (Xavier? Apocalypse?). Now, with the change of writers from Nick Spencer to Wood I'm wondering how all those hints can actually be picked up again.

Anyway, I liked both and feel now ready to read continuously which is always nice. I'm excited to see what the Divided We Fall event will bring and even more how Spider-Man will play into it. We'll see.

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