Tian has fallen and the X-Men are doing their best to pull themselves back together after one heck of a fight. During this time, Galactus makes his way to Earth and the X-Men now have to deal with him as well as the Gah Lak Tus swarm. This may be a challenge even to big for them.
With this issue, it's re-established that the heroes of the Ultimate universe may be over their heads here. The X-Men may not be taking on Galactus himself, but they are facing the Gah Lak Tus swarm, which has the capability to infect people. We get to see a great scene with Jimmy struggling with his healing factor as one of the swarm takes him over.
What's really interesting about the overall issue is the feeling of complete hopelessness. The X-Men are a very powerful team and the idea of them standing up and winning a battle against Galactus is not one readers want to think about because Galactus is so powerful. What writer Josh Fialkov does really well here is increases that feeling by having them take on the Swarm, which seems a lot tougher than they were in the Ultimate Galactus Trilogy. It seems unwinnable, and with months of hype and rumors that this will end the Ultimate Universe, I love the fact the outlook is grim.
On the art side of things, I loved what Jordie Bellaire does with color on this book. It's simple and relatively flat. However, it really makes this book stand out. She has a color style a bit like Laura Allred, but not as vibrant, which really fits the tone of the book and Alvaro Martinez's pencils.
If you've been wondering what happened to Rick Jones, now known as Captain Marvel, you get your answer here. You also find out that Iceman thinks he's a total spaz, which is by far my favorite line of dialogue this week. The price of the book is worth it just for this page. In addition, you get a really enjoyable issue as well.
I really loved the cover here by Mariusz Siergiejew. The color work is beautiful, and the overall design is very eye catching. This is a cover you'll see on our best covers list this Friday, for sure.
My main problems with this book are because the last issue of the last series ended poorly. I've lost a bit of interest with these characters, and it's hard to get as excited about them as I was a year ago. While this issue rejuvenated my love for a team a little, there's still a bad taste in my mouth.
Some minor problems with the art work in the issue. Alvaro Martinez does a good job with the pencils, for the most part, and a phenomenal job with page layouts and setups, but there were a few instances of awkward looking faces which really took me out of the scene. Whether these particular scenes were done by him or John Lucas, I don't know.
Enough of the rambling! Onto the verdict! Cataclysm is firing on all cylinders. It's an event of epic proportions where the tie ins are just as good as the main story, which is normally completely unheard of in comic books. There's a lot to love in this X-Men tie-in. What it does really well is shows the reader what's happening to the team on their terms. They're not being forced into where all the action is happening in the main story. They have their own problems to deal with, and here, it's the Gah Lak Tus swarm. Ultimate fans should really be reading this. Marvel fans, in general, should be reading this. Overall, I highly recommend this issue.