Only a very few comics have an ending to a major story arc as satisfying as this one. Sure, this story will continue into the next arc, but this issue has an ending which is extremely fulfilling for the reader. We get closure to this overall arc, and it pushes these characters and this world into a bit of a new predicament. The future of this book is very exciting.
If you love Sentinels getting blown up, you will love this book. ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN 18 is filled with fantastic fight scenes as the mutants, led by Kitty Pryde, take their final stand for mutant liberation. These scenes are amazing as mutants like Armor and Storm use their powers to take down some Sentinels in an epic way.
By far, the best part of this book is the conversation between Kitty and Captain America about the future of America and the mutant race as a whole. Without giving anything away, the reader is treated to a couple amazing moments that cap (no pun intended) off this issue.
Writer Brian Wood has done a fantastic job with this story line. He's really captured these characters and turned the Ultimate X-Men book into one of the better books at Marvel. In fact, it's one of my overall favorites. I especially liked the scenes featuring Rogue and Quentin Quire here, which may, in the future, tie in heavily to what happens at the end of the issue. You feel for Rogue, and you start to understand all the pain she's gone through just because of her powers. I'm very interested in these two character's relationships and how it will continue through the rest of the arc. It's a nice little break from the craziness happening in the rest of the book.
The art, once again, is top notch. The creative team of Carlo Barberi & Agustin Padilla (pencils), Jaun Vlasco (inks) and Marte Gracia (colors) is one of the best working at Marvel. This book has an amazing sense of smile and even better attention to detail. While the splash pages are amazing, I found myself loving some of these smaller panels where this team would put just as much detail into a foreground character as they would into a background character. It's stunning.
My biggest, and only, complaint is that I don't like how this reads digitally. This book is meant to be seen as a whole page, not panel to panel. Yes, you can turn that off easily, but in order to truly appreciate this issue, you need to see each page as a whole.
The Verdict - My Pick of the Week!
I've been praising Marvel's Ultimate line all throughout Divided We Stand/United We Fall because it's not only fantastic storytelling, but it's revived my faith in cross-over events and what they should be. The creative team for this book is phenomenal and some of the best at Marvel.
While United We Stand wraps up, it only opens up more doors for possibilities for the X-Men and all mutants. As much as I loved this storyline, I feel it's only going to get better, which I didn't think was possible. The ending to this issue is fantastic, and I can not wait for issue 19.
Overall, I loved this issue, and I highly recommend it. It's my pick of the week!