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Ultimate Comics X-Men #23 - Stormfront Review

4

What happened to Storm before she joined the reservation?

The Good

Where was Storm before the war? What happened to her up to that point? More importantly, what the heck happened to Colossus? Well, most of these are answered in this issue.

First thing's first, this is actually a pretty good spot for new readers to jump in on. While there might be a bit of confusion as to what is going on in the Ultimate universe, this issue of ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN catches new readers up pretty well, all while explaining "where's Storm been?"

Once again, if you want to see well-written heroes acting like actual people, dealing with real problems and life, then Brian Wood is the writer for you! He does a great job at humanizing the super-human characters, especially here. They have real struggles. His dialogue feels realistic and it flows incredibly well. Brian Wood's writing is pure magic. If you don't believe me, then you don't exist to me. You are a mere figment of my imagination.

I really liked the focus of the issue. I liked seeing the recent events of this series through someone else's eyes. It doesn't do much to move the overall current story, but it does shed a lot of light on what Storm has gone through during this crisis. It's just a very good story.

Carlo Barberi's art is great, as always. Every month, he knocks it out of the park. He puts a fantastic amount of detail into each panel, and you can spend quite a while just staring at some of his scenes. I loved the final page as well. It's emotional and beautiful.

I'm loving the cover by Greg Land & Frank Martin. It really pops. I think I might secretly be a Storm fanboy... Don't tell anyone.

The Bad

We have a change in inkers in this issue. Don Ho is the inker here, and it's a bit different from Juan Vlasco's work in previous issues. He's a bit more minimalist, which really gives the book a different feel. I'm much more used to thicker outlines to the characters. It's not really bad, but it feels so foreign to me.

If you've been reading ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN throughout the whole war, you're going to get bogged down with a bit of retelling of this story, but through Storm's eyes. It's repetitious, but on the plus side, it's a great point for new readers to jump on.

The Verdict

Even though this issue doesn't move along the overall story, it's still brilliant. I love what Brian Wood is doing with this book and these characters. This is a great jumping on point for new readers, and Storm fans will have a great time reading this, since it's all about her journey. The art is great as always, and I loved the cover of the issue. I wasn't too keen on the new inker, and fans of this book may find some of the story here repetitious.

Overall, I highly recommend this issue.

8 Comments
Posted by frochez

While it's nice to (sort of) find out what happened to Colossus (I don't think I was the only one who had begun to think he'd died in Camp Angel), I was overall quite dissapointed with this issue. On the whole, ti felt like a filler for whatever comes next. Although it was nice seeing things from Storm's point of view, and getting a bit more of a look into her character, there wasn't enough character development here to justify an entire issue.

I had hoped that the story would delve more into Storm's relationship with Blackheath. However, although she says that he has a way of 'getting under her skin', there's actually very little evidence of this in the story.

I also don't get what's up with Storm's hair. When she cut it the first time when she helped liberate Camp Angel, it was an act of defiance, self-expression, and strength of will. It was also a brilliant allusion to 'Mohawk Storm' without actually going the whole hog. Here, she cuts it again, but the scene feels more than a little forced, sandwhiched into the storyline with no real explanation. In fact, it almost makes her appear as a stereotyped female character, holding everyone else up while she gets ready to go out.

Overall, I was dissapointed with this issue, which is a real shame as Wood has been consistently brilliant so far, and this comic is always at the top of my pull list (In fact, it's the reason I got back into comics again after a five-year absence). That said, the cover for the next issue has me really excited; I love a good mysterious cover image...

Posted by AgeofHurricane

This issue was BRILLIANT. Nice to see that Wood's got the clear distinction between his 616 and Ult. Storm. Disappointed that Piotr had to go, but i guess that's for the best. After this solo issue, there needs to be another one in regards to Psylocke and her current state of mind, the obscurity she's been shrouded within since her unexplained "return" is getting quite annoying now.

Edited by Twentyfive

Cool cover. Haven't read UXM in a while. Before Wood's run. I might peep this.

He does such a good job writing Storm, I wish he would write like a Storm ongoing or mini. But whatever.

Posted by Rickbarry

Give me less Kitty and more of everyone else. I'll get every issue, Mr. Wood.

Posted by maurdakar

Lawful Good Storm deserves better than Black Panther anyways. I get the feeling Marvel just reached for the two closest at hand black characters and shipped them together.

The only person good enough for Storm is Steve Rogers. Think about it.

Posted by odysseyuwrf

@AgeofHurricane said:

This issue was BRILLIANT. Nice to see that Wood's got the clear distinction between his 616 and Ult. Storm. Disappointed that Piotr had to go, but i guess that's for the best. After this solo issue, there needs to be another one in regards to Psylocke and her current state of mind, the obscurity she's been shrouded within since her unexplained "return" is getting quite annoying now.

I agree with your sentiments on Psylocke. Not only is her return something I would like explained, but why are Kitty and Storm not all over wanting to know where she's been, and why she is nothing at all like her predecessor (previous appearances before Ultimatum).

In fact, my biggest issue with UXM has been the total lack of connectivity to that earlier time. I get that there have been big changes to their lives as characters since then, but why do they all act like they barely know each other? Why aren't they questioning where Jean and her crew are? I mean after all Jimmy was with them up to a point, so he knows they are out there.

I was super excited about where Nick Spencer was taking this series, and as good as Brian Wood is, its been *meh* at best since then. I'm hoping what he has shared about the new, big storyline, bringing together Utopia and Tian will finally get this book back on track.

Edited by save.me.now

@odysseyuwrf: Psylocke could've been using her powers to make them not ask questions. Jimmy could have easily told them about Jean & friends off-panel.

And as for the lack of closeness between the X Men, both Ultimate X Men volumes have only covered like 2 and a half years of time in total. Only about half of that time was spent together. And a lot of them spent a significant time apart before either ending up in the Morlock Tunnels or one of the "Camps".

They also had to deal with just living in the Ultimate U which is horrible already, then Ultimatum, then finding out they're the result of a lab experiment, then having to live through the beginning of Days of Future Past, while the whole country is falling apart and their species seems to be on the brink of extinction and, if possible, even more divided than before. And they're facing all of this stuff at a younger age than their 616 counterparts. So yeah things might be a little tense right now.

Or it could just be lazy writing, but I'd like to hope not.

Posted by bsmith1190

Now the character line up says X-23 is in this issue,and I did see a girl that looked like her, but I'm not 100% convinced it's X-23 because she was neither mentioned by name nor was there a label to identify her as such. However I don't believe Comicvine would make a mistake as basic as this so I'm gonna wait and see if X is really gonna be having a version in the Ultimate universe.