What a way to end a story! Sure, issue #27 is labeled as being the conclusion to Natural Resources, but this is where it really wraps up. The battle against the military ends quickly, but that doesn't mean there aren't other conflicts that need resolution. While the battle against Utopia and America has come to an end, relations don't look too good between Utopia and Tian, but moreso between Kitty Pryde and Jean Grey.
The opening battle between members of the military and Utopia is fantastic. We learn that it isn't just the mutants you don't want to mess with. The jungles of Utopia are just as dangerous. Pages two and three are beautifully set up. The art team of Mahmud Asrar (pencils), Juan Vlasco (inks), and Jordie Bellaire (colors) create a pretty freaky scene as we see members of the military taken down by the vines and trees within the jungle.
Later on, we get a phenomenal two page spread of Jean Grey showing her true power. The set-up of the page is fantastic, and I loved the color scheme. What's great about this page is Kitty Pryde's reaction, which is literally nothing. She won't back down. She really shows us what kind of leader she is and what kind of leader she can be.
We catch quick glimpses of rebuilding and while it may seem like the on-going battle between Mach Two and Kitty is swept under the rug, it makes sense. There are bigger threats, and finally, everyone is realizing they need to unite. They've come to grips with their problems, and many have realized that it wasn't their doing, since many may have been influenced by Psylocke. Brian Wood wraps up this story incredibly well. He's made this a must have book. I am so pleased with the direction of this book and the future of the series.
As soon as this story ends, another conflict arises, and normally, I hate when this happens, but mainly because it always feels forced. With the events of this issue and what happens to the members of the X-Men, this upcoming story feels like a very natural transition, not just another story shoved down the reader's throats. Yes, it's more praise for Brian Wood. Seriously, he's awesome.
It's literally the same problem I've had with the art since this art team took over. I really don't like the fact that there is no shading on Kitty's shirt. It's flat and looks awkward in a profile view. What's weirder is that her white pants have inking and shading, but not her top.
ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN is a top tier Marvel book. It's easily one of the most interesting books on the shelf, and writer Brian Wood knows what he's doing when it comes to writing team books, and more importantly, Kitty Pryde. She's really grown into this fantastic leader, and I'm very excited for the next story arc. The art here is great and dynamic. I have nothing but great things to say about this series. You really need to be reading this book.