Jean Grey has sent in drones to finish off the X-Men, after poisoning Utopia's forest, in the last issue. Kitty Pryde and the X-Men say enough is enough and decide to fight back. James, who is on Tian with Jean, struggles to understand why Jean is waging war.
Since writer Brian Wood has taken over this series, it has been phenomenal. The story has been quite the roller coaster with Kitty Pryde and her X-Men trying to lead a normal life. Once they've defended themselves against the United States government, they have to take on Jean Grey, who demands the two work together. In a sense, we're seeing the Professor X vs Magneto story many X-fans grew up with but on a much larger scale.
What's extremely appealing about this issue is that the reader gets a bit more in depth with Jean Grey's thought process, which is a bit nutty. She thinks by going to war and gaining obedience of the Utopian mutants, there will never be a mutant war again. She's starting a war to end all war. She's ranking up there with Reed Richards as the most unbalanced villain in the Ultimate Universe. It makes for a very compelling read because so many comic book fans are used to a much friendlier Jean, not a one who wants to essentially rule over all mutants.
There's a scene towards the end of the issue where the reader truly grasps how powerful Magma is as she completely reshapes parts of Utopia with minimal effort. It's very brief, but it puts her in another class. As she puts it, she is "the sort of weapon... [that] can sink continents and divert oceans." There's a good chance we could see her play a bigger role in future issues. However, watching her use her powers in this issue is pretty jaw-dropping.
There's a few times the art felt a bit weak, and one time, in particular, where the coloring and shading seemed a bit off. In one scene, Colossus is beating down some Tian drones, and the coloring looks a bit off. There's one light source on the right side of his face, coming from an exploding drone, and another coming from the sun, in front of him. However, the shading and coloring on his body don't match the light sources. Throughout the issue, the coloring and design of Colossus just looks a bit off.
ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN delivers another great read. It's fantastic to watch these stories build on top of each other and play off each other, rather than one story just ending and another starting. Writer Brian Wood does a great job with this series and this issue, and he delivers an engrossing read which is hard to put down. While we've seen Jean Grey be a bit villainous in previous issues, the reader is treated to the lengths she's willing to go to get her way. All of this, plus a big reveal at the end, which may change this book completely, make this one great read.