hahamanhv's Ultimate X-Men #2 - The Enemy Within review

Ultimate X-Men Issue 2- My 100th Review

Alright, before I say anything else about this comic let me say this. This is my favorite single issue of any comic of all time. This is the comic that got me into comics. When I was in 5th grade, on the heels of X-2: X-Men United coming out in theatre's, the New York Post ran a free reprint of this comic book. For whatever reason, my mom bought this newspaper, gave me the comic, and thus began my journey into comics. That was over seven years ago, and to this day I have still never read as good a single issue as this. Something in this tale by Mark Millar and Adam Kubert hooked me in like nothing else and brought comics to the forefront of my attention. I love you guys, you've completely changed my life.   

 So awesome
       Our issue opens with Wolverine arriving at JFK international Airport where he meets with a representative of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. However, as the two walk over to a car, discussing Wolverine's mission to kill Professor X, an unmarked military group guns them down. We then cut to the debut of the Blackbird, zipping by the Statue of Liberty as Beast work on the ships cloaking device from outside. Jean Grey is in the cockpit and as the two discuss toys and love, they arrive at the school. Almost immediately they are summoned to the school viewing room by Professor X, who tells the X-Men that Wolverine has been captured by the authorities and it's the X-Mens job to save him. Upon hearing this, Cyclops and Marvel Girl freak out and tell the new recruits that Wolverine has been experimented on and is extremely dangerous. Cutting to Wolverine, we see John Wraith as he tells Wolverine he's back in Weapon X. It seems he won't be for long though, as the X-Men arrive to stop the party, freeing Wolverine and stopping him from killing Wraith. As the issue closes out though, we see Magneto has planned this from the beginning and that he has a much bigger endgame... 
I love this issue for Mark Millar. In fact, I love Mark Millar. My reasons for why this is my favorite single issue of all time are simple. Millar establishes so much so quick in such a natural way. This was the first issue I read of any comic ever, only knowing of the X-Men at that time from the cartoons and movies. This being said, I easily understood the concept of re-doing the X-Men and seeing all the classic characters at the beginning of their careers again never felt off or anything. Wolverine was a prick. Cyclops was a great leader but a bit of a weenie when it came to Jean. Beast was smart as all else and despite his brawn was there for his brains. These were simple things that the Ultimate line kept before taking characters in new direction. In addition, Millar successfully told a singular tale that tied into the larger narrative very easily. I've read this issue a million times by now and reading it in trade, it flows just as well within the arc Millar crafts and it really is all around top-notch. Plus, the action bits in this issue are balls to the wall awesome. This is the Millar everybody knows and loves, the man who can do no wrong, even when he's not delivering quite what you expect.  
    I love this issue for Adam Kubert. The man who started Ultimate X-Men never misses a beat, showing incredible ability from page 1 onward. I could literally post up every panel from this comic in this review and not feel like I'm exaggerating, because this man truly deserves it. As an artist who originally drew the regular X-Men, Kubert already had a strong handling of these characters, all he did was make them younger and tweak their designs. The designs here are great, matching costumes that don't match, realistic looks that are still not something you'd casually see. The holograms of the viewing room are probably the most outstanding though, as Kubert uses a style consisting of more line work which results in a layered image that works perfectly as a hologram.  And the double page splashes. Nobody in comics does a double page image like Adam Kubert and to be honest, some of the best pages don't even have dialogue, they work solely on Kuberts ability to depict what is happening and it comes out beautifully. Kubert is a master. 
Overall, this is a stand out second issue in a series that was fantastic longer than any other I've seen. Ultimate X-Men is one of my favorite titles of all time and really would have been my favorite if not for than unfortunate Ultimatume stuff (But it pains me to talk about that). This is a good issue, a great series, and I can't recommend it enough. 5 out of 5 for the issue, 5 out of 5 for the majority of this series, go out and find the trades (Or like me, Hardcovers) of this series, it'll be more than worth it. 

 Bad@$$ Beast? I'll take it!

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