Published on March 11th, 2024 | by Matt Fischer

Ultimate X-men # 1 (2024) Review

Ultimate X-men # 1 (2024) Review Matt Fischer

Summary: This is the prettiest and strangest non-superhero superhero book I think I’ve ever read. Hopefully we start seeing more “X” in this X-men book.


New Dawn

Background – A book about the X-men with no X-men… and possibly no mutants?

Writing – There are a few things this book gets right… and there are SO MANY questions this book raises.

Things it gets right:

  1. The story content: This is a deeply personal book. I think Peach is on record as saying this is almost like a day in her life. This is a story about a young girl who has been traumatized by the death (suicide) of her friend. It perfectly captures that junior high / high school angst.
  2. The horror elements: The book is very creepy. The fact that Tsbubasa’s “corpse” nudges her with its shoe is very effective. It really reads almost like The Grudge in some respects.

Things it gets wrong:

  1. Completely divorced from the rest of the Ultimate line: There is ZERO mention of Tony Stark, terrorism, or any hint that Hisako’s powers may come from Tony’s re-tampering of the timeline. Heck, outside of the opening page that talks about the cabal, no other powered characters are even mentioned in the book. I’m not too sure if mutants even exist in this reality (it might have been mentioned in one of the Invasion books but I honestly can’t remember). In the Demon Days: X-men book, Peach treated Psylocke’s powers as an otherworldly connection that she inherited from her mother. For all we know, Hisako’s carapace is more of the same.
  2. An unclear villain: I know it’s the first issue, but what is that thing? If this was a “normal” X-men book, I’d say it’s the Shadow King… but this isn’t a normal X-men book. If it were me I’d try to offer up a villain that was at least somewhat familiar to readers instead of something completely new, but Peach is seemingly plotting her own course with the name of X-men. Which brings us to my last point.
  3. X-men? – This has absolutely nothing to do with the X-men. Outside of Armor’s powers, this is a story of a young Japanese girl who is being haunted by an evil spirit. I understand that the Maker screwed with time, so there is no mansion, no Xavier or anything else related to the X-men in this reality, but to call a book an X-men title, it still has to remotely feel like the X-men… and this just doesn’t. I think it was the channel “ComicPop” that mentioned the theory that this was originally supposed to be it’s own thing and Marvel just stuck it into the Ultimate line. After reading this issue, that idea is given a lot more credence.

Artwork – The artwork is … stunning. When I heard Peach Momoko was making this book, I went out and tracked down a bunch of the Demon Day’s books (FYI those are very… expensive haha). The artworks a cross between full colored manga and what I can only describe as old Japanese artwork. My favorite sequence is definitely the two-page splash that show’s Hisako’s powers manifesting for the first time. The powers bring instant color to a dull and grey and horrifying moment. It shows that her powers truly are a gift (even if she doesn’t realize it yet). The shots of whatever that evil spirit is are also quite effective.

Final Thoughts – This is the prettiest and strangest non-superhero superhero book I think I’ve ever read… and I’ve been reading comics for 30 years.  Outside of having Hisako and her carapace… there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the X-men in this book. No mention of mutants (which as I stated earlier, may not even exist in this reality), no bald guys in wheelchairs, and outside of our unnamed evil spirit, no other people with powers. How this book will tie into the bigger world at large remains a huge question, but hopefully we start seeing more “X” in this X-men book.

Final score: 3 out of 5

Comic Details

Publisher:  Marvel
Writer:  Peach Momoko
Penciler: Peach Momoko
Inker: Peach Momoko:
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Peach Momoko
Genre:  Superhero
Format: Monthly
Release Date: 03/06/2024

About the Author'

Lover of all things nerdy. Reader of Comics for over 25 years. DC encyclopedia. Marvel lover. Indie side guy.

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