There are two serious upsides to the new Ultimate X book that came out last week. (And man, do I ever hope it’s a series rather than a one-shot.) The first is pretty obvious, really: the whole “all mutants are terrorists and must turn themselves in to the government or be shot on sight” decree that followed Magneto’s destruction of Manhattan means that lots of characters I am invested in have been flying way under the radar for months, and it’s nice to start getting an inkling of how they are doing. The second has more to do with timing.
Put simply, Origins with its implied (and fulfilled) focus on new growth in the Ultimate Universe was a really nice (and needed!) palate cleanser after recent painful events. Truth be told, I think this book really happened before the latest Spider-Man storyline, but I could not be more relieved to read a small, personal story now. That story, I suppose I should mention, revolves around the last few free mutants on both sides of the fence built by Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr starting to band together and figure out what their role in the new, infinitely more dangerous-to-them world will be. Lots of new characters, sure, but lots of familiar faces too, and nearly every one of them was a surprise. (It didn’t help, of course, that I remembered only a fraction of the Ultimatum’s massive death toll. Yay, Wikipedia!)