Yet more graphic novels! I’ve been going kind of crazy with them lately, I guess? On the bright side, they are filled with an excessively high fun quotient, and when compared to the next book I’ll be reading… well, you’ll see what I mean, I’m sure. In the meantime, the first volume of Ultimate X-Men marks the last new series I plan to pick up from Marvel for a while, probably, so there’s that, anyway.
The Tomorrow People is the least successful as an origin story of the four I’ve read lately. I mean, sure, it introduces a lot of people and concepts, but it does it in media res; which is not a bad thing, except that I felt like if I weren’t already familiar with most of the media, I’d have been immediately lost. We’re supposed to already know about the Mutants and their war against humanity, and we’re supposed to accept that these characters have both person names and superhero names without ever really being introduced to them. It’s not that it affected my enjoyment of the book, but I really think the new people they were trying to draw in would have some early struggles that none of the other series presented.
The good news is, the actual storyline following the origin was pretty darn excellent, if perhaps rushed. Pre-9/11 America is nevertheless obsessed with terrorism, in the form of mutants who have been beaten down too long and now wish to use their powers for dominance over humanity. Before you’ve had barely time to take a blink, three forces are on a collision course: the Brotherhood of Mutants, led by the evil Magneto, seeks to place homo superior at the top of Earth’s food chain, Professor Charles Xavier’s X-Men wish to prevent Magneto’s plans and make peace with their human brethren, and the robotic Sentinels have been programmed to murder any person with the mutant gene. Mix all that in with assassins, unexpected betrayals, secret unrevealed pasts, familial angst and a reasonable portion of sex, and, y’know, good times. I measure this one as just below the Ultimates on the adult content scale, but at the bottom of the entertainment scale of the four series with Ultimate Fantastic Four, at least so far. (But still entertaining!)
Point of historical interest: I’ve never really read modern superhero comics, and only recently the semi-old stuff from the 60s and 70s. Ultimate X-Men marks the first comic I’ve read which contains the otherwise ubiquitous appearance of the female hero with outsized breasts and bared midriff. The only real surprise here is that it took this long, I guess, but there it is. On the bright side, none of them was placed in a refrigerator.