The original X-Men, sans Cyclops, were whisked away to Earth-1610 (the Ultimate Universe) back in All-New X-Men #31.
And they’re still there.
The individual plots progress with some developments, but the issue and story arc overall feel sparse and unexciting.
Iceman, trapped underground, taps into his potential and summons ice-hulks to escape Mole Man’s mole men. Angel finds X-23 at Weapon X, but he’s been followed by Wolverine’s son James Hudson who tells them mutants were created there. Beast wakes up just in time for dinner with a very curious Victor Van Damme (Doom), and Jean Grey and Miles Morales go on a road trip to the X-Mansion.
Besides some witty lines and a nice scene involving Miles’ friend Ganke Lee which ends with some nicely-awkward moments when Jean reads his thoughts, All-New X-Men #33 feels like its biding its time. Nothing feels particularly urgent, and the cliffhangers at the end of each issue in the story arc amount to not much in the subsequent issue.
Seeing Miles Morales was exciting enough at the end of issue #31, but we’ve yet to see any spectacular superheroics like what’s suggested by the cover to issue #33. The most compelling story so far is Beast’s and only because we know what our Doom is capable of. It’s also cool seeing Iceman reaching for Omega-level status, knowing that’s what he is in the present.
(That last sentence brought to you by the fact I have minimal experience with the Ultimate titles.)
Mahmud Asrar’s art looks like he’s settling into the role. The first set of pages look well-rendered with plenty of detail and plenty of mole men to shake an icicle at. Like the past few issues, Marte Gracia’s colors are particularly strong with dramatic lighting and detail-adding shades.
Asrar’s art in general is good, though I have issues with Jean’s upper lip being attached to her nose and some symmetry issues on a few of the other faces. I really want to see what Asrar can do with a battling Ultimate Spider-Man, and it looks like we might get that if the X-Men of the Ultimate Universe decide to deal with the intruders using force.
Seeing the classic X-Men on Earth-1610 is probably one of my least favorite things in comics right now. I’m all for Marvel keeping the universe’s separate, and I think there are too many plot points left on the table that should come back to play. A part of me thinks this story arc is necessary if the rumors are true — in whole or part — that Marvel’s working on their own version of DC’s Crisis (take your pick), but that doesn’t mean we can’t have more bang for the buck.
I just wish it was more interesting.
All-New X-Men #33 (2013)
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Words: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Mahmud Asrar
Colors: Marte Gracia
Letters: Cory Petit