Shiny Shelf

Ultimate X-Men #35

By Jim Smith on 21 July 2003

WARNING! Contains spoilers!

In what sense this Bendis scripted Spidey centric treat is ‘Ultimate X-Men’ rather than, as it seems, ‘Ultimate Marvel Team-Up Volume 2′, is so unclear as to be opaque. A far cry tonally from the shapeless, faux cynical nonsense that comprised Millar’s last arc on this book, ‘Blockbuster’ is also pleasingly self-referential (the characters it features all have $100 million movies under their belt) and features a tortured and brooding Wolverine who is recognisably the Hugh Jackman/Brian Singer/Grant Morrison style more complex characterisation, rather than the thoughtless adolescent thug who has featured in this book in recent months.

Wolverine isn’t, at the moment anyway, the main character of this arc (and he’s the only X-man, or ex-X-Man, to turn up as of yet). Peter Parker is. And it’s that, combined with the fact that he’s written by Bendis, that makes it so difficult to remember what book this is actually meant to be. Throw in the fact that three X-Men (or X-Girls) are currently co-starring over in ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ and suddenly the clash becomes really very obvious. There are more X-Men in Spidey’s book than in their own, and Spidey’s starring in theirs. Not that I’m complaining you understand. Bendis seems to be the one writer in comics who can single handed write an entire universe (in fact, two) without any of the work suffering the slightest slip in quality. The more Ultimate Bendis we get, the better, let’s face it

Logan’s on the run (geddit?) hiding from group of diaper deliverers (no, straight up) and having been wounded to a terrifying degree while hanging in Queens, he naturally looks up Peter Parker, with whom he had a bijou tete a tete in #1 of the late, lamented ‘Ultimate Marvel Team Up’ . The two characters form an unlikely, but effective, partnership, much big with the funny, which has continued across two issues now, with Peter refusing to leave Logan be, and Logan grumbling constantly about being shackled with this wise-cracking kid. In the second part (the current issue, #35) Spidey and Wolvie’s tour of NYC takes in a visit to Black Widow, whom it turns up Logan has some history with in this universe. ‘She is about the hottest woman I have ever seen in my life’, comments Peter, ‘And I have cable’. He he he.

Little has happened thus far, but it has happened with great style and wit and been thoroughly engaging. With appearances by the Hulk and ol Hornhead to come, this is shaping up to a real event comic book, one that can reach out of our comics ghetto to the multiplex mainstream. Which is A Good Thing, right? Don’t let anyone tell you any different.

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