In the fourth completion of Ultimate X-Men, Marvel collects issues 21-25. This book can stand alone, but it is much easier to understand if you've already read Ultimate X-Men v.3, World Tour. In that, Charles's son, Proteus rips into his father and the X-Men, leaving Iceman in very bad shape. As this story begins, the team is still picking up the pieces of their lives and team after that battle. Relationships are in doubt, the team is healing mentally and physically, and in the midst of all this comes Kitty Pryde. Jean begins getting visions/hallucinations of an ancient deity named the Phoenix, the Professor's benefactors are revealed, and one of the X-Men's most deadly villains makes a surprising come-back.
I have read previous reviews and I wanted to give my opinion on a few things others have brought up. #1: This is NOT regular X-Men. Mark Millar, the author, is known for his edgy work, and there are many elements found in these versions of the characters that are non-conforming to regular marvel continuity. If this is surprising, upsetting, or alarming to you, than just pick up any one of the MANY regular X-Men collections. I especially recommend the Essential X-Men series if you like the regular versions better. #2: The art in this graphic is a little uneven. The graphic begins and ends with the art of Adam Kubert- but it's a little rough and not his best work. It's still gorgeous, just a little more stylized than normal. About 1/3 of the art is provided by Kaare Andrews and Digitally Painted by Dave McCaig. This art is reminiscent of Paul Dini and looks like panels from Ultimate X-Men the Cartoon. I can see how this style may not appeal to everyone, and it does not really fit in with the normally dark tone of the story but it is NOT terrible as others have called it.
I recommend this book to comic book fans as long as they get it with an open mind. Is this volume going to be an exact retelling of the Phoenix saga? No. For that buy the Dark Phoenix Saga by Claremont and Bryne ISBN 0785122133. This is a different imagining, a different take. Take it for what it is, and enoy the very different read Hellfire and Brimstone provides.
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About the reviewer
Madelyn Pryor (madelyngoblynqueen)
I am a professional chef and former crazy graduate student. I have a wonderful husband who indulges my insane book habit. I loveto read, playWarhammer,quilt, and cook.I have diverse and ever changing … more
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