Ultimate X-Men #1 is an eerie and original addition to the new Ultimate Universe that will have readers new and old on the edge of their seats.

Review: ULTIMATE X-MEN #1 — A New Beginning

Ultimate X-Men #1, out today from Marvel Comics, starts small and grounded, but sets itself up to be an instant classic.

Peach Momoko is no stranger to the X-Men. She proved herself with her stunning and exceptional Demon Days Saga, and had many readers patiently awaiting the release of this new series because of it. Momoko herself takes on the roles of writer, artist, and colorist here, and does each job incredibly well. This story is also told with the help of Zack Davisson, who adapts Momoko’s original script. VC’s Travis Lanham does the lettering, and it all comes together to form this deeply personal and intriguing comic.

The art and coloring creates an inviting yet unsettling aesthetic that’s very visually pleasing. This is created through a somewhat normal initial setting, which slowly fades out as the issue goes on. The colors get darker as our hero spirals, and Momoko puts emotion to the page in an impressive way. She captures a sense of urgency that keeps readers drawn in. You know things are serious, not because you’re told in the dialogue, but because of how these characters look, as well as how they react to the things that happen around them.

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Hisako Ichiki bikes away in a panic
Hisako Ichiki bikes away in a panic

The character we follow throughout the comic is Hisako Ichiki. On Earth-616, Hisako is known as Armor, and she is able to form a pink psionic exoskeleton around her body. It gave her an impressive strength as well as protection from enemy blows, or contact in general. That’s generally kept in this new universe, Earth-6160.

Ultimate X-Men #1 starts with Hisako attending her middle school graduation, despite having missed a decent chunk of her time there. She’s bullied by the other girls, and just generally feels out of place. She receives a note telling her to meet someone in the mountain behind the school, and she feels compelled to go. Momoko displays this well. Hisako mostly keeps unmoved expressions until this point, but then seems confused and worried as time goes on. She’s seen scared, worried, and horrified throughout the issue, and Momoko tells so much story through this. She draws every expression perfectly, and we gain so much context through them. She does a great job of giving these inner emotions physical forms, but not just through facial expression. A terrifying force throughout the issue is the physical embodiment of Hisako’s depression. It’s more than that though, as this force seems to have an effect on the world outside of Hisako as well. This character experiences these new abilities for the first time, and she’s naturally scared. It’s incredibly unsettling, and Momoko really goes all in on that. Things feel creepy, and figures meant to represent opposing forces are abstract and exist past their seemingly physical forms.

Hisako, distracted by a mysterious voice
Hisako, distracted by a mysterious voice

Davisson does a fantastic job adapting Momoko’s words. They add to this feeling and general tone of feeling scared and guilty, and wanting to run away from what you’ve done while also being curious and wanting to do more. Lanham does a stunning job on the letters as well. With the physical form of that depression and guilt referenced earlier, Lanham adds to the eerie aesthetic of it. The words are small and uneven. They look as though they’ve been scratched onto the page, and it makes the being all the creepier. It’s like the being was pulled straight out of a horror story.

Ultimate X-Men #1 is a masterclass work that provides a fresh start for Marvel’s mutants, and I’m very curious in seeing how a team of more than just Hisako is formed. This is the boldest reinvention yet from this new Ultimate Universe, and the next issue can’t come soon enough.

Mohamed Malla
Mohamed Malla
I have a strong passion for comics, and I have since I was a kid. I read absolutely anything I can possibly get my hands on, and I love that I can. I'm currently studying screenwriting, as I adore film and television as well.
Ultimate X-Men #1 is an eerie and original addition to the new Ultimate Universe that will have readers new and old on the edge of their seats. Review: ULTIMATE X-MEN #1 — A New Beginning