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Ultimate X-Men Collection, Book 9

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The sinister Shadow King is desperate to escape from the mental prison he was placed in centuries ago - and he'll destroy Storm to do it! But will his freedom also unleash the horrifying swarm of the alien Brood? And, will even the X-Men be enough to battle a being who has plotted our death and destruction for ages? Collecting Ultimate X-Men #89-97. The sinister Shadow King is desperate to escape from the mental prison he was placed in centuries ago - and he'll destroy Storm to do it! But will his freedom also unleash the horrifying swarm of the alien Brood? And, will even the X-Men be enough to battle a being who has plotted our death and destruction for ages? Collecting Ultimate X-Men #89-97.


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The sinister Shadow King is desperate to escape from the mental prison he was placed in centuries ago - and he'll destroy Storm to do it! But will his freedom also unleash the horrifying swarm of the alien Brood? And, will even the X-Men be enough to battle a being who has plotted our death and destruction for ages? Collecting Ultimate X-Men #89-97. The sinister Shadow King is desperate to escape from the mental prison he was placed in centuries ago - and he'll destroy Storm to do it! But will his freedom also unleash the horrifying swarm of the alien Brood? And, will even the X-Men be enough to battle a being who has plotted our death and destruction for ages? Collecting Ultimate X-Men #89-97.

30 review for Ultimate X-Men Collection, Book 9

  1. 5 out of 5

    Evan Dossey

    Strangely enough, I remember everyone hating on Kirkman's UXM back in the day. I actually think this time around that it is the first time after Mark Millar where a writer really understood what UXM is supposed to be: big, bombastic reimaginings of classic X-men stories. Kirkman takes the famous iconography of the 90's in full swing here, telling a tale with Cable, Bishop, Sinister, Apocalypse, etc.etc.etc. It's a relatively short run with two major arcs: his 9-issue Fill-In stuff with The Magic Strangely enough, I remember everyone hating on Kirkman's UXM back in the day. I actually think this time around that it is the first time after Mark Millar where a writer really understood what UXM is supposed to be: big, bombastic reimaginings of classic X-men stories. Kirkman takes the famous iconography of the 90's in full swing here, telling a tale with Cable, Bishop, Sinister, Apocalypse, etc.etc.etc. It's a relatively short run with two major arcs: his 9-issue Fill-In stuff with The Magician (meh) and his longer but still truncated Cable / Apocalypse story. I really like the latter stuff. Reminds me of how damn good Kirkman's "Invincible" is. He knows how to tell a long-running Superhero story with multiple subplots that gradually pay-off better than most writers. The final arc by Coilete is fucking terrible though.

  2. 5 out of 5

    J.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. After a single issue about the Shadow King which is totally average, this book starts out strong--we finally get Ultimate Apocalypse, and he is sinister. (Pun intended.) He's physically threatening, very cool-looking, and the reader's hopes are solidly built up, thanks to the preceding 15-20 (I forget) issues by Kirkman. It's all looking really epic. But then, the ending: terrible. In a nutshell, Phoenix shows up and just saves the day AND immediately fixes all the horrible things that happened p After a single issue about the Shadow King which is totally average, this book starts out strong--we finally get Ultimate Apocalypse, and he is sinister. (Pun intended.) He's physically threatening, very cool-looking, and the reader's hopes are solidly built up, thanks to the preceding 15-20 (I forget) issues by Kirkman. It's all looking really epic. But then, the ending: terrible. In a nutshell, Phoenix shows up and just saves the day AND immediately fixes all the horrible things that happened previously. All the cool characters are resurrected, et cetera. I really want to think that Kirkman had some bigger, better plans for this finale, but the upcoming Ultimatum forced him to wrap things up in a very haphazard way. But, unfortunately, it's not all that uncommon for Kirkman to totally phone things in occasionally, so maybe I'm being too nice. Anyway, that half of the book would be solid if the ending were better. 3/5. The second half, though, is where things really get weird. Alright, at it's heart, this storyline certainly has promise--it's the introduction of MGH into the Ultimate Universe, and the introduction of Alpha Flight, so there's definitely something to work with. But it just reads like a particularly bad after-school special. I think I'll have to go through my reactions step-by-step: 1. Alpha Flight shows up to abduct Northstar from the X-Men. Alpha Flight attacking the X-mansion over some perceived problem is pretty standard X-fare, so this is fair enough. The characters look cool enough, and I have no particular complaints about the fight. For some reason, Jubilee and Sunfire are members of AF, but alright: it's the ultimate version, so OK. Things are looking solid. 2. After AF flees, the X-Men discover that AF is using the power-enhancing drug "Banshee," which is a really annoying name for MGH, but OK, whatever. And here's where things get really interesting: apparently Colossus is, and always has been, using this stuff. This is intriguing. Our culture is so obsessed with excellence that many of our most famous athletes are using all kinds of natural and unnatural chemicals to give themselves an edge, so maybe this comic will explore the complicated morality of this issue. 3. Any hope of subtlety is immediately shattered when Jean and Scott take an immediate, knee-jerk, no-drugs policy. Despite the fact that Colossus has been on this stuff for years with no ill side-effects. They keep insisting he's "killing himself," although there seems to be no evidence that this is the case--every person we've seen on this drug appears to be in perfect health. But drugs are bad, right? (See the after-school-special part?) 4. Colossus decides he'd rather leave the X-Men and go save Northstar than have to live by their totally arbitrary rules. (This makes sense.) A few other X-Men immediately jump on the drug bandwagon and get all extra-super-fied. Now I'm really confused--is this stuff dangerous or not? Why did these other characters all go for this? Why doesn't Jean just use her totally-omnipotent Phoenix powers to save Northstar, instead of letting all her friends get hooked on this drug? Why does Angel have a bird head? I'm so confused! 5. The team of newly-drugged-up X-Men manage to attack and defeat the state-sponsored, well-established Alpha Flight (OK.) During this, it is revealed that Vindicator is....somebody. Somebody significant? A big reveal? I'm anxiously anticipating...but that plotline is dropped, so I guess we'll never know. (Maybe it will be revealed later? I doubt it.) Unfortunately, Northstar has apparently overdosed on Banshee, despite the fact that he's only been with AF for a few days or so. But at least we finally have some proof that this stuff is dangerous. Or, it's dangerous if you're kidnapped and injected with too much of it against your will. Unfortunately, this is true of both Meth and Cough Syrup, so I'm no closer to making any sense of Jean's position. 5. At this point--three issues into the new plotline--the writer apparently realizes that he's been using Jean even though she clearly left at the end of the previous writer's arc. This was the ONLY change of the status quo at the end of Kirkman's run (because, remember, Jean fixed everything else.) Oops. A quick three-page summary should clear that up. Later, Jean's dad makes a guest appearance Live! From the afterlife! I think some important character development should be going on, instead of... 6. Most of this issue is spent with the Pro-Drug X-men fighting the Anti-Drug X-Men. I'm not super sure what's going on at this point, and I don't really care who wins. It's abundantly clear that, at the end of the day, lessons will be learned. I'm turning off. 7. Meanwhile, it's revealed that Wolverine is the original source of the drug. Alright--this could be compelling. He's angry--he feels used. He's particularly mad at Colossus for some reason (?) I guess Colossus did get everyone else hooked, but it really seems like Wolverine is taking his anger out on the wrong person. Then, Wolverine CUTS OUT COLOSSUS'S HEART! Boom! Then Colossus RIPS OFF WOLVERINE'S LEG! At this point, even the least-attentive of readers will remember that Wolverine got his arm ripped off in the previous arc, but that Jean fixed it, and will get a sinking feeling. Sure enough, Jean fixes everyone. Hurray! No consequences! Of course, this only exacerbates the confusion over Jean's position--she can fix everyone, right? Why does it matter if they use these drugs or not? On the upside, after Jean fixes them, we do get some funny dialog between these two about the fight. 8. Northstar, having survived his ordeal, shows up in the middle of the big Boss Fight. He gives a speech that I'm pretty sure was *literally* stolen from an anti-drug commercial ("It was the drug...don't let it ruin you. Your friends are trying to help you...") and the Pro-Drug X-men immediately give up. Because nothing will make Pro-Drug advocates give up their position like a loved one NOT dying from using the drug. Of course. 9. Finally, who made the drug? Well, in a set of reveals that's WAY too big for the last six pages of the last issue, it's revealed that Xavier and Magneto made it years before, and Moira Mactaggart has been making it and selling it to fund her research. This is like some intentional nod to Breaking Bad, but without any of the moral subtlety or character development. Also: Moira has screaming powers, so maybe that's why it's called Banshee. Oh, and the drug is extremely explosive, for some reason. (I mean, I know the reason: it's because Wolverine has to end this and there's only two pages left, so, yeah.) Well, there you go. Somebody had some great ideas that could have been handled very subtly, and we could have addressed the obsession our culture has with excellence and the complicated drug issues that go with it. But instead, we get a simple message, a lot of action, and no repercussions. Aaaaah...comic books.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    The ninth Ultimate X-Men hardcover collection, the shortest in the series, contains issues #89-97, the complete Apocalypse and Absolute Power story arcs. After such a memorable story by Robert Kirkman in Ultimate X-Men, Vol. 8 (v. 8), I had high hopes for this volume. Unfortunately, those hopes were not realized. The writing in this collection is a bit too uneven. Kirkman's final Ultimate X-Men story definitely goes out with a bang, bringing Apocalypse, Sinister, Cable, Bishop and Phoenix togethe The ninth Ultimate X-Men hardcover collection, the shortest in the series, contains issues #89-97, the complete Apocalypse and Absolute Power story arcs. After such a memorable story by Robert Kirkman in Ultimate X-Men, Vol. 8 (v. 8), I had high hopes for this volume. Unfortunately, those hopes were not realized. The writing in this collection is a bit too uneven. Kirkman's final Ultimate X-Men story definitely goes out with a bang, bringing Apocalypse, Sinister, Cable, Bishop and Phoenix together for a cataclysmic finale in which the X-Men, Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four seem like bit players. I think I have Phoenix fatigue, so I'm not thrilled with the amount of attention paid to that character. Still, Kirkman definitely pulled out all the stops with his Apocalypse arc. Unfortunately, Aron Coleite's (Heroes) Absolute Power arc was markedly less enjoyable. He throws out a meaningless retread of Grant Morrison's "Kick" story, and displays approximately zero understanding of what makes these characters tick. They all looked like the X-Men I've been following for the past decade, but they didn't feel like them at all. The artwork in this collection is sub-par as well. Actually, I have a hard time believing that the same Salvador Larroca who gave us Iron Man: The Five Nightmares is responsible for the Apocalypse story arc. Maybe it's the inking or coloring. Mark Brooks' Absolute Power artwork isn't much better, and reminds me of some of the old Image comics that are better off forgotten. I hate to be a pessimist, but this feels like the death of a once-vital franchise. Ultimate X-Men used to be consistently high quality, but the last few hardcover collections have been hit and miss. Perhaps the upcoming Ultimatum crossover event will breathe new life into the series, but with Jeph Loeb (of Ultimates 3 infamy) behind it, I'm not getting my hopes up.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Holden Attradies

    I felt the Ultimate X-men line had been getting better and better as it went by. I knew Ultimatum was utter crap already, but I guess I was hoping this last volume would be better than it was. It didn't find it as disappointed as some people did, but it was disappointing none the less. I think the BIGGEST disappointment was Apocalypse. There was an amazing amount of build up and foreshadowing to him and he lasted like two issues on page, was so one dimensional and was dispatched very easily. And I felt the Ultimate X-men line had been getting better and better as it went by. I knew Ultimatum was utter crap already, but I guess I was hoping this last volume would be better than it was. It didn't find it as disappointed as some people did, but it was disappointing none the less. I think the BIGGEST disappointment was Apocalypse. There was an amazing amount of build up and foreshadowing to him and he lasted like two issues on page, was so one dimensional and was dispatched very easily. And it was all resolved with a HUGE plot device that left a plot hole so big you could drive a semi through it: why did Professor X need to go to the future and cable/bishop need to come back if it was jean grey that killed him any way? Why wasn't she the one that did it in their time line? I enjoyed the second story arc though. I know some people thought it was a pretty transparent anti-drug story but I quite enjoyed it. It was a really good twist/addition to coleuses character, a good use of Muir Island, and a good attempt at trying to get Cyclops to deal with Jean Grey being, well, a God. That was all a little bit of a let down to, the whole Phoenix thing. They could have done so much more with it... and it also seemed like Jean Grey just kind of appeared back without any explanation.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shamus

    This was a confused mess! The X-Men finally face Apocalypse and find out what is really going on with Cable and Bishop's mission from the future. Then things fall into a mess. Was the follow-up story about the super-mutant drug 'Banshee' rushed with the onset of the Ultimate Universe storyline "Ultimatum'? I don't know, but each issue seems to end with a cliffhanger that is completely ignored at the start of the next. What exactly happened to make Phoenix come back to the X-Mansion? What is Vind This was a confused mess! The X-Men finally face Apocalypse and find out what is really going on with Cable and Bishop's mission from the future. Then things fall into a mess. Was the follow-up story about the super-mutant drug 'Banshee' rushed with the onset of the Ultimate Universe storyline "Ultimatum'? I don't know, but each issue seems to end with a cliffhanger that is completely ignored at the start of the next. What exactly happened to make Phoenix come back to the X-Mansion? What is Vindicator's identity that was made as such a huge deal before being ignored completely? WTF happens to Colossus without the drug now that it's been revealed that he can't move his metal body without it? I could deal with this being a lead-in to the "Ultimatum" issues, but they ended up making it a muddled and jumpy storyline. Very disappointing.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nicolas

    Je n'ai pas vraiment été impressioné par ce tome. Sans doute parce que le retour de Xavier pour affronter Apocalypse est arrivé trop vite pour que je comprenne réellement l'étendue des pouvoirs de ce mutant. Sans doute aussi parce que les comics ne savent jamais utiliser le voyage dans le temps. Sans doute enfin parce que Wolverine tue un mec juste avant, mais que tout le monde s'en fout. Et puis l'histoire suivante est assez peu intéressante (mis à part l'idée d'extraire une drogue mutagène de W). Je n'ai pas vraiment été impressioné par ce tome. Sans doute parce que le retour de Xavier pour affronter Apocalypse est arrivé trop vite pour que je comprenne réellement l'étendue des pouvoirs de ce mutant. Sans doute aussi parce que les comics ne savent jamais utiliser le voyage dans le temps. Sans doute enfin parce que Wolverine tue un mec juste avant, mais que tout le monde s'en fout. Et puis l'histoire suivante est assez peu intéressante (mis à part l'idée d'extraire une drogue mutagène de W).

  7. 5 out of 5

    TJ Shelby

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Mr Sinister becomes Apocalypse. Some people die, most of them come back to life, some who were previously thought dead come back from the future to help save the day. Another Phoenix appearance. Then some wacky lame story about mutant steroids (Banshee). Slightly disappointed.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Leighton Koenig

  9. 4 out of 5

    La Jean

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lily

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bubbles Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jeff S.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Verityn

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alex Cross

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ash Q

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ross Alon

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kerstin

  19. 5 out of 5

    Travis

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tim Baldwin

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ashleigh Vandervoort-guy

  22. 5 out of 5

    Msbookworm

  23. 4 out of 5

    Matt Guthrie

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brad Thompson

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michael DeLong

  26. 4 out of 5

    Casey

  27. 4 out of 5

    P Fosten

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brett

  29. 5 out of 5

    Clara Oswald

  30. 4 out of 5

    John Schneider

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