Template:Copyedit Template:Supercbbox Ultimate X-Men is a superhero comic book series published by Marvel Comics since 2001. The series is a modernized re-imagining of Marvel's long-running X-Men comic book franchise as part of its Ultimate Marvel imprint. The Ultimate X-Men exist alongside other revamped Marvel characters in Ultimate Marvel titles including Ultimate Spider-Man, The Ultimate Fantastic Four, and The Ultimates.
The protagonists are the X-Men, a group of mutants whose unusual genetics grant them superpowers. This sets them apart from the rest of humanity. They are led by Professor Charles Xavier, the world's most powerful telepath. Readers familiar with the original X-Men may recognize many familiar characters and storylines. However, Ultimate X-Men almost completely ignores supernatural or mystical elements as plot devices. The X-Men have no secret identities, and mutants are mistrusted and hunted down.
- Main article: List of Ultimate X-Men story arcs
Upon its release in February 2001, Ultimate X-Men was the second comic of the Ultimate Marvel line, preceded a few months by its sister title Ultimate Spider-Man. The heads of the Ultimate Universe, Bill Jemas and Joe Quesada, originally tried to hire Brian Michael Bendis to write the title, but he declined. Marvel hired Scottish writer Mark Millar, who was best known at the time for his run on The Authority, because of his ignorance of the X-Men franchise. With the first X-Men movie as his only reference, Millar reinvented the X-Men. As a result, Millar's original X-Men consisted of telepath Professor X, Cyclops, whose eyes shoot concussive beams, telepathic/telekinetic Jean Grey, weather-manipulating Storm, simian genius Beast, metal-skinned Colossus, and cryokinetic Iceman. With the exception of Beast and Colossus, these mutants were also featured in the first X-Men movie.
Common to the Millar period was an edgy tone, featuring quick action-driven plots and less moral X-Men. For instance, Wolverine tries to kill Cyclops in "Return of the King" because he is envious of Jean's love. In an interview with Sequential Tart, Millar commented: "You're not competing with Cartoon Network on these books; you're competing with 'Buffy'. (...) Superhero comics aren't adult, but they shouldn't be written for five year olds either." Millar shaped Ultimate X-Men into a commercial hit, consistently outselling its sister titles, X-Treme X-Men and Uncanny X-Men and staying just behind Grant Morrison's experimental and popular New X-Men run.
After Mark Millar's run, Ultimate Spider-Man writer Brian Michael Bendis took over for a year. Bendis stated that he was going to interpret his run in a more character-driven way, especially concerning Wolverine, who had previously tried to kill his teammate Cyclops. Bendis' run was marked by the relative absence of major villains and was also notorious for killing Beast, who was killed when a Sentinel attacked the White House during Frost's public disclosure of her school. This made Beast the first dead Ultimate X-Man. As a side note, Ultimate X-Men #40 features what Marvel claims to be the first marriage proposal in a comic book letters column, which is answered in Ultimate X-Men #44 with a positive response.
The third Ultimate X-Men writer was Brian K. Vaughan, more known at the time for his work on Y: The Last Man. His run was marked by the relative absence of Wolverine as the main character and the re-imagination of second-string X-Men characters who he felt were underused or "shoehorned".Template:Fact He introduced Mr. Sinister as a mutant-killing scientist with hypnotic/ stealth powers in The Tempest (#46-49), German twins Fenris as mutant corporate criminals in Cry Wolf (#50-53), as well as Mojo and Longshot, respectively, as a corrupt TV producer and a mutant felon in The Most Dangerous Game (#54-57). It is worth mentioning that both are of non-alien origin in this world and have the civilian names "Mojo Adams" and "Arthur Centino", a play on their creators' names, specifically writer Ann Nocenti and artist Art Adams. Further arcs were centered on Professor X (#58) and Deathstrike in Shock and Awe (#59-60). Lady Deathstrike possesses adamantium claws and regenerative powers. Vaughan also reintroduces Emma Frost's mutant team and Magneto in Magnetic North (#61-65). As a side note, his run finally confirmed Ultimate Colossus' homosexuality.
Vaughn's run was followed by Robert Kirkman, author of The Walking Dead and Invincible comic books. Kirkman's run was noted for adapting several major storyarcs from the regular X-Men series. These included Jean Grey's transformation into Phoenix, the arrival of Cable and Bishop, and the appearance of Apocalypse. Kirkman reintroduced Wolverine as an important character and played with issues of team loyalty. Under his authorship major characters such as Nightcrawler and Colossus left the team. His tenure also featured Cyclops' decision to turn Xavier's into a more traditional school and consequently disband the X-Men. When this was done an alternate team of X-Men was formed by Bishop as part of the upcoming fight against Apocalypse.
Ultimate X-Men quickly established itself as a hit comic, lauded by critics and popular with the fans. The following table shows the development of comic sales in comparison to the mainstream titles. However, after the events in Ultimatum, this book along with Ultimate Fantastic Four was cancelled after its 100th issue A follow-up one-shot, called Requiem, was released and concluded the Ultimate X-Men series.
|Date||Ultimate X-Men||Uncanny X-Men||New X-Men||X-Treme X-Men|
|November 2001||100,688||125,044 (400th issue)||116,782||84,326|
- Main article: List of characters in Ultimate X-Men
- Professor Charles Xavier, telepath and telekinetic Charles Xavier, is the founder and patron of the X-Men. He is an idealist and a pacifist, but less saintly than his mainstream counterpart. The Professor possesses vast knowledge and acquires advanced surgical skills he gleans from reading surgeons' minds (The Tomorrow People). He is the ex-husband of Dr. Moira MacTaggert with whom he worked to help mutants, devising new therapies and surgical techniques for their unique patients, and had a son named David. Xavier has also been in relationships with Emma Frost and Mystique. He suffered a spinal injury at the hands of his old friend, Magneto during an escape from his increasingly-militaristic island society, the Savage Land, an injury that left him a paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair. He has a business relationship with the mysterious Lilandra, the majestrix of the pagan Shi'ar cult. After Jean Grey is kidnapped by the time-traveling Cable, Professor Xavier reveals to Cyclops that he is in love with her. Professor X is seemingly killed when he dives to protect Cyclops from a bomb that Cable detonates. It is subsequently revealed that he did not die, but was transported to Cable's future. He is, however, murdered by Magneto in the Ultimatum series.
- Angel, Warren Worthington III, is a handsome, shy, winged mutant. He is Dazzler's boyfriend before she is put into a coma. Currently "expelled" from the X-Men, although in reality he is spying on Emma Frost for Xavier. Without Bishop's consent, Dazzler has recruited him to be a part of the new X-Men much to Bishop's disdain. Angel is later killed by Sinister as part of Apocalypse's resurrection, but is restored to life by the Phoenix. He is later once again killed by Sabretooth in Ultimatum.
- Beast, simian mutant and genius Henry "Hank" McCoy, is turned into a blue, furry beast by the insidious Weapon X project. He serves as the team's elite engineer, upgrading the Blackbird and Danger Room sequences. When chatting online to the Blob (pretending to be an interested girl), he accidentally reveals Magneto survived Xavier's earlier attack. He has a troubled romance with Storm, until he is killed in a Sentinel attack. It is revealed that Hank has been alive all this time, secretly working for S.H.I.E.L.D. on the Legacy Virus, until he escapes to return to the X-Men and Storm. Beast eventually dies in the Ultimatum wave.
- Bishop, time traveler Lucas Bishop traveled from the future to the present in an attempt to save Charles Xavier from Cable, but failed and became stuck in the past. Bishop then formed an alternate team of X-Men consisting of Storm, Pyro, Dazzler, Angel, Wolverine and Psylocke. Wolverine stabbed and killed Bishop after he stopped the X-Men from preventing Angel's death.
- Colossus, Piotr "Peter" Rasputin, can turn into organic steel and reluctantly works as an arms smuggler before joining the X-Men. Recently, Colossus has made peace with his former friend Nightcrawler. Colossus in Ultimate X-Men can transmute his entire body into organic steel, a form which gives him seeming invulnerability, and superhuman strength.
- Cyclops, Scott Summers, whose eyes emit concussive blasts, is the boy scout-like X-Men field leader. Initially shy and aloof, he learns to be an unrivaled leader and pursue his interests, notably the love of Jean Grey, an interest that has often put him at odds with his teammate Wolverine. He revisits his dead parents in a dream world he calls "Corsair". After the "death" of Xavier, Cyclops disbands the X-Men to utilize the school as a safe haven and educational center for mutants. He is assassinated by Quicksilver at the end of the Ultimatum event.
- Dazzler, Allison "Ali" Blaire, is a tough-as-nails rock singer with photovoltaic powers who is heavily pierced and tattooed and wears slashed clothing. She becomes Angel's girlfriend after he takes the blame for something she does. She is stabbed and put into a coma by Storm's old mentor, Yuriko Oyama, a.k.a. Lady Deathstrike. During her recovery, Nightcrawler develops an obsessive crush on her, eventually culminating in him kidnapping her when she awakens. She then leaves the team in disgust when Xavier tries to rehabilitate him. Bishop later recruits Dazzler as a member of his new X-Men team.
- Iceman, Robert "Bobby" Drake is a hot-headed youth with cold-based powers, who is in the throes of puberty, but loyal to the X-Men's cause. He is very fickle, pursuing girls then losing interest and back to being interested again as he has with Rogue. He has a fear of Magneto and is often seen eating or playing video games. Recently, he rekindled his relationship with Rogue when her absorbing powers were halted after she absorbed Gambit's powers for an extended period of time.
- Marvel Girl, telepathic and telekinetic Jean Grey is outgoing and sarcastic, but also a very responsible young woman and is the unofficial second-in-command behind Cyclops. After an affair with Wolverine, she begins a steady relationship with Cyclops. The Shi'ar religion believes Jean to be the host of the Phoenix Force, their supposed god. Jean becomes the headmistress of the school, along with Scott, after Xavier supposedly dies. When the X-Men battle Apocalyspe, she merges with the Phoenix and destroys him with her god-like abilities and restarts time so this event won't happen. She leaves the team but returns promptly, to the surprise of the others.
- Nightcrawler, the Bavarian mutant teleporter Kurt Wagner is a former Weapon X prisoner. He has a crush on Dazzler, and is resentful that she chose Angel instead of him. Despite his own struggles with being rejected for being different, he is uncomfortable with Colossus' homosexuality and shuns him as a friend. He was being kept sedated after a failed attempt to kidnap Dazzler, but eventually escaped after Xavier's "death". Nightcrawler would go on to not only join the Morlocks, but become their chosen leader. Later killed in the Ultimatum wave.
- Northstar, Jean-Paul Beaubier was once offered to join the X-Men, but declined, saying that separating themselves from humans is segregation. He was later recruited by Emma Frost to join the Academy of Tomorrow, a magnet school for gifted children both mutant and human with a more pacifistic and integrationist philosophy than the X-Men. After a battle with Alpha Flight, Northstar's apparent former comrades, Colossus finds Northstar overdosing on the mutant drug, Banshee, resulting in him being crippled from the waist down.
- Psylocke, Betsy Braddock first appeared in the "World Tour" arc during which she was assigned to search for Xavier's son, David (known in the mainstream Marvel universe as Legion). During the investigation, however, Betsy was possessed by David and he almost succeeded in killing Xavier and the X-Men. Betsy managed to overcome the possession for a brief moment and Colossus dropped a car on her, killing both Betsy and Proteus. Betsy's consciousness survived, however, somehow moving into the comatose body of an Asian girl named Kwannon. She is a powerful telepath who can create "psychic blades". Bishop recruited her into his new X-Men.
- Pyro, a pyrokinetic mutant whose name in this continuity remains unknown. First encountered by Nightcrawler after the supposed death of the Professor, Pyro formerly was a member of the Morlocks, but decided to instead try and join the X-Men. This goal was achieved after Bishop and Storm recruited him onto the team. Psylocke decided to send him undercover into the Mutant Liberation Front as a spy, a post he was forced to abandon when the Front was attacked by Sentinels. Pyro then rejoined his teammates.
- Rogue, real name Marian, originally drains life-force and memories on skin contact. She is abducted into the Weapon X program under unknown circumstances. Like her mainstream counterpart, she can absorb mutant powers. When she is liberated, she first joins the Brotherhood of Mutant Supremacy, then defects to the X-Men, then leaves the team in the company of Gambit after her boyfriend Bobby Drake cheated on her with Kitty Pryde. After absorbing his powers, which lasted for an extended period of time, during a battle with Juggernaut (in which Gambit died), she had his red-on-black eyes and inherited his energy-charging powers. This negated her absorbing power and she became able to touch people without draining their abilities or memories as shown when she and her ex-boyfriend, Iceman, had sex in the "Date Night" arc. These powers have since faded, leaving her with her previous absorbing powers.
- Shadowcat, Kitty Pryde, can walk through walls. She is a young, but dedicated girl. Like her mainstream counterpart, her devotion to her Jewish faith is evidenced by her ever-present Star of David. In Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #1 she begins dating Peter Parker, better known as Spider-Man. She left the team to live with her mother in Queens, where she is now enrolled in Peter Parker's high school. Her relationship with Peter has ended, however, and she has shown an interest in dating Peter's classmate Kenny "Kong" McFarlane.
- Storm, Ororo Munroe, like the phenomena from which she takes her name, has a unique mutant ability which allows her to harness and manipulate forces of nature. Calling upon the elements she can manifest violent storms, summon lightning from a benign sky, create blizzards instantly and even whip up winds to bear her aloft. A car thief who hails from Morocco, Ororo tempers between the voice of reason among X-Men, and a rebel with a cause. Between the purported death of her first boyfriend Beast, her fleeting relationships with Wolverine, and her role as second-in-command of Bishop's X-Men, Ororo has garnered a degree of self-confidence, a stylish haircut and a love for black leather heels, but it is her passion that keeps her driving on toward a brighter tomorrow.
- Syndicate: Conjoined twins, Luke and Matthew, working as a private agent for Professor X. Never seen with the rest of the X-Men until Ultimate X-Men #93 where they became X-Men. Their heart gives off an EMP, and can create a charge. Is eventually murdered by Striker.
- Toad: A deformed mutant who has bulging yellow eyes, green skin, and webbed hands and feet. Toad can jump great distances and height, is superstrong and agile, can spit a heavy mucous that can harden into a shell, and has a long prehensile tongue that he can use as well as his four limbs. In the beginning, Toad was a member of the Brotherhood of Mutants. When Cyclops joined the Brotherhood for a time, he and Toad became friends. When Xavier disappeared, Toad came to the X-Men's school to be a gym teacher. Though Jean Grey disapproved, Cyclops stuck up for Toad. Toad has helped the X-Men in several occasions since then and he has officially become an X-Man when Prof. X returned from the future and Phoenix defeated Apocalypse. Toad now wears an X-Men bandanna much like the one Iceman used to wear.
- Wolverine, James "Logan" Howlett, has animal instincts and extreme regeneration powers. He is turned into an amnesiac, emotionless killer by Weapon X. He resurfaces as the cold-blooded elite assassin of Magneto and infiltrates the X-Men to kill Professor X. He betrays Magneto, however, and joins the X-Men after coming to understand and believe in Xavier's cause. Over the course of the series in between attacks by former members of Weapon X, Wolverine has searched for answers regarding his long forgotten past. He is killed by Magneto near the end of the Ultimatum series.
- Firestar: Firestar is seen with the X-Men beginning with issue 94. During a baseball game, they are attacked by the Ultimate version of Alpha Flight and Firestar is attacked and subdued by Sunfire.
Villains and supporting castEdit
Ultimate X-Men introduced revised versions of classic X-Men villains, such as mutant supremacist, would-be world conqueror, and evil genius mastermind Magneto and his anti-human, genetic terrorist group Brotherhood of Mutants, the amoral, Mengele-like mutant superweapon project Weapon X, the shady Hellfire Club and many more. In addition, the Academy of Tomorrow is the Ultimate Marvel version of a spin-off X-Men team called the New Mutants, in this world consisting of headmistress Emma Frost, who can turn her skin into organic diamond, Cyclops' older brother Havok (Alex Summers), who shoots concussive blasts from his hands, airborne Sam Guthrie a.k.a. Cannonball, non-mutant genius Doug Ramsey a.k.a. Cypher, Canadian speedster Jean-Paul Beaubier a.k.a. Northstar, Havok's girlfriend Lorna Dane, the magnekinetic Polaris, Roberto da Costa, the Brazilian solar-powered Sunspot, and recently Angel. In addition, the Shi'ar are a religious movement, led by "Majestrix Lilandra". They worship the "Phoenix God", which they think is reincarnated in the X-Man Marvel Girl (Jean Grey). The Ultimate version of Cable is revealed to be a future version of Wolverine, who kidnaps Charles Xavier in an attempt at preventing the coming of Apocalypse.
"Syndicate" is the name of two mutants, psi-resistant conjoined twins named Luke and Matthew. They try to rob a bank to help their terminally ill sister, but are stopped by Professor X. Realizing their plight, he gives them a chance to redeem themselves by working as his private agents. Created by Brian K. Vaughan and Steve Dillon, they first appeared in Ultimate X-Men #58. The characters have an unusual heart which pumps out electromagnetic pulses with each beat; this disables almost any electrical system. Their interlinked brain matter also makes them immune to telepathic control, although they are still susceptible to mind readings.
In the shared universe of Ultimate Marvel, the X-Men have more than once crossed the paths of other superheroes: Peter Parker is a good friend of the X-Men and is Shadowcat's ex-boyfriend. The X-Men share a wary truce with Nick Fury and The Ultimates, who have been both their best benefactors ("New Mutants" arc) and worst enemies (Ultimate War) in the past. The Ultimate Fantastic Four have met the X-Men in Ultimate X4 and the teams are generally on amicable terms.
- The X-Men live in the X-Mansion in Westchester, New York. Its location was a secret at first, but is now known to the world. It contains the Danger Room, a virtual reality dome in which the X-Men can fight against hard-light holographic enemies. It has been used several times for in-jokes and pop culture references. Once, the junior X-Men fought the Brood, and for recreation, Nightcrawler simulated scenes similar to Pirates of the Caribbean and The Lord of the Rings.
- Genosha is an apartheid state in which mutants are discriminated against. Krakoa is an island not far off Genosha and the place in which Mojo Adams' Hunt for Justice reality show is held.
- Muir Island is an island in the north of Scotland and the location of Dr. Moira MacTaggert's lab.
In other mediaEdit
- In the video games X-Men Legends and X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse, the characteristic tight black-and-golden costumes of Ultimate X-Men are the default outfits of the X-Men. The traditional costumes can be unlocked as throwbacks after the player has unlocked them by completing acts within the game. Additionally, many of the other characters (such as the Brotherhood) have their Ultimate costumes as their default outfit. Some characters who appear in the games do not have Ultimate X-Men costumes so instead they will either appear wearing their Earth-616 ('classic') costumes or they will appear in a new costume that is in the same black-and-gold style as the Ultimate X-Men suits.Template:Citation needed
- In the X-Men: Evolution animated series, Wolverine wears his Ultimate X-Men look from season 3 onwards. In the final episode Ascension, future adult versions of the teenage X-Men can be seen. Their normally bright, colorful costumes have changed into the dark Ultimate X-Men outfits.Template:Citation needed
- Ultimate X-Men Vol. 1: The Tomorrow People appears in nine parts as an unlockable in Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects. Each part is unlocked after completing a specific bonus level.
- Wolverine, Storm, Colossus and Iceman appear in the video game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. In the game, Colossus and Iceman have their Ultimate costumes as the default costumes worn during all cutscenes that they appear in, although it is possible to unlock their Earth-616 costumes as alternates later in the game. Wolverine and Storm appear in their current Earth-616 costumes as defaults with their Ultimate costumes as alternates. Nightcrawler also appears in his Ultimate costume during the "Escape from Castle Doom" cutscene, in which he features prominently. The Xbox 360 Hero expansion pack added Cyclops and Nightcrawler as playable characters, both have their Ultimate costumes as an alternate outfit.
- Ultimate X-Men #1-100, Annual #1-2, #1/2
- Ultimate War #1-4
- Ultimate Woverine vs Hulk #1-6
- Ultimate X4 #1-2 2005-2006
- Ultimate Power #1-9 2006-2007
- Ultimate Nightmare #1-5
- Ultimat Spider-Man #66, 118-120, Annual #1
- Ultimate X-Men: Requiem #1
- Ultimate Origins #1-5
- Ultimatum #1-5
Ultimate X-Men has been collected in the following trade paperbacks:
|Volume 1: The Tomorrow People||Ultimate X-Men #1-6||ISBN 0-7851-0788-6|
|Volume 2: Return To Weapon X||Ultimate X-Men #7-12||ISBN 0-7851-0868-8|
|Volume 3: World Tour||Ultimate X-Men #13-20||ISBN 0-7851-0961-7|
|Volume 4: Hellfire & Brimstone||Ultimate X-Men #21-25||ISBN 0-7851-1089-5|
|Volume 5: Ultimate War||Ultimate War #1-4||ISBN 0-7851-1129-8|
|Volume 6: Return Of The King||Ultimate X-Men #26-33||ISBN 0-7851-1091-7|
|Volume 7: Blockbuster||Ultimate X-Men #34-39||ISBN 0-7851-1219-7|
|Volume 8: New Mutants||Ultimate X-Men #40-45||ISBN 0-7851-1161-1|
|Volume 9: The Tempest||Ultimate X-Men #46-49;||ISBN 0-7851-1404-1|
|Volume 10: Cry Wolf||Ultimate X-Men #50-53||ISBN 0-7851-1405-X|
|Volume 11: The Most Dangerous Game||Ultimate X-Men #54-57||ISBN 0-7851-1659-1|
|Volume 12: Hard Lessons||Ultimate X-Men #58-60;|
Ultimate X-Men Annual #1
|Volume 13: Magnetic North||Ultimate X-Men #61-65||ISBN 0-7851-1906-X|
|Volume 14: Phoenix?||Ultimate X-Men #66-71||ISBN 0-7851-2019-X|
|Volume 15: Magical||Ultimate X-Men #72-74;|
Ultimate X-Men Annual #2
|Volume 16: Cable||Ultimate X-Men #75-80||ISBN 0-7851-2548-5|
|Volume 17: Sentinels||Ultimate X-Men #81-88||ISBN 0-7851-2549-3|
|Volume 18: Apocalypse||Ultimate X-Men #89-93||ISBN 978-0-7851-2550-1|
|Volume 19: Absolute Power||Ultimate X-Men #94-97||ISBN 978-0-7851-2944-8|
|Ultimate Collection Book 1||Ultimate X-Men #1-12 &1/2||ISBN 0-7851-2187-0|
|Ultimate Collection Book 2||Ultimate X-Men #13-25||ISBN 0-7851-2856-5|
Ultimate X-Men also has been collected in the following hardcovers:
|Volume #||Material collected||ISBN|
|1||Ultimate X-Men #1-12;|
Giant Sized X-Men #1
|2||Ultimate X-Men #13-25||ISBN 0-7851-1130-1|
|3||Ultimate X-Men #26-33;|
Ultimate War #1-4
|4||Ultimate X-Men #34-45||ISBN 0-7851-1251-0|
|5||Ultimate X-Men #46-57||ISBN 0-7851-2103-X|
|6||Ultimate X-Men #58-65;|
Ultimate X-Men Annual #1;
Ultimate X-Men #1/2
|7||Ultimate X-Men #66-74;|
Ultimate X-Men Annual #2
|8||Ultimate X-Men #75-88||ISBN 0-7851-3080-2|
|9||Ultimate X-Men #89-97||ISBN 0-7851-3779-3|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Untitled Document
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Sequential Tart: Mark Millar – Ultimate Writer (vol V/iss 3/March 2002)
- ↑ ICv2News: ICv2's Top 300 Comics & Top 100 GN's Index
- ↑ Newsarama.com: An Ultimate Fifth: Brian K. Vaughan on Ultimate X-Men
- ↑ Diamond Comics http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/1850.html
- ↑ http://comics.ign.com/articles/908/908687p1.html
- Ultimate X-Men on Marvel.com
- UncannyX-Men.net Ultimate X-Men current title info and issuesummaries
- Ultimate X-Men at Ultimate X
- Ultimate X-Men at Rucomics.info
- Mark Millar on Ultimate X-Men
- Brian Michael Bendis on Ultimate X-Men, Newsarama
- Brian K. Vaughan on Ultimate X-Men, Newsarama
- Robert Kirkman on Ultimate X-Men, Newsarama