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'Ultimate X-Men' #4 ramps up the action and stakes
Marvel

Comic Books

‘Ultimate X-Men’ #4 ramps up the action and stakes

‘Ultimate X-Men’ #4 offers up an Armor versus enemy showdown.

Ultimate X-Men has been a slow-burn story, which in some respects has made the progress more realistic. Hisako is still unclear as to why she has armor powers, and after meeting Mei, she learns that even she doesn’t know how she manifested storm abilities. Ultimate X-Men #3 revealed that there is a kid who knows they have powers and that they’re mutants. This is very peculiar as writer and artist Peach Momoko continues to flesh out a new kind of X-Men.

Now that Mei and Hisako know they are mutants, it seems Ultimate X-Men #4 is all about spreading the word. The issue opens with the two new friends discussing their upcoming test, and they soon notice the girl who knows they’re mutants, Nico Minoru, practicing some fortune telling. She’s a bit odd, and her friend, who wears a rabbit-ear cap, is enthralled by her. It’s a nice reminder things are a bit off for these grade schoolers.

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Once the opening wraps up, the story shifts towards Hisako’s motorcycle ride home. The rest of the issue revolves around her walking past a strange boy and what happens next. Momoko cleverly shifts your focus after an unnerving side-eyed moment between Hisako and the boy to Hisako at home. It’s a somewhat abrupt cut, which cuts right back to Mei running into that boy. It’s a clever way to draw out the tension and break up the comic, leading to an awesome fight sequence.

Ultimate X-Men #4

Don’t trust this dude.
Credit: Marvel

That sequence involves Hisako armoring up and facing the boy. Visually, the scene is great, with the translucent armor looking quite cool in a dark and rainy surrounding. Hisako utilizes the power while riding a motorcycle, adding an extra wrinkle to her defending herself.  The attack is exciting, with energy effects and good use of framing. The mysterious boy harbors whispy shadow goo that looks organic and creepy. The action leads Mei to use her powers, which is well rendered.

That action builds to a revelatory scene that should blow the doors right off this series. The heroes’ known whereabouts have been limited, but the enemies that work with The Maker are always watching. Can Mei, Hisako, and their new friends be targets soon?

The slow plotting continues this issue, which will try your patience. It’s more evident when characters like Nico remain utter mysteries with very little new information about them. It’s safe to say the first collection of this series will read better than waiting weeks for each issue. One other gripe is how Hisako drives away from the enemy, seemingly far away, but then it’s revealed he grabs her. It’s a bit confusing, and it’ll make you think you missed something.

Lettering by Travis Lanham is strong, especially with the black splashy word balloons for the villain. Zack Davisson adapts the script well. Some tricky spots need to be addressed to fit the text.

As with each issue of this series, there’s a cool lexicon back matter section. This time, Momoko points out the culture around Honda motorcycles in Japan. It adds a layer to Hisako’s character.

Ultimate X-Men #4 ups the ante with an intense action scene and promises a major shift in the characters’ lives. With thoroughly youthful teens just learning about their powers, they’re about to be tested in a way that’s thoroughly X-Men.

'Ultimate X-Men' #4 ramps up the action and stakes
‘Ultimate X-Men’ #4 ramps up the action and stakes
Ultimate X-Men #4
Ultimate X-Men #4 ups the ante with an intense action scene and promises a major shift in the characters' lives. With thoroughly youthful teens just learning about their powers, they're about to be tested in a way that's thoroughly X-Men.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8
Excellent action scene
Ends in a way that'll surely bring a big shift to the narrative
Continues to show these characters as honest to goodness teens
The pace continues to be quite slow!
8.5
Great
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