Will the All-New X-Men finally make their way home from the Ultimate universe? Not if Ultimate Doctor Doom can stop them!
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mahmud Asrar
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Artists: Mahmud Asrar & Marte Gracia
Assistant Editor: Xander Jarowey
Editor: Mike Marts
Story: Ultimate Doom has knocked out both teams of X-Men and unmasks Miles Morales. The X-Men come to and rally back, causing Doom to seemingly self-destruct. Beast gets his revenge by blowing up Doom’s castle. The X-Men finally locate Carmen Cruise, the new mutant whose power brought the All New team to the Ultimate universe and with both Jeans guiding her dimension hopping abilities, they locate the 616 universe and finally make it back home, but not before All-New Jean kisses Miles in gratitude. Henry resolves that his team needs to make their world better.
Thoughts: The All-New X-Men/Ultimate X-Men/Ultimate Spider-Man crossover comes to a satisfying conclusion. Asrar’s art has grown on me over this arc and he keeps that up with this installment. The issue opens up again with a beautiful two page spread, given great depth by the coloring of Cory Petit. The composition is dynamic and grabs you right in!
Doom unmasking Spidey I would think is problematic and knowing Bendis, I wouldn’t be surprised if he continues this plot in Ultimate End, especially with the X-Men and Doom on the cover to the first issue of that series. Regardless if it does, there’s another person we can add to the list who knows Miles’ secret. What is it with Spider-Men keeping their masks on?
Unless Doom has backups of all that transpired at his castle, he’s seemingly lost all of the information he forced out of the Beast. I was hoping the interrogation would lead into Secret Wars in some fashion, but we’re gonna have to wait a few months to see if that comes to fruition. I’m not surprised Doom cut and ran and enjoyed everyone’s puzzlement when he disappeared once he was threatened by Kitty shorting out his armor. For being a dangerous opponent, he did remove himself from the equation rather quickly once the tide turned.
Carmen popping in and out of various universes offered a few quick glimpses of alternate realities, some familiar, others nightmarish. It was interesting to see the All-New X-Men having the perspective that there are other places far worse than their own situation. I typically tend to see their world as pretty dire, so things have to be pretty bad for them to think they are better off! Not being as well versed in the Marvel Multiverse, I think I spotted Old Man Logan and House of M realities.
My favorite part of this story was all the interactions between the two teams and Spidey. I appreciated seeing the two Jeans building each other up and the two Icemen being antagonistic. Bendis brought out a lot of humor amidst the sturm and drang and Asrar paced it well with his art, such as when Beast told everyone to wait for it when they all ran out of the castle or All-New Jean’s reaction to reading Superior Stark’s mind to verify that it was indeed their reality.
It was a nice touch having All-New Jean acknowledge Miles for all his help, not just because he’s Spider-Man, but because he’s a good friend. There was an issue or two where it felt Miles’ guest star status was wasted, but in the end it was worth it for a scene like this. The creative team produced a solid, funny, and dramatic read and I’m glad I went along for the ride on something I wouldn’t have were it not for Miles’ involvement!
My Grade: A
Javi’s Huh?: Ultimate Doom bills himself as both Sorcerer AND Scientist Supreme of his earth when he confronts Jean. Anyone care to fill me in down below in the comments on what happened to this reality’s Stephen Strange? Or is this Doom’s ego talking?