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Saturday, August 26, 2006

cover of Ultimate X-Men: Hellfire & Brimstone

This series of Ultimate X-Men introduces the Hellfire club-- the money behind Xavier's institute, but of course they are funding Xavier for their own dark purposes. This brings in a beginning to Jean Grey's dark Phoenix story, but doesn't take it too far. We also meet Kitty Pryde and Magneto's followers discover that hs is not dead as they had supposed, and work to find and recover him.

I enjoyed meeting Kitty Pryde-- can you imagine being a teenager and not in control of her phase-shifting powers? The writers & artists do a good job of portraying this (she randomly shifts and falls through her apartment floor into the sewers, or another time she accidentally shifts through a moving car). You also get a sense of Beast's loneliness and alienation from the others-- he is the leak about Magneto because he is chatting online with someone who he thinks is a supermodel mutant (of course the other person is nothing of the sort). I was also interested to learn more about the Hellfire Club, since Joss Whedon hinted at them in the end of the last volume of his Astonishing X-Men, and I had no idea who they were.

The artwork in this volume is uneven. Partway through, the style shifts drastically-- and I really did not like the second style. It seemed much more cartoonish, sometimes veering towards what seemed almost like anime (which I usually like-- here it seemed out of place, or poorly done, or something). The worst part of it was that the main characters weren't always recognizable (because they were drawn so differently & inconsistently), which made it more difficult to follow the stories.

Title:Ultimate X-Men: Hellfire & Brimstone (Volume 4)
Author:Mark Millar
Date published:2003
Genre:Graphic Novel
Series:Ultimate X-Men
Number of pages:144


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