Reviewed by: James Hatton
Story Title: Magnetic North (Part 2)
Published by: Marvel Comics
Writer: Brian K Vaughn
Pencils: Stuart Immonen
Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger
Colors: Justin Ponsor
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Production: James Taveras
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Publisher: Dan Buckley
In the last issue of Ultimate X-Men, Brian Vaughn gave us some more mutant madness. Over at Emma Frost’s school, she is training a bunch of mutants you might know: Roberto DeCosta, Sam Guthrie, Alex Summers, and Lorna Dane for example. Lorna seems to be having some problems with her powers though- and while she stood and idly watched, not even realizing her powers were active, she took out a fire engine company and some good-hearted citizens.
We’re now left with the aftermath…
In what seems almost like a prologue to this story, or possibly an epilogue to another story, there is a three page intro about what goes on with Longshot and Scarlet Witch. I can only assume this is one of those infamous comic ‘Interludes’, but it’s not really addressed as such. Ah well, at least we got to see Longshot again.
What goes on from there really is very similar. There is a narrative in this issue that gets a bit lost. The reason for that, I can assume, is because this is a story with many facets. We have that of General Fury, who must deal with the fact that there is another magnetism-based mutant out there. There is Emma Frost, who must accept that one of her students has been taken away. Frost’s students, who are on there way to break their classmate out. Magneto, who is now sitting in his big plastic cube with another mutant of similar power and ability. (Does that sound even remotely like a good idea?!)
See! That can easily fill up a standard 23-pager, and I swear there is still one or two angles I DIDN’T tell you about.
The fact is that this isn’t a bad story, but it obviously is a piece of a larger narrative. In terms of a ‘single issue’, you will recieve no pleasure out of it. In terms of ‘within the arc’ it makes complete sense.
The team of Immonen and Von Grawbadger have been a part of the Ultimate Universe for a long time now. Last issue came across quite a bit more cartoony, but they seem to have appropriately darkened everything up. If I were to give one gripe, it would be that Ultimate Scarlet Witch looks an awful lot like Ultimate Elektra.
The art also takes a backseat in this book because there really isn’t much to focus on. Most of the book is standing and talking, with only one or two pages of action. So for drawing mutants standing around, these guys do pretty well, since you never really feel as if they were stagnant.
Mixed Mixed Mixed. These are, in fact, the hardest issues to put a silly little number rating to. Why? Because in the world of comics, we’ve come to accept that, for the most part, the single issue story is dead. This book is a prime example of how one issue can feed you so much information, but can’t hold its own as a single issue.
As a sole issue this book falls flat, but in the Ultimate-verse it’s impossible to judge by those standards. Vaughan hits on team dynamic, and characterization like few in the business, so this book still remains high on my pick list… just ignore the rating number.