Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ultimate Origins #3 Review

Creative Team
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Butch Guice
Colorist: Justin Ponsor

Issue Rating
Story: 7.75/10
Art: 8/10
Overall: 7.9/10

Issue Development
In the present the Fantastic Four and Director Carol Davers continue to try and figure out what the alien technology that appeared in Project Pegasus, Wyoming that seems to be watching them. Reed Richards tells Carol they should leave and to tell her SHIELD agents to take the alien tech to be analyzed back at SHIELD headquarters. Elsewhere similar technoly appears at Tony Stark's Mansion, SHIELD Headquarters, Xavier Institute, Baxter Building, Hell's Kitchen, and Peter Parker's house.

27 years ago in the Weapon X facility in Alberta, Canada a young Erik Lanhsherr (the future Magneto) discovers his parents are part of the Weapon X, better known as Wolverine, experiment. He decides to release Weapon X and as Weapon X escapes his mother and some Canadian soldiers walk in to the laboratory. Erik's mother ask Erik what he is doing and instead of answering Erik instead uses his newly manifested magnetic powers to kill his mother and the soldiers.

18 years ago in a San Francisco University classroom Professor Xavier is using his telepathy to read his students minds while he is giving a lecture. An older Erik Lanhsherr is stading in the back of the class telling Xavier if they can talk. Xavier tries to read Erik's mind but somehow he cannot so he decides to end his lecture early so he can talk to Erik. Outside Erik tells Xavier he read his book and loved it and demonstrates his magnetic powers to show Xavier he is also a mutant. Erik than tells Xavier that he wants Xavier's help in creating a place for mutants to live like Xavier said in his book. Xavier agrees after Erik tells him he has already found a location to start their dream.

16 years ago Erik and Xavier are exploring the Savage Land and go into a cave were other mutants, including Magda, are helping Erik and Xavier create their city. After talking about Weapon X Erik decides to use his magnetic powers to create a huge tower were they decide the city will be located. Then another one of the alien tech appears to record what Erik did.

Highlight of the Issue

"What a show-off"


Again we are presented another origin of a character(s) in the ultimate universe. But unlike in the Ultimate Universe origin of Captain America that wasn't any different from the 616-Marvel Universe Captain America that we got from last issue Bendis gives us a new take on the Magneto and Professor Xavier origins/relationship in Ultimate Origins #3.

I thought it was a good move by Bendis that instead of making Magneto a prisoner in a concentration camp during WWII, Bendis decided to make Magneto's origin more connected to the creation of the mutant race with his parents being involved in the Weapon X program. I know that some hard core X-men fans may be pissed of about the change to Magneto's origin this is the Ultimate Universe and most if not all the Marvel Universe characters should get a new origin so that the reader is not wasting money and time on reading retelling of old stories. If Magneto's origin was still about him being a holocaust survivor that would make Magneto at least in his late-60s to early-70s in age but now we can have a Magneto that isn't over 45 and a much bigger threat since he is not only powerful but relatively young.

By having Magneto's parents being involved in the Weapon X program Magneto has a much closer relationship to all of mutant kind. This also put Magneto in a much more important role in the Ultimate Universe since it looks like Magneto knows much more about the origins of heroes like Captain America, Nick Fury, Spider-Man, and every other hero in the that has been created since WWII. And from the looks of it Magneto is being set up to play a very important role in the upcoming Ultimatum storyline that is suppose to be the 'end' of the Ultimate Universe.

If you read Mark Millar's run on Ultimate X-Men than you know that Magneto and Professor Xavier together created the mutant paradise in the Savage Land and they had a falling out about the next step for mutants should be that led to Professor X being paralyzed. But Bendis was actually able to add layers to the relationship since it is Magneto that conviced Professor X to help lead mutant kind into the future. I kind of wonder what Professor X wrote in his book that made Magneto seek him out since it seemed really important. Also I like that Bendis made so that Magneto does not nead his helmet to block out Professor X telepathy and that it is his magnetic powers that allows him to be ammune to people reading his mind.

Now while the scene between Carol Davers and the Fantastic Four is important I found it to be uninteresting and thought it could have been trimmend down by a page. Also the devices are obviously with The Ultimate Watcher since it is appearing in different place recording current events. I don't understand how important it is to record Wolverine and Peter Parker just lodging around in their respective homes. But I guess since The Watcher is recording these events than they have some importance I just wish we got more information why these Watcher cameras are appearing.

I thought Butch Guice art was great in this issue and that while the art at the start of the issue made it look like some characters faces were a bit to long overall the issue still had a nice look. I especially liked the last scene of the issue were Magneto uses his powers to create the first building in the Savage Land, that scene was just beautiful.