Monday, February 27, 2006

Booknote: Ultimate X-Men vol. 5: Ultimate War

Title: Ultimate X-Men, vol. 5: Ultimate War
Authors: Mark Millar, et. al. Illustrated by Chris Bachalo
Publication Information: New York: Marvel Comics, 2003
ISBN: 0-7851-1129-8
Genre: Fiction
Subgenre: Comics, graphic novels, fantasy, adventure

This volume collects the series Ultimate War #1-4. It features great art that makes good use of shadows and panel sizes. It was appealing visually. In brief, the mutants are targeted by the American government as terrorists. Mutants are required to be registered or else. Magneto's Brotherhood believes mutants are the next superior human evolution, so they want control of the world by any means necessary. The X-Men led by Charles Xavier stand in their way. However, when the X-Men are accused of joining forces with Magneto, they become fugitives as well. The U.S. has its own superhuman team, led by Captain America, and sends it to hunt the mutants down. The war is on.

What I find fascinating about X-Men is the strong social and political commentary in the series. I think it has a good overall message about difference and society, and in this instance, it makes the parallels to certain contemporary conditions seem very close. Of course, it's got the action and adventure of a great superhero comic, and it also has a good story. I will definitely look for other volumes in this series. Definitely recommended for public libraries as well as readers of the genre. I think fantasy and science fiction fans who may not usually read comics might like giving this one a try.

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