This second volume in the ongoing Ultimate X-Men series introduces a second round of familiar characters. Nightcrawler, Rogue, Juggernaut and Sabertooth join the cast as unwilling members of the Weapon X project. Weapon X is a strike force of mutants run by the very human Colonel Waith, who takes perverse pleasure in experiments on the genetically enhanced. He has a particular hatred reserved for Wolverine, and in the course of hunting him down Wraith uses the Weapon X team to systematically capture the X-Men and forces them to act for his cause. In an interesting turn, the X-Men must forge a tenuous alliance with the Brotherhood in order to combat Colonel Wraith. One of the biggest advantages of a series is that it allows characters a chance to develop over time. Mark Millar uses this to full effect. His X-Men are strong figures fighting for the good cause. But, as we get to know them, we see that they are not always right. Interestingly Professor X does not always take the moral high road. When forced by necessity he will use his powerful psychic abilities to alter memories and eavesdrop on fellow team members. The weaknesses of the X-Men will continue to be explored in later volumes, and it makes them accessible characters that we can relate to.
Ultimate X-Men, vol. 2: Return to Weapon X
by Mark Millar
Art by Adam Kubert and Chris Bachalo
Marvel Comics 2002