This is the fourth volume in the ongoing Ultimate X-Men series. It addresses one of the questions that has always bothered me about this particular series – what do the parents say when their kids get hurt when they’re off doing X-Men stuff? In the course of the last volume Bobby Drake (Iceman) is fairly seriously injured during a missions, and his parents decide the sue the school for reparations. When Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat) is brought to school by her mother it is with the strong proviso that she not become a part of the X-Men. We also get some answers about where all the Professor’s money comes from, not as you might have assumed from private wealth, but from a group of anonymous backers. The Professor has always assumed that they had benevolent goals in this philanthropy, but as he and the X-Men learn this is perhaps not the case. This story arc marks the beginning of the Dark Phoenix saga, and also contains the seeds of events which will have reverberating future consequences. What looks like Hank’s harmless internet flirtation turns deadly, and a dinner party with the Professor’s anonymous backers the Hellfire Club ends in a fight against a god and Jean’s metamorphosis. Adam Kubert’s art nicely highlights that the mutant powers of the X-Men are evident not only in their roles as X-Men, but also in their daily lives.
Ultimate X-Men, vol. 4: Hellfire and Brimstone
by Mark Millar
Art by Adam Kubert
Marvel Comics 2003