Writer Brian Wood
Penciler Mahmud Asrar
Inker Juan Vlasco
Lettering & Production Joe Sabino
Natural Resources, Part Five of Five
Cover Dated August 2013
This is another comic that I got in Great Falls from Kelly’s Komix. With this purchase, I now own all of the regular issues of this series. Now my Wishlist, only has the two variants for the first issue, and the variants for issues 13 and 29.
This the conclusion of the American military invading Utopia (a plot of dead land given to the mutants, in New Mexico – that they turn it around and made into a living and thriving land). It also sets up the next storyline, Utopia (Shadowcat) v Tian (Jean Grey).
No wonder Bendis wanted Asrar for his All New X-Men visiting the Ultimate X-Men storyline.
This issue opens with Rogue, who has always been close to “Utopia” the greenery of the land. She speaks to it and believes it speaks to her, and she sics the foliage onto the invading military. It does so, with ease.
Jean is with a dying Psylocke, or whoever this is suppose to be as Psylocke has died twice already, in the Ultimate Universe. The first time, she switched bodies with a Japanese gal (of course) and then some time again, after that. Before she dies, she tells Jean that her mission was to perverse the end of the mutant race. She entrusts Jean with this mission. Farbird, who is Jean’s right hand flying metal spy fella, is Jean’s companion here.
I do like how Wood, throughout his run on this title, choose to skip big fight scenes and just show the beginning and the tail end of them. We don’t need to waste a page or four, with people throwing punches and kicks. General Ross (that one) calls for a cease fire. With Psylocke’s death, the mutants she was controlling are now free.
Shadowcat, now that the fighting is over, allows Ross to approach her.
I do miss seeing Ultimate Shadowcat, dressed all in white. I still say that it is an odd choice for someone is essentially living out in the desert and on the land, but she rarely gets dirty, so she makes it work. The clothes really make her stand out. Plus, it is always good to have a color scheme. Not sure why that idea was dropped for All New Ultimates, probably because not many people read Ultimate Comics X-Men, especially not those who work for Ultimate Marvel, as nothing in this run is ever referenced in All New Ultimates nor anything that Bendis wrote.
Ross has ordered a full retreat and withdrawal. Ross offers some advice, Shadowcat has won their independence, they own their land and an ideology. His advice is that she should try to not reminding humans how scary mutants can be. Mutants should lay low, which is the opposite of what Jean will be doing next.
Shadowcat informs Ross, that that was never mutants intentions. Mutants are the victims and the “let’s blame the victims” mentality needs to end. Mutants have tried to hide and they are always chased from the shadows. Ross tries to turn it around, saying that they are young and should live life and enjoy life. Shadowcat informs him, and I love how she isn’t just going to allow him to talk in generalities – she tells him that they all wish they could have had childhoods.
Once the military is gone, the X-Men try to rebuild. Mach Two and Shadowcat hug it out, as they no longer need to be fighting over leadership – especially as Mach Two isn’t being mind controlled. Which explains why Mach Two had such a drastic character change from the scared little girl Shadowcat found in the old Morlock tunnels, to being so confident and causing a rift in the mutant community of Utopia.
The mutants have grown, Shadowcat’s ideology was never compromised, they stayed on target. The mutants are proud, pleased and loyal.
Jean and Farbird are discussing their next plans. She orders him to go to Tian, in under two hours (he would prefer three) and access her Operation : Supersonic project. Jean is hoping to not go this far but if she must, she will.
There is an ad for Guardians of the Galaxy 5, Angela (from the pages of Spawn) is joining the title. Brought to us by Bendis, Gaiman and Pichelli – but Gaiman is mostly there for the copyright issue. The issue came out in July 2013, and Angela is in the Marvel Universe due to the events of Age of Ultron.
Shadowcat and Jean are having an official meeting. Shadowcat is pleased to see that Jean is no longer pretending to be “Karen Grant.” Jean can’t believe that Shadowcat could see through that disguise. Shadowcat states it is due to the sentient seed, which I was tempted to refer to the jungle as “the seed” which should teach me to not read the full issue before doing the review for it. But I sort of like reading the comic and writing the review at the same time. Shadowcat was never fooled by the disguise.
I love how Shadowcat crosses the room, with such confidence. She refuses to let Utopia fall under the umbrella of the hateful, Tian. Shadowcat wants Utopia to be a save haven for mutants and humans, to co-exist. Especially as segregated societies have never worked, anywhere nor anytime.
Jean will never understand Utopia and should just leave.
Jean grabs Shadowcat, by the neck, and shouts at her. I’m reminded that Jean and Kitty barely had any real scenes together, so it isn’t like they were ever best friends. Jean was always on the A-Team and Kitty ran with the B-Team, hence why she survived post Ultimatum.
Jean calls Utopia an embarrassment to mutants and Shadowcat just phases Jean’s hand always from her – so great. Shadowcat is not prone to fighting, as it is mostly pointless.
Jean is finally willing to listen to reason. I like how slyly Shadowat hints that Jean doesn’t have her telepathy here, the jungle shuts it down. Shadowcat wouldn’t have minded a Sister Nation partnership between the two communities but she refuses to work with Jean.
I get why Bendis didn’t want to use this Jean in his All New / Ultimate crossover and Wood did try to calm her down at the end of his run on this title, but I can never forget that Ultimate Jean was practically all powerful, at one point in time.
Jean tries to intimidate Shadowcat, by going full Phoenix but Shadowcat doesn’t blink. It is clearly a desperation move.
Kitty tells Jean to go home, which is so great. Jimmy James is impress that Utopia, once again, didn’t have to fight to win the battle.
The issue ends with World War X being teased as Project : Supersonic is brought to ‘stand by status’
I have reviewed, World War X, already, which is pretty handy and not usually how it works here at S&FwM.