Review by Frank Plowright
With Blockbuster Brian Michael Bendis inherited the Ultimate X-Men series for a two volume run, and isn’t greatly concerned with following up on any plots Mark Millar left dangling, the exception being digging up Wolverine’s past. Wolverine knows very little of this himself, other than his being captured by a military organisation called Weapon X who upgraded his natural claws to adamantium. He lacks any memories before then.
Over the opening chapters Blockbuster features a few other heroes, but none of them X-Men, as Wolverine teams with Spider-Man to discover who’s so determined to capture him that they’ll casually use premium wepaons in civilian areas. That’s not a question answered in a hurry, but it is one that’ll captivate all readers unconcerned about this being Wolverine and friends/allies rather than an X-Men story. It’s a clever way into the X-Men for Bendis, who’s on home territory with Spider-Man, writes a convincing Wolverine and gives Daredevil some great lines. On top of that, already in place artist David Finch supplies great action. You’ll feel every bullet hitting Wolverine and almost smell one seedy New York location after another, such is the accuracy with which Finch sets the scene.
It takes until the fifth chapter of six before Bendis reintroduces the X-Men and picks up on the emotional traumas revealed in Return of the King. He has no interest in them though, and they receive a cursory wade through before a return to his main plot, this time with the X-Men involved.
Bendis’ approach to the X-Men isn’t Millar’s. His wasn’t always light and frothy, but by making much of the X-Men’s future about going public with Wolverine among them, Bendis has turned everything a few shades darker. The background introduced in passing during the final pages has a significance when it comes to New Mutants, which is next. Or both are combined as the fourth volume of Ultimate X-Men: Ultimate Collection.