While not a lot really happens in this book, we get half-a-million hooks of juicy plot goodness to come: the title of the issue is, in fact, exactly what you get.
Summary: We start in the Triskellion, where guys who are on Sinister's suicide-watch duty are getting chewed out for letting him swallow his own shirt. Elsewhere in the facility, Mastermind shows up to relieve Mystique, sets up a TV, DVD player, and his girlfriend Stacy to chill out and pretend to be Magneto while Mystique goes and does impotant mysterious business for Magneto. So Mags is up to something!
We cut over to Xavier mansion, just over 6 weeks after the last issue. There are twenty new students at the mansion, including a youngster whose feelings are hurt because he is being called Grizzly. Scott and Jean are stressed out and looking for more instructors. There is an Irish mutant being sent by Moira MacTaggert that is going to help. Kirkman plays the pronoun game so we are unable to tell this mutant's gender. Most likely Banshee or Siryn. Maybe they won't let Banshee be a man in Ultimate X-men, as a Banshee is, by definition, female, and any Irishman would know that. Also, it is revealed that Toad is now teaching at the Xavier institute. Gerald is mysteriously making...PHONE CALLS!
To EMMA FROST'S BOYFRIEND! We have a mysterious Asian fellow hanging out at the Academy of Tomorrow, talking to COlossus and Northstar, and being introduced as ULTIMATE SHINOBI SHAW!
Nightcrawler finds the Morlocks.
Nova shows up and starts blowing things up!...oops, sorry, advertisement.
And then we cut to a secret science lab in the Triskelion where FUry is talking to a long-haired upside-down fellow who is very pissed about being mind-controled to believe that he has been in contact with family and friends for the last many months. Apparently Xavier had been keeping Beast mind-controlled into contentment because he unexpectadly resussitated after the Sentinal attack. Fury needed to have an A-class mind working on somethings, and so he got Xavier to help him keep McCoy happy. Apparently intelligence reports come out that the group that Stryker's attempt to kill the president with Sentinals was just the beginning and he has, in his control, the Legacy Virus, and Hank has been working on a cure...and he's making progress. Also, he has managed to reverse the blue fur and animal face problems he'd been having, though he hasn't been able to lose the pointy monster teeth.
3-faced boy is running, spouting bunk about the MUTANT LIBERATION FRONT's goal to figure out the TRUE cause of Xavier's death. He then gets blasted by a Sentinal.
Ororo is scared in the dark. It's the SHADOW KING! She wakes up and adds it to her play. As she's writing a knock is at the door. It's Old Bishop who wants her to help him rebuild an X-men team.
Overall, I liked it. That said, I hope that this issue isn't indicative of the future of this book. I hope Kirkman takes each of these "Cliffhangers" and focuses on 1-2 of them at a time in 2-4 issue arcs. All of the jumping around will make it feel like nothing is really progressing very quickly. I also don't want spin-off X-books.
I wanna see this book focused, preferably on Bishop's team of new X-men encountering the number of things going on here, with them eventually opporating with and through the Xavier School. One arc dealing with the Morlocks, the next with the Sentinels, another with the Legacy Virus and reunification with Beast, another with Magneto, etc.
I give it a 3.5/5 for great set-up, lots of plot hooks, and good promise. Don't know how I feel about the art.
The next question: Who will be Bishop's new team? Bishop, Storm, and ?????