Two of my favorite comics this year so far are the collected first issues of Ultimate X and the Fractured Fables graphic novel. Ultimate X: Origins is Jeph Loeb's take on the Ultimate Universe where the X-Men are gone and mutants around the world are hiding from authorities. Loeb is well known for his work on television like Heroes, Lost and Smallville. He writes a fast moving story centered on the children of mutants.
Each issue introduces a new character to Ultimate X, while a different observer narrates each story. The series begins Jimmy Hudson's adopted father telling of the hope he had for his family. He narrates,
"We started to build a thirty-footer. Hadn't even thought of a name for her yet. We were going to sail around the world. But then the world changed."
Change happens dramatically in the Hudson family when they are informed that Jimmy is the son of Wolverine and has many of his mutant powers. From there, Jimmy seeks out other X-Men and mutants like Jean Grey and others. It is awesome to see an X-Men team started completely from scratch. This is similar to many other mutant comic stories, but still makes for a fun read and is a great set up for future volumes.
Fractured Fables follows a crazy amount of books and graphic novels dedicated to re-writing classic stories and fairy tales. This collection features over thirty great cartoonists like Doug TenNapel. Little Red Riding Hood by Bryan Talbot wonders what would happen to the wolf when Grandma fights back. Mary Had a Little Lamb turns into Mary Had a Little Spam. TenNapel's offering is a fun take on Rumplestiltskin and what happens after the classic story. Royden Lepp writes about Little Miss Muffet as a bug collector.
As in any collection, the quality varies, but there are many good, funny and twisted stories with bright, vivid artwork.