By the time Ultimate X-Men starts Charles Xavier and Erik Magnus have already experienced a rift in their friendship born of their differing ideas about the direction mutantkind should take. The world has already become aware and paranoid of mutants (aided by Magneto's hostile acts against Homo Sapiens). Bolivar Trask has already built the first Sentinels. The issue opens with the trial run of these Sentinels on the city of Los Angeles.
May people die in the slaughter. One scene in particular is heart-wrenching.
The trial run of the Sentinels is declared a success with no civilian casualties. Apparently those people with the mutant gene who have been killed are not considered people at all.
The book then takes us in the front lines of Xavier's recruitment program. And who is the recruiter you ask? Why, it's Jean Grey.
First recruit is my favorite X-Man, Hank McCoy
Back view being shown to highlight those gigantic feet (size 42s).
Next up is Storm.
At this point Ororo still has control issues regarding her powers. It is a recent 'incident' that lands her in jail.
Colossus is next.
Recruited from the Russian mob.
And here's the team.
They are given their code names and uniform. The uniforms perform a practical function - they hide the mutant gene from the Sentinels. Note that Cyclops is already a member at this point and in the leadership position we're used to seeing him in.
Professor X greets them in the library.
Note that Cerebro is built into the library as opposed to being in a separate room of the mansion.
The X-Men's first mission is to get to one Bobby Drake, the Iceman. For this they head to New York City.
Unfortunately, the Sentinels have sniffed out Iceman also. It's going to be a fight.
A reluctant Storm unleashes her lightning bolts bringing down three Sentinels in one strike!
The Beast uses his agility and brains to make two Sentinels take each other out.
No Sentinel can take a stare down from Cyclops.
Perhaps the most impressive takedown is from Bobby Drake.
The Iceman cometh indeed.
We are then taken to the Hidden Land to look at another faction of Homo Superior: Magneto's team.
The Toad and Quicksilver are shown. Scarlet Witch is also part of the group.
This is a wonderful shot of Magneto's palatial headquarters.
Magneto contemplates assassinating Charles Xavier. Pietro steps up to the task but is rejected in favor of another aasassin.