I think it's great when a writer has more than one ongoing plot line in a series. The last few issues have focused on Quicksilver and Stryker, and we haven't seen Kitty Pryde and her team of X-Men in a little while. It's really great to see these characters return in this issue, and to see Kitty really take on the leadership responsibilities. I think I find her character more compelling, strong and interesting in this ULTIMATE series than I do in the regular Marvel Universe. That in no way means I dislike Kitty in Marvel's 616, I just think she's more interesting here.
Kitty is used as a symbol for what the X-Men must do in this series in order to combat Stryker. She removes her hooded cloak and steps out proudly as Kitty Pryde; no longer hiding her face or her identity. In order for the X-Men to succeed, they have to step out like Pryde did in this issue and confront their problems and their conflicts. It's great symbolism.
Paco Medina, Reilly Brown and Juan Vlasco each do an absolutely gorgeous job penciling this issue. The inks are perfect and Marte Garcia's colors are just stunning. Although there were three artists on this issue their styles are similar enough that the reader won't miss a beat.
This issue is definitely a set-up of what is to come next, which is great, but I definitely thought the pacing of this issue would move a little bit more quickly. The story seems to be moving pretty slowly. I think that when this series is collected it might make more sense telling it this slowly, but as a stand-alone issue it's not a whole lot of action.
This issue is the seed of the "revolution" that was bound to take place in this series. The X-Men will no longer stay in hiding; they will come out and fight for their right to exist. There are a lot of great metaphors and some really interesting scenes, but overall the pacing of this book is a little bit slow. If you haven't been following the story and you pick this up you might be a little bit lost, but I think in general the plot is pretty easy to figure out. This issue is also a transition from one place to another, so it might not be a bad place to start reading. Finally, the art is absolutely gorgeous. Definitely some beautiful panels in this issue.