Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Comic of the Week 5.30.12

Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates #11
Marvel Comics

Slim pickings in the comics department this week.  UC: Ultimates was the only comic I got so it was a lock for CotW.  That said it was pretty good.  Things have been building in the Ultimate line of of comics.  I was a little worried by the scope of things (a few issues back Reed Richards blew up Washington DC) and that they were ramping up intensity just to keep things interesting (a device in modern comics that is often used to hide inadequate or subpar storytelling), but they do seem to be building to something here and they laid the foundation for it for at least two years, so I am more than willing to see where this is going. 
Issue #11 continues this build as things go from worse to absolutely disastrous.  If you've not been keeping up, Reed Richards was left for dead in the Negative Zone several years ago, but he didn't die, instead he stayed behind in the Zone and got angry.  He reappeared about a year ago bearing a severe grudge against the Ultimates who left him there and with a more evolved brain that enabled him to build an advanced civilization called the City, which he implanted in Europe without asking anybody.  Meanwhile, Nick Fury's Ultimates team responded to this action by sending various agents in to investigate, infiltrate, and eventually destroy the City.  Ineffective attempts by the Hulk, Falcon and Thor simply served to seriously piss Richards off.  The final nail in the coffin was when the President of the United States (ambiguous as to whether or not it was connected to the real world correlate) launched every nuke the US had at the City.  Richards responded by transporting a tiny black hole into DC and eradicating the Capitol.  The interim President initiated martial law and tried to detain all of the Ultimates claiming they were a threat to national security.  The Ultimates went rogue instead and have been working against Richards and the government.  Issue #11 brings all of that to a head and the gentleman on the cover features prominent role in those proceedings.  One thing that bothers me a little is that this issue was drawn by committee suggesting that a competent regular art team is having trouble keeping up with a monthly schedule.  That usually spells doom for a modern comic...

UC: Ultimates also features a few other storylines in addition to this plot, so there is plenty to see here.  When it launched, it looked like the book was going to be too busy to follow in a monthly format, and I admit it can be a challenge, but when you take 3 or 4 issues in a session you get a better appreciation for the impact and scale of the story they are telling.  And if you do read in batches like that, you find that you are looking forward to the next issue to see what is going to happen.  I'm not patient enough to wait for a collection to come out, so I buy the single issues, but after reading them, I usually collect a few and then reread them all at once.  Not only do I get a better perspective on the story, but I also get a little more bang for my buck.

Make no mistake, this is cinematic comic book storytelling, which I think I hate, but at least here it is being done pretty darn well.  This is in contrast to the awesome, but incredibly drawn out story Bendis is telling over in Ultimate Comics: Spider-man.  If you want to check out UC: Ultimates, go grab some of the collections first to get up to speed.  Once you do, I think you'll be looking forward to each issue the way I am.

Coming Attractions! 
UC: Ultimates featured some very interesting ads for things Marvel has coming down the pipeline.  Let's take a look...

With the exception of the line shattering epic that was Ultimatum, crossovers in the Marvel Ultimate Universe have been unilaterally disastrous.  This is why I am instantly skeptical about this "Divided We Fall" crossover.  Things are kind of happening at different rates in the three Ultimate Comics and as a result trying to tie them into each other could lead to some very awkward scenarios.  That said, the Ultimate Comics X-men cover looks pretty sweet, so I guess we'll see where it goes.  I currently get all of the Ultimate Comics so I'll keep you posted.

And then there is this:

Did you demand this?  Because I didn't.  I really, honestly, didn't.  This can't possibly be good can it?  I like Frank Tieri and Mark Texeira, but this is very ill conceived and does not bode well.  Who knows, maybe it will be the greatest thing ever?  You spend your money and let me know....

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