The Ultimate line of comics published by Marvel Comics has been around since 2000 and has been one of the reasons Marvel dominated the sales charts in the last decade. Launching with Ultimate Spider Man and Ultimate X Men this imprint was designed to bring in new readership by reimagining some of Marvel’s most iconic characters.
The Ultimates are this universes version of the Avengers, like the 616 Avengers this team is brought together to fight threats that no one hero could face alone. Unlike the Avengers, the Ultimates are military outfit headed up by S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury. To say that this line of comics has had major influence on how the Marvel heroes are presented today you only need to look at the movie versions of Iron Man 1 & 2, Thor and Captain America to see the influence of the work that Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch did on this series.
The first two volumes of The Ultimates were some of my favorite books of the Marvel Ultimate line. These books were fun, wild, action packed and had many twists and turns along the wa
y. Some may not have agreed with how Millar and Hitch were reimagining these characters but fault couldn’t befound with the presentaiton. M
ark Millar seemed to be hitting his stride here as the characters developed and behaved in ways that were logic for these versions of the characters. Bryan Hitch delivered some of his strongest work to date on this book and his designs influenced the look of the movie ver
sions of Captain America and Thor.
This new series of the Ultimates feels more like a follow up to Volumes 1 &
2 while not discrediting what has happened with series such as Ultimates Vol. 3, Ultimate comics New Ultimates, and Ultimate Fallout. It is also worth noting that this issue while picking up on the plot threads laid out in those previous books stands on its own.
Jonathan Hickman does a bang up job with the writing chores here as he introduces us to the major players and moves them into place. The explination of some of the events and a character I’d never seen before are forth coming, this book doesn’t leave the feeling of being cheated out of something. I am hopeful for the series in the hands of Hickman.
The art set the right tone and worked very well with Hickman’s script. Esad Ribic and Dean White
are doing a great job creating a moody atmospheric art that strikes the right balance and goes just far enough in the way of hyper realism to make this book stand out visually.
Fans of The Ultimates should definitely pick this book up.