Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ultimate Fallout #4 (of 6)

What a bunch of crap.

Oh, I'm not talking about the "new" Ultimate Spider-Man, who we meet for the first time in this issue.

I'm not even talking about what the story does to Reed Richards, one of my all-time favorite characters.

Or the last five pages, which flew in from left field and stayed there.

No, I'm talking about the fact that the "surprise" unveiling of the new Spider-Man didn't talk place in the pages of this issue. Instead, the panel with the character pulling back his mask was released the day before to news media, who snapped it right up and ran stories telling us more about the character than the story itself reveals.

I know, Marvel has to sell comic books, and advance publicity pumps up sales - but these spoilers completely ruin the reading experience.

I should point out that I was trying to avoid the stories. I like to be surprised by events in the books and comics and movies and TV shows that I enjoy. But for reasons that elude me, the marketing concept is, "Let's tell them something big is going to happen, and then give them the art so they can show it and people will rush into the comics shops and scoop up those issues in a speculation frenzy."

And if it ruins the story for those poor schlubs who've been following the story patiently for years, who cares?

Hopefully one day they'll realize, "We can build buzz by telling them that something shocking will happen, but we won't tell them what happens so the readers can enjoy the surprise!" (Don't hold your breath waiting.)

As for the controversy around the new Spidey and his racial background - who cares? Anyone of any race, gender or age could be Spider-Man. Should we be shocked when they shake up that angle?

Anyway, enough ranting. As for the comic itself, it's actually extremely average, although the artwork by Sara Pichelli, Salvador Larroca and Clayton Crain is quite good. We see "Spider-Man" fighting a lame villain, exhibiting some spider-powers, and that's about it.

We catch up with Reed Richards, another favorite character who's been mentally twisted out of shape. The final story sets up some "shocking" revelations that mostly adds up to a big, "Who cares?"

And that seems to be the imminent fate of the Ultimate Universe. In attempting to make it different from the regular Marvel Universe, the creative teams have smashed it all beyond recognition.

I've been following it since the beginning, and with each new story I find it more and more difficult to care. Probably because they keep killing off my favorite characters - or at least assassinating their personalities.

Grade: C-



Anonymous said...

"Anyone of any race, gender or age
could be Spider-Man?"
I've got an 8-year old niece who is
sweet and kind, but I'm pretty sure
she is NOT Spider-MAN material.
Just sayin'...
No, the race doesn't matter, but
gender and age are more specific,

Sam Kujava

Chuck said...


Yeah, my rant went a little too far there. What I should have said was that there's a lot of leeway with a character like Spider-Man, whether he's 15 years old or 35, black, asian, hispanic or white. Gender is a bit more of an obstacle, although there are plenty of Spider-Women / Spider-Girls running around already. Thanks for bringing back from the edge. ;-)