Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Ultimates #4

One of the advantages to working in Marvel's Ultimate universe is that almost anything can happen.

The Ultimates are a case in point, as a mysterious, super-scientific city has appeared in Europe and has grown to cover a large part of the continent.

The city is populated by a race of humans that are far advanced technologically, and ravenous in their appetite for information - they devastate Asgard and Europe's heroes almost effortlessly.

The issues leading up to this one have detailed the discovery of the city and the attempts by The Ultimates and SHIELD to defeat the threat - attempts that have failed completely.

It's a well-crafted story by Jonathan Hickman, and it's going to be interesting to see how it's resolved. Certainly I can think of few times when the good guys were so badly outmatched.

The last page reveals the mastermind behind the plot, but if it was supposed to be a surprise, it's news to me. The identity was pretty obvious to anyone who's been paying attention to the Ultimate universe.

The artwork is by Esad Ribic, and it's quite good - from the futuristic cityscapes to an amazing tableau of heroes. It's a unique style, very expressive and focused on telling the story.

I've found my interest in the Ultimate line waning lately. The series was intended (I thought) to be a fresh approach to the Marvel characters, but instead it became more like fan fiction - "Hey, wouldn't it be cool to kill all these characters?"

But this series, with its firm setting in science fiction, has me hooked. Here's hoping for more of the same!

Grade: A-


No comments: