Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Ultimates #7

Marvel's go-to book for science fiction has always been the Fantastic Four, but since the higher powers have decided that the FF doesn't exist in the "Ultimate" Universe (shame on whoever made that decision, by the way), apparently the honor has fallen to The Ultimates.

That team is in the middle of a most difficult fight, as the evil Reed Richards (don't get me started) has created the Children of Tomorrow - a vastly advanced city filled with powerful, virtually unstoppable citizens.

The Ultimates attacked and were easily defeated. So now they have to figure a different approach, and they look for help from another powerful city of super-humans. The question is, can they get the help they need - or will they be crushed between two all-powerful forces?

It makes for an interesting (and tense) story by Jonathan Hickman. The only "off" note is the inclusion of another character at the end - and in keeping with the near-total lack of continuity found in the Ultimate books, that character is on the other side of the world from where he was last seen with no explanation of why or how.

But that's just me being picky. So far, this continues to be a taut and surprising story, and there's no telling where it goes from here. Which is a good thing.

The art by Esad Ribic is quite good, with some clever design work and strong characters. My only criticism is that almost every panel is the same, mid-range angle - some more variety wouldn't hurt.

But overall, this is a strong series that plays fair with the reader, maintains a strong science fiction setting and leaves us wondering who's going to be left standing at the end.

Now if they can just stick the landing...

Grade: B+


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