After giving the first six issues of this series a pretty bad drubbing, I thought I’d give the last half of the series another shot. All New Ultimates was only intended as a 12-issue maxi-series and while I usually try to give an entire short series a single look, I wasn’t aware that this was a short-run series when I wrote my last review. Marvel doesn’t tend to make it public that most series are only going to go a particular number of issues, mostly so they can change their mind down the line.
So let’s take a gander at the last half of this series and see if it gets any better.
Unfortunately, no, it never really does. At best, this is a middling title throughout, even though there are a couple of stronger issues such as #8, I never really got invested in anything that was going on. Maybe it’s because I remember the heady days of the first series of The Ultimates and this never comes close to measuring up.
There are some characters that I like but picking individual characters out of a team book is always problematic. Truth be told, I never really got the feeling that this was a team, it felt like a bunch of individuals that just hung out together. Besides, the Avengers/Ultimates were always “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”, but here, they’re just not. They’re street-level heroes that never rise above that. I’m not trying to be cruel here, but some characters are heavy hitters and some are not and in this comic, there just aren’t any real heavy hitters. It’s like the original Power Pack declaring themselves to be Avengers. It just isn’t something that feels quite right.
Maybe with all of the changing creative staff and the inconsistent writing, leading to a really awful 3-part finale, it’s a good thing that it got the axe at issue #12. I heard that it was meant to be a 12 issue story, but if that was true, they totally dropped the ball at the end and left me wondering what the plan really was, if there was a plan at all. By the last issue, you just want it all to be over and wonder what they were thinking in the first place. Yes, Bombshell got some much-needed character development during the series, but that’s one of the few positives that we saw. The end of this series was a bit of a mercy killing.
And so, with this cancellation, that leaves just one title in the Ultimate Universe, leading to the complete destruction thereof in Secret Wars. As much as I loved the idea of the Ultimate Universe from the beginning, I’m afraid that the overall realization was less than it should have been. Farewell, All-New Ultimates and the UU, most people gave up on you a while back.