Ultimates has had good and bad runs. It started out as the Ultimate Universe verson of the Avengers and the first run or two was amazing, but it wasn’t too long before it all went south. Once the Ultimate Universe vanished and most of the characters moved over to the mainstream Marvel Universe, it’s no surprise that the Ultimates came over as well. So what happens when this other-universe book becomes part of the mainstream? Let’s find out.
And the reality is, this isn’t The Ultimates, it’s just straight normal Marvel characters taking up the name. Wakandan superhero Black Panther joins up with the United States government to form not only an international, but an interplanetary superhero team known as The Ultimates. And their first mission is to end the universal threat of Galactus forever.
Now to be honest, the first issue or two of this title were a bit lackluster. Of course, you have to set up your team and set forth your ground rules and that tends to be a bit boring for those in the know. But once they get underway, it becomes clear that this isn’t going to be just another Earth-based superhero team, especially when they got into the Shi’ar Empire, who are none too happy at what our heroes are trying to do.
Art-wise, this book is amazing. Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Brown knock it out of the park on every single page. For a book that spends a lot of time in space, their imagery is perfectly suited to the feel of the comic. Story-wise, while I think it’s great, there is a lot of existential chatter going on, particularly where Galactus spends a considerable amount of time explaining how time and space work for our heroes. There isn’t nearly as much straight-up combat as you might expect, although when it does happen, it’s fantastic, but if you’re looking for something that’s all-action-all-the-time, this probably isn’t the book for you.
This is a much more thinky comic than your run of the mill superhero fight fest. They have intelligent characters doing intelligent things in ways that make sense in the scheme of things. It’s different in all the right ways from what you get most of the time. And that’s the problem. Because it is a different kind of comic, it has largely fallen through the cracks and isn’t getting the readership that it really deserves. I have no idea how long this thing will survive but I hope that it grows over time as people figure out just how gorgeous and smart this thing actually is. Give it a shot, I’m sure you’ll like it.