Next up on the review train is two more Marvel comic books I'm extremely interested in reading, but for two different reasons. Ultimate X has been a shockingly good series, but has been crippled by delays, so whenever a new issue comes out, I'm happy. Fear Itself: Black Widow could be VERY interesting depending on when during the Fear Itself event it takes place. If it takes place after the events of Fear Itself #3, it could be a must read. I doubt it will, but still...
Ultimate X Comics #5:
Summary: So wait, THIS was the last issue?! DAMMIT!!! *sigh* Okay, on with the review... This issue kicks off with Jimmy(that would be Wolverine's son) trying to buy some beer at a liquor store. After getting turned away for being underage, he heads outside where he is approached by a guy who says he'd buy Jimmy the booze, and wouldn't even take Jimmy's money, since he instead wanted Jimmy's life. It turns out the guy is Sabretooth(!), and that he wanted to off Jimmy before the kid grew up to be the kind of threat Wolverine was. Tooth beats the ever-loving hell out of Jimmy, but is prevented from delivering the deathblow by Quicksilver, who swoops in and drags Tooth away. Jean Grey ends up locating Jimmy and brings his battered body back to their hotel room. Since Jimmy's healing factor was working slowly to repair the multitude of damage done to Jimmy's body, Jean patches him up as best she can before heading out to recruit somebody else to join her cause... Bruce Banner! Banner has been working at a soup kitchen, and upon hearing from Jean doesn't want to help, since the Hulk was an uncontrollable monster. However, Jean tells Banner that she'd be able to help him keep Hulk in check, which would go a long way in Banner making amends for the Hulk's MANY crimes. Banner agrees to go with Jean, and later that day, the Hulk attacks Sabretooth in a bar, beating the hell out of him. After a while, Quicksilver and his group of mutants(including Mystique and the new Blob) arrive on the scene to confront Jean and her group. Realizing that they were WAY overpowered with the Hulk there, Quicksilver tells Jean that he never sanctioned Sabretooth's attack on Jimmy, and now that Tooth had been beaten for his actions, they were even. Not really looking for a fight, Jean allows Quicksilver to take Tooth and his team and leave. Jean heads back to the hotel with her team, and Jimmy wakes up, obviously shocked to see the Hulk standing there with the rest of the group. Jean tells them that the Hulk was in control of himself now, and then drops another bombshell, bringing Nick Fury into the room. Fury tells the group that he didn't approve of the way the government was dealing with the mutant situation, and that he was going to be providing Jean and her group with information to help them assist mutants in need. Jean tells the group that they didn't work for Fury or the anybody else, and that they'd do what they felt was the right thing to do for themselves and mutantkind. From there, the scene shifts to Quicksilver's base, where he tells his team that the US government and it's war on mutants had to be stopped, at which time he reveals HIS secret weapon, the Scarlet Witch!!
Thoughts: Yeah, so at the end of this issue we find out that this was the last issue of this “mini-series” even though it was originally promoted as a bi-monthly ongoing series... That REALLY sucks, because I REALLY like Jimmy, and was getting into the concept of this series. Oh well... It seems that in the coming months, Marvel is going to try to fix up their Ultimate Universe, with a new Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimates and Ultimate X-Men series. The Ultimate X-Men series is being written by Nick Spencer(which should be a good thing!), and SHOULD be picking up where this “mini-series” left off. I'll be honest, in many ways I see Jeph Loeb in the same light as I see Grant Morrison... He's very hit or miss, and tends to polarize comic fans. For me, I've always felt more positive than negative towards Loeb's work(he DID create Nate Grey!!!), but I also didn't read much of his Ultimate Universe works, like Ultimatum, which seems to be what pissed off a great many comic fans. With all that said though, THIS “mini-series” was Loeb at his best. I can honestly say I enjoyed practically every issue(not that there were a lot...), and I honestly hope we see another Ultimate X mini, or better yet, the characters in this “mini-series” show up as members of the new Ultimate X-Men comic. As for a score, I'm not sure it deserves it, but what the hell, it's my blog, and as such I'll give this issue a perfect score, the second one I've given out today!
Score: 10 out of 10.And that ladies and gentlemen, is an ass-kicking.
Fear Itself: Black Widow #1:
Summary: After what happened in Washington DC(so this DOES take place after Fear Itself #3), Steve Rogers has sent the Black Widow out to Marseille, France to deal with some terrorists, as well as to get her away from the “loss” she suffered in Washington... Grr.... Anyway, BW and a French hero named Peregrine head to a church and discover that a mess of terrorists had taken over the church since it also housed a secret French Ministry of Defense room. The terrorists manage to discover the launch codes for France's nuclear arsenal, and before Black Widow can attack them, have sent the codes to whoever hired them. After a quick tussle, BW leaves a few of the terrorists alive and interrogates them, forcing one of them into giving up the location of their leader. Black Widow sneaks onto a ship, and gets blindsided by some more terrorists and captured. The terrorist leader taunts BW before shooting her in the head(!). With BW out of the way, the terrorist leader decides to launch France's nukes at London, since he wanted people to fear his organization, not the Serpent. After having heard all the terrorist's plans, the Black Widow speaks to the terrorists, telling them that they had actually captured a life model decoy, and not the real Black Widow, and that the LMD was filled with enough explosives to sink their ship. With that, BW pushes a button and detonates her LMD, sinking the boat, killing the terrorists and saving London. This issue ends with Peregrine telling BW that they had won a victory worth celebrating, while BW sees nothing more than a hollow victory.
Thoughts: Eh, this wasn't a bad comic at all. It was a good little one and done issue, that starred Black Widow. There's nothing wrong with that. It did hint at the events of Fear Itself #3, but didn't come right out and SAY that Bucky had died, even though reading between the lines made me even more sure that Marvel made the dumbest possible move and killed Bucky, all for the sake of that goddamn movie... Anyway, like I said, this was a good comic that wasn't REALLY connected to the main Fear Itself stuff. While that did annoy me a bit, it didn't hurt my enjoyment of this issue, which is all that really matters.
Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Hey, can the Bucky thing have been a LMD too? Please?