Next up is the first issue of the... jeez, 4th? 5th? 6th? Ultimates series. I don't even know how many Ultimate series there have been... It seems like there have been dozens. Anyway, this one if from Jonathan Hickman, who Marvel seems very high on. I have mixed feelings on Hickman's work(I enjoyed most of Fantastic Four and liked SHIELD, but hated FF), so I'm a bit worried going into this issue. Here's hoping Marvel made the right move giving Hickman the reins to their preeminent Ultimate Marvel superhero team.
Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates #1:
Summary: We get this party started with crazy Reed Richards building some sort of wacky genius dome out in Germany a little bit back... From there, Nick Fury heads to his command center and is being briefed on various happenings around the globe. First off is some situation in Thailand that Fury has sent Hawkeye to deal with. Unfortunately, the helicarrier Hawkeye was on board gets attacked by some unknown forces, and the feed gets cut. From there, Fury sends Iron Man to South America to try to prevent Uruguay and Argentina from going to war with each other. Fury tells Iron Man(actually an Iron Man suit Tony Stark is controlling remotely from Japan) to try to break the naval blockade that was being imposed off the coast of the two countries, and upon entering one of the ships, Iron Man is surprised to find nobody on board... Fury tells Iron Man to carefully look around, and after searching the control room, Iron Man finds a thermo-nuclear device sitting in the ship's controls, complete with the Stark Industries logo on it. Before Iron Man can react, the nuke goes off, destroying everything in the area and killing the video feed, as well as slamming Tony with some nasty feedback from the destruction of the Iron Man suit. Finally, the European Union has had enough of the gods from Asgard stealing food and beer from the area surrounding Asgard, and have sent in their Excalibur super-soldiers. Excalibur, led by Jamie Braddock, arrive on Asgard and and immediately start hostilities with the gods, leading to a massive battle. The battle spills outside, and the weird dome Crazy Reed from earlier had constructed arrives at the scene of the battle and attacks both sides. The video feed gets cut from that battle, leaving Fury in the dark as to what the hell was going on and what the dome was all about. With that, Fury is left with three crises on his hands with no way of seeing what was happening with any of them. When asked by a SHIELD officer what they should do, Fury surprisingly responds with an uncharacteristic, “I don't know...”
Thoughts: This was a really good set-up issue. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from this series, as Jonathan Hickman has a tendency to write in Morrison-ese every now and then, but all in all, this was an easy comic to get into and read. If I had a complaint it would be the fact that Hickman is using the Future Foundation(which I hate in the main Marvel U) in the Ultimate world. However, in the Ultimate world, it seems that the Future Foundation is being led by an evil/crazy Reed Richards, which is actually an interesting idea. Reed IS the smartest man in the world(or at least in the top two with Dr. Doom), so having somebody THAT intelligent going against the Ultimates is a fresh idea. As long as this doesn't turn into a redemption piece where Reed sees the light and turns good again, I'm fine with it. I have NO problems with Reed remaining evil in the Ultimate Universe. Other then that, I'm glad I started reading this series again, because it looks like it could be a really good monthly read... Provided all involved parties can actually get this series out monthly, which is something this title has seemingly never been able to do!
Score: 9 out of 10.Oh... It's ON now!!!