First up for this week, the final issue of the Ultimate Fallout mini-series, which is reshaping the Ultimate Marvel Universe(take THAT, DC!) and the middle issue of the X-Men: Schism event. The first issue of Schism was quite good, the second was a step down(in my opinion at least), here's hoping business picks back up again with this issue.
Ultimate Fallout #6(of 6):
Summary: Three stories here, the first is written by Brian Bendis and stars Aunt May and Gwen Stacy, the second is by Nick Spencer and stars Shadowcat(BOO!), Iceman(YAY!) and the Human Torch(YAY!), while the last story is by Jonathan Hickman and stars Nick Fury. We get started with Gwen(who has radically changed her look since she didn't want people to know who she was anymore) and Aunt May realizing that they were practically hostages in their own home thanks to the media being camped outside May's home. Gwen talks about getting away from the reporters and May mentions that Tony Stark offered to relocate May and Gwen anywhere on the planet. Gwen practically begs May to take Tony up on his offer, and after some prodding May calls Tony, who gives his private villa on the French Riviera to May and Gwen(Gwen wanted to move to France for some reason). With that, Tony sends his private helicopter and picks the two women up as they leave Queens and all of the bad memories behind. Next up, Shadowcat takes Iceman and Human Torch to the one place she's pretty sure will be safe for them, the abandoned Morlock tunnels. Finally, Nick Fury reveals that Steve Rogers had quit being Captain America, probably due to Cap's guilt over Spider-Man's death. From that headache, Fury heads to Mary Jane's house and finds her finishing up her article on how the world killed Spider-Man. Fury reads the article and seems legitimately hurt by MJ's words. Fury explains to MJ that he had known Peter Parker since he had been a baby(Peter's parents were working on a project for SHIELD), and that he should have done more to keep Peter safe and make sure he grew up into the man he COULD have become. Hearing the pain in Fury's voice, MJ promises not to send her article out to the media, and this issue ends with a tearful Fury(?!) telling MJ that she had every right to blame him for Peter's death, since it was all his fault.
Thoughts: Okay, first things first, I thoroughly enjoyed ALL three stories here. Seriously, storywise, I have no complaints... But(you had to know that was coming), the way this issue ended gave us no real finality... It ended with a page of Nick Fury crying a single tear over Peter's death. That's how this mini-series ended. I'm not all that clear on how that's going to lead us into the new Ultimate Spidey book. Speaking of which, the new Ultimate Spider-Man didn't even appear in this issue at all! He showed up ONE time this entire mini-series(issue #4 I believe)! That was it!! Hickman did a good job setting up his Ultimates series in this mini, Spencer did a pretty good job as well, although it did kind of annoy me that Jimmy from Ultimate X didn't show up once, but the lack of Ultimate Spider-Man hurt this mini just a tad for me. I'll be picking up all three of the Ultimate Marvel ongoings(as well as the Ultimate Hawkeye mini) thanks to this mini-series, but I can't help but feel Bendis could have given us just a bit more of his new Ultimate Spidey character... Oh well, I guess that's his way to get us to pick up the new Ultimate Spidey ongoing, and for this comic fan? It worked.
Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.Wait, Johnny Storm has black hair now!?
X-Men: Schism #3(of 5):
Summary: We kick this party off with the new baby Hellfire Club jamming Emma Frost's telepathy before entering the just-opened Museum of Mutant History(or some similar sounding building). The pint-sized Hellfire Club eventually manages to take down the X-Men inside the museum(that would be Emma, Iceman, Magneto, Colossus and Namor, yes that's right, a bunch of punk-ass little kids defeated at least TWO omega-level mutants...) as well as a few of the younger X-Men who were with them, with the exception of Generation Hope member Idie, who managed to hide from the big bad little girl in pigtails. Realizing something bad was about to happen, Lord Summers pulls on his jetpack(huh?!) and flies away from Crazy Mutie Island(Utopia), with his destination being the museum. Meanwhile, Wolverine, who was out drinking not that far away from the museum, having heard about the disturbance on the TV, begins to race over to the museum as well. The baby Hellfire Club members decide to bring the defeated X-Men members outside the museum before leaving a suitcase and their adult minions behind. By this time, the Stepford Cuckoos have managed to link Lord Summers, Wolvie and Idie together telepathically, with Idie reporting back to Lord Summers and Wolvie what she was seeing. Upon hearing that there was a bomb inside, Lord Summers tells Idie to do whatever she felt she had to do to get the Hellfire Club's hostages outside and away from the bomb. Wolverine STRONGLY disagrees with Lord Summers strategy, and yells at him to have Idie get out of the museum, not confront the Hellfire Club goons. Idie emerges from her hiding place and attacks the Hellfire Club's goons, while the pint-sized Hellfire Club leaders retreat, having done what they set out to do. By the time Wolvie and Lord Summers arrive on the scene, Idie is walking out of the museum on shaky legs, telling the two that she had saved the day before collapsing. From there, the museum explodes, killing all of the Hellfire Club goons Idie had blasted before leaving the building. Wolvie gets pissed at Lord Summers and tells him that he never should have allowed her to be in the position to kill Hellfire Club members, while Lord Summers bitches Wolvie out for being in a bar instead of being at the museum. Before the argument can get interesting, the two realize that the bomb left by the tiny Hellfire Club members was more than first thought, as it begins to pull metal into it, creating an enormous Sentinel.
Thoughts: I hate to say it, by this ridiculous mini Hellfire Club junk is destroying what could/should be a great X-story for me. It's like I said last issue, if it was only ONE evil child running the Hellfire Club, I'd have no problem, because the X-Men really haven't dealt with all that many evil, genius, prepubescent enemies before. But four children, defeating the X-Men while making fart jokes does not a good story make. There's only so far I can overlook stupid storylines, and once we get FOUR evil, genius, prepubescent children trying to destroy the X-Men, my eyes begin to roll around in my head. It's too bad, because like I said, if the lead villains were adults, or even if only one of the evil children were there, I'd be lapping this story up. But as it is right now, I just can't enjoy a story where a bunch of 11 year olds are beating up Magneto while calling him a “withered old fart”... Come on, Jason Aaron I KNOW you're better than that.
Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.Yeah, nothing says serious villain like a little girl with pigtails saying, "I farted".......