Reviewer: Tim Sheridan
Written by: Mark Millar
Penciled by: Bryan Hitch
Inked by: Paul Neary
Colored by: Laura Martin
Lettered by: Chris Eliopoulos
Production by: Jacob Chabot
Assistant Editors: Nicole Wiley and John Barber
Associate Editor: Nick Lowe
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Publisher: Marvel Comics
I’ve made no secret about it, I love this book. It’s my favorite comic that is currently being published, and it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. Sounds like a lot of hyperbole, but it’s really not. I love the idea of a superhero story being viewed in the context of the geo-political and media obsessed lens. It’s a new take on the genre, and a thoroughly compelling one at that. Everyone in Hollywood should take note, this is how you could make an accessible and amazing comic book movie.
The Ultimates is not obsessed with itself as a super hero tale. To be honest, it’s not a really original story. And it’s just about a bunch of people. But the way we see the people and the way the story is told is why it’s so good.
The art is, in a word: perfect. It was a long wait between series of The Ultimates, but it’s been well worth the wait, and to be fair, this series has seemed like it’s come out on time. But the art, from the way it’s framed to the colors, to the emotion put into characters’ faces is simply outstanding. Bryan Hitch is one of the people responsible for “widescreen” storytelling, and no one does it better than he does. Look at the scenes in the middle of the book that take place in Rome. In a matter of panels he sets the scene, and then creates utter chaos, but without losing the narrative flow of the book.
The story is now getting to the origin or Thor, a character who I’ve enjoyed the mystery of. But as it is prone to do, the Ultimate universe creates a wholly believable and intriguingly realistic origin for the Norse magic man.
At first I thought the addition of Captain Britain was going to feel tacked on, but there is a real reason for him to be here, along with the other new characters added to this second volume. When I finished the first series of The Ultimates, I was so pleased; I wondered how that could be duplicated without feeling a sense of sequel-itus. I’m very happy to say there is none of that here. While the first series was an introduction to the world of The Ultimates, this second series is more of an exploration of that world, and I’m loving every minute of it.
There are dozens of little character moments and incidents I could talk about, but what makes them so good is discovering them on your own. It’s not a book that will work for everyone, but I find it perfect.