Al Ewing (W), Kenneth Rocafort (A), Dan Brown (CA)
Cover By: Kenneth Rocafort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Guys, this is the one. This is my favorite comic currently being published. If my opinion is worth anything to you at this point (which I certainly hope it’s worth something), you can stop reading this review right now and go pick up an issue of The Ultimates. Don’t worry, I will explain why in this full review. However, you really should read this comic.
In the shadow of the universal collapse that was Secret Wars, a group of heroes have come together to solve the impossible problems. They are Black Panther, Blue Marvel, Captain Marvel, Spectrum, and Miss America.
The series begins with Blue Marvel, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel going out into space to solve the Galactus problem. T’Challa and Brashear both think they may find the means to end his hunger forever. Meanwhile, Spectrum and Miss America attempt to end the reign of a large-headed dictator on an alien planet.
The first three heroes manage to track down Galactus and bring him to the pod from which he originally emerged as the devourer of worlds. They posit that he was awoken prematurely, and that he should have had more time to develop. They force him inside of the pod and supercharge it with energy. They succeed, and he emerges anew as Galactus the Lifebringer. He has a new role, restoring dead planets.
From here, the Ultimates decide that they need an outside perspective on the multiverse. To accomplish this, they must go outside of Infinity itself. They use a mixture of their advanced technology and Miss America’s universe-hopping powers to get there. On the way, they run into Blue Marvel’s old arch nemesis, the Anti-Man, whom Brashear had believed to be dead. They convince Blue Marvel to spare him, and the team brings him along for the ride. Once they reach the outside of the multiverse, the strain incapacitates Miss America and their ship begins to tear apart. Galactus, grateful to them for his new status as the Lifebringer, rescues them and brings them back into their universe. Along the way, he sees that Infinity, the entity in which all of the multiverse exists, is literally in chains for unknown reasons. He and the Ultimates re-enter existence, but not without being followed by Thanos, who was expelled from the universe by Doctor Doom during Secret Wars.
After the Ultimates recover, they press Galactus for information about what is going on. From here, the book begins to get a little meta. Galactus discusses how time is in constant flux, the past continues to be rewritten and is constantly moving along to remain at a certain distance from the present (Marvel’s whole “a few years ago” explanation for all major events in the hero’s past). He even makes a comment about Blue Marvel’s retconned place in Marvel history. He sends the Ultimates back to Earth without telling them about Infinity’s current status.
From there, the story turns to Galactus himself. He is trying to investigate what is happening to Infinity. Along the way, he is challenged by both Chaos and Order. They want him to be returned to the position of devourer, as this fits both of their perceptions of the universe. The fight occurs in the “Superflow,” the space between universes where thought becomes reality for celestials. As a result, Galactus is able to “reason” them into defeat.
Galactus’ journey ends when he finds Owen Reese, the Molecule Man, in a dimension of his own making. He gives Galactus a perspective on how broken reality truly is and sends him on his way.
Let me say again: you need to read this book. It’s such a fantastic mixture of big ideas, science, and adventure. I don’t use the word “fantastic” here lightly, as, for those who might be missing Marvel’s First Family of Heroes, the book really resembles the spirit of weird adventure that the Fantastic Four represented. The characters are very intriguing with their own motivations and reasons for being on the team.
The current issue picks up with Captain Marvel being informed of a Cosmic Cube energy signature on Earth by a representative of the Shi’ar, and she has to track down the source of this signal. Meanwhile, Black Panther and Blue Marvel have to decide what to do with the Anti-Man.
This issue was near perfect. It’s another one of those “breather” issues that I so enjoy. It sits back, lets the characters process everything that has happened, and sets up for the next story. Captain Marvel is in her full, determined form. Blue Marvel and Black Panther’s form a new rivalry. There is a not-so-surprising but all the same welcome guest towards the end that gives it a strong ending. The art captures it all perfectly thanks to Rocafort and Brown.
Seriously, read this book. Al Ewing, Kenneth Rocafort, and Dan Brown are firing on all cylinders. This book is amazing, and it deserves as much attention as possible.
Issue Score: 10/10
Series Score: 10/10 (Ultimate)