In which something happens, but we really don’t know what…


Hot on the heels of Ultimatum, the event that essentially destroyed the Ultimate status quo, comes the brand new event that threatens those heroes located in New York City.  What is it? Can you say TETSUOOOOOO!?

ultimateenemy1COVER.jpgUltimate Enemy #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Rafa Sandoval
Colors: Matt Wilson
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Cover: Ed McGuinness, Mark Farmer, Justin Ponsor

To be honest, I completely forgot I ordered this comic oh so many months ago, and with Ultimate (comics) titles dropping left and right, with new ones coming and going, it’s hard to keep track of what is going on in the Ultimate U.  Fortunately, Ultimate Enemy #1 gives readers a chance to check in on some of those characters that aren’t appearing in Ultimate Avengers, Ultimate Iron Man, or Ultimate Spider-Man.

So without further ado…

  • Jessica Drew – She’s stalking Roxxon waiting for the moment when she has enough evidence to bring the company down.  And it’s going well, until something major happens.
  • Reed Richards – Living at home with his parents.  Things are not going so well, until something major happens.
  • Sue Storm – Pretty much a loner, continuing her work … until something major happens.
  • Ben Grimm – Coming to grips with who he is, but takes a chance to visit Sue to profess his love for her.  It doesn’t turn our well, and he’s pretty down in the dumps… until something major happens.
  • Samuel L. Jackson Nick Fury – Enjoys eating sushi incognito – UNTIL SOMETHING MAJOR HAPPENS!

The issue is simply a series of vignettes that do give us a glimpse into the mindset of the characters, but the moment Roxxon explodes everything in these characters lives change… forever…again.  There are actually two different events going on; one with the giant slime monster, and the other with some hulking brute who has the ability to make things explode, which is kind of interesting to see if these events are the result of one being or several.

It’s all really intriguing, but I have absolutely no idea what is going on, and that may be why I enjoyed the issue.  Sure it’s probably a little too soon to start another major disaster so soon after the Ultimatum, but the buildup by Brian Michael Bendis has introduced the hook needed to get readers on board for the entire run.  The issue feels more like a teaser for things to come, and since there are a few more characters on the front cover, than those featured on the inside, my guess is we’ll see a few more heroes showing up to combat the mighty beastie currently tearing the city apart.

Sandoval’s art is simply spectacular in this issue.  He is able to blend the light and tight style of the characters with highly detailed environments.  For example, when Roxxon explodes, there is a lot of debris, and Sandoval shows you all of it.  Likewise, there are very few panels in the issue where he employs the single color wash as the background as an excuse to skirt his art duties.  When we see the city, we see the city, although for NYC, it is surprisingly clean – even for a city underwater not six months ago.  Sandoval is an artist I want to see more of in the very near future.

What’s Good

  • The art
  • Nice to see some old friends again
  • The art
  • The characters have evolved, and there is a lot of backstory still to be discovered
  • The art
  • Bendis creates unique voices in all of his characters
  • Did I mention the art?

The Bad

  • This issue is really a big tease to something coming next
  • There should have been more publicity for this event

Bottom Line
With the destruction of Ultimate U, I was really not looking forward to seeing what was going to happen next.  And even though i don’t agree with the decision to start tearing the city apart again, it is one hell of an issue.  Great story telling with excellent pacing by Bendis, and fantastic art by Sandoval earn’s Ultimate Enemy #1 4 out of 5 Stars.

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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  1. Greg A
    January 30, 2010 at 10:14 am — Reply

    I also enjoyed this issue a lot more than I expected. After the underwhelming Ultimatium, Ultimate Enemy benefited from having lowered expectations.

  2. Salieri
    January 30, 2010 at 2:46 pm — Reply

    Shuma Gorath? Tell me it’s Shuma Gorath.

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