Following the events of Ultimatum, I’ll admit that my interest in the Ultimate Marvel Universe dwindled very quickly. Sure, I kept up with most of the goings on with Ultimate Spider-Man, but other than that I couldn’t tell you what was going on. The news that Ultimate Fallout features the brand new amazing spectacular ultimate Spider-Man has spread far and wide, I’m sure more than a few people are going to pick up this issue.

I expect half of them will scratch their head and say, “Huh?”

ULTIMATE FALLOUT #4 (OF 6)
Spider-Man
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Sara Pichelli
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Reed Richards
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Valerie Cooper
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Clayton Crain
Letterers: VC’s Cory Petit and Clayton Cowles
Cover Art: Mark Bagley, Andy Lanning, and Justin Ponsor
Variant Cover: Marko Djurdjevic
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Ultimate Fallout: Spider-Man is Dead! Spider-Man is Dead! Did I mention Spider-Man is dead!? Save for a bunch of other things going on in other books, that’s about all you really need to know. Citizens of this universe are understandably upset and trying to figure out what to do next.

MEET MILES MORALES

The big hullabaloo over the half-black, half-Hispanic character is really blown out of proportion, if you ask me. This IS the Ultimate Universe where anything that can be tweaked, modified, or removed has and will continue to be done. I don’t remember everyone making a big deal over a black Nick Fury when he first appeared, though that probably was because he was modeled after Sam Muther-F’in Jackson, and no one wants to make Sam Muther-F’n Jackson angry.

So it’s up to Brian Michael Bendis to once again shake things up in the Ultimate Universe, and I think he’s done it in such a way that it works. As the Kangaroo dishes out violence against one of his former n’er do wells, Spider-Man shows up to break up the fight. Except Spider-Man is dead – something that is not lost on those witnessing the action. What makes this introduction of the character work on so many levels is the fact that Bendis has everyone, and I mean everyone, commenting on the fact that they know this isn’t the real Spider-Man, but rather someone aping his act. While it may get old if it continues past this issue, the “too soon, dude” comments are perfect.

And what do we know of this all new all fantastic Spider-Man? Not much. With Sara Pichelli’s art, we see Spider-sense waves around Miles Morales’ head, but it’s clear he doesn’t know what to make of them. We know he is strong, and we know he has a very different suit than the previous Spider-Man. Does he have web shooters? Who knows – we’ll have to read Ultimate Spider-Man to find out.

As far as the rest of the art goes, Pichelli does an excellent job. The panels are cramped and crowded with people, buildings, and things. And it seems to reflect the atmosphere of what I think New York City looks like. The action scenes are captured at just the right moment, and I never get the sense that I’m seeing posed figures – it seems very natural.

While I tired of what happened post Ultimatum, I’m more than excited to read what happens next!

Spider-Man Rating

Rating: ★★★★★

CREEPY REED RICHARDS IS CREEPY

I don’t remember when Reed Richards went wacky-in-the-wicky-woo, but he did. And because he was nuttier than a squirrel in a peanut factory, he was banished to the Negative Zone. But Creepy Reed Richards has a plan, a plan that involves escaping from the Negative Zone, and forming a group of somebodies who will fight the future.

If I’m not mistaken, I think we are seeing the introduction of the Ultimate Universe’s FF – especially when the disciples of Richards are wearing white suits with black dots on them.

I will admit I’m intrigued by this hook, and I have half a mind to see where it leads, but something about this set-up/reveal has me worried that if Reed can actually fix everything, those that are worried about a mixed-race Spider-Man will have their screaming fits resolved in a year or so.

I like how Jonathan Hickman writes a half-mad Reed Richards, and from the very first close up of his face, Salvador Larroca let’s the reader know that the mind of Dr. Richards is a scary place.

This segment is solid, has a hook that is a draw, but like many others who complain about the Ultimate Marvel U – it feels like a rehash of what we’ve seen before.

Reed Richards Rating

Rating: ★★★☆☆

WHO CARES ABOUT VALERIE COOPER?

Remember Valerie Cooper? Me neither, and Nick Spencer does nothing with his portion of the book that makes me want to know more. Sure there’s a Captain America hook that might get some people wondering who the person on death’s door is, but when the entire five pages of story are two women sitting around chit-chatting, it leaves the reader colder than the pistachio ice-cream Valerie eats while conversing.

Nick Spencer is a talented writer, but I get the feeling he’s got a bad case of the J. J. Abrams – lots of set up but no real answers.

I wish I could say I like the art, but there is probably a good reason this story found its way to the end of the book instead of the beginning.

Valerie Cooper Rating

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

BOTTOM LINE: SPECULATORS REJOICE

Sadly, Ultimate Fallout isn’t a single issue focusing on the one character everyone is super excited about. Instead the issue reads like a coming attractions, which quickly becomes annoying – especially when the art and writing differ so much from section to section. Had this been a one dollar issue, I would have been happier with the results, but when readers are being teased and asked to pay $3.99, it seems a bit much. If you want to get in on the ground floor with all this Miles Morales stuff, I say pick up Ultimate Fallout #4, otherwise, I think you’re going to be disappointed.

On A Side Note: Does it make sense to polybag the issue after every media outlet has reported what goes on inside? Especially when the big reveal panel was authorized to everyone and his brother to put up on their website, blog, and television news channel?

Overall 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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7 Comments

  1. Z. Woolf
    August 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm — Reply

    I knew I was going to get this issue once MS showed the images of the new Spidey. I had no idea that the issue was going to be broken up into the different sub stories though. When I flipped the page after the reveal of Miles and saw a totally different story, I started raining down curses upon Marvel. The issue is still sitting on my desk, but I have refused to read the last 2/3 of it. Based off the Miles story I will most likely grab the first issue when it is released this fall though.

  2. August 5, 2011 at 4:42 pm — Reply

    Val Cooper was X-Factor’s government liaison back in the day… I didn’t know she was ever an Ultimate character.

  3. Samuel
    August 5, 2011 at 6:21 pm — Reply

    This was Valerie Cooper first appearance in Ultimate Marvel. Ultimate Fallout is pretty much just set up for whats going to happen when the Ultimate line relaunches in September. For people who want to a full issue of Miles he will in Ultimate Comics Spider-man #1 in September.

  4. Praion
    August 6, 2011 at 7:38 pm — Reply

    Do you think we will se Ultimate Reed in FF ? We are seeing a fight of Reeds right now so that could make sense.

    FF vs. Ultimate FF

    bambambaaaam

    I could see Hickmann doing something like this after all the wheels and turns of Secret Warriors… But still he kept in one book basicaly…
    It’s good to see that Ultimate Mystery/Enemy/Doom has a consequence

  5. seneca
    August 7, 2011 at 10:51 am — Reply

    I never got into the ultimate universe, I saw it as a failed experiment. Are children afraid of 60 years of continuity and big numbers on the front of a comic book (issue #600)? I could of told them no 15 years ago and saved them the time. When a child picks up a comic for the first time they look at the cover, if it is exciting and gives a glypse of whats going on into the story they will pick it up, having Psylocke posing in a bathing suit doesn’t do it.

    Another thing that turns kids off to comics is paying $4.00 for a single issue. Kids don’t have jobs. Nuff’ said.

    In the age of the internet, google and wikipedia you don’t have to worry about 60 years of continuity. All a kid has to do is look up any characters name on the internet and read for 30 seconds to 2 minuites and they can have that characters entire history at thier fingertips.

  6. Samuel
    August 7, 2011 at 11:27 am — Reply

    Well since the Ultimate line has been going on for 11 years non-stop I would say its not a “failed experiment”. Many readers do enjoy starting from a 1st issue. Also add in that you can read a whole universe (3 ongoing puls a mini) is what many like about the Ultimate line.

  7. August 7, 2011 at 10:25 pm — Reply

    I actually didn’t start reading Ultimates until 4 years after it came out when one of my friends loaned me all of the issues. It’s different. It’s enjoyable. I actually think I enjoy a ‘lot’ of what happens in it more than the Marvel Universe story lines. A lot of the changes just work, a lot are painful. For the “most” part when people die… they DIE. Which is both a win and a loss. There’s a few characters I wish didn’t bite the big one but I’m GLAD they are keeping people dead who are actually dead.

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