How do you solve a problem like Galactus?
I have no idea, but the team known as The Ultimates might have some thoughts on the matter… Your Major Spoilers review of The Ultimates #1 awaits!
Previously in The Ultimates: With the end of the 616 and Ultimate Universes eight months ago, a whole new world has been formed (somehow, though we won’t find out how for another couple of issues of Secret Wars) with new threats and a new team to combat them. With the Illuminati disbanded, The Black Panther no longer has to deal with the likes of Iron Man and Mister Fantastic slowing him down, while Monica Rambeau and Adam Brashear are at loose ends after the disbanding of the Mighty Avengers team, likewise America Chavez after the Young Avengers drifted apart. Add in Carol “Captain Marvel” Danvers, and we’ve got a recipe for something interesting…
TWO CAPTAIN MARVELS
This issue opens with a very interesting monologue by Adam “Blue Marvel” Brashear, explaining to us the strange new properties of the reformed Marvel Universe (and also hinting that this is the eighth iteration of the Marvel Universe, making for an interesting intellectual game of figuring out what the previous seven were) and how it means that all bets are off in this brave new world. It is quickly revealed that he is traveling through space with Captain Marvel, under the guidance of The Black Panther (who has a lovely character moment with a United Nations envoy that reminds us that T’Challa is still the king of the most technologically advanced society on the planet.) At the same time, Monica “Spectrum” Rambeau and America “She’ll punch you in the face” Chavez are elsewhere in the Multiverse, seeking out a maguffin known as The Incubator. There is a strong element of super-science, rather than traditional superheroics, in the issue, and Al Ewing does his usual wonderful work in reminding us just how awesome our heroes are. Black Panther and Miss America (Is she still called Miss America?) get special attention this time around, but all of the team has moments of awesome in these pages. Perhaps my favorite (maybe my favorite moment in recent Marvel history) comes as Brashear and Danvers reveal that they’re on their way to solve the problem that is Galactus The Devourer.
Not by killing him, mind you, but by actually solving HIS problems.
SCIENCE-HEROES TO THE RESCUE!
It takes a moment to warm up to the worm of Kenneth Rocafort in this issue, but once I’m immersed in the world he’s created, I forget any of the concerns I had at the beginning. From the depiction of the Panther’s new Triskelion, to the look of sheer amazement on the face of Monica Rambeau as she watches America in action, to the dispassionate Galactus sitting in his home/ship, Rocafort’s art is perfect for the story being told. Most importantly, though his work is features lots of fine-linework, it doesn’t feel “scratchy”, and the details of faces, uniforms and technology are clear and crisp. I like the explanation of the team/book name (“The Ultimate Team to solve the Ultimate Problems”), I like the characters assembled, and most of all, I like Al Ewing’s stories. Indeed, in a lot of ways, this title is stepping into the void left by the loss of Fantastic Four, or at least classic Fantastic Four, with its emphasis on cosmic storytelling, exploration and strange new worlds. Add to that the diversity of the group, drawing upon characters who are usually seen only as part of much larger ensembles, and Marvel has a winner on their hands…
THE BOTTOM LINE: LIKE CLASSIC ‘COSMIC’ MARVEL
In addition to the FF, this book has overtones of Cosmic Marvel stories past, which is why the presence of a Captain Marvel or two feels thematically appropriate, and even though it’s a smaller team, they don’t lack for the power necessary to operate in space and/or walk into Galactus parlor. (Bonus points for Brashear assuming Danvers can breathe in space, and Carol’s off-the-cuff response: “If I have to…”) In short, The Ultimates #1 may be my favorite relaunch thus far, featuring strong art, a big premise that could go nearly anywhere and a great cliffhanger hook, earning a very impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, and I’m happy to say that it’s both unique and surprising, in all the right ways.[taq_review][signoff predefined=”PayPal Donation” icon=”icon-cog”][/signoff]