They’re back! But what has Civil War II wrought for the universe’s greatest super-team? Your Major Spoilers review of Ultimates 2 #1 awaits!
Previously in Ultimates 2: “Not long ago, Earth’s most powerful heroes came together to solve the biggest problems in the universe. They called themselves The Ultimates. But a mission that began with curing Galactus of his need to devour planets ended in ruins when members of the team came to blows over Captain Marvel’s use of predictive justice. The government shut the Ultimates down. Their dream of fixing the universe was killed.
Or was it?
THE ULTIMATE SOLUTION IS GONE…
As this issue opens, we get some of the most disturbing things I’ve read in comic books recently, as Eternity itself, the embodiment of the entire Marvel Universe is shown screaming, trapped in some sort of cosmic chains as terrible things continue to happen. Eternity watches, helpless, as Civil War II takes place, but before we find out what he/she/it is trapped by, we cut to Earth: Adam Brashear, The Blue Marvel, and Monica Rambeau, Spectrum, are having a very interesting discussion, one that implies romance is creeping into their relationship. The appearance of Brashear’s nemesis, Anti-Man, interrupts them and he even takes both heroes into custody via his antimatter abilities. Somewhere else, in the middle of nowhere, Captain Marvel and The Black Panther meet to hash out their own issues, specifically T’Challa abandoning her side during the middle of CWII. Anti-Man once again arrives, teleporting all four of our heroes into the presence of…
…Galactus, now known as The Life-Bringer.
…THE ULTIMATE PROBLEMS ARE NOT.
The former world-eater has gathered The Ultimates regardless of their personal feelings or the government’s stance on their activities, and has put them under the leadership of the greatest Marvel hero of all: America Chavez. This is a really strong first issue for me, as Al Ewing continues the world-building he has been doing in Ultimates and Mighty Avengers for a number of years now. The best parts of the issue come in the character interaction, but the strange, metaphysical overarching threat is one that dates back to the beginning of The Ultimates (and perhaps even before.) Travel Foreman’s art is an interesting new twist, as well, providing a very cool, angular look that still perfectly fits the tone and history of The Ultimates. Always able to do interesting new things with the mandatory crossovers, this book even makes me understand Carol Danvers’ overzealous actions during the big crossover mess, something that actual BOOK couldn’t. Using bits and pieces of awesome lore from Marvel history (including T’Challa’s secret identity as American schoolteacher Luke Charles), this issue forges a new, cosmic-level Ultimates team, and changes the hierarchy in ways that make me more interested than ever in this team.
THE BOTTOM LINE: GRAB IT WHILE YOU CAN
In short, this is an excellent first issue, even when it has to deal with fallout of an ill-advised crossover that hasn’t actually finished yet, thanks to creator issues, and looks fabulous doing so. Ultimates 2 #1 is a great jumping-on point, featuring a lot of really cool characters in play, with a scope far beyond the average team book that gives it a unique perspective in a crowded superhero universe, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. I am looking forward to seeing what a team with Galactus on it is actually going to be like, and I hope that Al’s ongoing opus gets collected in a manner that will allow it to read as the massive, sprawling story it is…