If you’ve ever wondered what I mean when I say that “Alternate universes don’t seem to matter”, I’ve got a perfect example for you. Your Major Spoilers (Retro) Review of Ultimatum #5 awaits!
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciler: David Finch
Inker: Danny Miki
Colorist: Aspen’s Peter Steigerwald with GurueFX
Letterer: RS & Comicraft
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Current Near-Mint Pricing: $4.00
Previously in Ultimatum: After a series of worldwide disasters, including a tsunami that nearly destroyed New York City, the Ultimates and the X-Men have tracked down the culprit: Magneto. With so many of the heroes fallen (including Professor X, murdered by Magneto, The Beast, Nightcrawler, Dazzler, Doctor Strange, The Angel, Sabretooth, Madrox and more, including The Wasp who was partially eaten by The Blob) things quickly get murdery and desperate, and Wolverine is fully prepared to tear Magneto to pieces. Unfortunately, the heroes made the mistake of bringing Iron man to fight a magnetic-powered villain, allowing Magneto to use both his armor and Cyclops’ metal visor to blast Wolverine to smithereens. When that still doesn’t kill the mutant, he finally decides that he’s had enough, and shows once and for all why a battle of a metal boned hero versus a master of magnetism is a mug’s game.
Magneto executes Wolverine.
As he bleeds out, with the severed arm of his foe through his chest, Magneto gets insult added to his injuries, as Nick Fury and Jean Grey explain to him that mutants AREN’T a new breed in the Ultimate Universe, but instead just genetically-altered humans, a lab experiment gone wrong. Everything he knows, everything he believed is wrong.
The revelation brings Magneto back to reality long enough to allow Mister Fantastic to convince him to realign the Earth’s magnetic poles, keeping the entire planet from being destroyed (this time.) Cyclops steps forward to “help” Magneto with his new, world-shattering knowledge.
Cyclops executes Magneto.
The heroes evacuate, and a few days later, at a huge public anti-mutant display at the Capitol building, Cyclops addresses a crowd to try and speak for his people, to explain how and why and that Magneto is no longer a threat when…
Quicksilver executes Cyclops.
The X-Men are separated, some taken into custody by the government, some going on the run, some abandoned in a crowd of strangers, all completely without hope. In Latveria, the architect of the carnage, Victor Van Damme, monologues to an imprisoned Prince Namor that his plan worked. By killing Magneto’s daughter and sending him on the warpath, he has weakened all the heroes and made it possible for him to step in and take over. Of course, he’s not the only one who knows that truth.
The Thing executes Doctor Doom.
Normally, with any review, I try to find what works and address those moments as well as the clunkers, but this is one of the worst comics I’ve ever read. It’s not merely senselessly gory, not merely dull and grim and dark and nihilistic, Ultimatum #5 is predictable, dull, unoriginal and the art is not particularly well-done at any point, with Finch and Miki creating awkward anatomy that is joined by over-produced, garish coloring and effects, winding up with an incredibly rare but absolutely earned 0.5 out of 5 stars overall. There’s no reason to read this comic, especially if you’re a fan of the Ultimate books that it eviscerates with it’s clumsy melodrama. Maybe just go for a walk, instead.
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This is just a terrible comic from top to bottom, over-produced, poorly written and fully of murder-for-murder's-sake. I don't recommend it, especially to anyone who enjoyed Ultimate Marvel.