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xx Ultimate Marvel
« Thread started on: Oct 8th, 2005, 4:39pm »

Just a general thread for Ultimate titles like Ultimate X-Men, Ultimates 2 (and the following series), mini's and whatnot. Ultimate Spider-Man has its own thread.


Spoiler wanring. Only once.


Ultimate X-Men #59 - #60: Shock and Awe

Ororo is in search for Wolverine, who has run out of the Xavier Insitute to find a woman from his past: his wife. She finds him in snowy Canada, in a barfight.
They both get ambushed by Yuri, the girl that taught Ororo how to steal. Yuri, now transformed to Lady Deathstrike, wants revenge against Ororo for leaving her for dead years ago after a motorcrash which Ororo partially made happen when she summoned rain to try and out race Yuri.
This doesn't happen of course. Ororo and Logan do not get their asses kicked, Logan does or does not kill Yuri (we do not see what he does to her, but it looks as if he is about to kill her when the scene changes), Logan and Ororo are back at the Xavier Institute, tired of running from their past.

6.5/10

Ultimate X-Men #61 - #62: Magnetic North parts 1 and 2

Turns out Logan had Nick Fury transport Deathstrike to a holding cell. Fury owed Logan a favor; Logan isn't eager to tell Xavier what the favor was for...
Kitty breaks up with Bobby, Emma Frost recruits Roberto DaCosta, Havok, Polaris and Northstar rush to a building on fire to help the fire department but before they can help, Lorna seems to lose control over her magnetic powers, killing half a dozen of the people form the fire department. SHIELD wants to hold her in custody, but the only cell able to hold someone with magentic powers is currently in use.
We see Magnus at chess in his cell. "Check"...

Wanda Lensherr Maximoff, a SHIELD operative, captures Longshot in the Savage Land. Because this is neutral territory, Fury can bring him whereever he wants until his people (Genosha, I believe) ask for him.
Lorna awakens inside a glass prison cell. She's not alone: Eric Magnus Lensherr is there as well and offers her to teach her. Chess, that is.
Some students from Emma Frost's Institute, Havok (Alex Summers, Lorna's boyfriend), (Northstar (Jean-Paul), Cannonball and Doug Ramsey, steal a car and are going to break Lorna out of her prison.
Forge and someone else get an electromagnetic field generator out of the burned down building. Forge is asking why they're framing Lorna instead of busting Magneto out. The other person says it's because Magnus has a master plan. A police officer spots the two, but gets killed by the other person, who puts on the officer's clothing and turns into her. Mystique.

8/10

Ultimate X-Men Annual #1

Gambit and Rogue steal the Gem of Cyttorak in Vegas but bfeore they can get away, Juggernaut stops them. Turns out that Juggernaut and Rogue used to be a team of muggers - obviously, she was the brains of the bunch and he the muscle. Whilst Gambit and Rogue fight the Juggernaut, Rogue gets beaten unconcious. Gambit charges the Gem of Cyttorak and throws it at the Juggernaut who, instead of being hurt, feels better because of it. Gambit topples a construction building on himself and the Juggernaut. Gambit is badly injured but wishes to kiss Rogue once before dying. At the end of the issue, Rogue seems to have Gambit's powers, and probably psyche as well, inside her still.

8+/10


Vaughan is a great writer. I like his breath of fresh air into this title. Immonen's art on the main title is nice. It's got something to it I would normally dislike, but something about his art makes me like it anyway. Nice an' vague, that's what that sentence is. Raney's art for the annual is good. His work is 'mildly okay-or-miss' for me, but this was mildly okay.
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xx Re: Ultimate Marvel
« Reply #1 on: Oct 22nd, 2005, 7:44pm »

About Kitty:

In Spiderman annual (one of my favorites) Kitty calls Peter to go on a date and he agrees.The date goes great and together they stop a thief(shocker or something) after that they kiss and promise to keep seeing each other.

I The Manual to the Ultimate Universe , at the end of Spiderman description it says that Peter has begin to date Kitty, so i think she may be a temporal girlfriend of spidey.

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xx Re: Ultimate Marvel
« Reply #2 on: Jul 29th, 2006, 10:54pm »

After more than half a year, this thread is back in use.

I’ve been doing some hardcore catch-up comic reading tonight. I’ve packed out the piles of Ultimate titles that needed to be read and started of with Ultimate Fantastic Four.

Let’s start with the complete review of the serie thusfar, divided by story arcs.

The Fantastic (UFF #1-#6)

The set-up.
This first story arc tells the reimagined origin of the Fantastic Four in the Ultimate Universe. Reed Richards is a young genius who was bullied at his former high school but, luckily, had a protector and, more important, good friend in Ben Grimm. Reed is part of a government project for highly intelligent children: the Think Tank. Reed was recruited after he managed to send objects into another plane of existence, the N-Zone, where scientists from the Think Tank building were also experimenting on – after they noticed toys popping up in the N-Zone, they were quite puzzled.

Reed has met several other very intelligent children on the Think Tank, among whom Sue Storm, daughter of Dr. Storm, one of the teachers and scientists of the Think Tank. Another child is Victor van Damme, as brilliant as Richards, only completely different in personality. Reed has also somewhat befriended Sue’s younger brother, Johnny.
Reed has decided to make the N-Zone his lifework – he wishes to uncover all of its mysteries. When Reed, Sue and Victor are ready to do some testing on the N-Zone, Reed invites old schoolbuddy Ben Grimm to come take a look. Johnny Storm also attends the testing site.
When something goes wrong, the five of them are nowhere to be found and testconducters are in panic. How come Ben is in Mexico, but Johnny is in Paris? Why has Reed grown? What happened to them and how? And where is Sue? These are questions that are answered in this first story arc.

Thoughts.
Plain and simple: I liked this arc a lot. Writers Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Millar teaming up, with each other as well as penciller Adam Kubert, is a garuanteed hit. The Kuberts have been favourites of mine for a lot of years and seeing Adam Kubert’s work on these pages was a treat – the details that went into some of the art was impressive. This origin story was well-conceived, well-executed and basically very entertaining.
The only minor bad aspect of the story was the villain – the Mole Man, even the Ultimate Mole Man, just isn’t cool.

Too bad the creative team only stayed for these six issues. But Warren Ellis filled the wrter’s seat so that’s, in my opinion, even better.

Solid effort.
8+/10


Doom (UFF#7-#12)

Story set-up.
In The Fantastic, Reed, Sue, Johnny, Ben and Victor were caught in an experiment gone wrong, but only four out of the five were found – what happened to Victor? That is what this arc is about.

Reed, being the thinkerer he is, blames himself for whatever happened to Victor and wishes to find him. Victor has been alive and well but has also been holding an intense grudge against Reed, whom Victor thinks has been the cause for the accident – everyone’s intellect is inferior toVictor’s brilliant mind, at least, in Victor’s mind.
Deducting that the other’s most have also survived the accident, Victor sets out to destroy them, most importantly Reed.

Verdict.
Warren Ellis. Now there’s someone who can make a science title like this one really flourish. And he did. Together with Stuart Immonen, Ellis delivered a great story, forming each character firmly in regards of personality as well as putting in some cool theories about the effects of the N-Zone, sculpting more of the characters in terms of powers, abilities and their new physiology and biology.

Good stuff.
8+/10


The N-Zone (UFF#13-#18)

Story.
In the first story arc, the effects of the N-Zone in our plane of existence were catastrophic, but in this arc, the Fantastic Four enter it. All this in an attempt to reverse the process that gave the Four their powers and, in Ben’s case, his deformed appearance.
Exploring this plane of existence, the group discovers a lot of interesting stuff, about both the N-Zone and Johnny Storm.

Verdict.
Eventhough it’s obvious what’s going to happen at certain times with certain characters, this was the best arc of the serie. The further exploration of some of the powers is very cool – I love the trademark (pseudo-)scientific stuff Ellis does.
I especially liked the undertones of the story – the darkness of the military world, for example, is illustrated very well on the last page.

Great, loved the hell out of it.
8.5/10

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xx Re: Ultimate Marvel
« Reply #3 on: Jul 29th, 2006, 10:57pm »

[Had to divide this post in two -- kickass!]

Think Tank (UFF#19-#20)

Story.
Upon returning from their latest, the FF find that the Baxter Building has been taken over and hostages have been taken - a rival genius is challenging Reed Richards.

Verdict.
This arc is different for me in two ways: first, it deviates from the usual-until-then format of six issues per arc – this arc encompassing two issues; second, this arc did not feature a creator I knew – specifically, writer Mike Carey. I’ve read a lot of praise for Carey, but there’s nothing like experiencing it yourself and forming your own opinions.
Based on these two issues, I must come to the conclusion that Mike Carey is a great writer. I loved the story and I also loved the execution of it (the one does not necessarily bring about the other). Jae Lee’s artwork was, although different in style form what we’ve had on the serie before, great as usual.

Very, very good arc, not at all a ‘filler’ story.
8+/10


Crossover (UFF#21-#23)

Story set-up.
Reed is working on a teleportation device to cross to a different reality. This is because he has received a very strange distress call: one from another Reed Richards. This Reed is more mature than the Ultimate Reed Richards, though. The universe that this mature Reed lives on is in dire need and Ultimate Reed has been asked to help them, to which he obliges.
What the mature Reed’s universe is in need of, is the question.

Verdict.
Awesome. Mark Millar and Greg Land delivered a great story. I loved how the story unfolds and how you really think you’ve been had by the creative team during the first issue.

Tied as best UFF arc thusfar with the next arc.
8.5/10


Tomb of Namor (UFF#24-#26)

Set-up.
Researchers have discovered the remains of Atlantic, a civilisation that has been long gone but was far, far more advanced than we are today. The researchers need the help of the FF to uncover some more difficult-to-get-to areas on the bottom of the ocean. Because of the area, Johnny stays above water whilst the other three leave for the bottom of the ocean.
Here they find a tomb for “Namor”. Namor is, however, not dead and, after a sleep of thousands of years, races to the surface, seemingly in a mad fit. The FF subdue him and take him to the Baxter Building, where they wish to question him about Atlantis, hoping to learn from him.

Verdict.
Yeah man, this story was awesome. I like that this is a smaller arc because it reads very nice in a time of 5 and 6-issue arc domination. The story itself is gold. I love this reimagining of Namor – the character, the ending, what’s the same yet different.

Awesome.
8.5/10


President Thor (UFF#27-#29).

Story.
Ben Grimm is slowly losing himself in a depression, caused by the growing pains of having to live life as a monster, his feelings only worsened by Johnny’s cruel gags. When Reed, Sue and Johnny learn of their friend’s pains, they all decide to travel back in time to stop the experiment with the N-Zone, which gave them their powers, from happening. But chaos theory for example predicts that, because in real-life everything is connected, changing one small variable can have big effects.

Verdict.
I found this story, albeit entertaining, to be the weakest thusfar. It certainly had good moments, but I found the story mediocre at best – it had several obvious plottwists and, overall, did not have the quality the preceding arcs had.

Just sufficient.
6/10
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xx Re: Ultimate Marvel
« Reply #4 on: Jul 31st, 2006, 11:35pm »

Ultimate X-Men

Magnetic North (UXM#61-#65)

Story Set-up
Well, you can read it above so I'll stop here and go right to...

Dirk's Judgement!
I quite liked this storyarc, albeit there are some lesser parts. Stuart Immonen's art is growing on me, so that's good. Of course I never really believed Lorna was really to blame for all of this and that Magneto was planning on breaking free was also no surprise, but the execution was cool, although towards the end a bit unbelievable -- Longshot's role is a bit unbelievable. That's a lesser part of this story.

All in all quite nice.
7/10


Date Night (UXM#66-#68)

Story Set-up.
'After these busy times, the mutants we all love go out for a quiet night.' For three whole issues? I don't think so. We've got Sabretooth, a new mutant whose powers appear to be drastic, a really cool reimagining of a classic X-Men character, unresolved emotions and youtube.com -- sounds like a homerun to me.

Verdict.
This marks the start of new writer Robert Kirkman and the start was good.
I liked that there are several plotlines playing simultaniously -- we see the new mutant, Scott and Jean, Charles and his date, a bit of Kitty and Spider-Man, Nightcrawler goes to visit Dazzler together with Colossus, Ororo and Logan in a bar and ex-lovers Bobby and Marian (Rogue) staying alone in the mansion. The character developments, albeit not drastic or life changing, or nice, although I'm not really a big fan of some of these characters sleeping with each other. I could be an uptight old-fashioned guy, but some of them are just so young. I don't think you should depict or hint at this in a book like this.
Tom Raney's art is, like I've said with the Annual review, met with mixed feelings - sometimes I like it, other times I don't. Just like his work on the Annual, it's 'okay' but I like Ben Oliver's art a lot better, who is doiing the sequel to this arc.

Nicely done, lad.
7+/10
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xx Re: Ultimate Marvel
« Reply #5 on: Dec 29th, 2006, 11:35am »

Ultimate Daredevil & Elektra #1-#4

This story is Daredevil and Elektra’s first appearance in the Ultimate Universe if I am not mistaken. The first issue was published at the end of 2001, so that’s quite some time ago – the follow-up to this mini – Ultimate Elektra - has already been published.

Story
Elektra Natchios and Matt Murdock are both new students at Colombia University and when Elektra first sees Matt, she immediatly falls in love. They start dating and get in a relationship. Elektra and some of her female friends are being harrassed by a rich boy named Trey Langstrom. Elektra, a martial arts student, decides to frighten Trey into stopping, but this does not work, him having such a wealthy father and thus having a lot of influence on the law.
Things go from bad to worse and the boy keeps getting more out of control, doing things to Elektra’s friends and family.
But luckily, there’s another stalker of the night who is out for justice. I will not spoil who it is, though... Ahum.

Verdict
Rucka and Larroca take an average set-up and make it surprisingly good. The storyline, albeit predictable, makes some turns you did not expect, which is what keeps this mini fresh and therefor entertaining. If this mini did not have such a good writer, it would’ve been a disaster.

Solid story.
7+/10


Ultimate Elektra #1-#5

Story
Elektra’s father is being helped by some of his cousins to get his business up and running again. Unfortunately, these cousins are using the store as a front to wash some money clean. But, the accountant of the criminal organisation is taking his books to court. Well, this all gets up higher and higher, Elektra’s father gets in deep, Elektra tries to help out in her own way and it doesn’t really work, Matt Murdock also feels the need to help, the criminal parties have their own way of dealing with things – it all goes downhill for the good side, and they’re only teenagers.

Verdict
This story is very well done. Mike Carey delivers, just like always. It’s, just like its predecessor, a solid story with great execution, the only minor point being the length – I think the story would have been better if it was a four-parter again.

7/10
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xx Re: Ultimate Marvel
« Reply #6 on: Dec 29th, 2006, 11:35am »

Ultimate Iron Man #1-#5

Story
Not the introduction of Ultimate Iron Man, but it is the beginning of his story. We’ve all seen Iron Man in The Ultimates, but now we get to learn how he came to be Iron Man and additional information with that as well. Why was Anthony Stark covered in blue as a child; how did his he get so wealthy; why make a big-ass armor, anyway; what is Jim Rhodes like in the Ultimate universe; what’s different with the Tony Stark from the normal Marvel universe (and that’s quite a lot, actually)?

Verdict
Orson Scott Card and Andy Kubert (and Mark Bagley in the final issue) have delivered a very nice story, unlike anything I’ve read before. It’s a very original origin of Tony Stark, and that is the best, but by no account the only, thing this mini has going for it: its originality. I really like how Tony Stark is in the Ultimate universe. The characters are cool, visually as well as in character, the story is perfect in length, the set-up for the next mini is nice and, of course, Andy Kubert’s artwork is superb.

Great mini-serie.
8/10
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xx Re: Ultimate Marvel
« Reply #7 on: Dec 29th, 2006, 11:37am »

Ultimate Nightmare #1-#5

Story
This is the first part of the Ultimate Galactus trilogy, introducing the World Devourer to the Ultimate universe.
A century ago, something from outer space crashlanded in the Russian area of Tunguska and now, horrible images are being broadcast all around the world: alien-looking creators, all dead; the broadcast is accompanied by the words “no escape, the end is coming.” Head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury is sending in Captain America, Black Widow, Sam Wilson and himself to find out what is broadcasting these images.
The images were not only received by televisions, radio’s, cell phones and whatnot, but also by every psychic on the planet – Jean Grey and Professor Xavier have located the source as well and suspect a traumatized psychic to be held there somewhere and Jean, Wolverine and Colossus head off to rescue the mutant in distress.
Both teams will not find what they are expecting. They will find something far worse, and that’s not counting all the screwed-up, mutated Russian human experiments for super soldiers that have been down there since the Cold War.

Verdict
The Ultimate Galactus trilogy is off to an amazing start, because this mini-serie is about as good as it gets. Not that I did not expect something good with every part written by Warren Ellis, but this first installment blew all expectations away I had and surpassed them with ease. It also helped that this mini-serie has had Trevor Hairsine (and for one issue Steve Epting) on art duty. Each part of the trilogy has Ellis as writer, but features a different artist.

This mini-series is so damn good, I’m glad I’m reading the entire trilogy for the first time now that I have all the issues because it’s entertaining and engrossing.
9+/10


Ultimate Secret #1-#4

Story
‘The Ultimate Galactus saga continues...’ This time, the Ultimates team-up with the Ultimate Fantastic Four to gather information about Gah Lak Tus – it’s helpful for defending your planet if you know what you’re defending against.
It just so happens to be that another alien race - the Kree - are staking out in our solar system, with all their information on this Gah Lak Tus with them, to watch him destroy Earth and learn from it. Fury has learned all this from a defecting Kree soldier, Captain Mahr Vehl. The commander of the Kree fleet has gone made when he learned all about Gah Lak Tus that is known to the Kree (the information is being kept by the Supreme Intelligence because of this effect it has on sanity) and the commander does not just wish to observe Earth being devoured, he wants human race to be trapped on Earth when it happens, thus destroying all forms of space travel.
And that’s how he gets in touch with S.H.I.E.L.D. and the rest of the gang.

Verdict
This second part was again written by Warren Ellis, but pencilled by two other artists: Steve McNiven (#1, #2) and Tom Raney (#3, #4). I like Raney’s art, but am by no means fan of his work. So him replacing the formidable McNiven really hurt my experience of this mini-serie.
Also, storywise, this arc was less than the initial arc: I felt that this arc, although it was, of course, related to the Gah Lak Tus saga, did not really give us any more on the World Devourer – we learned more about the Kree (and not even that much) then we did about Gah Lak Tus. The story itself was solid (and had a very cool inclusion of some real-life scientific theory – this time the Drake equation and the Fermi paradox) but as a part of the trilogy, it was mildly unsatisfying.

Good story, let’s hope the final arc is a worthy finale.
7½/10


Ultimate Extinction #1-#5

Story
Gah Lak Tus nears our planet. Reed Richards has predicted what will happen once Gah Lak Tus starts his devouring – it isn’t pretty and the massacre begins when he has not even entered our atmosphere. The clock is ticking and the Ultimates, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Captain Mahr Vehl and S.H.I.E.L.D. are making whatever preparations they can to avert the coming doom. Several different plans are thought up of and they’re all very cool.
Of course, they win at the end, but the manner is very nice. Also, what Gah Lak Tus turns out to be, is very cool (partly because I’ve encountered it in my study).

Verdict
This was a worthy finale to the trilogy. Warren Ellis rewrote the concept of Gah Lak Tus a lot better than it was – I’ve never really thought about it, but Galactus in the Marvel universe sucks. Ultimate Gah Lak Tus is so much more up my alley, along with the Vision and Silver Surfer. I love this mini-serie and the rounding-up of the trilogy.
A minor poinr is, unfortunately, the art. Brandon Peterson’s art can usually be nice to look at, but his art here sucks tremendously. The worst aspects are the parallel lines used as shade, and the colouring (by Justin Ponsor and Jason Keith) which makes everyone look polished – the art isn’t convincing to say the least. Really a shame, because with a better artist, this could have been a magnificent mini; now, it’s just really, really good.

Really, really good.
8+/10
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xx Re: Ultimate Marvel
« Reply #8 on: Dec 29th, 2006, 11:39am »

Ultimate Fantastic Four #30-#32
Frightful


Story
The UFF still have the zombie FF sitting in the Baxter building and it’d be better if they were killed or send back to their own world. Reed is going for the latter option. Unforntunately, Johnny is having stomachproblems of interdimensional origins: it seems some alien that will destroy the entire human race is hatched inside Johnny and will hatch within a week. Reed cannot get it out. There’s one person who could be of help, but they have to travel to Latveria to find him, thus leaving the zombie FF unguarded. Just when they say they’re breaking out within a few hours.

Verdict

This storyarc was weak. There were some interesting points in the story – I liked to see Doctor Doom and hear his motivation and the zombie FF are nice – but really, Doom and Reed swapping bodies?; alien parasite inside Johnny that will destroy the entire planet?; enchantments?; Doom having planned this entire thing?; Doom’s end? Lame stuff.
The art is getting on my nerves as well: Greg Land’s art is getting more boring by the issue.

If this was Millar’s and Doom’s finale, it’s been an anti-climax.
5/10


Ultimate Fantastic Four Annual #2

Story
The Mole Man abducts some kids from the ‘Think Tank,’ the program for superintelligent children, takes them underground and tells them his origin and, after that, his goals with them. The FF, of course, come to the rescue and have to square off against whatever monstrosities live underneath the Earth’s crust and, eventually, the Mole Man.

Verdict
Nothing spectacular here. The story is just below average – it should have been done in less pages because the comic, now, feels stretched (no Mr. Fantastic jokes). The art is done by two people: Stuart Immonen and Frazier Irving. The former I like, the latter I do not.

All in all, this was OK.
6/10
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xx Re: Ultimate Marvel
« Reply #9 on: Dec 29th, 2006, 2:40pm »

Ultimate Vision #0 bonus story

Story
Sam Wilson works with the Vision to get it repaired and to work out a strategy. Basically, what we get is a set-up for Ultimate Extinction because all that is shown, is what Gah Lak Tus has done to all other sentient life before now: eat it. Vision decides we’re doomed and prepares to leave... DUM DUM DUM.

Verdict
Coming from Mark Millar and John Romita, this was a let-down -- it was merely just cool. The art was the best thing about this free bonus. You can’t really complain because you get it as an extra, but that doesn’t make it great.

6½/10


Ultimate X-Men #69-#71
Phoenix


Story
In this three-issue arc by Kirkman and Olivier, we get to learn more about two X-Men: the newest, Elliot Boggs (Magician), and one of the oldest, Jean Grey (Phoenix). Magician has just been admitted to the School for Gifted Youngster after his mutant powers kicked in, he killed his parents and was therefor apprehended by Nick Fury and dropped off at Xavier’s. He seems to stay quite normal under the knowledge of that and it seems he can manipulate events so that everything turns out as he wants it to be. This might not be the most kosher guy in the facility.
Lilandra and an accomplice are going to test if Jean is the real embodiment of the Phoenix Force that the Shi’ar Church worships. The accomplice takes a bloodsample he will run tests on, and Lilandra continues with some verbal testing. During this verbal testing, Jean seems to show the signs of the Phoenix (e.g., hearing voices, seeing visions), and even seems to manifest the Phoenix which has just woken, in a bad mood.
But the bloodsample shows that Jean is not the Phoenix, so maybe she’s just crazy and has developed a split personality.
That could be an explanation, until you read the last page.

Verdict
Solid, rock solid story. Kirkman has delivered once again. The Phoenix stuff is great and really interesting to see develop. The Magician stuff hasn’t got my interested yet, but that could be because I felt the Brotherhood part of the story was a bit stretched.
Interesting stuff and I’m glad to see Kirkman has some cool, new ideas.

8-/10
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xx Re: Ultimate Marvel
« Reply #10 on: Dec 29th, 2006, 5:41pm »

I dropped all my Ultimate titles and sold them (except X-Men). Now I'm thinking of getting rid of them.
If anyone is interested in the full run (1-whatever is current + the half issue), email me...
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xx Re: Ultimate Marvel
« Reply #11 on: Dec 29th, 2006, 8:35pm »

Ultimate X-Men #72-#74
Magician


Story
This story deals with the newest member, Magician. He miraculously became an X-Men member – before anyone really noticed it, he was already on missions and, in no time, performing very well on those. When Nick Fury arrives at Xavier’s to ask Xavier to hand the boy over because he would fit more into Fury’s way of working, Xavier tells Fury to make up his mind: why would Fury drop him off at Xavier’s first, and then come back to reclaim him? Then Fury says he never met the boy before, and then it’s suddenly very clear how weird this all is.
What does Magician really do and why does he do it?

Verdict
I liked this arc quite a lot. It actually wraps up some of my suspicions I had whilst reading the preceding arc, so it’s nice to see Kirkman clarify them immediatly. I thought some of the scenes were a bit over-the-top – eventhough the motivational force behind them get explained at the end – but other aspects of the story (e.g., the nature of Magician’s powers, consciousness’ role) are really cool.
Normally I like Raney’s art but am, by no means, a fan, but this time his art was better than the rest I’ve seen of him yet.

Very nice.
7+/10


Ultimate X-Men Annual #2

Story
As we saw in the last arc, Dazzler has awaken out of her coma. Nightcrawler was at her hospital bed at the time. We now see what has happened to her. Nightcrawler took her to a closed hole in the ground to keep her there and he made up a story that the X-Men were under attack – they needed to stay here until Xavier contacted them. In fact, all Kurt wanted to do was show Dazzler that he was a good guy and hoped she could begin to like him.
This manner of behaviour could be an indication of certain psychological effects the Weapon X program has had on Kurt.
Also, we get to know, in two pages, why Xavier’s cat is called Mystique.

Verdict
This story was well thought of, well-executed, but I just don’t like it. We does Kurt suddenly have to be a mental patient? That sort of stuff doesn’t happen within several issues. (Comicbook issues.) I sincerely hope there’s more to this than meets the eye, because if not, it’s plain lame.
The Mystique story is ‘mwah.’

6+/10
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xx Re: Ultimate Marvel
« Reply #12 on: Jan 2nd, 2007, 08:55am »

Ultimate Spider-Man #91-#94
Deadpool


Story
Peter and Kitty are still dating. Kitty returns to the X-Mansion after having hung out with Peter, but she’s attacked by a shapeshifter. Not knowing who to call for help, she sends the X-Wing back to Peter on autopilot and she’s shot unconscious. Peter sees the X-Win, hops in, is automatically brought back to Xavier’s and is also attacked. The attackers reveal themselves to be Deadpool and the Reavers, working for Mojo’s television network on Krakoa island. Krakoa island is off the coast of Genosha where mutants are being hunted for sport on live television, for everyone to see.
So for Genosha’s (and all the downloaders in America, Europe and the rest of the world) entertainment, Spider-Man and the X-Men are being hunted down like dogs. Of course, they fight back.

Verdict
I loved this story. Bendis & Bagley (a duo that, I think, will just be as defining as Claremont & Byrne for example) did a great job: the story has the perfect length, being a four-parter; the writing and art are inspired again -- not only is the spoken text great (and such a dialogue-focussed writer is perfect for a blabbermouth such as Spidey), the story is well-thought of, entertaining, and also has a cool, tiny underlying message. The art is really phenomenal: dynamic, engaging, full of action, yet alsways feeling clear, like is the Bagley style.

Nothing ground-breaking, but still a damn good arc.
9/10


Ultimate Spider-Man #95-#96
Morbius


Story
This story introduces Ultimate Morbius, Ultimate Blade, and a bunch of vampires. Months ago, Peter encountered Blade chasing a vampire and now, Ben Ulrich cannot get his article on vampires published, eventhough he interviewed a woman that has, in all likelihood, been bitten by a vampire. To improve his article, Ulrich decides to interview the woman again, but she’s turned now and Ulrich himself gets bitten. Then Spider-Man, who followed Ulrich, jumps in the room but is overwhelmed by the vampires inside. Luckily, he has a helping hand in the form of Morbius.

Verdict
This story was a cool introduction to Morbius, keeping the character the same, but tweaking him a little bit nonetheless, making him significantly different from the Morbius in the Marvel universe. Cool stuff happens in the story, not only vampire-related stuff, but I also dug the emphasis on Mary-Jane, how she is feeling about Peter having a new girlfriend and what it is doing to their friendship.

Solid story.
7½/10


Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #2

Story
This story ties up some loose threads nicely, and lays down some cool new threads.
After yet another encounter with the Shocker –and another easy victory- Spidey, on information gotten by the rotten cop (in service of the Kingpin) Jeanne de Wolfe, stakes out a place where the new menace in town thould be hanging out. A menace called... the Kangaroo. (No idea how you can take this serious, but in the Marvel universe, he’s even dorkier.)
Turns out several heroes are destined to be on that same spot in just about the same moment in time: Spider-Man, Daredevil, the aggressive Punisher and Moonknight with his other three personalities – that’ll be a mess.
Of course the Kangaroo gets apprehended, but several surprising things also happen: someone dies, a new group might find its startingpoint in these pages, and the Kingpin does not have anyone to sleep with at night.

Verdict
This issue is very well done. The build-up to the end is great – the pieces of the puzzle are given one piece at a time, and it’s done in a superb way. Artwork is also very nice: I like Mark Brooks’ artstyle, eventhough almost every one of his characters has a thick neck and wide shoulders.

Solid.
7½/10
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xx Re: Ultimate Marvel
« Reply #13 on: Jan 1st, 2008, 09:09am »

I never ended up dropping X-men, and I'm in the process of reading through the entire run (I'm up to #61). The series is great. Millar, Bendis, Vaughan, Kirkman. I also just caught up on USM (I've been picking it up in HC) - I'm through the clone saga. Love the book. Not sure how I'm going to be when I get done with Bagley (I'm ok with immonen's work, it'll just be different after 100+ issues of the same artist).
I also picked up Ultimates 1 and the first 2 F4 hardcovers really cheap. I enjoy the F4 stuff alot (so far), but Ultimates doesn't seem to be my cup of tea.
I do like the way the U-universe is really small (for lack of a better word) and how all the books tie in, but not so much that you have to read everything.
I'm really looking forward to the U-Origin mini coming up by Bendis.
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xx Re: Ultimate Marvel
« Reply #14 on: Feb 20th, 2008, 5:38pm »

This week's Ultimate X-men (#91) rocked out. It's getting good again just as Kirkman prepares to leave it appears.
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