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Review Group Week #289: Ultimates #1

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Victorian Squid
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Re: Review Group Week #289: Ultimates #1

Postby Victorian Squid » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:17 pm

Eli Katz wrote:My LCS did not have this.


You should consider yourself lucky then. Besides the shortfalls of the actual story content, readers are charged an extra dollar for 2 additional pages--that over-rated writer Hickman uses here for what, Eli? A two-page spread of the title of the book in big black letters on a white background. I shit you not.

Ultimately, thanks to that more than what a lame comic book this was as well, it will be my last Ultimate Comics Ultimate Anything--sorry, St. Nick but that shit's for the birds and the bozos--and I give it the big fat zero it deserves. Publishers of ugly worthless shit like this deserve all the pain that's due them over the coming months and years, and more of it on top.

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Re: Review Group Week #289: Ultimates #1

Postby Eli Katz » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:21 pm

Asmodeus Jones wrote:
You should consider yourself lucky then. Besides the shortfalls of the actual story content, readers are charged an extra dollar for 2 additional pages--that over-rated writer Hickman uses here for what, Eli? A two-page spread of the title of the book in big black letters on a white background. I shit you not.

Ultimately, thanks to that more than what a lame comic book this was as well, it will be my last Ultimate Comics Ultimate Anything--sorry, St. Nick but that shit's for the birds and the bozos--and I give it the big fat zero it deserves. Publishers of ugly worthless shit like this deserve all the pain that's due them over the coming months and years, and more of it on top.

:lol:
Another double-page credits spread. Good Lord, Hick is a hack.

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Re: Review Group Week #289: Ultimates #1

Postby Daringd » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:30 pm

Next week...what should I pick
Flashpoint #5 no...because the other 4 issues have sucked
Ultimate Comics Hawkeye no..too much Hickman
JLA...

So lets do The Mighty Thor #5

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Re: Review Group Week #289: Ultimates #1

Postby Victorian Squid » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:40 pm

Eli Katz wrote: :lol:
Another double-page credits spread. Good Lord, Hick is a hack.


Well, it's officially a hat trick of hacks now--first Lapham last week, is his head even in the game anymore? Then this pants-load, and then a Matt Fraction book which I won't even glance at next week.

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Re: Review Group Week #289: Ultimates #1

Postby Starlord » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:48 pm

Eli Katz wrote:My LCS did not have this. But for some reason, it had a massive stack of Sinestro one-shots.


your shop obviously has excellent taste.
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Max Blyss wrote:Months and months and months and the whole thing is still just an intersection at Dipshit Lane & Chip on my Shoulder Ave.

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Re: Review Group Week #289: Ultimates #1

Postby fieldy snuts » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:33 pm

Ultimate Comics Ultimates #1

I've lost count of the number of times this series has been restarted, too many that's for sure. Quick back story on the title's history:

We had Millar and Hitch's Ultimates 1 & 2 which I personally loved. It set itself as apart from traditional superhero comics by making the Ultimates (Ultimate Avengers) a government superpowered strike force rather than your typical superhero book. Hard to find a series this decade that impacted mainstream comics so much.

Then it was followed up by Loeb's Ultimates 3 that I dropped 2 issues in, hated it. I get writers wanting to add their own take on the formula but this was a classic case of "if it ain't broke don't fix it, but they did it anyway" as the book pretty much became an Ultimatized version of the 616 book with colorful superheroes and equally larger than life villains. Following the Ultimatum event that I've all but blocked out, this continued with Loeb's Ultimate Comic New Ultimates (hell of a mouthful, right?) book.

Millar returned and gave us Ultimate Avengers 1,2 and 3 which seemed like a total deviation from his original formula. This brought the government agents side of the book to the forefront once more but it became a more traditional superhero book in some ways thanks to the politics and military adversaries being replaced by Red Skulls, Ghost Riders, Vampires and crime lord Hulks in a more Hollywood style of storytelling as his recent work shows. It was nice, but it was clear that this was a totally different book. Mixed feelings overall.

And now Jonathan Hickman of the FF, Secret Warriors and SHIELD fame has stepped in with his own take. Being pretty pleased with his work on the above mentioned titles I thought why not take a shot at this?

First thoughts, this seems to be a back to basics approach to the Ultimates with the a world of politics and superpowered armies as the opening setting. Seems too simple and down to earth for a Hickman comic, doesn't it? Throw in Asgard now on Earth as the viking gods plunder and pillage breweries across the globe triggering a global incident that the EU's own super soldier program is sent in to quell. There's also political unrest in Asia which I assume is a thread for Hickman's Hawkeye series and a few other threads that may or may not gain prominence later.

But yeah, still seems relatively tame for a Hickman comic....I guess that explains the purpose of what can best be described as the Ultimate Future Foundation who have a giant dome as a base which popped up out of nowhere, killer robots and jet packed soldiers with a mission to save the world at all costs. Hickman's at least managed to make the book stick to its core premise while adding his personal storytelling touch to the mix.

The end result? It seems epic in scope that's for sure....there's a lot of stuff going on in this issue and it all looks like key pieces to a larger puzzle, and that may be my biggest fear going into this: that Hickman's ability to tell epic stories with countless threads interweaving will end up as a slow burn until the reader finally knows just whats going on and why.

Outside of the story, looking at the book as a jumping on point for a newcomer...it does what it's supposed to do: explain the premise quickly, kick off the stories that will fuel this book for however long Hickman plans to and uses established recognizable figures, who are on the verge of being used as Marvel's most ambitious big screen project to date: The Avengers and the cover even uses that fact with obvious likenesses to Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and the RDJ Iron Man armor design (though it seemed WAY too photo-referenced and shiny with its polish, almost ruined the feeling until I saw how different the interiors were, but more on the art later).

Being a reader of the Ultimates since the start, the new-reader-friendly format the book took dragged on a bit for me unfortunately..with various expository scenes of characters roles being described, a couple scenes here and there that seemed more eye candy to showcase the characters rather than forward the books story. Not that it dragged on too much in today's world of decompressed storytelling, but it felt like a rehash that could've been done in a recap page at the start to catch people up to speed or a page of Hickman's notes (which he has done in SHIELD and Secret Warriors a lot, great companions that explain things we're meant to pick up between the lines). So while I enjoyed the book and its pace for the most part, that aspect didn't help blow me away with any huge game changing moments.

Onto the art, Esad Ribic's art is beautiful here and the digital coloring really helps enhancing stuff like Fury's war room and Iron Man's armor. Facial expressions like in the silent scenes, especially the Jamie Braddock/Thor face-off were also brought to life nicely. It seems very versatile and capable of portraying lots of things if this issue is anything to go by. Very different to his work like the Loki miniseries or Silver Surfer Requiem...to best describe it, it seems like a mix of the dynamics of his 90's work combined with the refined artsy style of his painted work. Solid art all around.

Bottom line, solid recovery for the title after the Ultimate Loeb debacle but not quite at the heights the franchise was. Still room for improvement which this arc will either make or break this title in today's declining market.

Story: 7.5
Art: 9.0
Overall: 8.5
Last edited by fieldy snuts on Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Review Group Week #289: Ultimates #1

Postby fieldy snuts » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:35 pm

Damn, that was one of my longer, wordier reviews =/

Felt an obligation to go in-depth since this was my pick, but I kinda lost control and started blabbing on about whatever came to my mind :lol:
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Re: Review Group Week #289: Ultimates #1

Postby fieldy snuts » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:37 pm

Starlord wrote:Oh for pete's sake! WHO PICKED THIS!?!?!?! :smt011

Whomever it is will not be eligable for this months avatar of the month because I'm petty. Not Tom Petty, just petty.


So there! :smt016


But I reviewed Brightest Day #25 when you picked it!!! :-(

And I think it's the first and only book I gave zero to in story but that's beside the point...

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Re: Review Group Week #289: Ultimates #1

Postby ****** » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:45 pm

Asmodeus Jones wrote:
Well, it's officially a hat trick of hacks now--first Lapham last week, is his head even in the game anymore?


I haven't read his Crossed or Caligula yet, but yeah, I miss Young Liars. :cry:

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Re: Review Group Week #289: Ultimates #1

Postby BlueStreak » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:48 pm

Asmodeus Jones wrote:
Well, it's officially a hat trick of hacks now--first Lapham last week, is his head even in the game anymore? Then this pants-load, and then a Matt Fraction book which I won't even glance at next week.


At least Casanova's coming out soon.
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Re: Review Group Week #289: Ultimates #1

Postby Zero » Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:08 am

John Snow wrote:
I haven't read his Crossed or Caligula yet, but yeah, I miss Young Liars. :cry:


I say this as a Lapham fan and possibly one of the only people to enjoy the Ennis Crossed: Do not buy Crossed: Family Values. It is grim as all fuck and not done with a wink and a smile.

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Re: Review Group Week #289: Ultimates #1

Postby ****** » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:30 am

Zero wrote:
I say this as a Lapham fan and possibly one of the only people to enjoy the Ennis Crossed: Do not buy Crossed: Family Values. It is grim as all fuck and not done with a wink and a smile.


No horse cock moments?

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Re: Review Group Week #289: Ultimates #1

Postby Punchy » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:38 am

Can we please stop reviewing based on price points? It fits within the RG's limits, that should be enough.

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Re: Review Group Week #289: Ultimates #1

Postby ****** » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:05 am

Punchy wrote:Can we please stop reviewing based on price points? It fits within the RG's limits, that should be enough.


It is some serious bullshit that Thor next week is a $4 comic. Hell, I won't even illegally download Fraction comics to read them for free.

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Re: Review Group Week #289: Ultimates #1

Postby ****** » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:06 am

Fraclash >>>> Hicklash

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