You know, I enjoy Hickman's work much more when I don't have to reread and review them. He's a 'young' writer with a lot of great ideas and a fun approach but sometimes things just don't click. Ultimates is one of those times.
I had to think twice about how to review this book. Even though I consider it a centerpiece for a linewide reboot, I'm going to judge the book on its on merits and not how it handles being the first book in a relaunch.
There's just nothing really special about this. We're introduced to a new, mysterious faction in the middle of nowhere and their symbolic atomic-mushroom shaped construct. We have Nick Fury back in control of SHIELD and handling multiple crises with cool aplomb. We have Iron Man, Hawkeye, Thor, and international teams of supersoldiers being hastily dispatched to deal with these crises. Of course, things go horribly wrong and we're left to wonder what-the-fuck and What Would Cap Do? But it feels as Hickman is relying on the reputation of the Ultimates to make the landscape bigger and more grandiose than what's actually put on the page. Reading a book about supersoldiers at war is a lot more fun when we know who the enemy is, even if it's under the vague umbrella of 'terrorism'.
And, yeah I know I'm in the really small minority, I don't like the art. It's pretty, I guess, but it's soulless and confined. Even the part with the Asgardians, which should highlight proseless storytelling, doesn't seem that impressive. It seems like silence for the sake of it in a medium that's meant to take advantage of word and art.
Maybe I've just changed too much to appreciate the Ultimate Universe. I hope not. I like Hickman enough to give the title another chance but I'm wondering if there's anything unique he can impart this book and the UU that's not already being done better in the current 616.