This issue basically wraps up the events of Cataclysm and sets us up for the exciting new era for Ultimate Universe. I know this is like, the 8th exciting new era for the Ultimate Universe, but I am genuinely pumped for these new books. Bendis of course knows these characters inside out, and I was also very pleased to get a full issue of awesome Joe Quinones art, he’s a real talent, and very suited to a dialogue-filled issue like this, he and Bendis make a good team.
The story here is framed by the Funeral of Captain America, with all of the various surviving superheroes gathered to hear Tony Stark give a heartfelt (and drunken) speech. Throughout this, various characters are given flashbacks to set up what’s next for them. First up is Black Widow, who we see assisting in the clean-up of New Jersey. She is approached by Foggy Nelson, who tells her that she is having charges pressed against her for what happened, as since she was in charge of SHIELD at the time, she is being blamed for Galactus’ attack. I love the fact that even in the face of grand cosmic horror and death, someone still has to go to trial for it. Only in (Ultimate) America! We also find out that SHIELD is going to be shut down, which is a pretty big deal.
The next flashback is from Sue Storm, who thinks back to a meeting she had with Reed Richards at the half-destroyed Baxter Building. She asks him what he’s up too, and whether or not he’s a villain who only turned good again briefly, or if he’s truly reformed. It seems Reed’s trip to the Marvel really has caused him to change his ways, as he tells Sue about his meeting with Valeria, and also that he knows a lot more about their alternate, possible futures, as he hacked the 616 Reed’s files. He accepts that they won’t be getting back together, but now he knows the true potential of the Fantastic Four, and thinks that maybe they should re-open the Baxter Building think-tank. All-New FF is the only new title I’m undecided on picking up, but this teaser has me interested in it for sure. Ultimate Reed is such an intriguing character now.
After this, Kitty Pryde gets a flashback, where she is visited by some Men In Black who hand her off to a phonecall from the President. This new President wants to help push through Pro-Mutant legislation, and wants her to help him. It would certainly be interesting for the Ultimate Universe to make bigger strides in Mutant Equality than the regular Universe, I’d like to see that.
The final flashback is Spider-Man, as Miles helps in the clean-up too, and generally gets back into the groove of being Spidey. Miles is approached by Spider-Woman, who tells him that she wants him to be a part of something new. The issue ends with Spider-Woman interrupting Tony Stark, and announcing that she, along with Miles, Kitty, Cloak, Dagger and Bombshell are forming the All-New Ultimates. We knew this already from the solicitations, but still, it’s a cool moment, and as Tony says, it’s what Cap would have wanted.
This issue did a good job at setting up the new look Ultimate Universe, it certainly has changed a lot, which is supposedly what we the fans want. I’m certainly excited for the changes, and I hope everyone else is too, and that we don’t have to go through yet another relaunch in 2 years. As I said, Quinones’ art was excellent, I’d like to see him draw an issue of Ultimate Spider-Man again for sure, his take on Miles’ costume reminds me of Samnee’s. Although what’s the deal with Coipel’s cover to this issue? Falcon and Storm take centre-stage, and they are barely in the story! Odd.