The first two volumes of The Ultimates are some of the best stories that Marvel has released. Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch, for all their delays, gave us a great first installment and upped the ante with the equivalent of a blockbuster movie in the second volume.
It's sad to see Jeph Loeb take this great series and plunge it into the toilet.
Those who were worried about the state of The Ultimates following Loeb's horrible Fallen Son and Wolverine: Origins issues were proven right. Loeb throws a cornucopia of bad, tasteless story twists at the reader from the very beginning. Hell, the first page opens up with a sex tape. And worse yet, the always-classy issue of INCEST is all over this first act. Possibly worst of all is that there's seemingly no story here. Venom randomly attacks. One of the characters has a sex tape out. There's the aforementioned incest case. Another character is a junkie who overdoses. Black Panther randomly shows up for no good reason. The team has new costumes for no given reason. Wasp, at some point, became the team's leader for some reason. And one of the characters is unnecessarily killed off at the end. This reads more like an issue written strictly for shock value.
That's without even mentioning that Joe Madureira's artwork for this issue is absolutely terrible. I couldn't even tell who Thor was! Disappointing, given the hype.
Ultimates fans are advised to stay away. Far away! Comparing this to Millar/Hitch can be admittedly unfair, but Loeb could have told a good story of his own and avoided most of the comparisons. The story, unfortunately, is complete tripe and readers are warned to stick with the first two volumes.
Thumbs WAY down!
(edited by It's False on 7.12.07 0522)
"Wocka Wocka...who wants to hear a funny-ass joke?"
The first JLA trade is also pretty damn good as a Batman showcase, and I must also second the love for Tower of Babel, especially in light of recent DCU events (Identity Crisis, The OMAC Project, new issues of JLA and the upcoming Infinite Crisis).