Welcome back to Comic of the Week here at ComicUI! We’ve been a little behind on these due to technical limitations, but we’re coming back strong with a dual submission for the week of 12/11/2013!
Due to some conversation within ComicUI and valid points from both sides, we’re presenting two Comics of the Week this week, both spinning out of the Ultimate Universe’s Cataclysm event. We may be a bit biased towards this line occasionally, but for good reason. We love the Marvel Universe and always have, we especially don’t want to see it end.
Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Ultimates #2
Now this is a series that has continued to bring new things to the Ultimate Universe in its potentially dying time. We’re giving brand new, awesome takes on characters that currently exist in the 616 universe and a spotlight on the lesser knowns in the Ultimate Universe as well. We’re treated to the Gah Lak Tus infection in a small town full of cultists, lead by none other than a wicked version of MODOK who is headed for Reed Richard’s City of Tomorrow. Fialkov has been doing a wonderful job of tying in older stories in the UU to the current events and this is no exception. Fury’s Ultimate Avengers are the team here in charge of ridding the world of the Gah Lak Tus swarm that is converting everything it touches to a mindless, consuming creature. From Ultimate Hercules to Ultimate Ghost Rider, this is a series to watch that’s bringing surprise after surprise into an action packed scenario, without actually fighting Galactus.
On that note, I’m going to file a complaint with this story as well. Since the Ultimates 1 used the Hulk as a WMD to defeat the Chitauri invasion, the Hulk has been worthless in the Ultimate Universe. When a problem comes up that Tony Stark can’t outsmart, they send in the Hulk and this issue is no exception. We see the Bruce Banner thrown into this mess, only to wind up being converted to the other side. Again. This is a tactic that Hickman used in his Ultimate Comics Ultimates run, in which Reed Richards convinced him to join his side as well. This felt stale and hurts the story from being taken seriously.
Overall, being the second part in a 3 part series, this next issue has a lot of ground to cover and lots of magic to work if everyone’s going to make it out alive. If any series makes me feel like the Ultimate Universe is ending, it would be this one.
Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #3
Exact opposite of the previous book, Cataclysm: UCM is the reason I feel the Ultimate Universe will survive. Brian Michael Bendis is very hit/miss on his content lately, especially dragging out events through too many books. I draw this equivalent to the older Dragon Ball Z episodes where there are 5 episodes of nothing for a few minutes of pay off. This book, however, really delivers on the content, bridging past instances in the Ultimate Universe with one of my favorite cliff-hanger endings in a long time.
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man has been building up a different take on Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends story, that focuses on Miles (Spider-Man), Spider-Woman, Bombshell, Cloak and Dagger. Other than Spider-Woman, these are all relatively new characters in the Ultimate Universe and help portray Cataclysm through the eyes of people who have just obtained their powers and what they instinctively do. A stronger point of this issue, recalls back to other major events that have happened over the years, specifically Ultimatum and where people were during that time frame. The last page definitely brought forth an issue I didn’t
The art by David Marquez is not our traditional Sara Pichelli, but I won’t argue here. His images feel very Ultimate-y and hearken back to the Pichelli and Ultimate Comic Re-Launch era versions. Each page gives it an angle on the scene I’d not expect, especially with not one, but two web slingers in the book. Showing Cloak and Dagger in front of Galactus’ eye is a pretty cool image too, since his eyes are so haunting and full of, not life.
This issue also isn’t perfect, as well, being just a typical Spider-Man story. There isn’t a lot of action or real threats, other than just emotional consequences. A random person is killed by a car in front of Bombshell, a friend of hers, but we don’t see anything other than a quick shot of vengeance for it. It doesn’t bring a lot of excitement to the story to keep you turning the page.
I’m more excited for Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #3 than any other Cataclysm mini series thus far, simply because I care more about the characters in this book than the others. Maybe we’ll get a huge, game changing issue next.