Comic Review – “Marvel Universe: The End #3”

This is the last time I’ll be buying one of Starlin’s series an issue at a time.

General Information

Title: Marvel Universe: The End #3
Author / Penciller: Jim Starlin
Inker: Al Milgrom
Original Publication Date: April 9, 2003
Cover Price: $2.99US, $4.75 Can


The could-be end of the Marvel Universe continues. This time, Thanos
and the Defenders search out the source of the Pharoh’s power, while
Doom returns to the Pharoh’s past to prevent his rise, and perhaps
take his place.

High Point

Dr. Strange and Silver Surfer share a private conversation.

Low Point

There are a lot of disappointments in this issue. Doom’s role was too
small given the build-up, the panel with the Imperial Police Force
should have been more than a single panel, and the events in the last
few pages were far too convenient. If I wasn’t committed to the rest
of the series I don’t think I’d bother with it.

The Scores

The concept is as original as it was in the first two issues,
but so little seemed to actually happen this time that it feels like
the old stuff all over again. I give it 2 out of 6.

The artwork is passable. No moments looked great, but most
looked good. I don’t like Starlin’s Dr. Strange or Hulk, but his
Thanos and Doom look good. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story wasn’t retreading old territory, but there were no
real surprises. It feels like the story that Starlin wants to tell
won’t show up until the last couple of issues, and that these first
three were just here to get the characters into the appropriate
positions. I give it 3 out of 6.

The characterization is considerably lacking. The only
character that we’ve learned anything about was Dr. Strange in his
conversation with the Silver Surfer, which is why that weak moment has
been elevated to the “High Point” status. I give it 2 out of 6.

The emotional response was terrible. The only moment that
made me care was the panel of the Imperial Police Force. There will
be some redemption if we see more of that in future issues, but this
issue just leaves me generally dissatisfied. I give it 2 out of 6.

The flow was still well done. That’s one thing that Starlin
knows how to do. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this was a distinctly ineffective outing. I
wouldn’t recommend getting the individual issues, and the next three
need to have some major turnaround before I’d recommend a trade
paperback collecting it. I give it 2 out of 6.

In total, Marvel Universe: The End #3 has managed a whopping
20 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

Next up: a review of Uncanny X-Men 421 will probably appear
within the hour. Let’s hope it makes my trip to the comic shop