Another day, another comic review. I’ll try to maintain the “one a day” schedule all week until Secret Invasion and Buffy are both caught up. (There are two reviews each still pending.)

General Information

Title: Ultimatum #1-2

Author: Jeph Loeb

Illustrator(s): David Finch (pencils), Danny Miki (inks) and Steve Firchow (colours)

Cover Date: January 2009

Cover Price: $3.99 US each

Premise

In the wake of the events in Ultimates 3, Magneto is made, and he’s using his powers to exact revenge upon the entire human race.

High Point

For once, the “things will never be the same again” promotional slogan is bearing true. We’ve got a large death toll, and two regular series (Ultimate Fantastic Four and Ultimate X-Men) will both end when their crossovers end.

Low Point

Reed’s irrationality. He’s the last person to be exhibiting behaviour like this.

The Scores

This is an original take, allowed by the nature of the Ultimate universe. This is being treated as its own, distinct world more than a mirror of our world, as the main universe often is. That gives them the freedom to kill millions at a stroke by flooding New York, freezing eastern Europe, and otherwise devastating the world. Major characters are dead, and the map is being rewritten. It’s a scale that isn’t often seen, because the nature and history of the Ultimate universe means the bulk of the changes might actually stick. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is excellent. I love Finch’s work, and he delivers here. There’s a lot of emotion and detail required, and he’s giving us all of it. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story dives straight in. If you’ve read Ultimates 3, you can pick up right where it starts. If you haven’t, don’t put yourself through it just to read this. “Ultimates 3” was pretty bad, so I’ll “spoil” it, as I don’t recommend reading it. Know that the Ultimate incarnations of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch died by human hands, that the Ultimates are now autonomous rather than government controlled, and that Ultron created robot duplicates of the team (including a Yellowjacker incarnation of Hank Pym) before he was defeated. This is the background you need. The story in this series opens with Magneto’s attack, and runs pretty quickly from there. (In fact, the issues take place in about the time it takes to read them.) I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization is pretty light. Reed seems wrong, and the rest of the groups are barely touched on. In these two issues, we get the appearances of the majority of the characters in all titles throughout the Marvel universe. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is strong. This is a large scale event, and it’s been delivering thus far. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow works well, with everything moving very, very quickly. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a promising start to the series. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Ultimatum #1-2 receive 34 out of 42.

Ultimatum Issues

  • Ultimatum #1-2, 3, 4, 5
  • Ultimate Fantastic Four #58-60
  • Ultimate X-Men #98-100
  • Ultimate Spider-Man #129-?