I like the comic team Mark Millar (writer) and Bryan Hitch (artist); they did The Ultimates, arguably one of the best things to come out of Marvel in a very long time. The Ultimates got handed over to another creative team to rehash the House of M event from the non-ultimate universe, which was a colossal waste of time and, I consider it, Jeph Loeb’s worst story ever (and I like Jeph, a lot). Millar is now back on The Ultimates though the name has changed to Ultimate Comics: Avengers, the title change generally irritates me because they were never called the Avengers in the books, so why fuck with a good thing. If you haven’t read The Ultimates yet, what the fuck is your problem, you’re missing out on one of the best super-team comics around, arguably better than Watchmen.
That brings me to what the Millar/Hitch team have been doing since, of all things The Fantastic Four, talk about a what-the-fuck moment. I hate the FF, really I do, and nothing says bore-me-to-fucking-tears like a literal super family, fuck that, I hate them. So I bite the bullet and pick up the first trade (Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest), I had a couple of reasons to do it, 1. I’m a completionist whore and by everything they do together and 2. I have faith in the Millar/hitch combo. Of course faith didn’t make me read it, in fact it sat on my bookshelf for over 6 months waiting for me, I was worried, concerned to the point that I didn’t even take the shrink wrap off. Really, that’s how much I love this combo and don’t want anything to taint my enjoyment. So I finally cracked it open and started reading it, what do you know, I fucking love it, for real, it’s good, really good.
The Ultimates had everything missing from the characters of the standard universe Avengers, these characters are flawed heroes, drunkards, thieves, washouts, a soldier, and Nick Fury is Samuel L. Jackson. Hell, the first three fights where amongst the team members, one of those fights was domestic violence to boot, it was pure fucking genius. So the question I kept asking myself was how is Millar going to top The Ultimates and still write in the standard Marvel universe? Turns out he didn’t, he flexed his versatile muscle and produced something with style, struggle, and sincerity, and oddly enough the very core values that made me hate the FF to begin with he turned into the things I liked about them.
Mark Millar, you are the bee’s knees.
The other half of this dynamic duo is no slouch either, I tend to think of him as the happy medium between Jim Lee and Jae Lee, and if you know me that’s high praise, since I warship the ground these guy hover above. Let me take you on a visual journey:
I would go off on some greater dissection of his work, but I don’t think I need too, if you don’t see it, fuck you. I truly believe this guy is in the same game as Jim and Jae, look at Jayne, it is the character, no two ways about it.
Bryan Hitch you are the cat’s pajamas.
And when their powers combine they create one of the best comic duos since Claremont and Lee.