Assault on the Ultimate Universe

I must be a late bloomer, or something equally as lame, because I have just started ready the other books in the Ultimate line of comics from Marvel. I’ve been reading The Ultimates since word go, it really is too damn good to pass up in case you’re wondering, but somehow Ultimate X-men and Ultimate Spider-man slipped under my radar. I imagine this was due to a been-there-done-that type thing, but I had never been a huge fan of The Avengers but Miller and Hitch was enough to catch my attention.

Anyway, after many suggestions not to read Ultimates 3 and Ultimatum because it was neither Miller nor Hitch, I did it anyway because it’s Jeph Loeb, of who I happen be a big fan. There is a catch to the fandom, Loeb writes very classic comic material, periodically he steps from form but always returns to the origin. It’s not a bad thing and certainly not a criticism, Loeb is great ate what he does, if you don’t believe me read Haunted Knight and Dark Victory. The real question was whether or not he could maintain the intensity and walk the razors edge that was so finely honed by Miller? Some said couldn’t and didn’t, and no matter how you slice it it wasn’t going to be an easy task.

What Loeb did do was twist the Ultimates and then the entire Ultimate Universe to his evil bidding. He stepped out of his box and delivered a vicious and ugly story that really did reshape the Ultimate U, while it wasn’t a revolutionary story and it did have it’s shortcomings, Ultimatum was just what the doctor ordered. Loeb killed major players in all the titles and took several million bystanders with them, it’s glorious. So yeah, I really enjoyed Ultimatum.

My enjoyment of Ultimatum is that it’s tight, it didn’t last years, just one summer and everything changed. It reminded me of the summer comic events of my youth but it came packing brass knuckles for the survivors and a chainsaw for the characters that didn’t make it. Something that can’t be said for the vast majority of events, either they’re too damn long or they don’t have a big enough effect for me to give a shit, or both.

Now that I’ve read Ultimatum I’m curious, what did I miss? That question has led me to start digging into the back catalog of the Ultimate U, so far I have not been let down and I absolutely recommend the first two volumes of Ultimate X-men and of course the entire run of The Ultimates.

I’ll keep you posted on my adventures.

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