Review Shooter: Ultimate Comics – The Ultimates #1
Â Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates #1 follows Nick Fury, newly re-appointed Director of SHIELD as he struggles to keep the world at peace, as well as following some of the Ultimates themselves.
So, this week marks the start of “Ultimate Comics Rebirth”, which sees Marvel overhauling the Ultimate universe and trying to get the book back to where it once was, both commercially and creatively. Did it work creatively? The short answer is yes. Hickman said he wanted to bring back elements of what Mark Millar did in his (fantastic) work on The Ultimates 1 & 2, such as addressing the question of “what does it mean to be a superhero in the 21st century?” and making it feel more real world, which the book had lost since then, and I think Hickman has shown he’s capable of doing just that.
This issue really does help you understand the pressure Nick Fury must be under to keep the whole world in check, but the thing that makes it stand out is that even with such a little touch as budget cuts, it hammers home that this book is very much set in the here and now world, and this world has a lot of the problems and issues that ours does. Hickman does a great job of making something like that work in a superhero story, and it really gets the point across that it’s affecting Nick Fury’s ability to work and keep the world safe. It also has a few nice character moments with Fury that show just how much he relied on Captain America, and that’s another thing I noticed, I don’t think 616 Marvel would have done what that, and just had Steve walk away. They’re certainly making good on their promises.
Not only does Hickman convey that sense of realism that was sorely needed, he’s also able to just tell a suspenseful and action-packed story. As I mentioned, there’s an underlying tension throughout most of the book that never lets you put your guard down, and I loved that he was able to pull it off so well. There’s also a very interesting bit in the middle between Captain Britain and Thor that has no dialogue, but thanks to a perfectly matched creative team, it doesn’t need any. If Hickman keeps this quality up, this series will quickly become one of my favourites.
Now, to give some much deserved attention to the artist, Esad Ribic. There are a host of artists out there today who can pull of realism and super heroics at the same time, and he’s certainly one of them, but he’s still got a very unique style that’s just has beautiful as say, Bryan Hitch. The inks & colours make it feel very hyper-real and remind you that you’re reading a comic and shows it’s not trying to be like watching a movie (on top of complimenting the pencils). Oh, and I do want to touch briefly on the cover by Karee Andrews. It’s just plain awesome, for the same reasons Ribic’s interior art is. I also like the style of it, with the black borders on the side and the way the title and issue number are presented, it feels like the original Ultimate covers, and is just sleek and good looking.
New Reader Accessibility Rating: 5. There’s nothing in here that’ll confuse new readers, in my opinion. That’s pretty much all there is to say.
Recommendation: BUY IT! Support this book, it’s a fantastic read and if it’s any indication, Ultimate Comics are back to where they need to be.