Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ultimate Avengers #001 – A Review

Ultimate Avengers #1

Publisher Marvel Comics

Writer Mark Millar

Pencils Carlos Pacheco

Inks Danny Miki

Colors Justin Ponsor

Have to love the ambition with the numbering, so I guess issue #100 will be a definite this time as opposed to three mini-series. Now before we get into the actual review of this book let me tell you where I’m coming from. I’m not a Millar fan. I liked the Wanted comic series, I have enjoyed other stuff he has done and the first two Ultimate arcs were certainly entertaining, but I feel that Millar’s other works Kick-Ass, Fantastic Four, Civil War, Old Man Logan and other such stuff benefit from his pop star status in the comic book world and his burgeoning star in Hollywood. Mark Millar will in my opinion go down as a hugely popular pop star, but his work will not be considered influential and will not be remembered as having any true long lasting impact. Also I think Millar benefits from being paired with great artists and that can make a decent story read like a great story. I give Millar credit, he knows how to find a popular beat and make that into a hit, even if you do forget it five years from now. Still you cannot dispute his success or that he has worked hard to get to where he is. So it is fair to say that it was with some reluctance that I even picked this book up after swearing off the Ultimate Universe. I blame the Carlos Pacheco art for drawing me in and the story has made me want to come back for issue #2 and that is to Millar’s credit. Now if the delays between issues are like his last run I will drop this book lot a hot rock.

What I liked about the book was the fast paced nature of it. The fact that I had not read Ultimatum appears to have had no impact for this story. Based on what I heard the extent of the damage being so well repaired after only three weeks seems a little absurd, but again since I did not read that series I blew by that bit. Also I thought Nick Fury had switched universes, but what the heck Samuel L. Jackson is back, I mean Nick Fury is back. We find out that Hawkeye is putting together a black ops to team to go after Captain America and Nick Fury is one of his recruits. Cap has found out about the Red Skull.

We then cut back to Hawkeye and Captain America fighting AIM members who have robbed the Baxter Building. We get some great action scenes with Cap flying out of a window on a motorcycle and jumping into the copter. Cap and Hawkeye and taking out the bad guys left and right. Now during all these scenes I still find it hard to reconcile that this Captain America has such a casual disregard for lives as he knocks out bad guys and throws them out of the helicopter. He flies out of a window on a motorcycle and lets it crash what must be 10 to 20 stories below, hope no one was down there. I forget if this Cap was always that harsh, but it just feels weird. Plus the action was written like it was suppose to be a movie screenplay and not a comic book. Still it worked.

Then Cap jumps over into the next copter and meets the Red Skull who kicks the living crap out of Cap like he was a junior girl scout. The Skull whispers into Cap’s ear and throws his limp and semi-conscious body to the ground below. Hawkeye makes a daring rescue and he asks who was Cap fighting and Cap says that he said he was Cap’s son. A very cool twist and as I said has me coming back for issue #2. Of course as always with Millar it is very cool moment, but also a father versus his son as greatest enemies, not exactly a new story.

The art is what really sold the book to me. Carlos Pacheco is a gifted pencil artist and his work continues to improve. In fact I have to say that I think Danny Miki as his inker may have made his work look even better then it did with Jesus Merino’s inks. The fight scenes in this book were incredible and Pacheo just knocked it out of park with those scenes. His selection of camera angles for certain shots absolutely made the book and heighten the tension where needed. He is Kirby and Alan Davis, by way of Neal Adams. I would love to see this done like DC did with the Blackest Night #0, where it is just the pencil artwork and commentary by the writer and editor.

Given how much I went against my better judgment and picked up this book, it was a pleasant surprise. So I guess I will hang out with one series in the Ultimate Universe, but after reading other peoples’ views of Ultimate Spider-Man, I’m glad I skipped that book.

Overall Grade B – Wonderful art, fast paced action and a nice surprise ending is making me come back for another issue.


  1. Ultimate Cap has always been a dick; he knocked Banner unconscious with his boot in the first arc, always gave Pym crap about Janet and has never actually shown any regard to teammates other then Fury. I always liked Thor more then Cap in Ultimates, seemed to be th ebetter guy to want to drink with.

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