Friday, December 7, 2007

Ultimates 3 #1

I usually NEVER post anything from Wizard Universe's "Thursday Morning Quarterback" feature, simply because there usually is nothing there to interest me.

However, they reviewed Ultimates 3 #1, so I just had to post this!

A water-cooler review of this week’s comics

Posted December 6, 2007 9:00 AM

When the new batch of weekly comics arrives at Wizard HQ, the workday stops and the fanboys and fangirls inside take over. Every week in Thursday Morning Quarterback, we discuss and debate three of the most attention-getting titles, be they good, bad or indifferent—and maybe crown one of them our Book of the Week!

Your critics this week:
Wizard Associate Editor Andy Serwin: “I’m into offbeat superheroes like James Robinson’s Starman or genre books like Brian Azzarello’s Loveless.”
Wizard Entertainment Editor Rickey Purdin: “I like DC heroes who make reading fun, and throwback stories that make B-listers cool. Oh yeah, and every indie book in the galaxy.” Staff Writer Brian Warmoth: “The more absurd the gap between the goofiness of the costumes and the gravitas of the moment, the more I dig it.”
Wizard Price Guide Editor David Paggi: “I definitely gravitate towards more inventive comics like All Star Superman or Shaolin Cowboy.”

Reviewed this week: Ultimates 3 #1, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight #9, Justice Society of America #11 and Quick Hits out the wazoo, fanboys! Can you dig it?!?

WARNING…Spoilers ahead!

Jeph Loeb (W)/Joe Madureira (A)

BRIAN: “So the Ultimates are all hanging around watching Tony’s sex tape with the Black Widow when Venom shows up and attacks them out of the blue. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Joe Mad’s art and I’ve got to say: his Venom is pretty effing sweet. I loved all the Venom scenes in this issue.”

RICKEY:: “Did he get shot in the face and pull the arrow out with his tongue in this one scene?”

BRIAN: “Yep! But I’m a little confused about the jump between Ultimates 2 and 3. It’s a little disorienting. There’s a lot of violence and ambiguity right from the get-go as the creative team seems to go for visual cues over plot establishment, which is cool because you want to make a splash. Then Black Panther shows up, which is also cool, though is this the guy from ‘Ultimates 2’ DVD? He punches Venom in the face, then gets swatted…”

ANDY: “And you never see him again!”

BRIAN: “Then Valkyrie shows up, which looks cool as hell. In fact, I’ll call it my ‘Splash Page of the Week!’’”

BRIAN: “This scene was cool, but there’s something off about it storytelling wise.”

RICKEY: “It’s a reaction that’s five pages old. It’s hard to figure out what’s going on. Is Thor in the opening spread with the rest of the Ultimates when Venom attacks? Is Thor being thrown into the building at that point by Venom? But I’ll say this: I want to date Thor so I can get a badass sword that shoots lightning. Also, so I can be a hot 19-year-old blonde.”

BRIAN: “What is up with this vaguely incestuous relationship between Wanda and Pietro? It’s really creepy.”

RICKEY: “They’re all curled up on the couch and cuddling, holding hands like they’re 12 in the opening scene, then later on, it’s like they’re on a date in the city. What’s up with that?”

BRIAN: “Well, it won’t matter now, because Wanda’s dead—she gets a bullet in the torso in a cliffhanger splash that leaves her dead in the street.”

ANDY: “She’ll be back. They ALWAYS come back. Anytime I see anyone dead in comics these days, I figure it’s six months max before someone hits the reset button and they’re back from the grave.”

RICKEY: “But they killed off Ultimate Beast in Ultimate X-Men.”

ANDY: “He’ll be back!”


RICKEY: “Speaking of that last death scene, Joe can draw the hell out of an action scene, but when it comes to the storytelling and the quiet moments, they don’t come off as dramatic or touching to me. The thing about Ultimates, it’s a widescreen, action-packed comic. But this, the biggest thing so far was a fight with Venom across the street, and that was in the beginning of the book.”

BRIAN: “I felt a little cheated by that, too. You expect a certain something out of Ultimates based on the two previous series, and I’m not sure this edition followed through on that.”

RICKEY: “I know Loeb jumped ahead a little bit, but it seemed like he’s trying to fit in that Mark Millar style, but that’s not really his voice. Loeb moving into this ‘Millarworld’ doesn’t make much sense to me.”

ANDY:: “Aside from some of the art aspects we already talked about, this book was a miss for me. I didn’t care for the inking or coloring on Joe’s art; it didn’t convey that cinematic style I expect from an Ultimate title. And a lot of storytelling points were lost on me; Loeb tried to throw you right into the action, but some more setup would have been appreciated. I get thrown into the deep end, but I can barely tread water with all the questions posed. And there’s a lot of things that are just sort of clich├ęd: Hawkeye’s family is dead, now he wants to die. Cap’s all ‘I don’t understand the future’ still. Tony’s drinking. Wanda and Pietro are creepy mutants. And why on Earth would Janet Van Dyne feel compelled to open up to her ex-husband Hank Pym; he sprayed her with Raid and beat her with a phone! There’s a lot going on here that didn’t connect with me.”

RICKEY: “It’s almost like Ultimate Ultimates with these edgier portrayals of all the characters, but I’m not entirely sure that Loeb’s voice works here. From this first issue, this title doesn’t feel like a 12-issue must-read event the way the previous series have.”

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