I know, lets kill off the entire Ultimate Marvel universe. Let’s actually let the bad guys win. Let see real consequences to real villainous actions. That basically sums up Ultimatum right there with veteran Marvel scribe Jeph Loeb on writing duties and David Finch on illustration.
In a grief infused state at the death of his children, the Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver, X-Men Big Bad Magento has finally carried out his plan of mutant domination over homo sapiens by reversing the Earth’s magnetic poles causing world wide catastrophe. Spanning 5 issues and being a massive feature in the Ultimate Universe sister issues (Ultimate X-Men V. 1 #98 – #100, Ultimate Spider-Man #129 – #133, Ultimate Origins, Ultimates V.3 and Ultimate Fantastic Four #58 – #60), Ultimatum finally lets the bad guy win.
I’ve been working my way through the Ultimate Universe prior to picking up Ultimatum so this story arc was pretty far out there and I loved it. The premise, the execution and the deaths! Oh my, do not get me started on the deaths. Loeb’s writing is slick and conveys the characters across the Ultimate Marvel universe showing much appreciation to the writing that had come before.
However there were a couple of annoyances. The amount of tie ins you need to read to fully embrace the storyline is draft. The whole story spans mere days in comic time but we’re talking months and months of real time. Thankfully reading this as a collected edition makes the wait non-existent but I could not imagine waiting every month for this storyline to run it’s course.
Second, I just don’t believe that Magneto would quote The Byrds 1965 hit, “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)” whilst his masterplan comes to fruition. I’m sorry, I’m not buying that. One could argue a biblical reference but it doesn’t read like it.
Finch’s art was beautifully rendered and it really dragged me in. The devastation of the Ultimatum event is beautifully drawn and the classic Marvel characters look beautiful and jaded. To be honest, I’m not an artist so I don’t feel as qualified to comment on art generally but what I can say is that I really enjoyed the imagery used and it suited the writing perfectly.
Whilst this story arc got panned by critics I never saw the reason why. I really enjoyed the story but my main complaint is the amount of tie ins this story requires you to read to get the full story which is disappointing for the casual reader.
Join me next Monday for our next comic review.
N. S. Paul