Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Ultimates #3

Cover by Kaare Andrews

The Ultimates #3 (October 26, 2011)
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Penciller: Esad Ribic
Colorist: Dean White
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

I’m still really enjoying this series though I am completely unfamiliar with the Ultimates universe. That is most likely a failing on my end but so far, Hickman hasn’t lost or totally confused me.

Rather, he has spun a very exciting story arc. The Ultimates #3, in particularly, feels very cinematic. It could easily be translated to the screen as an action-packed, epic, explosion-filled thriller; yet it still has a great storyline and well-drawn character depths. I cared about all the central figures in this issue, Thor, Hawkeye, Nick Fury and Iron Man, in particular. They were very dynamic and rather atypical. For example, Nick Fury had an intense moment of defeat and even Thor suffered from resigned, embittered vengeance. There was very much a sense of a team effort, which I greatly enjoyed, in the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier; based, however, on the frenetic assault on our agents and Europe, this isn’t always enough.

The one thing I did notice, however, was the lack of female voices. There are female characters in this issue, such as Spider-Woman, but they were very much placed in the background. They had no gripping moments or anything of real interest to say. In fact, they were really only there to convince Fury to give up and turn around from a suicidal mission. They were easily put off by this whole battling the Children of Tomorrow thing and nearly getting killed.

Of course, it was an important moment in the comic when Fury admitted defeat and was rather alarming for both the reader and the other characters. This was not as surprising, however, as Thor’s game-changing decision after being humiliated and defeated as well. Hickman could very well take this series directly into the kitschy and gimmicky, based on this cliffhanger, but I am seriously hoping he does not.

Along with Hickman’s exciting writing, the art and colors by Ribic and White are really great and perfectly illustrate the tense and blood-pumping atmosphere of the storyline. So far, I am thoroughly enjoying every aspect of this comic and am hoping for more awesome writing, great art and angry Asgardians.

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