Sunday, April 24, 2011

If At First You've Kicked Hank Pym...

Mine has a different cover,
but likely the same content.
Well this week was all about getting through the key Ultimates books up to, but not including Ultimatum (I couldn't bear to read it), and this is the point where I got really frustrated and annoyed. Ultimates 3 is written by the (inexplicable) best seller Jeph Loeb, and illustrated by the (explicably) popular Joe Madureira. Amazon will overcharge you by at least $15 US for this 128 page farce. What, biased? Me? Yeah definitely. Look I got this on the cheap (say about $5 US) well after everyone knew it was crap so that I could read it on the off chance I might read Ultimatum. I never got as far as Ultimatum because this book did such horrible things to The Ultimates that I couldn't go back.

Here's a summary of what goes wrong happens in this book: The Ultimates are now funded by Tony Stark (following the conclusion of Ultimates 2) and a sex tape of Tony and the Black Widow has gone public. For no apparent reason Venom attacks the Ultimates, and is dispatched by Valkyrie (who now has actual powers for no apparent reason) and Thor. The team roster also includes Black Panther (though no-one but Cap knows who he is), but no longer includes Giant Man. At the same time as this is happening, The Scarlet Witch is shot by a "DNA seeking" missile by a robot. Not long after that, Brotherhood of Evil Mutants attacks the Ultimates' mansion, and take Wanda's body with them to the Savage Land. Wolverine shows up and, with the Ultimates, goes after the Brotherhood. Back t the mansion, Jan and Hank are attacked by their "teammates" who turn out to be Ultron robots that have advanced from Hank Pym's original designs due to Scarlet Witch's flirtatious tamperings. The Ultimates end up defeating the Ultron robots, and the Brotherhood (by Hawkeye putting an arrow through Pietro), though the final page reveal is that it was Dr Doom behind it all.

If that description has you wondering about writing talents (be they mine or Loeb's) your fears are well founded: this book seems to be nothing more than filler/set-up for Ultimatum, and really that's a waste of 5 issues, and the legacy that Millar and Hitch set-up.

But I've left out some of the worst aspects of the book. Such as the idea that Wanda and Pietro are intimate (which doesn't surprise me really) and that Jan views that as normal. Such as Wolverine potentially being Wanda's father (and that idea going nowhere). Such as Thor suddenly being at peace with himself and now talking like he's from "ye olden days". Such as Venom and Spider-man being in the book at all. Such as Pyro and Mastermind being would be rapists. Such as this being little more than a crappy remake of Avengers Disassembled.

At the end of the day, however much money you pay for this, it's too much. The art is occasionally good, the writing sometimes reaches the heady heights of just plain awful, and apart from the last 5 pages the entire book is pointless. This review feels almost as short as the book does. You'll be amazed that it took a whole 5 issues to labour through this.

If you must have some grip of what happens in this book for you Ultimate Universe collection, I'd recommend you go and print out the plot synopsis from Wikipedia, and stick that on your bookshelf.

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear! I've never read Ultimates, and don't plan to, but that review just reaffirms things. Nice one bud.