It’s been a tough sled for Marvel and me over the past year. Many of us here at the Court of Nerds bemoan Civil War II and how it worked its way into every single facit of the comicverse. This is an event after all and it to be expected, but no other comic was as effected as The Ultimates, mainly because Carol Danvers was the main foil to (the late) Tony Stark.
The first issue, which you can read the review of here, took things to the “cosmic” level. Celestial beings, primordial entities, and the most powerful of heroes and villains Marvel has to offer are on display. Galactus, the Lifebringer, is in need of new Heralds, and Anti-Man has taken over one of those positions. America Chavez (Miss America) has called together the scattered Ultimates, most now serving in their previous Alpha Flight positions, and has wisked them away to Galactus’ ship. They are asked to join Miss America in uncovering what is wrong with the multiverse. Blue Marvel and Spectrum agree to stay with Conner Sims and America Chavez while Captain Marvel and Black Panther decline, but offer to help if the situation becomes dire.
It doesn’t take long for the situation to become dire. Pockets of nothing are scattering across the Universe. Ghosts of beings from destroyed realities are finding their way into 616. A “Shaper” from a dead universe (I am assuming the 1610, the Ultimate Universe) has materialized in our universe and Miss America and crew need help dealing with it while Galactus and Anti-Man are away.
Meanwhile Galactus and Conner are standing before “The Tribunal,” the trinity of beings that is one who essentially the judge of all beings in the universe… well this universe. The entities of Order and Chaos have brought a grievance before the tribunal. The brother claim that Galactus has upset the balance of the cosmos. His new role of “Lifebringer” must be revoked and he must return to his role as “Destroyer.”
Miss America summons Captain Marvel and Black Panther (who has been creating some anti cosmic powered weapons of his own) from their duties with Alpha Flight. They are thrust into a battle with the “Shaper” from a now extinct universe. As a team they manage to slow down the entity enough for Blue Marvel to cage him in an anti-matter bubble. This is where the “Shaper” reveals there is a master “Shaper,” a being who is caged outside of the multiverse. The results might be catastrophic, death may itself die.
Back at the judgement of Galactus, the Tribunal has sided with Galactus. That which was is no more, that which is must be allowed to be. Order and Chaos do not like this very much, and well… kill the Tribunal.
The writing in the book is so good. SO DAMN GOOD! Al Ewing is taking all my favorite cosmic powered characters and gods and turning them on each other. With esoteric beings of great power on the edge of destruction, we might see the stage set for the return of some of my favorite alternate universe villains.
The art by Foreman stays the same for me. It has it's high points and it's low points. It's never truly consistent, which is a shame because there is some great imagery here that he can interpret any number of ways.... ah well.
But, this is still a great book. A book you should buy. A series you should buy if you liked Hickmanesque Space drama's with Cosmic Beings. More of this Marvel. More of this.