Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ultimatum #1 (of 5)

In the Alias #1 post from earlier this month I mentioned that I do not usually buy comic books out side of normal continuity. More specifically (because obviously I have reviewed books such as the Marvel 2099 and Old Man Logan lines), I do not like reading stories about characters who have been altered or changed to create a different story about who they are and things the are involved in.

For the reasons above I avoided Marvel's Ultimate Universe books. I know they get great reviews, but they usually do not appeal to me. I avoid them in the same way I avoid reading the "Harry Potter" books. Many readers (adults) I know enjoy these books, yet I will not touch them. The books have always seemed like children novels; thus, I have avoided them because I am above the fancies of the youth. With that said I love the movies and have a website where I review a comic of the day. I'm an idiot. This is a fact...

...or is it?

So finally I convinced myself. "Get off of your high elitist horse and try an Ultimate Universe book out already," I appealed to my wallet. Rather than get a collected volume already released and reviewed with high praise, I decided to get the newest issue and complete a mini-series of individual issues. This was a mistake.

Ultimatum #1 was written by Jeph Loeb (Batman: The Long Halloween, Spider-Man: Blue) and penciled by David Finch (New Avengers, Moon Knight). The issue is a quick paced disaster tale in which we see the earth's heroes dealing with a flash worldwide flood/environmental devastation. Magneto has fallen into grief for the loss of his children and has taken his rage out on the planet. The story isn't all together stupid, yet the jumping of events and scenes is quite dramatic. The book simply doesn't have any readable flow. It's as if Loeb put the book together on a cocktail napkin: "this happened, then this happened...oh, then this happened too!"

The flow of the overall Ultimatum five issue story is much like the flood in Ultimatum #1: fast and destructive. The art of Finch holds up, but I fear people may look down on it because it accomanies such an unflattering story.

Back to my point above about avoiding Ultimate Universe type books; was I right and this is what happens when I do not trust my instincts, or is Ultimatum a shear coincidence? It would be as if I picked up a "Harry Potter" book and it happened to be "Harry Potter and The Star and Moon Wizard's Hat." Not a strong "Harry Potter" book (it is rare and hard to find). It just happened to be the only bad one of the bunch. I think it is likely that I am just unlucky.

And as if getting turned off of the Ultimate Universe based on one bad story line wasn't bad enough, being the true comic collector I am, I still bought the last four issues to round out the series. I have since stopped collecting a series just to finish it out because of the lingering pain I received psychologically from Ultimatum. Once a month I bent over with cash in hand in the name of completing the collection. I clenched a board tight in my mouth for the pain and made the issue where a bag since it was violating me with it's poison monthly.

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