It's the end of an era. Since last August, Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic have been wowing fans with their run on the Ultimates. While the story isn't over quite yet - neither is Hickman's tenure on the book - this is their last issue together, and Hickman's last issue alone. This issue takes the already epic People vs Children storyline and continues to turn up the heat!
end of spoilers
-Hawkeye, Fury, and Widow watch as the Children and People duke it out.
-Meanwhile, Agent Flumm's forces take over the Triskelion, taking Spider-woman and Captain Britain captive.
-Thor and Iron Man fight back, though, and learn of Flumm's plan.
-The President informs Washington of the full scale nuclear attack that has launched toward the City.
-Back at the fight, Zorn takes off his helmet and creates a massive explosion above the fight.
-The City survives the attack, badly wounded.
-Reed grabs an unnamed Child, and informs him that his name is Death.
-He sends Death to Washington, DC, where the child explodes in front of the President.
To be continued...
If I was in the business of writing one word reviews, that would be it. This was simply stunning on all accounts. As if this run hadn't been epic enough already, Hickman delivers the most action packed issue yet. This barely had less action than today's AvX VS #1, and that is a book that is dedicated ONLY to fight scenes (and it's a great read, by the way); Hickman manages to fit plot and story development into this book, as well.
While this was mostly action, Hickman demonstrated, yet again, his mastery of this book's characters. Tony and Thor were perfectly on point during their fight scene. He nailed the serious side of Fury and Hawkeye. And, of course, his Reed Richards is simply perfect. The calm, collected nature of Reed is extremely eerie, almost scary, as he stands firm after a devastating blow to the City. Zorn threw, what appeared to be, everything he had at Reed's Children, but the Maker is hardly phased. He continues to show his masterful manipulation of Hulk and follows through with his next phase: Death.
Blowing my mind for, unfortunately, the last time is, once again, Esad Ribic. I really don't know what else there is to say about the art in this book. The character's all look great, and the action is spectacular. The world that Ribic draws is stunning. I also love the liberties that he takes with page layouts and sound effects. He goes out with a beautiful explosion, and he will be greatly missed. Luke Ross will do a good job, I'm sure, but he has big shoes to fill. The Ultimates haven't looked this good in five years. I'm very upset that we won't be able to see a new Iron Man armor designed by Ribic, because I think he would do an awesome job on it.
The story, while not advancing a ton, continues to impress. The proverbial feces have hit the fan, and there's no going back. While the big action of the People vs the Children was obviously the focal point of the issue, I'm actually more looking forward to see what happens with Iron Man/Thor and Spider-Woman/Captain Britain. There's a lot going on in this book, and it's all going to come together soon. Hickman's plotting never fails to amaze me.
And, obviously, the ending is huge. Reed may have just killed the President!!
I look forward to seeing what, if anything, will change with Humphries as a cowriter. There is a lot to happen before Divided We Fall comes this summer. I really hope we get to see part, if not all, of the Fantastic Four confront Reed in the coming issues. But, as long as the book continues like this, I eagerly await whatever the Ultimates team throws our way!
Buy it. If you haven't read issues 1-8, buy them, too. Then buy this. You won't be upset.
PS: First Knife is back!!