ALL NEW ULTIMATES #4
Writer – Michel Fiffe
Artist – Amilcar Pinna
Colors- Nolan Woodard
Review by Justin Townson
I will always be grateful to Marvel Comics for creating the Ultimate Universe. The allure of something new was partially responsible for pulling me back into reading after having had several years away from the hobby. So when the rumors that Marvel was making plans to close down their Ultimate line of comics were rampant a few months ago, I was quite saddened. Then, upon learning that it was just a reboot and that the new Ultimate team would consist of the characters Brian Michael Bendis had introduced right before the reboot, had me beside myself with excitement. I loved the idea of a teen street level book, but sadly, that excitement has seriously been dampened after reading these first few issues of the All-New Ultimates.
Issue #4 presents us with a typical day off for our heroes. In this particular issue, the girls go to the beach while the guys escape to do their own thing. There is next to no plot development in this issue, but I was okay with that. In the past, I’ve really enjoyed these types of issues. I find it’s a great way of getting to know the characters outside of their costumes and give us a reason to care about the person they are, and not the hero they dress up as. While the spirit of creating a fun book is there, unfortunately, it all feels a bit flat. The team that was dynamic and full of synergy in Ultimate Spider-Man is nowhere to be found here. It feels more like a group of teens forcing talk and quips at each other rather than sharing in meaningful conversation. At no point is this more apparent than during the girl’s sex talk. My issue stems from the flow of the conversation not feeling natural, which is a shame because we actually get to learn more about who Jessica Drew really is. Hopefully that plot point is revisited in later issues.
I realize that out of every aspect in comics that could be discussed, art is probably the most subjective. That being said, I’ve personally had a really hard time with this art in the book from the beginning, and unfortunately this issue more so than the rest. The facial features of the characters just don’t look right, in my humble opinion. In every other panel it seems like they were caught making a strange expression while a candid photo of them was snapped. While that can be a little distracting, the panel of Spider-Man talking to Ganke took me completely out of the book. Ganke is not only unrecognizable in his physical form, but I was left feeling confused by his gender within certain panels as well. I feel he easily could have been mistaken for a woman, which distracted me from whatever conversation the characters were having.
PASS. I want to care about these characters. I want to tell you to care about these characters. While there are pieces here and there that could lead to this being the book I hoped it would be, right now it doesn’t justify a purchase.