The fourth issue of Jeph Loeb’s and Joe Madureira’s run on The Ultimates released on Wednesday. Is the series living up to its hype? Here’s a review, complete with spoilers.
The Ultimates 3 #4
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Artists: Joe Madureira and Christian Lichtner
What’s Going On:
The Ultimates divide into two teams, one to follow Magneto into the Savage Land to recover the Scarlet Witch’s body and the other to stay in New York to investigate her murder. This issue follows the Savage Land team as they battle Magneto’s Brotherhood with the help of Ka-zar and Shanna. Meanwhile in New York, Wasp and Ant Man encounter some Battlestar Galactica-style discoveries about their teammates.
Lessons Learned Here:
- RoboCap shouldn’t even try to channel the Terminator.
- Dismantled robots in the Ultimate universe like to yell, “Skeet!”
- Valkyrie is still hot, and Pyro is a lecher.
How It Ends:
Wasp and Ant Man spy through an air conditioning grate to see a meeting of robotic versions of Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Yellowjacket, and Iron Man.
There’s a lot going on in Loeb’s writing here, but none of it really tracks tonally with anything that’s been established in the Ultimates universe. It feels like it’s an offshoot or a “what if” story, rather than a mainstay book in this corner of the Marvel universe. Many characters (ie: the suddenly rape-happy Pyro) completely ignore their characters as established in other previous Ultimate titles, and the overall feel that made the Ultimates a stellar book is gone, replaced by a hypervelocity, MTV attention spanned goof fest.
Joe Mad’s art is problematic as well, though mostly not through any fault of his own. I’d love to see this series spotlighting Madureira’s strong pencils, with appropriate coloring that complements his art. What we’ve gotten so far, however, has been a Photoshop crazed splash of jarring colors throughout that really detracts from Madureira’s work.
On the whole, Ultimates 3 feels like a completely unnecessary series. After two fantastic series that were serious in tone and took the Ultimate characters in new and excitingly subversive directions, we get this series that feels like it’s trying to cram every possible Ultimate-ized hero and villain down our throats in an Ultimates 3 wrapper.