Change we can believe in

Marvel’s Ultimatum is changing things in a big way, for comic books at least

Nobody starts off an event like Marvel Comics. Did they just kill millions of people on the East Coast? Yep. Did half of the Fantastic Four just die? I think so. Were those X-Men being slammed by a tidal wave that consumed all of New York? Indeed they were.

If you read the Ultimate line of books, then you are more than likely ready for some kind of shakeup. It doesn’t feel like that long ago that the Ultimate books were some of the most exciting and fresh comics on the stands. In fact, the recent Marvel movies Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk are almost directly based off their Ultimate counterparts. Unfortunately, the Ultimate Universe has been a bit stagnant recently, to say the least.

When it was first conceived, the Ultimate Universe was a modern alternative to the traditional Marvel Universe. Classic characters like Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Thor were given an updated treatment and origins that shed the forty years of continuity that intimidated new readers.

Books like Ultimates, Ultimate Spider-man, and Ultimate X-Men launched to huge sales and critical praise. The stories were grounded in a world more resembling our own, and things like politics, media spin and superhero sex tapes, played heavily in the books.

Then, things started to get routine. The Ultimate Universe started to look more and more like the regular Marvel Universe, and the books started to be nothing more than retellings of classic Marvel tales.

With Ultimatum, all that seems to be changing. Written by Jeph Loeb (the guy behind everything from The Long Halloween to Spider-man: Blue) with art from the amazing David Finch, the book certainly has the star power to deliver the big changes in grand style. Loeb brings the action front and center from page one, and Finch executes the epic scale with beautiful style.

With four more issues to go, we can only hope that Ultimatum keeps the fast-paced action and high-stakes battles coming, because those of us that have been following the Ultimate Universe are ready for some change we can believe in.

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