Ultimate Power # 7 (Marvel – Loeb / Land / Leisten / Ponsor) – the Ultimate brawlfest continues as Ultimate Fantastic Four, Ultimate X-men and the Ultimates take on the Max Squadron Supreme. The series which started off with an actual plotline dealing with Reed Richards being plotted against from a parallel world has turned into a sort of a “the battle rages on… the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny” plot for the last few issues. If you can handle the “John Woo” non-stop action effect, it’s a great book. Put into the mix Nick Fury having a secret deal with Doom, an Ultimate Hulk about to be getting released, a double-crossed Hyperion and the classic Squadron Supreme showing up and you have a gem… but only if you have caught the previous issues. You can probably get those in the back issue bins, if not there are always trades.
Issue Grade: A
Series Grade: B+
The Order #3 (Marvel – Fraction / Morales / Kitson / White) – The Order (formally known as the Champions), is giving a fresh look into the world of Superhero team dynamics. Matt Fraction is showing he is able to write character depth and get the reader involved. So far, the narrative constantly switches between the Order (a US government run and operated team) learning teamwork on the run battling, to be honest, the strangest badguys ever seen in the first three issues of any comic and narratives that were entrance recruitment interviews for the team members, giving back story, flaws and individual goals. One of the biggest flaws of this book that takes place in the Marvel Universe and that the Order is supposed to be a flagship team for the Initiative is that the only hint that we are in the MU has been a cameo by Tony Stark and that the Order took on some soviet villains from the 70’s that could have been the Red Scare’s back up crew. Kitson’s art is good and supports Fraction’s storytelling well… there is just something about the pacing of this book that keeps it from being a wild hit; perhaps it’s that the reader is still trying to get to know all twelve main characters, maybe it’s that the a half dozen or so of the main characters we met in issue one are either dead or fired, maybe it’s the bizarre villains (Zo-bo’s… short for zombie hobos… nope, not making it up). If the creative team behind the Order can figure out a couple of these kinks, this book could be gold… for right now it’s just gold-plated.