The Ultimates 3 #1 (Marvel – Loeb / Madureira / Lightner) – Marvel’s take The countdown to Ultimatum begins here and when it’s over, the Ultimate Universe will never be the same! And when we say that in the Ultimate Universe, you know we ain’t fooling around! A year later, who are the Ultimates? After going through the tumultuous events of the past two volumes, the Ultimates find themselves operating out of Tony Stark’s mansion in New York where, no longer working for S.H.I.E.L.D., they have to make it on their own. But, a terrible secret is about to tear them apart and bring about a murder at the mansion! One of Earth’s greatest heroes will die and there’ll be plenty of suspects! New Members! New Adventures! And New Secrets! All this and Ultimate Venom too! Join Eisner winner and Emmy-nominated writer Jeph Loeb (TV’s Heroes, FALLEN SON) and the superstar team of Joe Madureira & Christian Lichtner (UNCANNY X-MEN, Battle Chasers) as they take the Ultimates on their wildest ride yet! Well, I don’t know if it’s their wildest ride, but it’s definitely their darkest. Doom and gloom has befallen the Ultimates, the book opens as the self-destructive Tony Stark has had his graphically explicit lustful times with the spy-traitor Black Widow caught video and it’s being shared throughout the world. After that Venom attacks, leaving nothing standing and the fans getting to see the darkside of all present. One year later Ultimates style, has not left anyone in a good place… not even close. The art is a turn from what we have seen from the Ultimate line, Joe Madureira’s style is very dark and shadowy and borderline over-the-top. This Noir-ish spin on the pencil and ink only adds to the dark gothy mood of the book. As far as the story, it’s over too soon. Brooding… big fight… more brooding… cliffhanger moment… fin. They could have put a little bit more plot in such a hyped book. The only really great moment is watching Ultimate Black Panther spend a couple pages going fist-to-cuffs with Venom and then getting tossed what seems like miles away. I know the end is coming and all of this “March on Ultimatum” promotion buzz… but come on Cap! This was so dark, it sucked all of the enjoyment out of it… I can only hope we get more hope in the next issue.
Preview art from issue #2 below