Art by: Kenneth Rocafort, Djibril Morissette and Dan Brown
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 20, 2016
Review by: Branden Murray
The Marvel publishing company currently has tie-in fever and the only cure is of course … MORE COWBELL. Well, that would be my cure anyway. I would channel my inner Christopher Walken and shake away at that damn bell in the hope of making all this tie-in madness goes away. However, Marvel has conflicting ideology. They believe they’ve also found that the cure to this fever is to release more and more tie-ins, of course. So, let’s see how one of their latest efforts, the Ultimates #9, deals with all this madness.
We start the issue off with a blast from the past...1998 to be exact and we see the flashback deals with Blue Marvel (Adam Brashear) teaming up with his son, Kevin Brashear. They’ve arrived in Machu Picchu with a BFG (Yes, that's a Doom reference) in an effort to keep The Infinaut’s second manifestation at bay. By using Blue Marvel’s powers as the ammunition for this weapon, the two are able to keep the Infinaut away from Earth temporarily, but we find out this problem will continue happening until a long term solution can be found.
As we enter present day, we find the Ultimates and Ulysses gathered at Fenway Park, building a giant Pym particle accelerator with the aid of the new Giant-Man (Raz Malhorta). Ulysses has warned the team of an incoming ninth manifestation of the Infinaut, so they all gathered to assemble this “weapon” in an effort to stop these manifestations once and for all. While all this is occurring, Blue Marvel and Captain Marvel stop to have an ideological discussion about the recent death of Bruce Banner in Civil War II #3.
Basically, what we get out of the conversation is Blue Marvel looks be siding with Iron-Man on this issue while Carol is still firmly standing her ground about using Ulysses. I’m really having trouble and can’t wrap my head around Captain Marvel’s side of things in this event. She has come off as a uncompromising and rather cold hearted person to me. While my history with the character is not extensive, I’m fairly positive those aren’t consistent traits of hers and it's disappointing to see her painted like such a snake.
Once we reach the midpoint of the book, we're treated to a beautiful splash page of the ninth manifestation of the Infinaut, rendered by the team of Kenneth Rocafort, Djibril Morissette, and colored by Dan Brown. Together, they are perfectly able to capture the chaos and gravity of the situation without any words and the entire layout is flawless. From here, our heroes spring into action to take down this Blue Man Group reject. Giant-Man starts by grabbing the invader while the others using the doohickey they just created to bring both larger than life figures down to normal size. In doing so, the Ultimates are able to communicate with the Infinaut and realize he means no harm. They find out in a small conversation this long thought enemy has simply been a scientist trying to reach the Marvel U Prime Earth to share his knowledge. That's why you don't judge a book...
As things wind down, we're sent back to the Ultimates base of operations to see they still have Anti-Man (Conner Sims) in custody and he looks to be losing his mind without a shoulder to cry on. The worse news comes when we find out that Thanos, who’s also prisoner at this base, is communicating with Anti-Man telepathically in an attempt to be that sympathetic shoulder as the issue ends. This will end poorly, mark my words. When Thanos is extending a helping hand, you can bet there is something in it for him and that it can’t and won’t be good for anybody else.
Bits and Pieces:
All in all, this issue was a mixed bag. The creators definitely did what they could in the space provided to move our main story forward. but the issue suffers from catching the aforementioned tie-in fever which therefore shoehorns it into a few different aspects that weren’t really necessary. The art also shifts dramatically at various points where flashback sequences are used. While everything is rendered fantastically, the two different styles don’t mesh well together. Despite all that, if you’re a fan of if this title, this is still something you’re most likely going to enjoy. Just be aware that it suffers from taking the middle ground and trying to please tie-in and existing fans alike.