Bad Girls ClubWritten by: Al Ewing
Art by:: Kenneth Rocafort, Djibail Morissette, & Dan Brown
Review by: Branden Murray
The Ultimates is a perfect example of what happens when you have an amazing story, characters, writer, and art team functioning on all cylinders. You get a great comic book that ties into the history of the Marvel Universe while building a new and exciting story that develops the characters in new and interesting ways. It is also a perfect example of what happens when a publisher decides to throw a wrench in those carefully laid plans and screw it all up for editorial mandates. In this instance, you don’t get a good comic, but instead you get a cluster fuck of things thrown against the wall. So, what is the case this week? Do Ultimates pick things back up or continue in event related purgatory? Read on.
Immediately after our Thanos/Anti-Man prelude, we’re sent into the period of time that Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel) confronted the “woman with a briefcase” after a Ulysses vision/warning. The main difference here, and what we didn’t see in the Civil War 2 #4, is the rest of the Ultimates provide reactions to the event as it unfolds in real time while Carol confronts this innocent woman. Captain Marvel’s choices essentially divide the team of heroes in two with Blue Marvel and Ms. America Chavez taking the anti-Ulysses side of the argument and Spectrum and Captain Marvel remaining pro-Ulysses. Oh, I don't want to forget Black Panther who is tired of everyone’s bullshit. Apparently, he is waiting for the two sides to debate their arguments publicly on CNN then read the press clippings before he casts a vote for either side.
We continue with the team gathering back at base, seemingly trying to understand Captain Marvel’s twisted logic in keeping this innocent woman prisoner. Despite the woman being found guilty of no wrongdoing, Captain Marvel is insistent on holding her which causes a WWE battle royal between the two factions of the team, complete with chairs over back and people going through tables like the Dudley Boys just came to town. Meanwhile, in “Black Panther land”, he continues to sit on the sidelines content to watch his friends beat the living shit out of each other.
As our issue concludes, we see Thanos finally succeed in convincing Anti-Man that the Ultimates don’t care about helping him after all. This results in our cliffhanger with both Anti-Man and Thanos breaking free of Ultimates custody. This is good news … said nobody ever!
The Ultimates main long running story continues to be one of the highlights of the new Marvel Universe in both art and story. This is an issue, however, that would receive a much higher score if it wasn’t bogged down with all this tie-in nonsense. It literally feels like Marvel purposely shortened the main story, split those pages for this issue in half, and then stapled a Civil War tie-in book into that. This is an issue trying to please two different parties, the Ultimates fans and the tie-in fans, while ultimately succeeding in doing neither.
Bits and Pieces:
The writing and art team had too much of a good thing going for the pace to slow to a crawl for the sole reason of pleasing Marvel editorial. While I’m still on board to follow the Ultimates, I really want our main story to keep moving forward and have this book escape Event tie-in status. Ultimately, there is fun to be had in small doses here when the book isn’t forced to retread familiar territory.