Monday, June 27, 2016

The Ultimates #8 Review - Marvel Mondays

The Ultimate Warriors

Written by: Al Ewing
Art by: Kenneth Rocafort & Dan Brown
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 22, 2016
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewed by: Branden Murray

I’ll admit this was one of the books I originally overlooked when the All-New All-Different Marvel lineup started.  Once I saw it was getting such rave reviews and also contained Black Panther, I was sold enough to give it a try and jumped on the bandwagon.  A funny thing happened once I started reading the series, though...I fell in love with it!  Not quite to the extent I fell for Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell back in the day, but more than Jessie Spano.  And don't even get me started on Lisa Turtle!  It eventually became one of my favorite titles since the relaunch because of the cosmic spectacle and stakes involved each and every month.  So, let’s hesitate no longer and see what our collection of characters referred to as the Ultimates are up to this issue...

We kick off every issue with a mission report from one of the team members.  In this instance, we have Captain Marvel telling us exactly what’s gone down lately. We find out in the early parts of the series that these briefs are also simulcast to the people and governments of earth so their actions remain transparent and to avoid scrutiny, which is a cool twist, if you ask me.

The story itself is really no more than a summary this month but a good jumping on point for new readers.  The first act of the book covers Captain Marvel, in flashbacks, recruiting members of the Ultimates team for the first time. Although there isn’t a ton of new information revealed for long time readers, Al Ewing does a great job of keeping the dialogue fresh and the story moving in an interesting direction.

The second act of the book reflects upon the events taking place in the Civil War summer event comic Marvel is putting out and how the Ultimates are intertwined in the action.  Here, there are some beautifully drawn and constructed panels showcasing the team gathering to combat one of the Marvel Universe's greatest threats, Thanos. Although they are able to stop our villain. things do not end well for one of our heroes. I won’t directly name names here but unless you’ve literally lived under a rock for the last few weeks or ignore comic news altogether, you know exactly who I’m talking about. 

As our comic comes to a close we see the profound impact this loss has on our team, specifically Captain Marvel, America Chavez, Blue Marvel, and Spectrum.  As they all try to sort through their feelings, they are interrupted by Iron Man dropping on the rooftop and boy, is he pissed. Then there is our final panel. Its Thanos leering in capture with a shit eating grin like this may have been a plan of his all along.  Knowing him...

Although this has been one of my favorite books of Marvel's most recent relaunch lineup, I didn’t enjoy this issue as much as the previous seven.  Al Ewing’s script was solid as usual and the art was still as crisp and colorful as ever, but there was just something missing. I think it’s just the fact this story failed to capture the magic the other issues have had that made them all worth at least one reread to make sure you didn’t miss anything...this was a one and done for me.

Bits and Pieces:

I’m one hundred percent sure the Ultimates #8 was a victim of circumstance. It’s an obvious tie-in to an ongoing event, but I don’t see this as a possible pattern of future things to come. I’ll be back next month to see when (not if) Ewing and company get things get back on track. 



  1. Al Ewing is, probably, the best writer Marvel has right now. If you like this book, check out his MIGHTY AVENGERS / CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE MIGHTY AVENGERS. They were also by Ewing and, collectively,serve as a nice precursor to this series.

    I don't like a lot of what Marvel is doing right now...both in it's stories and it's marketing, but ULTIMATES is one of the few exceptions (plus, I'm a sucker for Black Panther, who comes in 2nd place as my favorite Marvel character, by the most miniscule of margins, right behind Iron Fist).

  2. I'm in your boat boat I'm Luke warm on most the titles right now but Ewing does the things I like in comics most. Call backs to history and rich stories based of past events. Your right i will have to check out his other titles.