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Ultimate Comics Ultimates, Volume 1: The Republic Is Burning

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The Republic is burning. The next era has begun. As our heroes struggle to find their place in the world, the Ultimates face game-changing threats even they can't handle. And with the heart of the team missing in action, the country's last stand of defense may be on its last legs. Critically acclaimed writer Jonathan Hickman (Fantastic Four, FF, Secret Warriors) and supers The Republic is burning. The next era has begun. As our heroes struggle to find their place in the world, the Ultimates face game-changing threats even they can't handle. And with the heart of the team missing in action, the country's last stand of defense may be on its last legs. Critically acclaimed writer Jonathan Hickman (Fantastic Four, FF, Secret Warriors) and superstar artist Esad Ribic (Uncanny X-Force) drive the Ultimates into new and deadly territory! This is the book we've all been waiting for! Collecting: Ultimate Comics: Ultimates 1-6


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The Republic is burning. The next era has begun. As our heroes struggle to find their place in the world, the Ultimates face game-changing threats even they can't handle. And with the heart of the team missing in action, the country's last stand of defense may be on its last legs. Critically acclaimed writer Jonathan Hickman (Fantastic Four, FF, Secret Warriors) and supers The Republic is burning. The next era has begun. As our heroes struggle to find their place in the world, the Ultimates face game-changing threats even they can't handle. And with the heart of the team missing in action, the country's last stand of defense may be on its last legs. Critically acclaimed writer Jonathan Hickman (Fantastic Four, FF, Secret Warriors) and superstar artist Esad Ribic (Uncanny X-Force) drive the Ultimates into new and deadly territory! This is the book we've all been waiting for! Collecting: Ultimate Comics: Ultimates 1-6

30 review for Ultimate Comics Ultimates, Volume 1: The Republic Is Burning

  1. 4 out of 5

    Arun Divakar

    The approach Joss Whedon or the Russo brothers took with their Avengers movies is certainly not how the comic book writers saw their characters. After having been through a couple of the comic story lines around the superhero team, I did understand what a lot of comic readers have commented earlier : The Avengers aren’t that great comic book material. Jonathan Hickman’s run which started with The Ultimates Vol. 1 while being quite average is still galaxies better than Mark Millar’s Vol. 1. So fa The approach Joss Whedon or the Russo brothers took with their Avengers movies is certainly not how the comic book writers saw their characters. After having been through a couple of the comic story lines around the superhero team, I did understand what a lot of comic readers have commented earlier : The Avengers aren’t that great comic book material. Jonathan Hickman’s run which started with The Ultimates Vol. 1 while being quite average is still galaxies better than Mark Millar’s Vol. 1. So far as I have seen, when there is this bunch of superheroes coming together there can only be one of the two generic storylines : 1. They fight a/ a group of hyper powered super villain(s) or an intergalactic threat or 2. They fight among themselves. This story line falls into the first camp when a seemingly invincible group calling themselves ‘The Children of Tomorrow’ arrive on Earth and begin their process of cleansing ( yawn !). S.H.I.E.L.D jumps into the fray with Nick Fury taking command and the boots on the ground first are Iron Man, Hawkeye and Black Widow. Even as they mount their fight, Asgard falls to the invaders and the only survivor of the onslaught is Thor. The rest of the book is about Iron Man and Thor along with Fury trying to fight back against the invasion. Being the first in the series the book is very open ended : the invaders have the upper hand here, they are led by a formidable intellect and all factors seem to be against our favorite heroes. Captain America and Black Widow have cameos and while his name is mentioned here, there is no Hulk in sight. This leaves the entire department of action and pyrotechnics in the hands of two gentlemen : Iron Man and Thor which they handle with their trademark finesse. Hickman’s characters are likable and that is a huge leap from the brutes in Mark Millar’s version. There are far too many untied threads for me to recommend this first volume and give a solid review. More when I complete the series.

  2. 4 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    I kept hearing from a buddy I HAVE to read Hickman's run on Ultimates. The last thing I read with "Ultimates" was Ultimatum or Ultimates 3...let me tell you. Those both sucked a large dick. So I kind of gave up on all Ultimates comics. I picked this up and was introduced to a world kind of shattered. Cap is off on his own, Tony is kind of fucking things up worse, Thor feels WEAK in this story just because the odds are so against them. Nick is losing every step he takes. And we have a new enemy. I kept hearing from a buddy I HAVE to read Hickman's run on Ultimates. The last thing I read with "Ultimates" was Ultimatum or Ultimates 3...let me tell you. Those both sucked a large dick. So I kind of gave up on all Ultimates comics. I picked this up and was introduced to a world kind of shattered. Cap is off on his own, Tony is kind of fucking things up worse, Thor feels WEAK in this story just because the odds are so against them. Nick is losing every step he takes. And we have a new enemy. This is a few years old so spoilers but Evil Reed Richards is here and he's the "MAKER" and he is creating a new world, one that would take over. One that is BETTER than us. Nick tries to form plans to stop him but ever move they make they keep losing. The Good: The stakes feel high. Thor's issues are just...fucked. Tony being outsmarted and used is both fun and something very new. Watching Nick beg for help. Seeing Cap at a loss to what to do. Reed Richards being evil is pure awesomeness. What I didn't like: The stuff with the president feels like building stuff more than focusing on this story. It was mostly to do with Divided we fall, united we stand crossover coming. Also it can be very weird, might have to re-read pages sometimes. Overall this was a great first volume. Solid pacing, strong dialog, lots of stakes, and a awesome villain. This is very much worth reading. A solid 3.5 out of 5.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Certainly fills in a lot of blanks in my quest for Ultimate knowledge, ha ha! A super villain named only The Maker has created an impenetrable Dome* in rural Europe, then locked it off from the normal flow of time for a thousand Dome** years. It returns to the present as The City, populated with the Children of Tomorrow, and nearly destroys the Ultimates. Faced with a nuclear weapon in South America, a mutant revolution in Southeast Asia, and The City, this time Nick Fury, the Ultimates, and huma Certainly fills in a lot of blanks in my quest for Ultimate knowledge, ha ha! A super villain named only The Maker has created an impenetrable Dome* in rural Europe, then locked it off from the normal flow of time for a thousand Dome** years. It returns to the present as The City, populated with the Children of Tomorrow, and nearly destroys the Ultimates. Faced with a nuclear weapon in South America, a mutant revolution in Southeast Asia, and The City, this time Nick Fury, the Ultimates, and humanity may be stretched to the breaking point! * "Dome", apparently in tomorrow-speak, means "mushroom-shaped" ** still a mushroom, folks

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    A strange cult-like race of genetically superior humans calling themselves “The Children of Tomorrow” led by a mysterious hooded figure, set up their base in Europe and begin killing people in thousands, destroying new Asgard along the way. They have managed to evolve at a significantly faster rate thus making them nearly indomitable to the Ultimates as they are centuries more advanced, physically and mentally. Jonathan Hickman continues his high-concept approach to comics meshing the ideas-lade A strange cult-like race of genetically superior humans calling themselves “The Children of Tomorrow” led by a mysterious hooded figure, set up their base in Europe and begin killing people in thousands, destroying new Asgard along the way. They have managed to evolve at a significantly faster rate thus making them nearly indomitable to the Ultimates as they are centuries more advanced, physically and mentally. Jonathan Hickman continues his high-concept approach to comics meshing the ideas-laden stories of the Future Foundation with his Ultimates run. His approach feels similar to Grant Morrison and Warren Ellis’ (the book reminded me a lot of “Planetary” which has Fantastic Four lookalikes as the villains) take on familiar characters but unlike Morrison and Ellis, Hickman’s style gets in the way of enjoying the book fully. It’s great to read a comic book that has ideas but too many of those ideas clog the natural flow of the story, getting in the way rather than enhancing the plot. And while it’s an Ultimates book, this isn’t a team effort - it’s mostly Thor and Iron Man doing the fighting with Nick Fury co-ordinating as always on the Helicarrier. Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Cap are on the sidelines and there’s no Hulk (yet). Speaking of Hawkeye, if you’re wondering about his storyline which involves the South Eastern Asian Republic (SEAR), check out Hickman’s “Ultimate Comics: Hawkeye” which also involves everyone’s favourite green giant. The book doesn’t really end as the storylines are left hanging by the end of the book: the Children of Tomorrow continue their invasion untouched, the Ultimates remain scattered, and there seems to be no hope in sight – it’s like the end of “The Empire Strikes Back”! And ultimately, this leaves the book as somewhat uneven throughout. It has good moments but isn’t consistent and even feels a bit shallow in places. It’s an interesting take on the series though, Hickman is definitely a worthy successor to Mark Millar and hopefully the series will improve in later books.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    Wow. So much happened in these six issues, and yet it doesn't feel overly-condensed. It is no exaggeration to think that Bendis, with the usual "witty" dialogue and de-compressed storytelling, would've made this a 12-issue arc. So already that's one good thing. The pacing is fast, yes, but that only grabs your attention and pulls you in further. What is amazing to me is that, of the Big Guns, Hickman only used Iron Man and Thor, mostly. Even Captain America, who so prominently graces the cover o Wow. So much happened in these six issues, and yet it doesn't feel overly-condensed. It is no exaggeration to think that Bendis, with the usual "witty" dialogue and de-compressed storytelling, would've made this a 12-issue arc. So already that's one good thing. The pacing is fast, yes, but that only grabs your attention and pulls you in further. What is amazing to me is that, of the Big Guns, Hickman only used Iron Man and Thor, mostly. Even Captain America, who so prominently graces the cover of this book, only shows up at the tail end of the arc, out of costume, and *declines* Fury's call for help. The situation does indeed look grim for our "heroes", even hopeless, but you just know they'll win in the end. I mean, it's their book, right? Here, Hickman does what he does best: throwing at us one exciting concept after another, blowing our minds away without overwhelming us. Just like he did in "S.H.I.E.L.D.", "Fantastic Four", and "Secret Warriors", and what he's doing now in "Manhattan Projects", which I urge you to check out. Also: Major props for Ribic & Peterson, who supply the art, and to Kaare Andrews, for the simply stunning cover art.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Fugo Feedback

    No es una mala historia para nada, y los dibujazos de Ribic aportan mucho, aunque su estilo esté más "estandarizado" que en otros casos, sobre todo por el lado del color. Pero abajo pongo "I would recommend to: los que estén al día" porque yo, que sólo había leído el Volumen 1 de The Ultimates (y me había encantado) me sentí bastante perdido yendo directamente a este tomo. Tiene mucha épica, machaca, lindos diálogos, ideas (bien) fumadas y se deja leer, pero al menos desde mi perspectiva, el "fa No es una mala historia para nada, y los dibujazos de Ribic aportan mucho, aunque su estilo esté más "estandarizado" que en otros casos, sobre todo por el lado del color. Pero abajo pongo "I would recommend to: los que estén al día" porque yo, que sólo había leído el Volumen 1 de The Ultimates (y me había encantado) me sentí bastante perdido yendo directamente a este tomo. Tiene mucha épica, machaca, lindos diálogos, ideas (bien) fumadas y se deja leer, pero al menos desde mi perspectiva, el "falta algo" se deja notar todo el tiempo. Y ni siquiera el recontraspoilero texto de introducción lo subsana (aunque sí me sirvió para cagarme detalles de lo me queda por leer). De todos modos, la edició es bastante bonita, aunque la traducción peque de tibia y aunque el tomo recopile dos números menos que los tomos en inglés.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Phil

    Wow. A threat so powerful they make the ultimates look like chumps. One of my comic book guys recommended this series when it first came out. I read the 1st issue and was not in impressed. Later was reading the trade in B&N and quickly realized it was awesome. Great art and pacing. And the Hulk doesn't even show until the next trade. I am hooked.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sonic

    The first 3/4's was clearly 4 to 5 star material,.. then the art got weak (compared to Ribic) and the writing seemed to ssssslllooooowwwww dddooowwwwnnn too for some reason,... to drag it out? Maybe. I don't know if this is an alternate universe or if Hickman himself is in an alternate universe, ... I suspect the latter. :)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cerri

    I really only read this to have some Ultimates background for Secret Wars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mario

    This review originally appeared on my blog, Shared Universe Reviews. The Ultimates is the latest series of adventures of Marvel Comics’s alternate universe Avengers and it's quite good. There’s not need to beat around the bush on this one, especially since the comic itself wastes no time. With the very first issue the creative team composed of writer Jonathan Hickman, artist Esad Ribic and colourist Dean White, jump right into the story. Even from the very first page they manage to hook the rea This review originally appeared on my blog, Shared Universe Reviews. The Ultimates is the latest series of adventures of Marvel Comics’s alternate universe Avengers and it's quite good. There’s not need to beat around the bush on this one, especially since the comic itself wastes no time. With the very first issue the creative team composed of writer Jonathan Hickman, artist Esad Ribic and colourist Dean White, jump right into the story. Even from the very first page they manage to hook the reader and those who continued reading were not disappointed. The story, once you break it down, is rather simple. A villainous genius, The Maker, creates impressive evolutionary pressure cooker somewhere on the European continent and it threatens the planet. Nick Fury, commander of SHIELD, and his Ultimates are unable to deal with this thread and compounded with other global catastrophes they are nearly completely defeated. There have been several similar stories in superhero comics but the creative team manages not only to make it fresh but also succeed in making the threat feel real. The only possible conclusion here appears to be the collapse of both the Ultimates, SHIELD and several world governments. The first comic I read with Esad Ribic on art was the opening story arc of Uncanny X-Force. He has a different style than many artists working in mainstream comic. There’s a European vibe to his art and I like it. He’s well suited to smaller character moments as he is big action sequences and that’s exactly the kind of balance in storytelling that makes a good team superhero book. That compounded with the fact that Ribic’s art simply looks good makes him an excellent choice for this title. My only complaint is that sometimes, when there’s a lot of action, his panels can get a little too packed with art and details but it’s difficult to criticism because he still manages to make it look good. I love the way he draws Thor. I think the Ultimate Universe has my favourite Thor look and it’s mostly because of the beard. I love Thor with a thick beard. It’s better than a goatee and it’s significantly better than the wimpy beard Thor has in the Marvel movieverse. I think Thor looks good without the beard in regular Marcel continuity but here in the Ultimate Universe, the beard is able to excel in part because of the difference in tone. You can’t talk about Ribic’s art on this book without mentioning Dean White’s colours. He’s an excellent colourist. He’s not my favourite but he has such great skill that it’s impossible to ignore his contributions to the art. He’s very versatile and his colours look very different here than they did on Uncanny X-Force. It was good then but I think it’s better here, simply out of personal preference. The colours of The Ultimates manage to incorporate the vibrant colours and sense of wonder of superhero comics but it’s also grounded in the 21st Century pseudo reality of the Ultimate Universe line of titles. I can’t recall reading another comic that was coloured by White other than books also drawn by Ribic and that’s fine because I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather see colour Ribic’s art. They’re an impressive collaboration and their work definitively helps to elevate the story. Hickman has become a prominent writer at Marvel in the last five years. He’s written fan favourite and acclaimed runs (Fantastic Four is a good example) and he’s become one of the Marvel Architects which essentially means he’s proved himself as a writer and now Marvel gives him access to their most popular properties. Hickman is currently the writer of the recently relaunched Avengers and New Avengers. I haven’t had a chance to read either of those yet but I have a feeling it would be more difficult for Hickman to write a story like the one in The Ultimates. For starters the tone of the regular Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe are very different. There’s a sense of danger in The Ultimates that would be nearly impossible to match in a regular Marvel book because the writers are limited in what they can do. Yes there can be stories that change things but at the end of the day the characters and the titles are a product that has to remain recognizable. If you look at the characters and the world of the Ultimate Universe today compared to the first few years after it launched, very few things remain the same. That’s probably one of my complaints, actually. So much has changed that sometimes it’s difficult to know which character is who, what they’ve done and how they’re different from their Marvel Universe counterpart. For examples, when Thor was first introduced in Mark Millar’s The Ultimates, he was a man pretending to be a god but then he actually became Thor God of Thunder. Now in Hickman’s run he no longer has his godly powers but not quite, now he potentially has more than ever before because he’s the living incarnation of Valhalla. . . or something. See what I mean? Things in the Ultimate Universe have gotten complicated over time and despite some ok to mediocre comics in the line there are some real gems. What’s great about The Ultimates is that Hickman doesn’t even use all the team members in this first volume. Instead he has several other secondary as well as tertiary Marvel Universe characters into the mix. A smart move that has already paid off in this volume and I’m convinced will continue to do so in the second part of the story. Hickman, Ribic and White tell a thrilling, no-holds-barred superhero comic and expect you to keep up. I love comics that are dense and quick, I love comics that challenge me. With Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates my ability as comics reader and my knowledge of Marvel’s Ultimate Universe are challenged while my cravings for intelligent, well-crafted and interesting superhero comics are satisfied. The Ultimates isn’t a run of the mill smash ‘em up comics spoon fed to you by a barely sub average writer, this is the real deal and I’d recommend you check it out.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    The beauty of the Ultimate Universe, to me, has always been about familiar characters getting a breath of fresh air and not being held back by decades of continuity. Here, Hickman takes his very big cerebral ideas and puts them into an Avengers story. I wasn't a fan. The villainous reveal was obvious and there simply wasn't enough from The Ultimates. The idea seems to be that destroying as much as possible of the Ultimate Universe is the goal. It seems cheap to me. The art by Esad Ribic is fanta The beauty of the Ultimate Universe, to me, has always been about familiar characters getting a breath of fresh air and not being held back by decades of continuity. Here, Hickman takes his very big cerebral ideas and puts them into an Avengers story. I wasn't a fan. The villainous reveal was obvious and there simply wasn't enough from The Ultimates. The idea seems to be that destroying as much as possible of the Ultimate Universe is the goal. It seems cheap to me. The art by Esad Ribic is fantastic. Loved his scenes with Thor and other Asgardians. Overall, the book was a letdown especially considering how good some Ultimate Universe books have been.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bram Ryckaert

    Compared to Hickman's other Marvel work this felt pretty weak, even his Ultimate Thor told a much better story than this. That being said, a weak Hickman book is still very much above average and I got to look at pretty Ribic pictures.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Hickman’s ultimates storyline is fairly unreadable

  14. 4 out of 5

    Trevor Dailey

    It's Jonathan Hickman, so yeah.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Axael

    Daaaaaaaamn!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Hickman has a great imagination for world-building - and for drawing me in to the immense amount of energy - and risk - that it requires. His take on the Ultimates is no exception to the great worlds he's shown me in the Shield series, FF, his time-travel world invasion book or Transhuman. I love seeing the world from Ultimate Nick Fury's single OmniEye view. It's a constant ebb and flow of deadly threats and universal mysteries, and he takes so much of it in stride - that when he faces something Hickman has a great imagination for world-building - and for drawing me in to the immense amount of energy - and risk - that it requires. His take on the Ultimates is no exception to the great worlds he's shown me in the Shield series, FF, his time-travel world invasion book or Transhuman. I love seeing the world from Ultimate Nick Fury's single OmniEye view. It's a constant ebb and flow of deadly threats and universal mysteries, and he takes so much of it in stride - that when he faces something he doesn't know how to solve, it makes me want to hide under my chair. One of the most fun aspects of the writing is the easy familiarity with which the Big Players address each other (or refer to them in absentia). It feels very much like I'm watching just over their shoulders, standing right there and not out of place for being among the heroes. Hickman & Ribic combine a familiar Ultimate universe with a nice brand of sharp observation and get-to-the-point, and make it look both welcome and alien. At the same time, there's something really awry with reading this and not knowing the current situation being hinted at with half the characters. Captain America, Spider-Woman, Spider-Man, Reed Richards... There's so much more going on than I know from their classic histories, and my memory's just not good enough to keep it straight. I happened to read the companion Hawkeye book very recently, so I'm current enough to follow and feel rewarded by the tidbits that overlap into this book. How much more would I enjoy this if I was up on *all* the storylines? Here are my plot notes because I can never remember who when and what, when I'm reading later books: (view spoiler)[Reed Richards built a Darwin bubble, accelerated its time for a thousand years of evolution and preparation, then dropped back into reality and swamped much of Europe with a City. The inhabitants destroyed all of Asgard & the World Tree, leaving Thor depowered and becoming "Valhalla" for the dead Asgardians. Tony Stark watched a nuke destroy Uruguay, knowing his secret society Kratos Club in Paris deliberately used it to cause global market collapse. They now own 9% of the world. Captain America has exiled himself in NM and refuses to join the fight. Spider-Woman sees Spider-Man fraternising with some long-haired person and doesn't like it. Captain Britain's brother is near death due to their father. Black Widow has a baby, and Nick Fury is the father. Sam Wilson/Falcon is invited to come and go in the City. Meanwhile, mutants defect to Tian and are being called "Runaways". (hide spoiler)]

  17. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    Marvel's Ultimate Universe is being given another makeover, which means a new Ultimates series, this one by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic. Now, we all know what happened the last time The Ultimates was handed off to someone other than series creator Mark Millar (Ultimates 3, for those of you who somehow managed to put it out of your mind), so I went into this collection with some trepidation. In this story, a new group of characters calling themselves the Children of Tomorrow sets up shop in Eu Marvel's Ultimate Universe is being given another makeover, which means a new Ultimates series, this one by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic. Now, we all know what happened the last time The Ultimates was handed off to someone other than series creator Mark Millar (Ultimates 3, for those of you who somehow managed to put it out of your mind), so I went into this collection with some trepidation. In this story, a new group of characters calling themselves the Children of Tomorrow sets up shop in Europe, killing thousands and annihilating Asgard along the way. The Children represent a thousand years of managed evolution, and easily throw off any assaults Nick Fury and his Ultimates mount. I wasn't familiar with Hickman prior to this volume, but I definitely came away impressed. He seems to have a great respect for what Millar's original vision for the team was, and manages to carry that spirit forward while advancing his own ideas. The action is grand and the dialogue is sharp, and there are a lot of little plot elements that come together quite well. It's essentially a Fury, Thor and Iron Man tale, so we don't get the full-on Ultimates experience, but that's a minor gripe. I hadn't previously seen Esan Ribic's work either, but he does an outstanding job here. Very stylized, very detailed, and while he doesn't have Bryan Hitch's cinematic style he does have a unique approach to storytelling. It reminds me a bit of Brandon Peterson and Leniel Yu. His Thor and Iron Man are particularly eye-catching, and seem to be drawn with the recent movies in mind. In the end I was very pleased with this Ultimates relaunch. It has enough of what made the first two Ultimates series such classics, and continues to keep the Ultimate Marvel Universe vibrant and edgy. My only real complaint is that we don't get the full story in this collection. It's really just the first half of a larger epic.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Collects Ultimate Comic Ultimates issues #1-6 This was another epic book by Jonathan Hickman. In this story, the mysterious villain known as the Maker has created a domed A.I. city with the ability to grow. The power of the Maker seems to be unstoppable as he, and his Children of Tomorrow, take on the Ultimates, S.H.I.E.L.D., and Asgard. Jonathan Hickman has a way of writing in which the stakes feel very real (even in a comic book). FULL SPOILERS FOR MULTIPLE MARVEL TITLES: The identity of the Maker Collects Ultimate Comic Ultimates issues #1-6 This was another epic book by Jonathan Hickman. In this story, the mysterious villain known as the Maker has created a domed A.I. city with the ability to grow. The power of the Maker seems to be unstoppable as he, and his Children of Tomorrow, take on the Ultimates, S.H.I.E.L.D., and Asgard. Jonathan Hickman has a way of writing in which the stakes feel very real (even in a comic book). FULL SPOILERS FOR MULTIPLE MARVEL TITLES: The identity of the Maker wasn't a surprise to me because I've read many of the different Ultimate Universe stories out of order. With that being said, it was still a fun reveal for me. I first read about the Ultimate Reed Richards in the first couple volumes of the Ultimate Fantastic Four. Then, I next seen him in Cataclysm, and I was surprised to find that at some point he had become a bad guy. Then, I went back and read the story in which Reed first displayed his villainous ways (although I won't specify which story that is here in case you haven't read it yet). Next, I saw him appear in Hickman's recent 616 Avengers/New Avengers storyline, "Time Runs Out." When I saw Reed there, I knew I had to go back and read Hickman's 12-issue run on Ultimates, and I wasn't disappointed. After reading this, I was able to see more of the Ultimate Reed Richards (still calling himself the Maker) in Hickman's 2015 event, "Secret Wars." I've had a long journey with this character, and there's much more to read about him, but as of now I'd rank him as my second favorite Ultimate Universe character (right under Mile Morales). Reed Richards works so well as a villain because he is so formidable. He has super powers, but his real weapon is his extreme genius. It was amazing to see him completely overpower all of the heroes in this volume. This is a character that I hope sticks around for a very long time.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mely

    Read in single issues. Hickman carries forward Millar's virtues of not being afraid to make huge changes to the status quo, while he is somewhat better at making fewer of the characters complete assholes. Ultimates Nick Fury is a scary scary man, but I am okay with that. I wish there was less blowing things up and more character interaction, but I am not sure my expectations are particularly in line with where the Ultimates line wanted to go, so I can deal. Hickman's dialogue is sometimes weirdly Read in single issues. Hickman carries forward Millar's virtues of not being afraid to make huge changes to the status quo, while he is somewhat better at making fewer of the characters complete assholes. Ultimates Nick Fury is a scary scary man, but I am okay with that. I wish there was less blowing things up and more character interaction, but I am not sure my expectations are particularly in line with where the Ultimates line wanted to go, so I can deal. Hickman's dialogue is sometimes weirdly clunky, but the quickly developing plots and the building undercurrents of bigger changes are fascinating. And I feel like Hickman is actually critiquing some of the issues Millar just got off on -- Cap is having grave reservations about his former role as a symbol and its inspirational effects (dare one hope May Parker going off on him has chastened him for real?), Tony Stark is dealing with a group of people even more ruthless than he is and facing up to the collateral damage he has caused and dismissed, Thor is forced to confront difficulties godhead has made invisible to him. There are even fewer women in major roles than in Millar's run, but honestly I find the side-lining a lot easier to take than Millar's misogynistic stereotyping. The racist Yellow Peril stereotyping of China is just terrible, though. Quite like the artwork, though the switch between the initial artist and the second one who likes woodcut-like cross-hatching is startling.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lloyd

    Over the years, the superhero comics that have really blown me away have had a sort of element of shock. You know the feeling. When you're reading and there's this sensation of panic. You flip pages compulsively, you get totally lost in the action, and you're thinking, "Oh shit! These are out modern gods! The epitome of being the best we can be!" And while you're reading, the heroes may be getting beaten and things aren't going quite the way that humanity might hope they would but there's this f Over the years, the superhero comics that have really blown me away have had a sort of element of shock. You know the feeling. When you're reading and there's this sensation of panic. You flip pages compulsively, you get totally lost in the action, and you're thinking, "Oh shit! These are out modern gods! The epitome of being the best we can be!" And while you're reading, the heroes may be getting beaten and things aren't going quite the way that humanity might hope they would but there's this feeling... When you're in that moment, it really makes for a good story. That's how this book felt. A city of radically evolved humans have decided that Earth needs to the taken over. The Ultimates (the Ultimate Marvel Universe version of the Avengers) are the only thing that stand between us and total domination... and they're getting their butts handed to them. And when you see when the villain of the story is, your eyes are gonna bug out of your head... Writer Jonathan Hickman had never really swayed me this much with the few things of his I'd read before. This one changed all that. The art, most of the interior work being done by the talented hands Esad Ribic and Dean White, was stellar, not to mention the beautiful covers of Kaare Andrews. This may be the best Ultimates story I've read yet. Definitely great. *- I read this book as digitally downloaded issues of Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates #s 1-6.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    I really loved this first volume, though I'll reserve judgment on the entire run until after Volume 2, since that completes Hickman's time on the Ultimates and must wrap up the story begun here. In any case, the mounting tension and completely overwhelming enemies in this book are written incredibly well. This might be Hickman's most successful attempt to date to balance character, suspense and weird science, and the result is a thoroughly readable, highly enjoyable foray into big, wild superhero I really loved this first volume, though I'll reserve judgment on the entire run until after Volume 2, since that completes Hickman's time on the Ultimates and must wrap up the story begun here. In any case, the mounting tension and completely overwhelming enemies in this book are written incredibly well. This might be Hickman's most successful attempt to date to balance character, suspense and weird science, and the result is a thoroughly readable, highly enjoyable foray into big, wild superheroics. I really couldn't put this down, and was waiting on pins and needles each time I had to. Going back and reading this after a lot of Hickman's other Marvel stuff (Fantastic Four, Avengers, Secret Warriors), I'm definitely starting to notice a pattern. He loves to put his heroes between groups of nigh-unbeatable, genius-level enemies who simply share a different ideology. They're never flat-out evil, they're always just... different. The heroes are always overwhelmed until they manage to find some kind of common ground or a way to pit their enemies against each other. While it's a pretty cool, modern style, I'm hoping he doesn't rely too much on this with everything he does going forward. Also, if you plan on reading this, you should definitely read Hickman's Ultimate Comics Hawkeye first for the setup of The People, which factors heavily into this storyline.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Emmett Spain

    Some interesting storytelling is undone by poor dialogue and stilted exchanges between characters. Hickman is a storyteller who I would suggest is somewhat ‘out of time’—he would have been right at home in the Golden and Silver Age of comics. It’s not a veiled dig at his style, it is simply the fact that Hickman advances story so quickly, in ways that modern comics storytellers don’t tend to, often favouring protracted stories that draw out conflict and walk us through each step of the story. In Some interesting storytelling is undone by poor dialogue and stilted exchanges between characters. Hickman is a storyteller who I would suggest is somewhat ‘out of time’—he would have been right at home in the Golden and Silver Age of comics. It’s not a veiled dig at his style, it is simply the fact that Hickman advances story so quickly, in ways that modern comics storytellers don’t tend to, often favouring protracted stories that draw out conflict and walk us through each step of the story. In that sense, Hickman’s approach never slows down long enough to be boring, and he isn’t afraid of going to the strange, kooky places that comics used to go to in times past. For some, this will prove to be a joy—and it is good to see that the old sensibilities are not dead. However Hickman’s dialogue often belongs in the Golden and Silver Ages as well. It’s heavy handed, wit is hard to find, and conversations read strangely if you say them out loud. In short, the dialogue is not natural to the ear. This brought the entire collection down for me. Overall, it’s a good comic that could have been much better. If you like Hickman’s sensibilities, then you’ll be right at home here. If you like good dialogue, stay far away.

  23. 4 out of 5

    arjuna

    Wonderful story, if a little chaotic and rambling at times, but that's all to the good. There's a lot of lovely on show here, most notably the Children of Tomorrow (fantastic creation) and the little teasing hints of what's going in in SEAR/Tian-to-be. Thoroughly enjoyable, and increasingly engaging as the story unfolds (I'm well into the following issues... couldn't wait for a second collation to be published). My appreciation of those is probably informing the above rating, and possibly reflec Wonderful story, if a little chaotic and rambling at times, but that's all to the good. There's a lot of lovely on show here, most notably the Children of Tomorrow (fantastic creation) and the little teasing hints of what's going in in SEAR/Tian-to-be. Thoroughly enjoyable, and increasingly engaging as the story unfolds (I'm well into the following issues... couldn't wait for a second collation to be published). My appreciation of those is probably informing the above rating, and possibly reflecting Things Which Are Yet To Develop by the end of issue #6, but I make no apology for that. If I have one criticism it is that, yet again, characterisation of Nick Fury is minimal... but that seems to be the case no matter who's writing. Off now to read the Hawkeye run which feeds into this (and again, pays off later...)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Raymond

    I got off of the Ultimates train kind of early. With the Ultimate Comics restart, I'm diving back in a bit finally, and I ended up liking Ultimates for a few reasons: 1) Jonathan Hickman gets large-scale stuff, both in his indies and in every Marvel thing I've seen of his. This is no different, because there is a lot of big stuff coming in this arc. 2) Danger is ever-present, in a way it largely hasn't been prior to Ultimatum, and even in general in a universe where death is permanent. There's a f I got off of the Ultimates train kind of early. With the Ultimate Comics restart, I'm diving back in a bit finally, and I ended up liking Ultimates for a few reasons: 1) Jonathan Hickman gets large-scale stuff, both in his indies and in every Marvel thing I've seen of his. This is no different, because there is a lot of big stuff coming in this arc. 2) Danger is ever-present, in a way it largely hasn't been prior to Ultimatum, and even in general in a universe where death is permanent. There's a final frame in one of the chapters where you see a total look of shock and fear on Nick Fury's face, and it may be the most perfect comic frame I've ever seen. 3) Superheroes are both heroic and limited. The impressive thing about this arc is that you get the feeling that the Ultimates have met their overall match. That doesn't happen often. It's got me excited for the next volume, for sure. It's got me excited about the Ultimates again.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alex Sarll

    Originally, the Ultimate Universe was meant to be a place to tell the Marvel stories you couldn't tell in the Marvel mainstream - somewhere cities stay devastated, and even big characters stay dead. For a time, that was lost - but the (apparently permanent) death and replacement of Peter Parker over in Ultimate Spider-Man was one sign that the old bravery was resurgent. And this is another. Release superhumans into the world without the narrative constraints of a status quo to be maintained, and Originally, the Ultimate Universe was meant to be a place to tell the Marvel stories you couldn't tell in the Marvel mainstream - somewhere cities stay devastated, and even big characters stay dead. For a time, that was lost - but the (apparently permanent) death and replacement of Peter Parker over in Ultimate Spider-Man was one sign that the old bravery was resurgent. And this is another. Release superhumans into the world without the narrative constraints of a status quo to be maintained, and fairly soon humans will find the world leaving them behind. In something like Alan Moore's Miracleman, that's because superior beings are creating a utopia. Likewise here, in a sense - but this isn't the sort of utopia where recessive, non-powered, boring old humans get to come along. And even as someone who'd love to see Homo sapiens' cack-handed reign at an end, I must admit it's rather chilling.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gavin

    OK well I think I should have done my research and started earlier in the Ultimates world before I read this. That being said, the premise is crazy, world falling apart, Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Falcon are about it, along with Nick Fury. There are mutants, they live in their own section of Asia now, run by Xorn and his brother Zorn. There's also a new group called the Children of Tomorrow, and they have a mysterious leader who might not be so mysterious of all. Turmoil, chaos, sh OK well I think I should have done my research and started earlier in the Ultimates world before I read this. That being said, the premise is crazy, world falling apart, Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Falcon are about it, along with Nick Fury. There are mutants, they live in their own section of Asia now, run by Xorn and his brother Zorn. There's also a new group called the Children of Tomorrow, and they have a mysterious leader who might not be so mysterious of all. Turmoil, chaos, shit all over the place. It's active, crazy lots of things, including a battle in Asgard. Worth a read, but moves pretty quickly in some places. There is a brief appearance by Cap, who is prominent on the cover, but not actually involved in the story, I would like to know what happened that made him the way he is here...research time I guess...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    2 different artists, although I do think the artists change for issues 5-6 affected the story because the first 4 issues drawn by another guy and the action was at a breakneck pace then things really slow down and before you know it you realize there are so few pages remaining to finish the book there's no way this book concludes and this there's the dreaded "To be continued" at the end, which was too bad. The first 4 issues were awfully solid and highly enjoyable. The other artist was fine, unf 2 different artists, although I do think the artists change for issues 5-6 affected the story because the first 4 issues drawn by another guy and the action was at a breakneck pace then things really slow down and before you know it you realize there are so few pages remaining to finish the book there's no way this book concludes and this there's the dreaded "To be continued" at the end, which was too bad. The first 4 issues were awfully solid and highly enjoyable. The other artist was fine, unfortunately he mainly got to draw a lot of talking heads.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    Some time ago I read an online article recommending people new to the Marvel universe start with Miller's Ultimates, which I did. This was a huge mistake and made me very unhappy. I was extremely reluctant to indulge the Ultimate universe any further but enough people I trust vouched for Hickman's offering so I decided to give it a try. So far I like it! Apparently the way to make me like Reed is to make him a villain! I've known this ever since an alternate universe Mr Fantastic showed up in PA Some time ago I read an online article recommending people new to the Marvel universe start with Miller's Ultimates, which I did. This was a huge mistake and made me very unhappy. I was extremely reluctant to indulge the Ultimate universe any further but enough people I trust vouched for Hickman's offering so I decided to give it a try. So far I like it! Apparently the way to make me like Reed is to make him a villain! I've known this ever since an alternate universe Mr Fantastic showed up in PAD's X-Factor, somewhere around the renumbering.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alex Firer

    What can one say? Moments of it are beautiful and Hickman has a style all on its own that no superhero writer can come near. As volume 2 peters out after he leaves it grows all the more striking. Only Hickman can truly telegraph the political long and painful death of the world, and in his regular Avengers series only he can truly communicate that all things must die. I'm reading this because of SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER a ultimate Reed Richards' appearance in the latest issue of Avengers. For a m What can one say? Moments of it are beautiful and Hickman has a style all on its own that no superhero writer can come near. As volume 2 peters out after he leaves it grows all the more striking. Only Hickman can truly telegraph the political long and painful death of the world, and in his regular Avengers series only he can truly communicate that all things must die. I'm reading this because of SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER a ultimate Reed Richards' appearance in the latest issue of Avengers. For a man to combine all of his Marvel series so effortlessly is truly glorious. Good job sir.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    Jonathan Hickman current run on the Ultimates is an engaging story paired with excellent artwork by Esad Ribic. This is not the first Marvel story arc to feature a group of advanced humans isolated from the world in an accelerated world however Hickman manages to make this story his own by incorporating the gods of Asgard. The subtle notion of science versus religion comes in to play at some points and I admire Hickman for including this in his story. Hopefully this arc leads to satisfying concl Jonathan Hickman current run on the Ultimates is an engaging story paired with excellent artwork by Esad Ribic. This is not the first Marvel story arc to feature a group of advanced humans isolated from the world in an accelerated world however Hickman manages to make this story his own by incorporating the gods of Asgard. The subtle notion of science versus religion comes in to play at some points and I admire Hickman for including this in his story. Hopefully this arc leads to satisfying conclusion.

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