Review: Ultimate Fantastic Four, Vol. 1 – The Fantastic; by Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Millar

Ultimate Fantastic Four, Vol. 1: The FantasticUltimate Fantastic Four, Vol. 1: The Fantastic by Brian Michael Bendis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Better late than never…my library was just a little slow on the delivery, but I now have a stack of 9 FF volumes to get through for our Foursome Shallow Buddy Read…from LAST week…my bad…

Anyhow, here we go! Welcome to the Ultimate Marvel Universe, a place which varies slightly from the normal Marvel U, and which allows us to tell familiar stories with slight twists…

Here, Reed Richards is still a super smart kid, Ben Grimm is a big jock who defends Reed from bullies in exchange for help with Trigonometry homework, and Sue and Johnny Storm are kids of Dr. Storm, the head of the Baxter Building.
Reed’s father (Gary, not Nathaniel) here is a bit of a dick, mad that Reed breaks the blender and other devices…eventually, the Baxter Building program for super genius scientists recruits him at the Science Fair, and off he goes, but even there, there’s not much love from the family still (mom is OK, but dad isn’t).

Sue is a smart one here, Reed is in love from day one, and Victor (Van Damme, not Von Doom – though I hope it means he’s great at Kung Fu and does Volvo commercials!) is his main rival. Mole Man is a professor at the BB who’s fired for doing human DNA work and General Ross (Thunderbolt?) and Dr. Storm fire him for immoral work.

Johnny’s his usual self, a bit younger, and Ben just happens to come visit one day when they’re doing a big experiment…it goes wrong, and they all wake up in different places with variations of their powers (Earth – Ben, Air – Sue, Fire – Johnny, and Water – Reed (makes more sense than Elastic)) However, Victor is still missing…

There’s a Mole Man creature who shows up to attack the city, and Ben and Johnny dive right into ass-kickery, Reed a little less so…they then discover that Sue was found by Mole Man, and there’s some awkward shit there…

We’re left with the whereabouts of Victor still unknown and the army concerned about what the four have become, especially Ben…

So this is a great variation on the origin story, and a fun place to jump into a series that can alienate by being too high concept and science-y for some of us troglodytes, but it also corrects the blatant sexism of the early 60s FF when they weren’t quite sure how to deal with Sue…

I’m looking forward to continuing the series, and cannot wait to see how Victor will manifest himself. I’m also happy to see the comedy and action mix, courtesy of Bendis and Millar, who wrote this together! Now, onto Vol. 2!

This should have been the required read for Foursome Week…great fun read that’s not too fluffy or too heavy.


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Review: Ultimate Comics X-Men: World War X – by Brian Wood

Ultimate Comics X-Men by Brian Wood Volume 3Ultimate Comics X-Men by Brian Wood Volume 3 by Brian Wood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Here’s the main thing: This whole volume is called World War X.

Mutant on Mutant violence. Utopia versus Tian.

What’s cool? Jean Gray is a bigger villain here than Magneto ever was in 616.
Just pure evil looking down on everyone.

Kitty shores up the troops (cue the arrival of Colossus), and realizes she can’t be a pacifist.

Jimmy Hudson betrays someone…or does he? Or he does? Hmm? It costs him…or does it?

Pixie is a hero.
Yes, Pixie.

Iceman and Husk appear on the side of angels.

Jean here written by Brian Wood is a delusional dictator who wants all power and control over the mutant people.

She does horrible things to Utopia in order to defeat them…she REALLY hates Kitty.

Everyone comes together to fight her off (funny enough, there’s not a ton of people who side with Jean…some nobodies…not even a Toad or Pyro to be seen lol.

The other cool part is the reaction of the US Gov’t/human populace to the events.

Kitty goes all out here, for a pacifist, she realizes somethings are bigger than ideals.

The final showdown between Kitty and Jean is pretty awesome. I’m sure it would have been moreso if I’d actually known what happened in vols 2-4…

I think this was the end of this series.

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Review: Ultimate Comics X-Men, by Brian Wood

Ultimate Comics X-Men by Brian Wood Volume 2Ultimate Comics X-Men by Brian Wood Volume 2 by Brian Wood
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

***I’m way behind, I only read the first Volume by Nick Spencer, so I’m behind about 18 issues or so, and I have no idea where most of this is coming from***

Kitty Pryde is the pacifist leader of the X-Men, living in Utopia (this time a reservation, terraformed, as opposed to an island). She has 2 factions, those that follow her, and those that follow Mach 2, a teen Morlock Mutant.

Those that follow Kitty include Storm (very much the same as Marvel 616 version), James “Jimmy” Hudson (son of Wolverine, very similar); Rogue (very different, sort of Earth Mother type here), and some others.

Mach 2 (Magneto type power over metal) has Warpath (same as 616), Psylocke (a very different version), and some others. Mach 2 is about retribution against human crimes (again similar to Magneto).

Throw into the mix that Jean Gray (who is Karen Grant here) is the mistress of Tian (the land of Zorn and Xorn) is at odds with Kitty, and wants all the mutants to live under her in Tian.

Clear yet?

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Ya.

So meanwhile, the humans don’t like things, so bad humans send General Ross (yes, that one) to kick them off the reservation…except, he’s actually a pretty decent guy here, not the same 616 maniac.

Turns out, someone in Utopia is manipulating events to get Utopia to fall apart…

shock. If you don’t like teams fighting themselves, then this isn’t the book for you.

By the time the end of the volume rolls around, Jean Grey has infiltrated Utopia, they’ve fought off the military (thanks to Rogue and the environment – utopia is like Krakoa, an intelligent ecosystem), and Kitty and Jean have a head to head…which puts things thru to the next volume.

Meanwhile, Hudson has managed to get both factions in Utopia to work together (but only to fight invaders..)

Ya…so that’s what happens.

I don’t think I missed much.

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