In this second issue of the Ultimates, Marvel’s most powerful team of Avengers, we learn a secret of the enigmatic and terrifying force of Nature, the mighty Galactus.
When we last left this ultimate superteam which consists of Blue Marvel, Spectrum, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and Ms. America they were planning to solve a problem which had, up until this point, had baffled even Reed Richards; removing the threat of Galactus consuming the planet Earth at some point in the future.
Now as a regular comic reader, you know Earth has a pretty good track record against the Devourer of Worlds. We are at least 4 wins and 0 losses. But we should keep in mind, to lose once would be the only loss we need to have.
This group of Avengers has decided they would tackle the largest threat they could think of in the hope that if they could help Galactus, he would be a powerful potential ally. But how do you get one of the most ancient beings in the Universe to owe you a solid?
By fixing a problem he didn’t think he had. They staged what for all intents and purposes appeared to be an intervention. “Galactus, you have a planet-eating problem. It’s time for you to stop.”
Galactus was not amused.
The Audacity of the Black Panther: Sounds like it would be a great book title, doesn’t it? Here he is talking to Galactus like he would a recalcitrant student…
What I liked about this book:
- Transparency: The Ultimates are claiming, unlike superhero groups before them, they would be transparent and accountable. Thus they would be transmitting and recording what they were doing, in real time, to presumably every leadership agency/government on Earth.
- But is it wise? I think this is both bold and a tiny bit problematic. Can they maintain that stance when things go wrong? I mean at the scale they seem to be approaching problems, when one goes south, nothing stops their problem from tracking them back to Earth…
- Accountability: From an external universe perspective, why is the first group of almost totally minority Avengers under such a tight management protocol. Not since the Henry Peter Gyrich days, has an Avengers group has ever had such a high degree of visibility and accountability.
- As a person of color, it made me think of places I’d worked and was forced to consider an extreme level of scrutiny just to get and keep a job. A job I’d later had no such requirements before I came to work there. Let’s just say there were trust issues…I am certain I will be accused of reading too much into that so, we move on.
- Everyone looks great, the art, the display of their abilities, strengths and weaknesses are excellently depicted by the art. Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Brown are an extreme team. As I have mentioned, the art is both chaotic, visually rich and yet still flows; the Panther’s transition and the Galan’s (Galactus’ previous name) were both awesome depictions of the harshness of their transformation to new states of being.
Galactus’ origin hasn’t been seen in this level of detail for a long time. It was nice to see it again, since he may show up more than once and a bit of background on him in his more Human form makes him easier to relate to for new readers.
I have a question for anyone who dares to answer: Isn’t this the Fantastic Four’s origin, complete with “tak, tak, tak” sound effects? Are all the cosmic rays out there buying their sound effects from the same vendor? Is this event meant to be related to the Fantastic Four or was this a quiet homage to the now out of favor First Family? Tell me I’m wrong…
I noticed his conversation with the aborning Universe was missing but perhaps it wasn’t necessary for this particular story. I’ll hunt that down for you later.
What I didn’t like:
Okay, let’s assume this team of heroes is smart. Really smart. Smart in a way that defies description smart.
- Are we suggesting they were able to find an informational resource that Reed Richards (who on Earth, is one of the cornerstones of being intelligent) never thought to consult?
- The Panther drops a name, “an honorary Watcher” when he explains himself to Galactus. Does this mean he somehow gained access to the Watcher’s (Uatu) files?
- Are we to believe, it was the act of translocating into Galactus’ worldship which gave him access to Galactus’ mind and 13 billion year old memories? How did the Panther know what to search for? Is Galactus’ memory so perfect he can retain and search for anything he wanted the first time in mental contact? Why didn’t the Panther go mad after searching through the mind of a nigh-immortal space god?
- It is this very searching of Galactus’ memory which bothered my overall mental pacing of the story. I thought it would be at least two issues before the resolution to the Galactus Problem would be revealed.
All things considered, pacing, artwork, story, elements of style, the book is still a solid purchase. I am hoping there will be a callback to this story at some future date which explains in greater detail the long-term ramifications of the Ultimates’ audacity and the Care and Feeding of Galactus…
The book gets a solid four out of five from me.