Oy! In Ultimates #3 we are reintroduced to our team of perhaps the mightiest Avengers ever. Nope, not taking that back. I have followed the Avengers for forty years and no team in recent memory takes my breath away like these guys do.
Black Panther, Spectrum, Blue Marvel, America Chavez and Captain Marvel: In terms of sheer mind-numbing power, or in the depth of their genius, or in their willingness to consider things which simply give an entirely new dimension to the Marvel Universe (in this case, quite literally). Promising both success and transparency, they plan to deal with problems which border comfortably on the impossible.
In the first two issues, the Ultimates decided they wanted to tackle the Galactus Conundrum: How do you stop Galactus from snacking on a living planetary ecosystem every thirty days or so?
Where the Fantastic Four or the Avengers have previously stood on this issue their response was to punch Galactus in the face and send him on his way. To be fair: it has been effective. But this group decided the best way to solve this problem was to give Galactus a make-over, a cosmic, redefining, prophecy-fulfilling makeover, turning him from a scourge of worlds to a bringer of life.
I am still in awe of it. In case you missed it…
Gives you chills doesn’t it?
Not everyone is pleased with Galactus’ new hobby, though. The Shiar investigate the first planet Galactus resurrects and though they can’t find anything wrong with it are displeased just the same.
I will go ahead and say for those of you short on time, I enjoyed this issue thoroughly and will in my science break out ask my only real question addressing this singular plot hole. This book rocks and continues to amaze me with the willingness to go farther into the Marvel Universe than we have ever gone before.
Science Break Out!
Where the scientist in me asks awkward questions which won’t get answered…
Yes, I love this book but I have to ask with a bit of preamble: Though (and this is just me, I doubt anyone else will have a problem with it), Archeopia, supposedly the first world Galactus consumes when he is released from his life support caul, is an ancient planet in a distant and unknown galaxy far from the normal shipping lanes, a planet believed to be long dead and no longer visited by anyone…
- If Archeopia is indeed the very same planet Galactus consumed 13 billion years ago, why does anyone know it exists?
- Is it on the intergalactic tour guide for advanced civilizations as a planet consumed by Galactus?
- How did the Shiar discover the resurgence of life on the planet?
- Did they have scanners or some sort of monitoring system on the planet?
- Aren’t the Shiar in another galaxy completely separate from the Milky Way and Earth in general?
- And finally, how did the discount Legion of Shiarian Heroes gather enough information to track the Ultimates back to Earth?
Okay. I can happily handwave this plothole away saying the Shiar’s super-science keeps tabs on the mighty Galactus to protect their worlds no matter how far away he might be at the moment. Intergalactic distances mean nothing to Advanced Handwavium™.
Into the Outside!
What do you do for an encore when you turn the Universe’s most persistent threat into an intergalactic gardener? When you’re these two guys, you think big.
Squeeeeee! Two of the most intelligent men in the Marvel Universe and they look just like me… Can I contain myself? No. Squeeeeee!
These two gentlemen, not content to rest on their laurels look around and notice the Universe isn’t quite in sync with itself. The Marvel Universe is rife with temporal anomalies. Their next goal?
Putting time back on track, time travelers where they belong, and preventing people from moving in with their temporal selves, all in all, an admirable goal. Made more pressing by the admonitions of the mysterious America Chavez who says, time needs to be put in order otherwise we may find ourselves in the same dire straits as other timelines she has visited with her powers; unhappy timelines that scream…
The team sets off to fix the Universe’s temporal flow controls. Except you can’t do that from home. That means it’s time for a road trip! When you’re an Ultimate, you travel in style. Dusting off Tony Stark’s trademarked Quinjet covered in Wakandan upgrades and with the interdimensional travel powers of American Chavez, the team sets out to find the edge of the Universe and then go one step further.
We get to meet another new technical support hero: Raz Malhortra, who is wearing the costume of Giant-Man. Hailing from the school of Hank Pym, he has improved upon the design of the Pym Particles and can now alter their capabilities, making them capable of doing things never seen before.
This is what I like most about this book. It takes what you think you know and expands upon it, increasing the coolness of everything it touches. Raz only shows up for a couple of pages, but I liked him already. Somebody get that man a Chthulu to fight so he can make another appearance!
The team takes off and we get to see American Chavez’s powers in full force. The ability to jump vast intergalactic distances in an instant, and then to jump between dimensions, at will. My mouth hung open at the scale of her powers. The visual depiction was also amazing. As usual, the art team was outstanding moving the story along from the mundane to the fantastic in an instant.
Yes, you have seen this red space between universes before. In the DC Universe it’s called the Bleed, but I don’t care, I am just going to follow these guys wherever they’re going. That big star is Chavez’s signature dimension doorway.
You now have the gist of this issue. Our heroes, having saved Galactus, pissed off the Shiar Empire and have to make nice, thinking they might want to share information with alien civilizations in the future. Taking on the broken temporal aspect of the Universe, they set off to the only place you can fix the flow of time, Outside the Universe itself.
The scale of the Ultimates is so large, it can be hard to conceive of, making it the right book for me. Al Ewing and Kenneth Rocafort hit it out the park and if your like your stories big and over the top, the Ultimates continue to deliver on their promise: making the impossible, the order of the day.
On the edge of the map of the conceptual Universe, here there be monsters. This far from home we only have one rule: Protect America Chavez. If she dies, no one’s going home…
Get this book! An enthusiastic five stars!