What is there that’s left to say about Ultimatum? My opinion of the comic can be summed up in two words: It’s bad. Or, if you like: REALLY Bad. But then, you knew that, right? No-one with an ounce of sense could possibly be under the delusion that it’s anything other than terrible. Frankly, if you like this comic, and you are not Jeph Loeb and not related to Jeph Loeb, then you have no excuse for any other opinion.
The thing is, after 4 issues of this utter, utter garbage, I’m far beyond hating it. I no longer have the energy. And these are the reasons why:
1. Loeb barely acknowledges that the Ultimate Universe exists. The Ultimate Hulk is acting like the Marvel Universe Hulk. Ultimate Dr. Strange is acting like the Marvel Universe Dr. Strange. Does he even know what he’s writing? He certainly doesn’t seem to care about it, after all.
2. Angel dies. Doctor Strange dies. Both suffer a gory and gratuitous on-panel death. The Ultimate version of Strange was barely established, and now he’s dead. Are we supposed to care? What’s the point? Spider-Man also “dies”, and aside from the fact that the Kitty is shown discovering Peter’s mask in scenes that contradict Ultimate Spider-Man, the differences in the quality of the writing on the Ultimate titles becomes starkly evident. Bendis devotes a silent issue devoted to showing the tragic loss inflicted by Spidey’s “death”. Loeb has Wolverine turn up and go “SPIDER-MAN IS DEAD?” in about the least elegant possible way. I’m aware the contexts are different, but really, this level of subtlety would insult B-movie writers.
3. Ultimate Nick Fury uses the word “bungholes.” I’m going to spell that for you just to emphasis how stupid it is. B-U-N-G-H-O-L-E-S.
4. Magneto gets his arm cut off. Not only is he somehow unable to prevent this, despite the fact it’s done with a METAL sword, but he manages to keep fighting and delivering biblical monologues afterwards.
Reading a comic like this doesn’t just upset me. It causes me to lose all faith in the industry. Children’s cartoons are written with more care and attention than this. You could take the most gibbering, ridiculous fanboy off the Internet and have them write up their most demented Jubilee Vs. Galactus fantasy script and you’d come up with a better story than this. And yet Marvel are not only paying Loeb to write this, they’re actually allowing it to be drawn and sold as a real comic. Why? Why?
The real question is – who’s buying this? I know I didn’t. Is it you? Is it one of your friends? And if so, why? Why do you hate comics? Ultimatum is, without any hyperbole, one of the worst comics I’ve ever read – and the only reason it’s not the worst is because Loeb also wrote Ultimates 3 and Onslaught Reborn and somehow, they manage to be slightly worse.