Part of the solicitation for Ultimates #1 says: “The ultimate superteam comes together to find and fix problems beyond the limits of the infinite!”, and boy do Al Ewing and Kenneth Rocafort deliver on this front.
The comic opens with Blue Marvel throwing more scientific terms at readers than in all of Jonathan Hickman’s run of Avengers that started 3 years ago. Iso-8, a substance only seen in the Marvel Contest of Champions mobile game gets a canonical debut as Blue explains this isometric form is because of the event that happened eight months ago (The finale to Secret Wars we’ve yet to witness.) Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Brown explode all over this issue with the dynamite color and detail that goes into every inch and space for each page. Whether it’s floating alien sentry guards that can only yell, “OBEY!”, or Captain Marvel doubling as Blue Marvel’s co-pilot in a dazzling closeup…the art team brings their best to this issue. Black Panther fleshes out the reasoning behind the need for the team at the Triskelion during a conversation with the Secretary-General and suffice to say, T’Challa owns the entire conversation. Not only do you feel T’Challa being the smartest man in the room during the short lived conversation, you get a sense of the reignited importance of what’s Wakanda place in the all-new, all-different universe.
The two remaining members are introduced on a scouting mission gone awry, and it’s here Ewing puts a longtime Young Avenger into a higher state of self with her dialogue and action. Miss America Chavez was a highlight of Kieron Gillen and Jamie Mckelvie’s Young Avengers run, and fans get more of her as well as a unique insight to exactly why she deserves a spot on this powerhouse of a team. As always, we are treated to the special method that she uses to solve problems (Hint: It involves punching things dimensional or not) Not to be left out of the action, Spectrum brings dashes of almost electrifying levels of light to crash through the television headed flying warmongers all the while highlighting Miss America’s fighting prowess.
The comic comes to a close with Blue Marvel and Captain Marvel making small talk before being attacked by the source of their mission. The cover spoils our big guy and he’s (pun intended) drawn to the most accurately sized scale since Jack Kirby first drew him. The pair comes to the “Devourer of Worlds” not as enemies seeking his destruction but, in an almost car salesman manner…want to help him with his problems. The last page will no doubt catch readers off guard even with Blue and Captain Marvel’s faces looking on with nothing but determination. Al Ewing, Kenneth Rocafort, and Dan Brown have struck gold with this first issue. Every team member has something to do, no panel nor page was wasted with the most bombastic colors that have seen thus far in a rebooted Marvel title. The Ultimates solve the ultimate problems and together they solve the case of what a first issue should be.