Review: Ultimates #12

ultimates__12With the fighting against Thanos and between the Ultimates having wrapped up back up in the last couple of issue, writer Al Ewing and dazzling guest artist Christian Ward team up to show the end of the team in Ultimates #12 while focusing on the strained relationship that Captain Marvel has with her teammates. There’s remorse, a tiny bit of romance, shady government organizations, and of course, punching. Ewing and Ward also rev things up for Ultimates 2, which is going for more of a cosmic scope and bringing Galactus and Anti-Man to the forefront as they find out who chained Eternity, a storyline that was sidelined for Civil War II.

Because of scheduling issues, we don’t what went down in the last couple of issues in Civil War II, but in-universe and among fans, Captain Marvel has lost a lot of her good will as the Earth’s mightiest hero. Therefore, it makes logical sense that Ewing has the most annoying government bureaucrat ever, Henry Gyrich shut the team down, especially after video circulates of Black Panther and Captain Marvel’s confrontation. Making an enemy of Wakanda after a costly war isn’t a good idea so the Ultimates get the boot.

Even though he’s mostly known for his cosmic tapestries in Ultimates and the Image series Ody-C, Christian Ward is solid at character acting, and the flashback of Black Panther facing off against Carol burnishes orange. His T’challa is unbelievably haughty and doesn’t give Carol the time of day as she scolds him for breaking up the Ultimates. There is regal power in these scenes even if it’s all been orchestrated by the now government orchestrated Troubleshooters, who will hopefully get more fleshed out in the next volume.

The extended scene she shares with Ms. America and trip to a universe that is the Latverian remake of Minority Report that Carol shares with are a real demonstration of Al Ewing’s ability. Plus Ward gets to draw Ms. America andultimates12interior Carol having a flex off and sort of sets up America’s solo spinoff as defender of the multiverse. America takes Carol on a trip to a universe that is governed by predictive justice and is basically a tyranny. It’s a fantastic payoff from an earlier line of dialogue he shows her the slippery slope Ward gets to switch up his usual colorful palette for drab, dystopian greys that culminate in a gorgeous reunion of the women with the stars that make up their costumes (and are connected to their powers) shining in the background. Ewing applies Ultimates’ theme of  proactive redemption and rehabilitation that worked so well with Galactus to the most hated woman in the Marvel Universe, and there is a possibility that she could be a great hero and leader again. with the way she and America part.

Even though his work on Matt Fraction’s Ody-C prevents him from being the main artist on Ultimates, any page that Christian Ward gets to draw of this series is a real treat. His double page spreads of Galactus and Anti-Man interacting with the Superflow that surrounds the Marvel multiverse are worth the price of the comic alone, and he also gives the Troubleshooters some personality with their strong poses and distinct outfits as the future Ultimates won’t have the government’s backing. His linework is wispy and definitely not traditional superhero art, but Ward still coaxes expression and humanity from this style that particularly shines in the moments where characters are with their loved ones, like Spectrum and Blue Marvel the science heroes and Kate Bishop, Ms. America, and Lisa joking about a famous scene in Young Avengers. (You know the one I’m talking about, princess.)

He appears in just the prologue and epilogue of Ultimates #12, but Al Ewing continues to redefine the role of Galactus in a beautiful way. The whole idea of him being the Lifebringer instead of the Devourer isn’t just a one-off, but Ewing and Ward continue to evolve his character and turn him into the leader of his own superhero team while even giving him a herald in Anti-Man, who he redeems with his powers and turns him into a potent ally.  It’s nice to see a character who has been a thorn in the Ultimates’ find a kind of redemption in these final pages as Ward’s colors shift and sway. But it also means that the Big Bad in Ultimates 2 is gonna be pretty tough.

Ultimates #12 ties up the loose relationship ends, especially concerning Captain Marvel and makes final remarks about predictive justice so that Al Ewing and Christian Ward can tell a full blast cosmic epic in the next volume of the series. By the time, you turn the final page, it is guaranteed that you will be a Galactus fan.

Story: Al Ewing Art: Christian Ward
Story: 8.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review