Ultimate Invasion #4 is a rushed clunker of a finale

Ultimate Invasion #4

War breaks out as timelines and universes collide! Iron Man must choose between the lesser of two evils – the Maker or Kang. But what secret does Iron Man know about the men behind the masks? And at the end of it all, the world outside your window will be forever changed! Ultimate Invasion #4 wraps up this miniseries delivering the end to this chapter and the beginning of so much more.

The “Ultimate Universe” has been hinted at and danced around for quite some time since its teased destruction. In Ultimate Invasion, writer Jonathan Hickman has been building the foundation for its official return and a clear relaunch of that line. Unfortunately, at only four issues, Ultimate Invasion has felt rushed giving us a surface level introduction to the world.

The finale has Howard Stark deciding what to do about the Maker and getting to know the mysterious masked man next to him. There’s a lot teased, hinted at, and danced around, with decisions made to get things rolling and wrap up this chapter of the story. And, as a big event, it sort of works. But, like a summer popcorn movie, this is one to not really think too much about. It relies on visuals and blockbuster moments instead of the more interesting nuanced themes that make you think that Hickman is known for and excels at. It teases so much and so many interesting things but relies heavily on its visuals to distract from its thin delivery.

Unfortunately, the art by Bryan Hitch is just distracting. With ink by Andrew Currie, color by Alex Sinclair, and lettering by Joe Caramagna, the visuals are bombastic and blockbuster but without much that’s interesting. The use of the same characters over and over feels like the goal is to just fill up spreads as opposed to deliver an interesting narrative through visuals. I didn’t find myself drawn to anything in particular but enjoyed the art from a high level view. Hitch’s art in general is hit and miss for me and in this case it’s a general miss.

The draw of Ultimate Invasion #4 is its setup of a new Ultimate Universe. It does that and does that pretty well. But, the issue, and series as a whole, rushes through explanation and background of key characters and moments delivering a reading experience that feels like the Cliff’s Notes version of a series rather than laying a strong foundation and groundwork. Add in a cover price of $8.99 and it’s hard to really recommend the single issue. This is an event as a whole that might be better as a collection.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Bryan Hitch
Ink: Andrew Currie Color: Alex Sinclair Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 6.75 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.85 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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