Al Ewing’s ambitious, multiple reality and multiverse spanning run on Ultimates comes to a suitably hopeful and abstract conclusion in Ultimates2 #100 with some fantastic art and colors from Travel Foreman, Filipe Andrade, Marco Lorenzana, Scott Hanna, Dan Brown, and Matt Yackey. Ewing starts out crowd pleasing with a great fight scene between both teams of Ultimates and the malevolent Ultimate Reed Richards plus sharp, quick satire of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s Ultimates before they return to the larger task of restoring Eternity to its proper place in the universe with the help of anthropomorphic embodiments of past multiverses.
I was slightly disappointed that the abstract beings and concepts got more panel time than the actual team of Ultimates. However, it’s incredibly cool that Ewing, Foreman, Andrade, Lorenzana, and Scott Hanna use them to make a metafictional comment on the Marvel Universe with its mixture of magic, science, and other fun stuff and superhero stories in general and the idea of “illusion of change” and no one really staying dead in superhero comics. (Hence, the Ultimate Universe Ultimates, Chaos, and Order coming back.)
Except Galactus does change throughout the series and continues to be the bringer of life to the whole multiverse and set the Ultimates on hopeful paths as they return to their own comics with his bright gold coloring from Brown and Yackey. In the past, the heralds of Galactus have been harbingers of doom and general bad guys, but in this case, they are his helpers in helping everything return to normal. One thing I have enjoyed about Ultimates2 as a whole is seeing more of the series from Galactus’ POV instead of having him lurk in the background when the team needs a heavy hitter or feature in a one-off issue. He is basically the team leader in Ultimates2.
Even though there is some spectacular punching like America kicking Ultimate Captain America’s jingoistic ass to next week and then some, Ewing makes the Ultimates more like “paramedics” (As America describes them.) than the paramilitary heroes that Millar’s Ultimates were. They are all about fixing the multiverse’s problems through science and logic than executing preemptive strikes on Middle Eastern countries in service of American imperialism. The Ultimates are a search and rescue team on a cosmic level trying to preserve hope in a universe filled with cynicism like whatever is going on with Captain America and HYDRA. Technically, they’re sealed off from Earth by the planetary defense shield that was built to withstand hungry purple Galactus, but this doesn’t hinder the Ultimates and company from saving the Marvel universe light years away from Hydra Cap and the Secret Empire event.
The unsung hero of both Ultimates and Ultimates2 is colorist Dan Brown, who gets some help from Matt Yackey on this issue. They make Ultimates2 #100 look otherworldly with intergalactic blues, blacks, and purples as Al Ewing wraps his storyline up. And even when the storyline gets a little too metaphysical, they save the day with bright golds and orange that instantly evoke hope and rebirth. Foreman, Andrade, and Lorenzana complete this lightness with their art that is fluid like the Superflow that crosses the multiverses although their lines get more rigid during the fight scenes, and there are some epic speed lines when Blue Marvel one punches Ultimate Hulk, who is a total MRA.
In Ultimates2 #100, Al Ewing ties his team of Ultimates in with the original Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch in a non-awkward way and also paves the way for any alternate universe characters to return after the events of Secret Wars. Once again, he shows a rare talent for combining epic, high level plotting with characters (Including Galactus), who have genuine emotional arcs. Honestly, he should be in charge of Marvel’s next blockbuster event
Story: Al Ewing Art: Travel Foreman, Filipe Andrade, Marco Lorenzana with Scott Hanna
Colors: Dan Brown with Matt Yackey
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review