Tag Archives: Ms. America

Review: Ultimates 2 #100

Ultimates_2_Vol_1_100_TextlessAl 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

From the Comics to the Streets: Join #PopPoliticsChat Weds 8:30pm EDT

Fans and activists are alike in that we’re all advocates. We promote characters who’ve empowered us and recruit people to join our causes. Sometimes that effort is one and the same.

When a tyrant comes to power by dehumanizing Muslims and Latinx people, telling stories with Muslim and Latinx heroes is essential.

While Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, and Ms. America, America Chavez are punching Hitler and stretching the boundaries of whose superpowered stories are told, real life Muslim women, latinas, and other Queer People of Color are leading mass mobilizations in their communities.

What makes this imagery so powerful? How are these stories both real and imagined changing pop culture and politics?

On Wednesday, March 22, we’re inviting twitter users to dive in and discuss, 8:30 EDT to  9:30pm by visiting #PopPoliticsChat on Twitter.

#PopPoliticsChat, is a hosted online conversation series between pop culture fans/influencers and social movement leaders discussing a topical theme in pop culture and politics.

Our first topic is Marvel ComicsMs. Marvel series, and the newly released America comic, starring former Young Avenger and leader of The Ultimates, America Chavez. Kamala Khan and America Chavez’s powers make them immune to border walls and bathroom laws. Both characters are explicitly American and heroic in their stories, and useful vehicles for considering what patriotism and heroism means when Muslims, immigrants, and LGBTQ people are being targeted by the government (and when Captain America Steve Rogers is revealed to be a Nazi Hydra Agent).

We’ll also discuss how to engage in Marvel fandom while remaining critical of problematic issues, including Marvel/Disney’s participation in Trump’s Economic Advisory board, and a lack of support for creators of color and women.

Our goals are to bring together pop culture fans, social movement community members, creatives, and more in a fun and inspiring conversation, and to connect them to new ideas and opportunities to take action. We hope you’ll spread the word about the event and participate with us!

Go to Twitter, visit #PopPoliticsChat and join our featured tweeters for the conversation:

  • Desiree Rodriguez (@boricuadesiree) is a columnist and Editorial Assistant for Lion Forge Comics’ Catalyst Prime. Desiree also writes for The Nerds of Color and Women Write About Comics.
  • Nelini Stamp (@NelStamp) National Membership Director @WorkingFamilies. Lover of sci-fi & wizards. Troublemaker with @ResistHere, #ResistTrumpTuesdays.
  • Ardo Omer (@ArdoOmer)  is a senior editor at Women Write About Comics and a contributing writer at Book Riot. She has bylines at Comics Bulletin, Hyperallergic and Slate. Batman goes to her for advice.

And I, @elana_brooklyn will be moderating the conversation, coming to this from the perspective of someone who is a comics fan and critic, but also works for an immigrant-lead community organization whose members and leaders are leading the resistance against immigration raids, over-policing, and other forms of systemic oppression (and have been since long before Trump).

See you then! And if you are Tumblr share it there!

Cultural Pulse (an initiative of the Culture Lab) connects social justice movements to pop culture stories, trends and fan organizing efforts to help them more deeply engage with the stories and people that are changing hearts and minds.

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