The world is in turmoil following the destruction of a large chunk of Europe at the hands of The Children of Tomorrow. (Read more about that storyline here.) The United States government is struggling to recover, but the stock market plummets. Nick Fury meets with the President to attempt to find a way to set things right. Tony Stark is on his way to Paris to “beat some of [the people responsible] to death.” Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman) is tipped off that someone new is running around dressed as Spider-Man. (Jessica was cloned from original Spider-Man, Peter Parker.) Her response: “Oh… absolutely not.” (She confronted Mile Morales in ‘Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man’ #4 and #5.) Hawkeye must address a group of government officials at the Pentagon. Over a somber dinner with Jane Foster, Thor tells her that he had to move into Tony Stark’s apartment so Stark could monitor his condition, due to complications from his super suit. He is also visited by the ghosts of Loki and The Warriors Three. Or maybe he hallucinated it. It’s unclear and Ultimate Thor has always struggled with mental stability. The Falcon invents an invisibility serum and Fury sends him to The City as a spy. (Borrowing the orbital sky jump from J.J. Abrams’ ‘Star Trek.’) Finally, Fury himself urges Steve Rogers to don the Captain America role once more.
After the ultra destruction in the Children of Tomorrow storyline, it was a good idea to take a breather. Most of the major Ultimates get a short story note, embellishing, even slightly, each character’s personality and role. Fury remains the lynchpin, not just in this book, but in the larger Ultimate Universe. This guy is so ice cold, he could probably stare down Galactus! Stark is a calculating but disturbed genius. Hawkeye has his act together more here than I’m used to seeing. Thor remains troubled by the ghosts of Asgard and its gods. Falcon bounces effortlessly from genius scientist and man of action. Spider-Woman and Cap only appear briefly, so not much is done with them here.
This issue is illustrated by two pencillers, Brandon Peterson and Esad Ribic. That’s fine. Their styles don’t clash or anything. Since this issue is pretty devoid of action, nothing really jumps out at you, but they handle this quieter, more low-key issue ably.
I enjoy this book overall and this issue was well-written and illustrated. Like I said, after such a big storyline, it was necessary to take a breather. But it’s really hard to judge a book where so little happens. Overall, if you’re reading this book regularly, this issue works. But if you don’t read this series, I doubt sampling this issue would entice you to return.
ULTIMATE COMICS: THE ULTIMATES #5
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Brandon Peterson and Esad Ribic
Cover by Kaare Andrews