Review: Ultimate Fantastic Four #60

Ultimate Fantastic Four #60

(**)

Listen to this song while you read my review. And so, another title bites the dust. That seems to occur more and more in these harsh economic times, but when it comes to this title, I have to say, it’s well-deserved. This series hasn’t been enjoyable since Millar left, and that was almost three years ago. Oh sure, some of the stories weren’t terrible and I enjoyed Mark Brooks’ art (He only rendered a few issues), but let’s face it, no disrespect, but Mike Carey drowned this series long before Jeph Loeb did. Why did I stick around? Because I made the foolish mistake of declaring myself as an Ultimate completionist. Completionism, no matter how cool it may appear, is a bad thing.

So how was this sad conclusion to an overall poor series? Well, nothing concluded, does that answer your question? Quesada has chosen to show no respect, even when cancelling the books, to Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four. In addition to Ultimatum, you have to follow the FF’s “death” in a requiem one-shot as well. Oh joy! Logically, I’d say that it’d be best to not waste my money on the last issue of UXM and the two following requiems, but alas, there’s no logic in completionism.

Bruce Castle Presents: Comic Tax

These are books I dread. I have to buy them, but they usually suck!

Uncanny X-Men #504

Uncanny X-Men #504 (***1/2)

Bring on the women! Bring on Terry and Rachael Dodson! Oh yeah! But in all seriousness, has Brubaker left this book? Is this is the end of Fracker?! I thought I read that Fraction was going to write the first three with Land and then Brubaker was going to write the next three with Dodson and so on. Brubaker and Fraction were credited writers are those first three issues, but Brubaker isn’t on there at all anymore. And come to think of it, Brubaker hasn’t talked about this book has he? Fraction seems to be doing all the interviews. So does anyone know what’s going on? Anyway, how was this issue? Let me break it down:

The Crap: Stop trying to be so original and edgy! Now you’re trying to gradually break up Scott and Emma?! You are not Morrison! Yes, Morrison’s run was awesome but let’s move on X writers! I won’t say that Morrison’s run is untouchable, but you certainly aren’t going to surpass him by building on or copying his stuff! Can’t Uncanny just be a lot of fun and leave the seriousness to Astonishing and even X-Force?

The Awesome: So many pretty women. Fraction definitely knows who his artists are. Terry and Rachael are masters of the cheesecake. I loved Scott’s mind. I would think his head would be boring but it was really intriguing. That Dr. Nemesis dude was pretty cool. And I will admit that the finale was interesting. I actually do care about what comes next.

Punisher War Journal #25

Punisher War Journal #25 (***1/2)

Wow this was actually good! Well, kind of. It finally has the Secret Invasion tag (It was absent last ish) which is funny because this one isn’t really about the Skrulls. Oh sure they’re there, but this story is really about Frank and Clarke. And I suppose that’s what Punisher War Journal was all about. With one issue left to go, we can finally realize that. Frank and Clarke hooked up in the first issue (I think) and they were buds. Then Frank killed Clarke’s girl due to that damn hate ray. So of course Clarke found out and amongst all the Skrull chaos this gets resolved, kind of. I did like this issue, but it’s a bit weird that probably the most important moment in the series takes place in a tie-in. Those new readers are going to be clueless. Anyway, this was a good issue that included emotionality, goofy Skrulls, and awesome sniper Skrulls. Even Chaykin did a good job, kind of. But that last page left a bad taste in my mouth. C’mon Fraction! One issue left! Make it good!

Ultimate Fantastic Four #58

Ultimate Fantastic Four #58 (***)

My God…UFF is readable again. Is that possible? I’m sorry Mike Carey fans but his run was horrible. Pokaski has the unenviable task of picking up the pieces and apparently dealing with the death of the series. Does that surprise anyone? Is anyone even reading this book anymore? Anyway, this is actually an Ultimatum tie-in, but you don’t need to read it. It’s just about what’s going on with Thing and Invisible Woman while Reed does his thing. Oh and Dr. Storm is dead I guess but Johnny is missing. Again, does that surprise anyone? Bottom line, this is an average issue and this series is really just waiting for the abattoir. But I do want to make one thing clear, Pokaski is a good writer. He makes the most of what he has and it will be interesting to see what he will do when he isn’t forced to write tie-ins.

Foilball’s Review Roundup #56 – Previously Reviewed by read/RANTERS!

Action Comics #869 (*****): Another solid chapter in the reinvention of Brainiac arc.

Bruce Castle (*****)
DC Lebeau (Liked it!)

All-Star Superman #12 (*****): So much needs to be said about this book, and I plan to, just as soon as I get my copies of the rest of the series back from Mandy. Expect a Series Review of this masterpiece by the end of the month.

Seventh Soldier (A+)
Bruce Castle (*****)

The Amazing Spider-Man #572 (****): On par with the rest of the arc, but not even close to the ultimate Bullseye vs Spider-Man fight that Slott promised us. Too much hype, dude.

Bruce Castle (****1/2)

Birds of Prey #122 (**): I didn’t read it so much as look at the pretty pictures… and vomit.

DC Lebeau (Hated it!)

Captain Britain and MI:13 #5 (****): Blade, you son of a bitch!

Seventh Soldier (B+)

Daredevil #111 (****): I like her. And I definitely liked this. Matt Murdock. What a bastard.

Bruce Castle (****)
DC Lebeau (Liked it!)

Fables #76 (***): Holy Lord, how much did I hate reading this issue of Fables? Sure, I know Willingham is a hardcore Republican, but some of the dialogue in this issue almost made my head explode. Really, Snow White? Is that how you justify all this death? And this cliché anti-tech speech? LAME. Also, no one talks like this on their cell phone. Can we stop writing crap like this? Please? Question: what does it say about me that I agree with Geppetto?

Desiato (***)

Hulk #6 (****1/2): AWESOME!!!

Bruce Castle (*****)

The Punisher #62 (***): Even without comparing this to Ennis’ take on the character, I would still hate it. And it’s not that I hate all other versions of the Punisher, because I think Fraction’s version is great (until the plot started to suck ass).

Bruce Castle (****)

Robin #178 (***1/2): Okay. Fine. Meh. BLAH. It wasn’t bad, how about that?

DC Lebeau (Liked it!)

Superman #680 (***): OH. MY, GOD. Could Superman be a bigger @$$hole? I do not like this book, but it’s not awful. Not yet.

DC Lebeau (Liked it!)

Ultimate Fantastic Four/Ultimate X-Men Annual #1 (**): Way worse than the last issue. UGH.

Bruce Castle (****)

Ultimate Spider-Man #126 (****): I liked it. Plus, it made me nostalgic for a time when Nick Fury ran S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Ultimates were badass.

Bruce Castle (***)

Uncanny X-Men #502 (**): STAB MY EYES!!!

Bruce Castle (**)

The Walking Dead #52 (***1/2): Okay, with a side of losing interest fast.

Bruce Castle (****)

War Heroes #2 (**): I thought about scanning the penis page… but that would be crude. Get it?

Bruce Castle (***1/2)

Bruce Castle Presents: Ultimates vs. Ultimates!

Ultimates 3 #5 (of 5) (Cover B - Robot Variant)

Ultimates 3 #5 (***1/2)

Yes, I liked this issue. I’m not so sure about the rest of this series since the first issue came out in December, but I think even the haters should give this a try. The March On Ultimatum tag has been on Ultimate books for a long time. Until recently, I didn’t have a clue what that event was going to be about. In this issue however, you can actually see what’s going down. If you were annoyed by all the Loeb mysteries, you’ll be pleased to know they’re all wrapped up nicely here. I can’t remember enough to tell if these twists were predictable or not, but I was entertained. I was even impressed when some of this stuff goes back to Ultimates 2. I was about to complain about how long it took for this series to finish, but I remembered a few things. Ultimates 2 took even longer to come out and this is Joe Mad we’re talking about, it’s a miracle the book took less than a year to finish. Speaking of Joe Mad, I like his art and it’s nice to see his work on some interiors. Everything resolves, the art is pretty, it’s entertaining, and the stage is set for Ultimatum.

Ultimate Fantastic Four Ultimate X-Men Annual #1 (****)

The fun continues. The art isn’t as pretty as the first part, but Nguyen and Peterson create passable work. It’s interesting how many people worked on just two issues. Two writers and four artists, seems a bit packed but that’s how the story is. This would easily be a six issue arc in the hands of less talented writers. The story is entertaining, but we’ve seen it many times before. So it works as only two issues long. It’ll be interesting to see if we’re looking at the post-Ultimatum Ultimate universe in this book. The story concludes leaving that a possibility, but probably not kind of thing. These annuals have proved to be entertaining What If type reads with some in-continuity growth of the characters, what’s better than that?

Ultimate Spider-Man #126 (***)

Please Bendis, write better. It’s very uncomfortable when USM isn’t good. Mediocrity may be as common as dirt in a lot of comics, but when you have a series where 80% of the issues are good-excellent things seem a bit off. The majority of this issue is the symbiote fighting people while Peter screams inside. It works as an attempt to make the fight scenes seem unique for a few pages, but after the fifth or sixth “HUUUNNNGGRRYYY!” and “No! Please!” I was bored. When you have an issue that relies so heavily on combat, the art needs to be great. I’m not a big fan of Immonen but he does produce good work here. Sadly, it’s not enough. However, the ending is intriguing and the fights are mildly enjoyable so I do recommend it. I just hope this book returns to the level of excellence that I know it’s capable of.

Bruce Castle Presents: Take Two Ultimates And Call Me In The Morning

Ultimate Origins #4 (**1/2)

Well, it pulled out of that downward spiral. In fact, this issue was even better than last. Unfortunately, it’s still not enough for me to recommend. This issue’s “reveal” was particularly lackluster. Ultimatum is coming, I get it. Stop talking about something big happening and actually show it please. Butch Guice’s art has been mediocre at times, but after looking at this issue, you can see that the man has talent. His renderings are probably the most impressive ingredient in Ultimate Origins. Sadly, this series has turned out to be a moderate retelling of well-known origins with an ultimate twist. Is that really worth your money?

Ultimate X-Men/Ultimate Fantastic Four Annual#1 (****)

Ah, another “people from a warped future come to the present” story. Isn’t that kind of boring now? Yes, but it can still be fun when done well. This comes from two Heroes writers, Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite. They’re both fairly new to comics, but they’ve already become quite proficient. As I mentioned, this is one of those future yarns. We get to have some fun discovering what’s happened to all our favorite characters. Don’t worry. We still get to see plenty of the current ultimate heroes. They’re drawn wonderfully by Mark Brooks and Dan Panosian. Panosian is a name I’m not familiar with. I found his art to be quite pleasing though. He has a cartoonish style that I’m very fond of. Some more good news is that this issue may actually contain a clue as to what will occur in Ultimatum. Whether it does or not, this was an extremely entertaining read.

Bruce Castle Presents: Would You Like Your Comic Ultimate, Dark, or Uncanny?

Ultimate Fantatsic Four #57 (-)

This is the price you pay for reading every ultimate title no matter how bad it is. Is anyone still reading this? Doesn’t Mike Carey write X-Men well? So why is his 25 issue run on this book so bad? Did Joe Q tell Carey “hey, Loeb is going to kill this sucker in a few years so just write some BS”? I don’t know, but thankfully he’s finally off the book. Joe Pakaski is replacing him. Pakaski is currently writing SI Inhumans and I really liked the first issue. He also writes for the TV show Heroes. Aron Coleite is currently writing Ultimate X-Men and I like what he’s done with it. Aron also writes for Heroes. Next month, there will be two Ultimate FF/X-Men annuals written by these guys! Isn’t that cool? Will Peter Petrelli show up? Stay tuned!

Dark Ivory #3 (*****)

Ok, I’m bias when it comes to this. Let me explain. I love Joseph Michael Linsner’s art. His art style isn’t for everyone, but I adore it. Linsner rarely does interiors sadly. The last time he did was about two years ago and before that it was three years ago I believe. Oh, and Dark Ivory #2 came out in May. So, I rarely get to see his art in comics, but it’s always a special treat when I do. He’s writing this issue as well. This is a pretty good story. It’s a gothic vampire yarn with a LInsner twist. It looks gorgeous and Linsner definitely writes for his art. This book isn’t nearly as thought provoking as Dawn, but it’s still enjoyable. I would definitely recommend that everyone should take a peak and see if Linsner’s art is for you. If it is, great! If not, unless you really love tales about gothic teenage vampires, you may want to skip this one.

Uncanny X-Men #501 (**1/2)

This is a hard book to review. I’m so conflicted. I love the art. I’ve always been a fan of Greg Land’s work. Apparently his style is a love or hate kind of thing, but I really enjoy it. Ok, so I like the art, I like Fraction, and I like just about anything Hellfire. However, this issue bugged me. It seems that whenever something occurs that I enjoy, there will be something bad right around the corner. There are many character moments that I really liked. They were written well and felt realistic. But, the main villain is an S&M nightmare. This book is trying to be so serious. It includes lover’s quarrels, masochism, and brutality. I guess what bothered me the most was the villain’s attire and the literal act of S&M in an X-Men comic complete with “I’m sorry mistress, I’m sorry”. I’m usually open to this kind of stuff. I’ve read about rape, cannibalism, and even necrophilia in my comics before, but it just seems incredibly inappropriate in an X-Men comic.

Bruce Castle Presents: X-Force! And Something Crappy….

X-Force #5 (****): This is still the continuance of well-written gore, which is not really much of a bad thing. I remember when I read issue 1 that it almost felt like a MAX book. But, as it has been mentioned before, it’s not all about the blood. It’s a genuinely well-crafted action adventure with many shocks, oohs, and awes. I was a bit disappointed in this issue, but I don’t want to spoil anything. Still, I meant my aforementioned compliments and very much like the book is steady, so is my feeling of satisfaction while reading it.

 

Ultimate Fantastic Four #56 (-): As you may have noticed… you know what? I was about to write a lenghty response to this deplorable book, but it’s not deserving of one. I’ve had it with Ultimate FF! For too long it’s been below average or worse and I’m fed up! I like to think of myself as an optimist. I like to look for the good in things. I can’t anymore when it comes to this book. Please Marvel, either relaunch this with a good team or kill it, I can’t take anymore!

Bruce Castle Quickies 3

4 stars = Stop reading review and go buy now!!!!
3 and a half stars = Great issue and make room on your trade shelf someday soon
3 stars = Recommended and maybe even trade worthy
2 and a half stars = Recommended
2 stars= Not the best, not the worst, not recommended
1 and a half star = Terrible issue and vocalize your disgust at your next social event
1 star = Awful awful awful and you may want to consider dropping this title
0 stars = Next con you attend where the writer and/or artist are present you should throw this issue in their face

Ultimate Fantastic Four #55– Please Marvel, please make this the Ultimate book that gets killed. I’m giving this issue one star for the art and the reveal. Everything else…. 1 star

Punisher #58– As soon as this arc finishes and the next hardcover comes out, that hardcover will probably be collect the two best Punisher stories. Ennis you will be missed. 4 stars

Wolverine 66– I had a lot of fun with this issue. It’s definitely a mixture of classic elements such as Frank Miller and Barry Windsor-Smith’s Wolverine, Unforgiven and Mad Max. I love all that stuff though, and I love this too! Steve Mcniven’s art makes this book! 4 stars

X-Factor #32– It still isn’t as good as the early issues of the book. What happened Peter David? What made you start writing worse? There is still some good stuff in this issue though. I hope that it’ll get better though. 2 and a half stars

X-Force #4– If I didn’t give this book 4 stars, Billy would kill me. I like life. Seriously though, this was a great issue. I don’t know much about X-23 but it was interesting to kind of understand where she is coming from. It’s also cool to see the evil villainous plots. And the gore, can’t forget the gore. This is practically a Max book. 4 stars