Comics Roundup for 3/28/2011

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to blog more. It’s now about a quarter into the new year and I’ve not posted a thing! So, I’ve decided to try posting semi-regular commentary on comics I’ve been reading. Here goes with some quick commentary on FF #1, Ultimate Doom #4 and Ultimate Spider-Man #156. Beware of spoilers!

FF #1 – I’ve never been a regular collector of the Fantastic Four though I did have a few cherished issues as a kid, including a couple from the 180s with Salem’s Seven and Klaw. Like most comic collectors, I was aware that one member of the F4 was going to be killed off and wasn’t surprised to learn it was Johnny Storm. FF #1 picks up with the survivors reforming themselves as the Future Foundation and Spidey joining in the vacant spot. I really only picked up this issue because Spidey was in the mix. It naturally has a dark and awkward feel as the team members are still dealing with Johnny’s death, the return of Reed’s father and apparently the recent addition of many kids from a variety of backgrounds. I supposed I might pick up a couple of more issues to see where it goes but to be honest I’m not sure I can handle the weight of F4 canon, including headache inducing time travel and possible timelines. I’m also not that big on Steve Epting’s artwork either. It’s well done and maybe suited to the FF series, but it just doesn’t do it for me. I did appreciate the summary of characters at the end for new readers. That was a big help in figuring out who was at the dinner table!

Ultimate Doom #4 – In general, I really enjoyed the Ultimate Enemy/Mystery/Doom trilogy of series. Ultimate Doom #4 seems to have wrapped up the series, and laid the groundwork for a number of follow on story arcs. A lot of ground was covered including building up Ultimate Spider-Woman’s character, introducing Ultimate Nova, and of course really shaking up the Ultimate Fantastic Four. Like the 616 version, I didn’t follow Ultimate Fantastic Four prior to this series. I seriously had no idea that Ultimate Reed Richards was such damaged goods. Even after these series, I’m not entirely sure of his motivations or what he was trying to achieve in trying to stop science gone rampant in the way that he did. Maybe I have some catch up reading to do. I’m just waiting for a follow on series next year with a wedding getting interrupted by a new big bad from the Negative Zone. Bonus points for this series having a lot of coverage of Jessica Drew / Spider-Woman and having her find a place in the Ultimate Universe.

Ultimate Spider-Man #156 – The Death of Spider-Man starts and it’s a set-up you might expect with Spidey’s major foes escaping and ready to seek vengeance on the teenage wall crawler. Norman Osborn is particularly crazed believing he has divine help in his plans. Given all the references to Spidey’s frivolity and need to get serious about crime fighting the past half year, I expect that Spidey will emerge with some major personal growth from these events, assuming he survives. I’m probably in the minority of readers but I’m hoping that Bagley’s return is a short one. Of course his renditions are the definition of Ultimate Spider-Man, and in some ways the Ultimate Universe as a whole. However, I can’t help but feel he had his time on the series. Both David LaFuente and more recently Sara Pichelli’s work has been great. They’ve really freshened and added energy to the series.

Ok, that’s it for this entry. Next time I’ll try to cover Avengers, New Avengers and any finds of note from WonderCon 2011.

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