Written by: Gary M. Kenny, CC2K Comics Editor
What’s worse: Marvel replacing Ultimate Peter Parker with (Donald Glover, i mean…) half black / half hispanic Miles Morales or making Nick Fury (Sam Jackson) cry? Is Marvel half-assing their Ultimate Universe? Is Bendis taking on to much, causing his writing and ideas to suffer? CC2K has some concerns. Read on!
Ultimate Fallout # 6
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Nick Spencer, and Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Mark Bagley, Eric Nguyen, and Mitch Breitweiser
*SPOILERS* Please read Ultimate Fallout #6 before this review. Unless you don’t care, then read on.
This isn’t much of a comic. This is a collection of short stories. This issue is letting the reader know what’s happening to their favorite Ultimate characters, before the mass overhaul Marvel is making with their Ultimate line. You have Bendis steering the boat while a bunch of up and coming writers fill in the blanks. Listen, I’m a tad biased. I’ve been reading the adventures of Ultimate Web-head for over 10 years. Bendis had great ideas and was successfully modernizing everything that’s enjoyable about Spidey for the current generation. Ya Peter still worked at the Bugle but he worked for their website. He wasn’t so much as the 1960’s dork but rather a Queens teenager, filled with angst, pressure and hormones; a kid just trying to find his place. Plus, it took like six issues just to get him into the costume (pure character development), it was never rushed, the book just flowed. Parker had promise too. We the reader were teased throughout this series of open ended promises. Nick Fury told him “When you’re 16, your mine.” Image that! Spider-Man NO MORE but Peter Parker S.H.E.I.L.D. agent. It would have been amazing. Right before his “Death” he was getting training (which would have been a lot more fun reading if Marvel didn’t constantly leak spoilers) from other Super Heroes, if they prolonged this arc just image the guest stars. Ultimate Spidey had a lot of promise, too bad i’ll never read those stories.
Let’s talk about Ultimate Fallout #6. Bendis writes a great Aunt May. She’s strong yet reserved. She’s lost her family and doesn’t know how to ask for help. Enter Gwen, he father dies, she dies, returns and is basically in the same boat as May. Gwen’s youth comes into play and thankfully her sense of adventure pushes May into calling Tony Stark and getting the hell out of Queens. I want to like this, i really do, however, what a cop out. Bendis and Marvel have no clue where to place May and Gwen now that Miles Morales is wearing the web. So, they have Tony Stark ship them out to France. France? Really, you can’t think of something else? Dan Slott at least had May work in a soup kitchen and Ultimate May is 10 times stronger then her 616 universe counterpart. You couldn’t have Ultimate May create a home for heroes or something that doesn’t push this great character to the side lines? Terrible.
Kitty Pryde with fire (Human Torch) and ice (Iceman) are the new Ultimate X-men. I love this. They are orphaned and they hold Peter’s “With great power comes great responsibility” motto inside. Yet, they are running for their lives. Marvel you knocked this one out of the park with the question “where do homeless mutants go in New York City.” Easy answer: The Morlock Tunnels. Wow the minute Pryde and company were in the sewers i knew. Their new home was the Morlock Tunnels. This makes sense, this works, it’s intriguing and familiar. I’m thinking Ninja Turtles Marvel-ized. Ultimate X-men will be a great read as long as they keep this going.
Now the ending of the book. The last page has *SPOILERS!* (highlight to read) Nick Fury tells MJ that he blames himself for Peter’s death and secretly loved him. He’s shown tearing up in the last page. Meh, can’t except it. Ultimate Nick Fury has done some terrible things through these past 10 years. He’s traveled into different universes killing hundreds, possibly killing teenagers as well. I just don’t see him taking the blame and telling MJ. Why does he have a need to tell MJ? Nick Fury and MJ aren’t friends, they don’t hang in the same circles. There is no reason for their interaction.Sorry not buying it. I don’t care if Fury knew Petes folks. If that’s the case, Peter would have been given more perks, more training, and equipment upgrades. I know if Pete was my dead good friend’s son, i would be there helping him develop. Nick Fury always has a plan, he isn’t lazy or too busy not to. FAIL.
I was pretty disappointed with Ultimate Fallout 1-6. Death of Spider-man was done very well and to give us this dribble of a mini series, I seriously want my money back. I’m going to miss Ultimate May, i feel she was the only true character in this mini. I hope Marvel brings her back and a supportive character somehow. Then again who knows what’s next… I’m Ultimately disheartened.
2.0 out of 5.0
Miles Morales: Now i hope my opening paragraph didn’t come out racist or insensitive. I am actually a fan of Miles, I think handled correctly I’ll be more entertained and enlightened with him in the black and red (right? Those are the colors now). I wish they started off 10 years ago with Miles instead of Parker. That would have been “pushing” this industry into the better grounds. It took a Black President, an amazing young comedian: Donald Glover (U.C.B. Alumni represent!), and years of fan letters asking for more non-white high profile heroes in order to create Mr. Morales. Am I complaining: yes. Should i be happy that it’s happening now: yes, but I’m not. There are so many great characters, jobs, and stories that haven’t been given a real commercial chance and I feel this industry should be driving this forward. Look at Spider-girl, she is Hispanic. Marvel has tried to give her her own series but it constantly fails. Why? Poor stories, hardly any promotion, poor character development and her being Hispanic doesn’t automatically give her an audience. DC handled it the right way with characters like Blue Beetle, the Atom and the Question. They made them normal people first, gave them a truly wonderful origin, then used their heritage to strengthen the character. Marvel should know this, in fact they did it (accidentally maybe) with Runaways. A bunch of kids first, then backgrounds. Hopefully Miles gets the same treatment. That way everyone can relate and then find interest in his background and up bringing.
I’m one for change in comics. I find people different then me exciting, hence why i read comics to begin with. So why aren’t there more black, hispanic, Asian, FEMALE characters? If you go to a comic convention, you will see people of all shapes, colors, and sizes. People filled with heritage, talent, looks (both traditional and unique), and strength. Some dress up like their favorite characters, some are just there to take it all in. There is hardly ever a fight at a comic-con and everyone there is normally respectful and kind. I’d like to read about one of them becoming a hero. They don’t need muscles, giant boobs, and good looks to sell books. As an example look at the Thing, he’s orange, weird looking, terrifying yet lovable. More characters like that please! Give me a character who might have a learning disability, an awkwardness, something promoting difference? I love Dare Devil, why aren’t their more characters like that? Professor X and Barbara Gordon (for shame DC) are strong, independent, amazing characters and it was their “flaws” that made them beloved. It’s their shortcomings that made them inspirational and showed us what true strength really is.
Change starts within the industry, so give us a truly American mix in our heroes. Hire more female writers, Twitter is filled with them and I know Gail Simone has recommendations. Create original characters that can be any race, just make sure you don’t focus too much on their heritage. Though one’s heritage is important, it’s their inner self and values that shine through. I know Marvel is trying to change and I do commend them for it. It’s just hard when they are only focusing on one issue.
Gary is a husband, father, fireman, comic reader, gamer, body builder, and rocker. He also is a co-owner of a bakery in upstate NY. He likes to tell everyone his favorite band is the Beatles, when his actual favorite band is the Alkaline Trio.