Artist: Amilcar Pinna
Colorist: Nolan Woodard
The New Ultimates, as they have taken to calling themselves, have joined together in an effort to stand up for what is good and right in a world that was recently ravaged and has lost so much. Together, Spider-man, Black Widow (formerly Spider-woman), Bombshell, Cloak and Dagger have taken the fight to the Serpent Skull gang who have surfaced in the aftermath of Galactus’ attack and are selling a super-powered drug in the streets of New York. The Ultimates may have bitten off more than they can chew, after all this is the first time they’ve come together deliberately as a team and let’s face it, they are no Ultimates….Not yet.
The Ups: One thing that is done exceptionally well in this issue is the actual dynamic of the characters and how they seem to function together as a team. The Serpent Skulls themselves work smoothly like a well oiled machine and were able to take the police and the Ultimates head on without too much of a problem and by the end of the fight have both sides on the ropes. The cops suffer a few losses that leave them in awe of how dangerous the Skulls can be and the Ultimates are forced to runaway and lick their wounds. Michel Fiffe delivers an excellent feeling of teen angst and frustration in the aftermath of the fight as the Ultimates decide on what to do next and his use of dialogue truly makes one feel as if they are in the pages watching them argue in person. Another spectacular thing in this issue was Nolan Woodard use of color in very specific panels that feature someone loading a gun and the panel is entirely red so it stands out among the rest of the panels on a given page. Woodard makes it so that the red panel is the first thing your eye is drawn to when you first turn to the page and the last thing you see when leaving the page which is a technique I have rarely seen executed this well before.
The Downs: Aside from the wonderful things above that I loved about this issue, there are equally as many things that I did not enjoy. Firstly, much like last issue, I found no interest Amilcar Pinna’s pencil work. I find that Pinna’s artwork appears in a way that the backgrounds are devoid of any real, defining detail and the actual people are the focus and yet the people themselves aren’t given enough detail whether they are in the focus of the shot or in the distance. Also, I am having trouble determining where the story is heading at this point. I understand that it is about the Ultimates themselves at the moment as they try to work together but I feel there is room for a story that is either not being flushed out yet in the plot lines or not entirely figured out yet.
Overall: Despite the lack of any clear story line and uninteresting art style, I am still ready and willing to continue reading this series. I hold a special place in my heart for Miles Morales but it isn’t him that is keeping me reading rather, it is the overall depth into the characters that Fiffe is able to bring to us and not just in the main characters as both the Skulls and the police has some weight behind them. After all it is only issue two and I’m sure that the team of Fiffe, Pinna, and Woodard are just testing the waters much like the New Ultimates!
Grade 3 of 5