Overview

Ultimate Comics Avengers 2 #1

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Ultimate Comics Avengers 2 #1

Credits

  • Words: Mark Millar
  • Art: Leinil Francis Yu
  • Inks: Gerry Alanguilan
  • Colors: Laura Martin
  • Story Title: Crime & Punishment 1
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Apr 28, 2010

Mark Millar continues his bombastic rampage through the new Ultimate Universe with this week's start of the second chapter in his Ultimate Avengers opus. Taking over art chores from Carlos Pacheco is Leinil Francis Yu. Having previously worked on New Avengers and Secret Invasion, Yu is no stranger to big and loud stories. Millar provides him one with an especially high body count in just the first few pages.

This body count is the responsibility of one Frank Castle, the Punisher, making his violent return to the Ultimate line. Apparently, he survived the tidal wave that demolished New York. Which is now completely rebuilt. Don't you love comic logic?

Millar spends the majority of this issue inside Castle's sociopathic head, in hunt mode no less. We follow his twisted internal monologue as he murders his way up the Russian mob's food chain. This leads to a fun reveal and the eventual capture of Frank by S.H.I.E.L.D. Just a few pages before the end of this chapter, the real story kicks in.

At first, it seems a cheat to have two thirds of your story a misdirection, but upon further thought, it was necessary to show us the difference between this Punisher and the better known Marvel U version (not as a reanimated zombie, before that). The differences are similar to those between Ultimate Captain America and Marvel's proper Steve Rogers. The Ultimate versions of both have near identical origins to their 616 counterparts, but tend to be more violent and stern. When talking about two powerhouses of character like Cap and the Punisher, for them to be amped up to eleven is jarring at first. As the story progresses, it's easy to realize that the comparison between the two figures is something that Millar was actually trying to convey. Being revealed as a solid plot point reconciled thoughts of the issue's opening as meandering.

Yu's artwork is kinetic as always but kept tight by Gerry Alanguilan's pencils. Together, they keep the flow of the book intact and none of the action becomes sloppy, as his pencils were dangerously on the verge of becoming in some of his New Avengers work. This is a cleaner and slightly more economic Yu and the fine-tuning is welcome.

Much attention will be placed on the last spread of the book, revealing the Punisher's role in all this. Nick Fury has distinct plans for him and even though this plot device has been used before, even recently, it's hard not to be intrigued by how Millar will inevitably pump the idea with all manner of performance enhancers.

Throughout the history of this book and through its many incarnations, one thing has remained the same; it keeps redefining itself. Changes actually happen, people do die, and each story gets a little bigger in scope. Millar genuinely swings for the fences with this book and there is something to admire about that. He attracts the best artists and convinces them to take this weird and wild adventure with him. For these reasons alone, its always fun to read The Ultimates. Er, I mean Ultimate Avengers... Ultimate Comics Avengers. Yeah.

Now, don't get this confused with Ultimate Comics New Ultimates, which is the other Ultimate Avengers team, but with the Ultimates, which are the Ultimate version of the Avengers. See, it keeps changing. 

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