Ultimate Comics Avengers 3 #1


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Ultimate Comics Avengers 3 #1


  • Words: Mark Millar
  • Art: Steve Dillon
  • Inks: Andy Lanning
  • Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
  • Story Title: Blade Versus The Avengers, Part One
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Aug 11, 2010

Ultimate Avengers 3, the halfway point of Mark Millar’s two-year experiment with the title, kicks off with a little post coital, graphic violence. What else should we expect from the writer of Kick-Ass and the artist responsible for Preacher.  Steve Dillon mixes perfectly with Millar’s “everything in excess” mentality and gives us some of his more opulent pencils in recent memory. He’s really taken the time to capture the absurdity within with great relish.

Speaking of the story, the title speaks for itself and the wheels are set in motion for Blade, half-vampire/half-human/all night-stalker, to battle the Ultimate Avengers. The emotional core of the issue, however, lies with a haphazard reintroduction to Ultimate Daredevil. Matt Murdock, dead and gone since Ultimatum, is obviously no longer behind cowl. Instead, we’re introduced to Ray Connor, a pre teen who just so happened to have experienced the same type of traumatic experience that Murdock did. This, of course gives him heightened senses and a radar vision, just like Murdock.  Conveniently enough, there’s a crusty old man named Stick who is around to teach him how to harness these abilities. He tells him of the destiny he must fulfill in the original Daredevil’s absence.  Apparently, it has to do with killing vampires. Again, how convenient for the story.

The seeming rush job on Ray Connor’s origin gets immediately disregarded in the issue’s final pages, making one wonder what the point was. I’m sure Millar has a master plan, but it all seems so rushed. Previous storylines in this series have been fast paced, action packed, and short on insightful dialogue, but this one teeters the edge of over-indulgence.

As stated before, Steve Dillon’s art is beautiful, masterfully inked by Andy Lanning (how does the man find time?) and thoughtfully colored by Matt Hollingsworth. Being Dillon’s first venture into the Ultimate Universe, Millar gives him more than one opportunity to cut loose. This is Preacher quality work, art wise, and balletic in its graphic fisticuffs. His talents are suited for Millar’s usual craziness, if only the story had a little more emotional meat for Dillon to chew on.

Regardless, this is a first issue, mainly concerned with set up. Major story gripes may be rendered null and void by series end, but one couldn’t shake the feeling of this just going through the motions. It hits all the story beats like a series of necessary notes, with very little organic tissue. Millar is usually able to provide at least one “hell yeah” moment in even the thinnest of plots, but there’s nary a one here. Sure, the issue ends on a promise of forthcoming bad-assery, but it’s a case of too little, too late. Well, as far as issue one is concerned. Wow us with the rest and I’ll gladly eat crow, but sometimes bigger is just louder when there’s no emotional involvement.

If for only Steve Dillon’s delicious pencils, this is worth the read, especially if you’ve been following the Ultimate lines. Falling under the category of "spectacularly mediocre," Ultimate Comics Avengers 3 #1 (that’s a mouthful) isn’t anywhere near disappointing enough to drop the title, but it’s definitely a decline in the unabashedly fun stuff Millar usually churns out.

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