Mark Millar is back in perfect writing form with this latest issue of Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates. Returning to the Marvel Universe he was instrumental in shaping, Millar had the daunting task of trying to salvage the wreck that his once-great masterpiece had become under Jeph Loeb’s direction. And while the first two Ultimate Avenger titles were a good start, the third one left me cold. Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates #2 though, is Millar at his best.
The first issue of this mini-series had the Ultimate team discovering Nick Fury was stealing and selling US super-human secrets to foreign countries and terrorist organizations. The second issue is told from Nick Fury’s perspective, as he puts together an Ultimate Avenger team of Punisher, Hawkeye, War Machine, and Blade to destroy a smuggling ring. The end reveal though, from a dying Tyrone Cash (the first Hulk), is that Carol Danvers – the current head of SHIELD – is the one stealing state secrets. The plot line is clearly building towards a furious clash between the two teams, I can’t wait to see these two groups going head to head, especially with the creative team of Mark Millar/Leinil Yu/ Stephen Segovia at the helm.
The Ultimates series really hooked me back into comics several years ago. With fast paced storytelling, gritty realistic art, and a sub-textual discussion of politics and foreign policies, I ached at the wait between issues during Ultimates 2. Loeb, who has written some incredible stories, came very close to destroying all that for me. This series carries the heavy burden of all my fanboy hopes and expectations. That said, Mark Millar is off to a great start, and Leinil Yu/ Stephen Segovia artwork is the perfect fit for this clash of the titans!