Monday, February 15, 2010

Ultimate Origins TPB

So chronologically, this took place before Ultimatum, right? There is very little here that is important, in fact, I think there are only two reveals. The first is that Wolverine is Mutant Zero, the first mutant and that he was created by the Weapon X program in Canada. So the mutants of the Ultimate U are man-made. The second is that the whole mutant program was an attempt to rebuild the super-soldier program that created Captain America. Bendis gives us a few glimpses into the original program (where Nick Fury was an early guinea pig) and the later re-creation attempts. I like the idea of a brain trust of Bruce Banner, Richard Parker, and Hank Pym trying to re-create the program, but all of those guys go to sad ends, don't they? The flashback portions of the story are interesting, but I'm not sure anyone besides the reader ever really knows everything that happens.

The "current day" portion of the story deals with the Fantastic Four as they deal with the first "watcher" to appear on Earth during the original super-soldier program. After that day, the watcher pillar has stood in a SHIELD warehouse called Project Pegasus. I do appreciate that Agent Wendell Vaughn (Quasar in the Marvel U) is in charge of the project, but he never really gets to do too much in the story. The watcher has a couple lines of dialogue at the end; I assume hinting at the destruction in Ultimatum. I guess the extinction level event that the pillars came to witness was the wave Magneto caused in that other series. So while there is a bit here to satisfy a reader, this mini is more a prequel for Ultimatum than anything else.

Butch Guice has a gritty style that works well on the tech-heavy aspects of the book. The soldiers in WWII look appropriately grizzled and I like his take on the SHIELD uniforms too. The FF don't look quite as young as they should in the Ultimate U, but I'm ok with that.


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