THE ULTIMATES 2 #5 | Writer: Al Ewing | Penciler: Travel Foreman | Colorist: Dan Brown | Letterer: Joe Sabino | Release Date: March 22, 2017 | Price: $3.99
There isn’t a potent enough amalgamation of words capable of describing just how amazing this run has been! And Ultimates 2 #5 continues on with that same level of cosmic excellence in writing. Not only is this one of the most powerful, most diverse teams Marvel is currently running, it also serves as our gateway to big game cosmic level events. We don’t currently have the Fantastic Four, but if Reed Richards was watching this team in action, he would most certainly approve.
Let’s do a quick recap of recent events. Eternity is in chains. The Living Tribunal has been killed by Order and Chaos who have joined and replaced him as Logos. Galactus was just reformed into the Devourer instead of Lifebringer. Our heroes are locked in combat with a government sanctioned team called The Troubleshooters. Queue scene.
The fight with The Troubleshooters rages on, and all of it has been a joy to read, panel by panel. There are times in comics where a battle goes on and it’s a bunch of heroes beating up a bunch of bad guys without much of any real definitive tactics in the fight. This fight shows our Ultimates gaining ground on the enemy before defeating them each one by one, and each win is fantastic. It really speaks to the power and capability of our heroes.
A near naked Black Panther fights against Kathy Ling, a technopath in full battle armor, and wins with a combination of Wakandan and K’un Lun precision. Nearby, Spectrum breaks from her mental hold with Col. Jessup (Network), via mind over matter, and easily dispatches Indigo, whom Captain Marvel had been having trouble with. It was also funny to see her reference herself being the original holder of the “Captain Marvel” mantle, asking Carol “So, is it my turn to be Captain Marvel again?” With only Jim Tensen left, America Chavez shows why she’s the leader of the team, and defeats him as well.
Of course, Blue Marvel had been fighting the so-called Troubleshooter who claimed himself to be Rodstvow in another dimension, and was defeated, because Rodstvow is actually “Something Beyond Naming” and part of the larger cosmic problem (he certainly looks it too!). They return through a star portal, similar to those created by America Chavez and claims he is working for some higher being. He summons the malnourished Devourer Galactus who looms over our heroes.
Then finally we find see what has Eternity in chains. A grand manipulator, who orchestrated the death of the Tribunal, controls Logos, and has dispatched a servant in the form of Rodstvow. He existed before the first universe, before the multiverse. It is a cosmic being, greater than Eternity himself, called the First Firmament.
If you know about the word Firmament, it implies the idea of a grand scale foundation on a cosmic level. A cosmic basis for all of existence. Al Ewing introducing this concept is huge! Before reading this I was on edge about what could have been chaining Eternity. The introduction of this new concept of The First Firmament into Marvel is incredible and a bold move by Ewing. This is the seed of something huge, and I can’t wait to see what comes of it.
Art: The metaphorical prowess behind Vought holding onto Galactus’ Lightbringer helmet is uncanny. To me, it almost represents him protecting the mantle as the cosmic being devolves to his previous state. Meanwhile, in the back we see the eyes that are revealed to be The First Firmament’s. It’s beautiful. The detail on the helmet, the dark background and he contrast with the colors. The yellow of the helmet and the reflection in his glasses is superb. Excellent work.
On the pages, the line art is great work. I love the anatomical structures of the characters. I feel some of the expressions aren’t of the style that I prefer but it’s countered by the larger beat by beat actions and storytelling. When you get to the cosmic beings and high level entities, the work is amazing. There is a lack of detail in some places that I’d like but it’s still quite well done. The colors are great, but they look better when it comes to non-human creatures than anything else. Overall, it is fascinating to look at, but I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing another artist try their hand.
This is high octane, cosmic level stuff! I’m loving Ultimates 2 and this issue just brings me more of the hype. It’s the start of a new arc, and I can tell already that it’s going to be a wild ride.