Honestly, I wasn’t really planning on reviewing the final issues of this disaster. I just had no energy for it and after a week of disappointments from my regular pull-list, I wasn’t feeling it. However, plans sometimes change. I heard some rather interesting rumors and discussion going around about this particular issue; some rather… uncomfortable rumors… so why not give it a whirl? Is it good?
Ultimate FF #5 (Marvel Comics)
Okay, so follow me down this rabbit hole as I explain the plot: In a parallel universe, the world’s inhabitants are talking animals (basically the Ultimate universe animal-ified). The world ends up dying because they are not able to stop it from collapsing in or decaying. Now, Miles Morhames AKA the Ultimate Spider-Ham has come to the Ultimate universe to help prevent his world from dying. He has traveled throughout many cosmos (how? Not explained) and universes and has discovered what may be the important key factor in all of this. In order for the Ultimate universe to survive, Susan Storm has to hook up with Reed Richards and have a baby. That’s the only way it’ll work.
Yes, I instantly trust this talking pig.
I… I honestly don’t even know where to start with this comic. It’s bad. There’s no doubt about that. Utter nonsense? Check. Overly Contrived plot? Check. However, let’s find a starting point and work our way through the comic:
First of all, the premise alone is pretty bad. The only way to prevent an apocalypse from happening is for Susan and Reed to have a child that’ll have apparently such great powers that he’ll be a foolproof savior. Maybe this has something to do with that Ultimate event earlier this year (Hunger I believe) that I did not read at all, but honestly — this storyline is still very flimsy.
What is this kid supposed to be stopping? How will his powers do it? Does his mere existence stop them or does he have to be trained to do so? Why specifically does it have to be between Susan and Reed? Spider-Ham says that in every universe he visited, only the worlds that had the two bump uglies to make a kid survived but how many worlds did he visit? How do we know he’s telling the truth? Why do they all eventually believe him? Is this character absolutely sure that Susan and Reed having a kid really does save the world and is a correlation and not a coincidence? Cause honestly, it really sounds like a big coincidence. Also, considering how much she hates him, how will Susan apparently end up with Doctor Doom “when” her relationship with Ben “fails”? There are so many questions here about how exactly this is all supposed to work and it seems so contrived that there is only one solution.
Okay, but enough fictitious baby-making overanalysis; what else is there? Let’s talk about the actual tone of the comic. Despite having Marvel superhero animals with all their very punny names to them (Captain Americat, Peter Porker, and Galactypus), the comic plays itself very seriously with very little hints of irony. The very serious tone and the actual goofy nature, including the backstory being narrated to us by Spider-Ham in a very deadpan sort of way, does not mesh in the slightest bit. It’s so difficult to take the gravity of the situation seriously. Though one could say that’s the point (it’s trying to be both at the same time), I would say that although that might be the case — both tones are not being balanced properly here at all. Especially considering the ending of the comic.
Sometimes, I have no words for what I’m seeing.
Let’s talk about the ending since that’s the major reason why I checked out this issue in the first place. Here’s what happens: Susan heads out and goes find Reed at the abandon Baxter Building (I forget, why is he free to go wherever after everything he did?). Reed seems to want to make peace and start over with her again, having apparently learned his lesson or something. However, Susan isn’t haven’t any of that and uses her force field powers to bind him. She creates some scalpels and decides to extract the semen from his testicles or just remove them entirely in order to get the sperm she needs to get pregnant. Of course she states that there is no other way to do this. The actual comic ends with Reed screaming in pain, due to the fact that she may not be stopping his pain receptors. Say it with me folks: What the fuck is wrong with you comic?!
Let’s ignore the fact for the second that this clearly just being played up for shock value and nothing else. You know, the kind of shock value you might see from Mark Millar or Garth Ennis to show how “mature” they are. Let’s look at everything else wrong about this. First of all, seriously? You are getting sperm that way? Cutting off his balls to get it? Can’t you just get him to jack off into a cup like everyone else who donates sperm? It can possibly be that difficult of a chore to do! Second, is she even a licensed surgeon? Does she even have the skills of Lorena Bobbit to pull this off? I know she is smart and all, but does she really know how to do this particular thing right? Third, this is so tasteless and is not remotely handled with any form of intelligence given the situation. It’s like the writer wanted to go as crazy and nuts as possible with his final issues, but put little thought into what he was writing. Fourth, this is utterly horrifying and disturbing on so many levels. I guarantee you that if the roles were reversed, there would be gigantic backlash. Fifth, why the hell doesn’t Susan just tell Reed what is going on instead of forcing him against his will (so this could be considered rape on some level)? This would be so much easier and quicker! Finally, sixth and most importantly, what if this doesn’t work!? You just mutilated the guy and now he won’t be able to make more sperm you idiot! That pregnancy fails and with him not operating well anymore, you doomed everything! You are so stupid Susan! What the hell Marvel editors? I know you don’t like butting in as much as DC’s editors, but seriously! Why did you let this happen? What made you think this was a good idea to publish?
Here’s your nightmare fuel readers!
Okay, enough ranting. The story is an absolute joke and Susan is a terrible and ghoulish main character (she’s also a hypocrite as well). What else does this comic have? Well, there’s really not much else. Characterization for everyone else takes a backseat this issue, putting the focus directly on Susan herself to very bad effect. Any moral dilemmas or deeper messages are squashed by what happens in the story itself. The pacing is very slow going, with very little happening. Seriously, more than of the book is Spider-Ham narrating his backstory and explaining why Susan and Reed have to hook up. Everything and everyone else is put on the backburner. The dialogue is alright, but everyone’s talking crap and nonsense, so what’s the point?
Then there is artwork and… it’s passable. There’s really nothing interesting happening for the comic to depict. The layouts are bland, the coloring is boring, the characters are odd looking, and the facial expressions and emotions are not conveyed too well outside of the end. It’s just so generic looking, which is a big step up from the first three issues, but that’s still not a very good thing.
Yeah, why don’t you all shut up? Nattering fools.
Is It Good?
Ultimate FF #5 is utter crap, pure and simple. There is nothing right with this comic. The story is horrendous and contrived as hell… and in poor taste. (::puts sunglasses on::) The tone is inconsistent and makes it hard to take the book seriously. The ending is so wrong and so stupid on so many different levels. The writing is forgettable and the artwork is bland. This was Joshua Hale Fialkov’s final issue on the book (he sadly got too sick to continue with finishing the last issue, so there’ll be a fill-in) and it looks like he decided to go completely crazy with this. However, the results are an absolute joke and have resulted in the worst comic I’ve seen Marvel put out since Marville.