So yeah… last issue was pretty damn bad. The kind of bad that honestly, you don’t see that often for mainstream comics.
One might think that would discourage me from wanting to see what ultimately happens at the end of the series; to that I say — you don’t know me very well. I’m seeing this trainwreck to the bitter end. Is it good?
Ultimate FF #6 (Marvel Comics)
Susan is about to pop out her little baby at the hospital. (You know, the one that ostensibly came about from her forcefully extracting Reed Richards’ man juice.) Just in time as well, because an attack’s about to take place right outside the hospital.
A very special woman in the sense that Lorena Bobbit was a very special woman.
So, after all of that crap in the last issue, what did I think of this conclusion? It’s… a whole lot of meh. It’s not as bad as the previous issue, but it offers up very little as recompense. It’s pretty obvious that the issue was rushed; it just starts off 8 months later in the hospital bed, the entire action sequence is extremely anti-climactic with things just sort of happening, all of the adventures that were going to happen are summed up in a vague double page spread with little sense of excitement, all subplots are completely dropped with no answers and the problem is solved via deus ex machina. It’s a complete, unsatisfying, lackluster conclusion to this big mess.
Now the main question you’re probably asking is “What about the cliffhanger we got last time?” You know, the scene where Susan Storm was planning on cutting open Reed’s balls to get sperm; what happened with it? Well, it was a cop-out (frankly, it shouldn’t have even existed to begin with); turns out that Reed Richards convinced Sue from cutting open his testicles and instead had her use Ben Grimm’s genetic material to impregnate herself from a nearby S.H.I.E.L.D. lab (convenient!). She decided not to tell Ben any of this because she didn’t want to get his hopes up or she didn’t believe it would take. As such, due to his help, Reed Richards is forgiven by everyone for all of his crimes in helping to save the world. The story then ends there with a quasi “everybody laughs in unison” style ending.
Okay, let’s talk about all that’s wrong with this ending. First of all, Susan’s excuse not to tell Ben is incredibly stupid and weak as hell. What difference would it make here? Second, she and Reed stole Ben’s genetic material to impregnate herself with it without getting Ben’s permission. Seems rather questionable if you ask me, especially considering if you simply asked and told the guy about the plan, it’s not like Ben would have argued with it. Third, after all this hoopla about Susan having to have a baby with Reed, it turns out she doesn’t and Spider-Ham doesn’t even comment on this supposed rule (he only appears at the very end in a non-speaking role).
So what was the point and buildup from last issue? Just a waste of time! Fourth, Reed is seriously that easily forgiven for every crime he committed in the Ultimate Universe with this one act by everyone? Do you all remember what kind of crap he pulled? That’s completely bullshit and so underserved! Fifth, the sexism hurts in the comic. Susan Storm ultimately ends up just being a baby maker and serving no other purpose in this arc, not even getting to fight or defend herself in this story. What a huge disservice to this character, the only female character in this comic by the way, who was already being ruined by the writer in other ways. Sixth and the biggest problem here, it doesn’t matter that Sue ended up not going through with not so surgically incising Reed’s balls to get his sperm, she was still going to do it. She didn’t even consider any other options according to the comic and it took Reed to remind her that there had to be another way or a third path in all of this. That’s awful. Seriously.
Apparently luminous babies glowing right in front of the doctors is normal.
As for the rest of Joshua Hale Fialkov and Stuart Moore’s writing? Mediocre. The pacing and storytelling as very rushed, with scenes barely getting any development or getting glossed over (some scenes didn’t even add anything to the book). There was little in the way of character development or characterization for most of the cast. Characters Who did get a tiny bit of development, such as Susan and Reed, got it in the worst way with development that made no sense or felt undeserved. Most characters ended up doing absolutely nothing and got the shaft. The dialogue was forgettable and lackluster (only one somewhat amusing line in this). There was nothing really exciting or fun happening, just a lot of things kind of happening with little impression to be made on the audience (our biggest threat that heroes fought was superhero Cyclopes that barely felt like a threat at all). As for the ending, it’s completely forgettable and just feels like it stops. Out of nowhere.
Then there is artwork by Andrea Araujo that is truly nothing of note. There is a big, double page spread action scene in the middle of the book, but the artwork is so cartoonish and static looking that it is incredibly unimpressive and underwhelming. The characters look off at points, on occasions making really odd facial expressions. The layouts remain unimpressive, the coloring is drab and lackluster, and nothing in the book really stands out. After all of these issues, this series never once had a good artist on it and it’s just rather sad.
Is It Good?
Ultimate FF is a series that never once got off the ground in its entire run. It’s been plagued by mediocre writing, forgettable to awful stories and boring artwork. I hope Marvel was satisfied, because this comic is going to remembered alongside their other “great” blunders like Marville, Avengers #200, Ultimatum, and One More Day.