It’s a good thing the Never Queen recites the recap page of Ultimates2 #5, because she’s not seen again after. Instead we conclude the knock-down, drag-out between our heroes and the Troubleshooters and get a reveal that’s not all that revealing. Is it good?
Ultimates2 #5 (Marvel Comics)
It’s the issue you’ve all been waiting for, the uncovering of … Phillip Vogt’s backstory! THRILL as he recounts a tale of government budget cuts! GASP as he DECIDES THINGS! Can your heart take the exhilaration?!
But no, there is excitement to be had in Ultimates2 #5, almost the entirety of which is the Ultimates and the Troubleshooters settling their shit and thus finding out who is on who’s side. And at the end the identity of Eternity’s jailer is revealed! Sort of.
Is It Good?
The concentration on the earthly conflict of Ultimates2 #5 might be fine if we were given more of a reason to care about everyone involved, but despite writer Al Ewing’s nice little character setups in the previous issue, there’s just no way for readers to be invested enough in the Troubleshooters to spend the majority of the book expanding on a scuffle that probably should have ended already.
Especially when there really aren’t any more of those “getting to know you moments” in the continuing conflict of Ultimates2 #5. It’s power feats and strained humor, as far as the eye can see! Imagine a 13-year-old Brian Michael Bendis doodling in his social studies notebook and you’ll about get the gist.
That goes for the art, too. Travel Foreman has been a drag on Ultimates2 since the get-go, but no more so than in #5. There’s a nice image of a glowing … thing … but you can probably chalk that up to colorist Dan Brown. When the guy-you-knew-would-break-bad finally turns, he becomes an amorphous, phosphorescent blob that most resembles what I’d imagine E.T.’s sonogram would look like. But maybe I’m just projecting on the inkblot, Dr. Freud.
With the very fate of all existence hanging in the balance, and an enormous threat showing up on Earth’s doorstep, Ultimates2 #5 should feel about as epic as periodically possible. Instead, the reader gets to celebrate a victory, that was never really in doubt, over opponents who were barely ever compelling. If this is the best the multiverse has to offer, maybe a hard reset isn’t the worst idea after all.