The Revolution has been a big fan of Mark Millar’s return to the Ultimate Universe with Ultimate Comics Avengers. This title has been a great roller coaster ride thus far. While it may not be a deep read Millar and Pacheco have been treating us to one of the best comics on the shelves. It has just been fun to read Ultimate Comics Avengers so far. Let see if Millar and Pacheco can continue that with Ultimate Comics Avengers #4.
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Carlos Pacheco
Inkers: Dexter Vines, Thomas Palmer, and Allen Martinez
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin where the last issue left off with Captain America being chased through the streets of Paris by War Machine. Cap tries to tell War Machine to stop firing as there are innocent people on the streets. War Machine brushes that off and continues shooting at Cap using various guns and rockets.
In another part of Paris Nick Fury is getting out of the surveillance van that Cap tipped over earlier. The SHIELD agents tell Nick that Hawkeye has been knocked out. Nick contacts War Machine asking him how it’s going with Cap. He reports that he is kicking Cap’s but right now.
Cap tries to take cover in a bakery but War Machine just crashes right through the shop. Cap is able to escape and War Machine is able to find him and sets up a force field around the area so Cap won’t escape. He then tears off a side of a building and finds Cap with a kindergarten class. War Machine just says “Aw, Crap.” And has his ass kicked. He is then thrown to the street below where a whole bunch of SHIELD agents are located with one of his arms torn off.
We then see Cap running through the roofs of Paris with some SHIELD agent telling Nick to drop the Nerd Hulk. Cap is tackled through a building by the Black Widow and on top of a car. Cap uses the arm he ripped off War Machine earlier and fires of some of the guns at Black Widow telling her to “Talk to the hand.” Nick tells one of the agents that Cap is really into daytime TV.
As Cap continues to fight off SHIELD agents he has his head smashed into the street by Nerd Hulk. Cap asks Nerd Hulk if he is a combination of Banner’s brain and Hulk’s strength to which Nerd Hulk answers that he is. Cap then kicks Nerd Hulk into a truck saying that they took the edge of the Hulk.
He is then attacked by a bunch of bugs and dives into a nearby river to escape all of them. War Machine flies in and puts his one remaining arm into the river and sends an electric blast through the river knocking Cap out. Nick and his team arrive on the scene to pick up Cap.
Later at the SHIELD headquarters in France Gregory Stark is showing the Avengers the blueprints to the Cosmic Cube that was stolen by Red Skull and AIM from the Baxter Building. He explains what the cube does to everyone. Hawkeye says he thought the cube was dropped back in time. Gregory says these are just the plans and not the actual device. He says that AIM is looking to change Democracy and Nick says they still have 48 hours to stop them from completing the Cosmic Cube. Black Widow asks Nick what the plan is and Nick just says “We shoot the bastards.” (Simple but I like it.)
Gregory tells the team that War Machine’s armor is currently being upgraded. Black Widow then says that Hawkeye was lame for being knocked out during the fight. Hawkeye tells Black Widow to get away from him.
In Alaska we see the Red Skull and an AIM leader in the AIM headquarters with the guy tells the Red Skull his psychologist think that the Red Skull has an inferiority complex with never being able to live up to his father’s (Steve Rogers) reputation. The guy then says they are 46 hours away from the Cosmic Cube being completed and then they will be able to rebuild the world how they see fit.
Red Skull says he thinks he can help. The guy turns around to see all the AIM soldiers pointing their guns at him and they all shot him. The Red Skull then shoots the guy in the head saying his contact said he would find something special. We then see him standing over the guy’s dead body with the Cosmic Cube in front of him saying “He wasn’t kidding.” End of issue.
The Good: Ultimate Comics Avengers #4 was an absolute blast to read. Mark Millar continues to do an excellent job in his return to the Ultimate Universe. No other writer is able to write a big blockbuster movie-type comic book better than Millar and this issue proves that fact.
What I love about this issue and series so far is that Millar isn’t trying to fool anybody as he understands that Ultimate Comics Avengers is first and foremost a comic book. Most writers tend to forget that fact as they typically write their stories to fit the eventual trade paperback for the story instead of writing each issue for a monthly series. But Millar writes each issue of this series as its own story while still telling an overarching plot that continues building with each issue.
What I love about this series is that though it is not a big event mini-series Millar sure is treating each issue like it is part of one big company event. This issue is a great example of that as we get one big action scene at the very beginning of the issue that feels like it is a fight from a big budget film. After the big chase sequence we get to see what all the fuss has been about these past few issues as we see that getting back the blueprints for the Cosmic Cube is what the Avengers mission in this first story arc is about. And Millar does a great job balancing both parts of this issue very well as he builds the readers excitement for what he has in store for next.
Now while Millar does a great job writing each individual character in this issue the star of the show is Ultimate Captain America. Though Brubaker has done a wonderful job making Steve Rogers into a interesting character no one writes a more badass version of the character than Millar. Ultimate Cap is just the biggest badass with his take no shit attitude. Millar understands that Cap is a character from the 1940s and how his personality is radically different from all of the heroes in the Ultimate Universe.
Cap was made into the ultimate unstoppable soldier to fight in WWII. And unlike his 616-counterpart Ultimate Cap does anything to get the job done even if that is using kids to win a fight against a much stronger and more well armed foe like War Machine. He is also much stronger and faster than his 616-counterpart. Even being outnumber and outgunned you still knew Cap would find some way to win. And I liked Nick’s shock reaction at when his team of Avengers finally did succeed in capturing Cap to show even he thought they might not succeed in capturing him.
Millar also does a great job writing the new Avengers team Nick has assembled. Each member on the team has their own unique voice. Even though this is the first time we see a lot of these new characters interact together Millar did a great job showing that these are all characters who have a shared history with at least one member in the group. And outside of Nick and Hawkeye the standout character of this group is the new Vietnamese Black Widow.
I also got to give a lot of credit for creating such a great version of the Red Skull that, while still maintaining the same sinister personality as his 616-counterpart, feels like new take on the character. The Ultimate Red Skull is a refreshing take from the Nazi character he is in the 616 universe. Being the son of Steve Rogers has added a new level to the threat he poses to the world and now that he has an almost completed Cosmic Cube I can’t wait to see what happens in the next issue as the Avengers take on the Red Skull and AIM.
On a similar note a lot of credit has to go to Carlos Pacheco and his artwork on this issue. Though the last issue was very inconsistent this issue looked much better as he gave the issue a blockbuster movie feel with how he framed all the pages of the issue. Even though this issue had more than one inker working on this issue all the art still looked great. I especially liked the work that Pacheco and his crew did with the big fight in Paris that started of this issue. And it is clear Pacheco had a lot of fun drawing up the armor for Ultimate War Machine.
The Bad: I have no complaints for this issue.
Overall: Ultimate Comics Avengers #4 was another great read. Millar, along with Bendis over on Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, has done a wonderful job breathing new life into the Ultimate Universe. It is great to have the Ultimate Universe back and better than ever. Millar is showing why new takes on the original characters can be just as interesting as the originals while still maintaining key character traits.
Though I am enjoying this series a lot I will say if you are looking for a deep and textured read Ultimate Comics Avengers is not a comic book I recommend reading. This series is pure popcorn for the brain which some readers may not like. Still Millar provides plenty of quality character work that if you are looking for a fun comic book to read than I highly recommend checking this title out as it is a blast to read.