Normally I try to review at least one non-Marvel title every week that I read one, but I felt like I didn’t have much to say about this week’s releases. Instead, here are my quick thoughts. Batman 52 is pretty good, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 58 is great, and Starfire is fun and sweet but a bit disappointing. I felt like, besides TMNT, I didn’t really have much to say about any of them, and I review that comic a lot. With Ultimates on the other hand, I haven’t reviewed this series since issue 2.
Written by Al Ewing, Ultimates 7 banners itself with the Road to Civil War 2. If the Free Comic Book Day and this issue are of any indication, Thanos will be involved with Civil War 2 somehow. That’s fine with me. In any case, this is kind of a setup issue after a couple of fairly intense story arcs, followed by issue 6’s fascinating Galactus focus. There’s one scene that, as far as I can tell, is a big reference to the Avengers Standoff crossover (haven’t read it yet). That scene awesomely shows Captain Marvel intimidating scientists for experimenting with what she describes as an unexploded reality bomb. Her conversation with the Shi’ar, who are “monitoring” Earth, is also entertaining. A more serious scene involves Blue Marvel and Black Panther discussing how they’ll deal with Anti-Man, in which Black Panther shows off how hardcore he is.
This isn’t really a spoiler since he’s on the cover, but Thanos shows up in this issue toward the end, and it brings forth a quick yet intense action scene from the perspective of the command center of a Shi’ar monitoring station. The writing here is intense even before the action shows up on panel, as the command center quickly loses communication with several departments in rapid succession. Ewing’s writing throughout this issue is very tight, conveying emotions, providing character dev elopement and telling a story all at once.
Kenneth Rocafort’s art is also great. There’s plenty of detail in every panel, right from the first page where the Shi’ar monitoring station is shown by the great K’ythri wormhole, then the command center with their detailed outfits, the monitors in the background and the hologram of Earth showing the location of the dangerous experiment. Even Captain Marvel’s cup of coffee shows a bit of steam emerging from the cup. Facial expressions perfectly capture characters’ emotions, with Captain Marvel’s frustration at both the Shi’ar and the Earth scientists, Spectrum’s sarcastic smile when she teases Carol, and of course the Shi’ar’s terror when Thanos shows himself. Dan Brown’s colouring is also fantastic. Everything is bright, colourful and appealing to look at.
This is the Marvel Cosmic book you should be reading if you enjoy cosmic titles. It’s a great mix of science fiction, exploration (somewhat like Fantastic Four) and superhero action. Even though the scale is big, there’s still room for character moments. At least of the Marvel titles I’m reading right now, this is the most unique in all the best ways. If this sounds interesting, you should be buying this series.