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Cataclysm: The Ultimates' Last Stand #5 - Part Five Review

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It all ends here! Find out the fate of the Ultimate universe!

The Good

This is a tough issue for Ultimate and Galactus fans to read. Writer Brian Michael Bendis does a fine job at knowing how to rope fans in and keep them on the edge of their seat. There's a nice build up until these action sequences as Kitty and Galactus throw punches towards each other. Yes, that sounds ridiculous but it is a bit of fun. The final pages where we see the fate of Galactus are laid out and told wonderfully. It's a very nice moment in time.

Artist Mark Bagley does some great things on this issue, as well as some not so great things. His larger panels and splash pages look fantastic and there's a great amount of attention paid to detail. One of the coolest moments, artwise, within the whole issue features (spoilers ahead) Galactus reaching out of the negative zone. There's a great deal of depth within the panel and it looks incredibly cool. Bagley's best work on this issue comes by way of the cover, which is absolutely beautiful.

The Bad

The ending is actually a bit of a letdown. Maybe it's because this event was really hyped up to be something huge and completely change the Ultimate universe forever, but it ends abruptly and incredibly simple for these characters. In the past, especially with Ultimatum, Ultimate Universe events are huge and have long lasting effects on its characters. We lose a few heroes within this event, but it's hard to see how the world will be changed in the future. It seems like everything will just try to go back to normal. Regardless of that, the final issue just feels very underwhelming.

How Galactus is dealt with feels like a last minute change and way too easy for these characters. Without spoiling anything, it's not really that epic final issue that fans want. This book either could have been a bit better as a double-sized issue or the fight between Kitty and Galactus could have been shorter.

Bagley's art is down the middle of the road. There are times where I am extremely impressed with the art in this book, but the main problem with the overall issue is that his art becomes incredibly hard to read, mainly during action sequences. Maybe Andrew Hennessy's inks could have been a bit more defining or maybe Jason Keith's colors could have made things pop a bit more. However, the problem really starts with the panel compositions. During the times where everything blends a bit together, maybe another angle could have been used or it could have been a tighter shot.

The Verdict

Here's the thing about Cataclysm as a whole: it's good with moments of greatness. Spider-Man's and The Ultimates' tie ins are utterly wonderful, and the overall main story is a lot of fun, but when something has this much hype around it, it becomes incredibly hard to live up to it. This last issue of the story falls short of the hype and expectations of the readers, which is a bummer because this is a book fans were dying to see succeed. Hopefully, this reads much better in trade because the writing and the art didn't make this issue bad, the hype did.