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Review: Ultimate Mystery #1

When did this get so messy?

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Still reeling from the aftershocks of Ultimatum, the heroes of Ultimate Marvel deal with the new contexts they've found themselves in following this disaster, as well as the starling changes their own bodies are undergoing.

The Good

I'll always complement Bendis for writing dialogue and characterizations that you just don't get to see in these kind of stories usually. So the extended dialogue between Ultimate Captain Marvel and Quasar in Project Pegasus' vault of treasures in the beginning was a lot of fun because Bendis made Marvel out to be a genuine ass (yet somehow in a charming way.) I similarly enjoyed the banter (and borderline sexual tension?) between Spider-Man and his "clone" Spider-Woman, even if I had issues with how it was staged. I'm also glad to see that this title has freedom to take these characters in some bold new directions they wouldn't be allowed to take in regular continuity - - like the Thing shedding his "cocoon."

The Bad

Even though I enjoyed their barbs, for the most part, the extended dialogue between Spidey and Spider-Woman ran a little ridiculous. Especially that double splash that was a page-long conversation laid over a single image. Either the script was way too wordy or the art had to be broken down into more panels. Also, even though I liked those first two scenes, this whole thing ran way too convoluted, which runs in the face of the whole point of the Ultimate line. Instead of a clear narrative streamlining Marvel mainstays for new readers, you have a bunch of complicated characters showing up in the middle of convoluted storyline without any kind of explanation.

The Verdict - 3/5

It's a little disheartening to read this because I'm getting shades of how the 2099 line ended up in the 90s. This whole line started with a spirit of modernization and accessibility, only to now be buckling under the weight of its own continuity. It's even got clones, now! If you haven't read the crossover mini-series just prior to this, you're going to be helplessly lost. It all sticks out even more because Bendis isn't doing what he's been doing so well in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man.