Issue #1 of THE ULTIMATES took this team and concept in a new direction. What Al Ewing is trying to do with this team isn't just revamping the 1610 team. He's taking the idea of "The Ultimates" and turning it into something bigger, just as the original Ultimates showed readers a new side of super-hero storytelling. That's truly what this issue delivers: something different.
This team has come together in order to stop threats before they reach Earth, but it's more than a task force set to punch and kick their way through a potential enemy. T'Challa actually has a discussion with Galactus about the threat he poses, and obviously, Galactus totally isn't buying what T'Challa says because he's a mere ant to him, so then the butt kicking starts.
If you're not a big Galactus fan, it can be hard to understand this character. On the surface, he's a giant purple man that eats planets, but there is more to the character than that and Ewing and Kenneth Rocafort retell his origin story in a way that makes sense and fits the story. Galan's origin is a bit more updated and there's less "cosmic egg" to it, but the origin here really works well and is great for new readers.
The downside of the issue lies in the fact that it can be a bit chaotic and we're not sure how these characters fit on this team. There's very little characterization in this issue either, aside from T'Challa and Galactus, so other characters feel pushed to the sidelines, even though they're a part of this story.
While Ewing's story is a great driving force for this comic, Kenneth Rocafort's art and Dan Brown's colors are what make this such a sensational issue. Rocafort gives this issue a real cinematic feel which moves the story along quite nicely. Brown's colorwork is distinctive and makes characters pop, all while giving the issue some ominous undertones. The book also shines when it comes to the page and panel layouts. Borders for the panels have non-traditional colors, and when the action becomes chaotic, so does the layouts, which is the perfect way to enhance the tone and action.
ULTIMATES #2 gets around some of the confusing elements the first issue had to give readers a really fantastic story which sets the tone for the whole series. At times, some of the characters feel a bit out of focus, but overall, this is a surprisingly fantastic book. It's not the Ultimates we're used to, but Ewing, Rocafort, and Brown are elevating the name "Ultimates" for a whole new generation of readers. I highly recommend checking this issue out.