Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Ultimates: Volume 2: Homeland Security (2004)

Author: Mark Millar | Illustrator: Bryan Hitch | Page Count: 200

"Why would she put up with that?"
"I don't know.  Why would anyone?"

By the end of Volume 1 Millar had taken steps in setting up a real opportunity to tackle a subject that needs to come out from behind closed doors.  He could've did it in a powerful and sensitive way but for some reason he pushed it aside too soon, and instead exploded the main story into a boring three and a half issue battle with some pretend Nazis.  I was bored out of my mind by the end.
I'd love to know why he ignored such a prime opportunity.  Was it his idea, or his editor's?  Was there a more satisfying draft that got rejected?  Or did he just get bored and decide to blow shit up because it's the easy way out?

Conversely, if lengthy combat scenes like the one at the end of The Avengers (2012) movie is something you enjoy then maybe you’ll get even more jollies from Volume 2 than you did from Volume 1.

Prior to the DBZ moment, Hawkeye gets an action scene and proves how problematic a character he is to write for; there’s not much you can do with a guy whose superpower is the ability to magically not run out of arrows.  He's teamed with Black Widow who has a similarly limiting condition.  It played out fine regardless but it felt like it was forced into the narrative just to give the pair something meaningful to do.  Hawkeye has his own current title but I've not read it; I'd be interested in seeing how he fares in it.

The addition of two guests from another title seemed superfluous, unless Millar was setting up something that he’d develop further in Ultimates 2; I don’t have the subsequent books so I don't know.  I'd hate to think it was pointless fan-service or there simply to undermine the main team dynamic.

At almost every turn this book left me wondering about things that were outside of the story, but not in a 'food for thought' kind of way, more in a 'I wonder would something else be better than this' kind of way.

The book collects together The Ultimates, issues 7 - 13.

2½ vendettas out of 5

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