I've been on a bit of a Marvel kick as of late, having polished off the hardcover collections of Ultimate Fantastic Four Vol. 3, Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 1, Ultimate Galactus Trilogy, The Punisher MAX Vol. 3 and Annhilation Vol. 1-3.
I'm not gonna discuss the last set just yet, but here's what I've got to say about the other four:
Ultimate Fantastic Four Vol. 3
Compared to the previous two volumes I have to say this was a big disappointment. I've been looking forward to reading the introduction to the much hyped Marvel Zombie universe for awhile, especially so since I read the Marvel Zombies HC awhile back (weird how it came out first). Well, other than the absolutely neat (yeah I said it) way Zombie Reed tricks Ultimate Reed into opening the gateway I found myself not caring at all. Ultimate Namor felt like what I have always feared the Ultimate tales would turn into, really poor interpetations of the originals. But, the story with the Skrulls, while far too short in my opinion, was pretty good. Mark Millar is a hit or miss with me for the most part, this goes down in the miss column. The art, by Greg Land and Mitch Breiweiser is fantastic though...no pun intended.
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 1
Yes, I have read this before, in floppy format (all of which I recently sold). I remember thinking it was rather good at the time, and maybe compared to the books Marvel was putting out then it was, it doesn't hold up very well though. Where it seemed like Ultimate FF sped by, Spidey moves at a snails pace. The Goblin is as cheesy as his movie counterpart, Mary Jane is as annoying as hers and the death of Uncle Ben is nowhere near as emotional as I remembered it. I never read past the first year of the book, something I'm probably going to rememdy, provided it does actually get better.
Ultimate Galactus Trilogy
This, however, is an absolute page turner of a read. The end kind of fizzles out, which wasa let down, but Ellis' build up is edge-of-your-seat excitement, something that is pretty rare in mainstream comics. For me at least. The X-Men do feel out of place at times, especially in Book 1, but outside of that it's extremely well put together. Ultimate Vision has to be my absolute favorite of all the re-imagined characters, though Captain Marvel is a very close second. Like I said, my only gripe is the end, which I won't spoil (as if I'm not the last person to read the damn thing). I hope Ellis has some more ultimate goodies in store, he seems to have a firmer grasp of the concept than all of his peers.
The Punisher MAX Vol. 3
Oooohhh...Barracuda. No one can do senseless violence like Garth Ennis, so reading his Punisher is always a pleasure (except Kitchen Irish, what the hell was that all about), but never more so than the introduction of Barracuda. The personification of the all out goofiness of a book like this wrapped in a wife beater carrying a gun, that's what Barracuda is. His showdown with Punny is the kind of thing you pray to read in this kind of book. But, really, this title has been review-proof for the most part. So, if you like senselessness and body parts flying about it's a must read.
Eventually to come: Annhilation!