Ultimate Six #7
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Trevor Hairsine
school and new school comic fanboys have been clashing hard,
lately. I know; there’s nothing new about that. But,
there’s been a surprising amount of flaming going
on over comics that give you “less bang for your buck,"
expanding stories that would’ve fit in one issue thirty
years ago into 6-issue arcs.
in point, Ultimate Six; the Ultimate universe’s
answer to Marvel’s Sinister Six, first introduced
in The Amazing Spider-man Annual #1.
conclusion to the experiment continues Green Goblin’s
face-off with his son, Harry. The boy begs his father to
stop his attack on the White House but doesn’t know
that Iron Man is powering up a beam to take out Goblin on
a genetic level (whatever the hell that means). Just as
the green guy starts to power down, Iron Man takes the shot
and purees Goblin’s genes just long enough for everyone
with a weapon to bring him down. Goblin, of course, cries
out that he’ll kill him (presumably Harry) before
collapsing, and, as Peter Parker tries to console his friend,
Harry vows “I’ll kill all of you for this”.
thus ends the saga of the Ultimate Six. At least for now.
I can understand why some old schoolers might not exactly
be in love with this kind of storytelling, I have to defend
the series. It was more than a repeat of the original story
in both intent and execution, and, though the Sinister Six
paved the way, so to speak, Ultimate Six did a
nice job retooling the concept.
a story of a lone hero facing off against his rogues gallery
one at a time, the series serves as a cautionary tale of
how the armies you create for one war can be the armies
you fight in another (Afghanistan, anyone?) as well as a
musing on fathers and sons. The heroes involved aren’t
making cameo appearances to plug their own books but instead
are placed in the story only as fit. It’s not a bad
little read, really.
individual issues, on the other hand…
exactly feel like a trick when the preview edition came
out with art by Joe Quesada rather than Trevor Hairsine,
but I think that’s where the oddness started. Then
the story took a good long while to rev up and used an overwhelming
number of splash pages. However, the final blows came when
the book first fell behind schedule and then added another
issue to the series.
this is that final issue, the question we have to ask is
“Was it worth it?” I’d have to say it
wasn’t. Plot-wise, very little actually happens in
this installment. Things wind down and a few lessons are
learned, yet it feels more like a reminder that the fight
will continue than an end to a story. What have we gained?
Well, Harry wants to kill Peter and the Ultimates, now,
and we know that Ultimate Doc Ock has great telepathy with
his tentacles, but that’s about it. And actually,
that one already was proven over in Ultimate Spider-Man,
a book Marvel can deliver on a regular basis.
other hand, Trevor Hairsine’s art still looks great,
as do Ian Hannin’s colors (quite pleasing since he
took over for Dave Stewart and somehow pushed the palette
one step further). It’s easy to see why so many pages
were given over to these large, powerful images and I don’t
think the most stubborn Silver Age sycophant could fault
the quality of the images.
in the end, this issue didn’t achieve very much on
it’s own. This isn’t so much a chapter in a
story as the last piece of a puzzle: it doesn’t have
much value on it’s own, but you probably want it to
complete the picture. If you need the last issue to complete
the series, by all means get it. If you missed any other
issues along the way, just wait for the Ultimate Six
trade paperback. You’ll get more bang for your buck.