Ultimate Fallout 4
Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Jonathan Hickman and Nick Spencer
Art by Sara Pichelli, Justin Ponsor, Salvador Larroca, Frank D’Armata and Clayton Crain,
Letters by Cory Petit and Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by Colin Bell
Continuing apace with another three vignettes, Fallout edges the Ultimate universe towards a fresh status quo. It's a canny move, presumably designed to give September's relaunching Ultimate books a head start, distancing themselves away from some of the less popular aspects of the recent Ultimate Universe, and allowing them to hit the ground running without the need for mass exposition. However, for all its ingenuity in reshaping the Ultimate Universe, Ultimate Fallout #4 might leave readers feeling a little underwhelmed by the slightness of the book as a whole.
That in itself is surprising, because there are some genuinely entertaining and potentially comic-level historic moments in the book, all of which are confined to Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli's introduction of the new Spider-Man. Miles Morales goes un-named in his debut seven pages, but he looks more than capable of taking the baton off Peter Parker and then running in a whole new direction with it.
In his brief segment, Bendis looks hellbent on continuing the humor and heart that made the last iteration of the hero a success, but dialing things back again and showing us a more inexperienced hero than the Ultimate-in-training Peter Parker was when he met his untimely demise. Pichelli's playful and kinetic art suits the younger frame of Ultimate Spider-Man, and bodes well for the launch of his title next month. Each passing issue of Pichelli’s work I see grows stronger and stronger, and I can’t wait to see her unleashed on a book full time.
Young Morales’s debut is undoubtedly the selling point of the book, leaving the other two stories to focus on ancillary characters. Jonathan Hickman checks in on an old foe as he rallies round, and Salvador Larroca brings his knack for technology-heavy art that he’s developed over on Invincible Iron Man imbuing his final couple pages with a real sense of sci-fi wonder. Given that the Ultimate Universe has had a tendency to revisit storylines from the Marvel Universe proper, it's kind of disheartening to see Hickman reference storylines from his recent work on Fantastic Four. Moreover, because it's his own work that he's putting a slight spin on, it's almost self-congratulatory. I’ll give the benefit of the doubt though, and wait and see how this return of this character plays out.
Finally, Nick Spencer and Clayton Crain turn in a prelude to Ultimate Comics: X-Men Clayton Crain's digitally painted artwork is pretty, but you wonder if he's been somewhat squandered on what is simply two people having a chat round a table. While that may sound less than exciting to read, it's not - Spencer's winning knack for dialogue keeps things lively, and he sets things up nicely for Ultimate Comics X-Men with a revelatory cliffhanger.
Whether or not the characters involved in Hickman and Spencer’s scenes have any real bearing is something we’ll wait and see, but that’s kind of beside the point. Ultimate Fallout #4 was always going to be about introducing a new hero in Miles Morales, and in that sense, it’s a success, and also a massive tease for his future adventures.
The kid’s going to go far. Mark my words.Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!