Cataclysm: The Ultimates Last Stand #1

Posted by Donovan McComish 19 November 2013

Hello everybody and welcome to my review of the first part of Cataclysm: The Ultimates Last Stand. The Ultimate Universe is under threat from none other than the mainstream version of Galactus, who has crossed over from the 616 universe thanks to the time travel shenanigans in Age of Ultron. Can the Ultimates and Spider-Man defeat the Devourer of Worlds, or is this the end for the Ultimate Universe?

Synopsis:

Miles Morales & Ganke are walking through Brooklyn discussing how anyone could possibly hate superheroes. They also mention the "giant guy in the sky with a funny hat" that Miles saw appear briefly (chronicled in Age of Ultron #10). Ganke is unsure about this, saying it would probably have been reported in the news, though he assures Miles that he doesn't think he's crazy. As if on cue, Galactus appears out of thin air, naturally terrifying New York's denizens. Miles suits up as Spider-Man and heads after Galactus, who soon unleashes a massive wave of energy that destroys New Jersey.

S.H.I.E.L.D arrive in full force to combat the threat. The Helicarrier attacks Galactus head on (literally), but all it does is piss him off. As Galactus swats at the Helicarrier like it was a fly, Miles looks on from the sidelines, at a loss for what to do. He soon gets his chance as a truck comes smashing into the building, forcing Miles to use his webbing to save the nearby civilians, including Ganke. Miles tells him to go to his family and hide in the basement with them. Just as S.H.I.E.L.D Director Monica Chang asks (well, screams actually) where the Ultimates are, they arrive via Quinjet to take on Galactus.
Thor attacks first, smacking Galactus square in the head with his hammer, while Iron Man has his armour run a full environmental analysis on this new enemy. Once again, The Ultimates attacks don't do anything beyond annoying Galactus, with Sue Storm just managing to defend them against his attack with her force field. Stark tells Chang to get the Air Force to stand down. His analysis has concluded that their new foe is not from this universe, which prompts the Ultimates ask what the hell he wants from them. As Galactus summons his equipment in preparation, Tony ominously replies "I think...everything"...

Thoughts:

After Joshua Fialkov's awesome mini series Hunger, which served as the bridge between Age of Ultron and this, Brian Michael Bendis has kicked off the Ultimate Universe's potential swansong in an equally awesome fashion.

This first issue is pretty light on actual plot, with the majority of it being Galactus' arrival on Earth and the heroes reaction to him, but this isn't a problem in this particular scenario since Galactus is something the Ultimates have never taken on before. His presence lends the series an epic feel that's fittingly almost beyond this universe given it's otherwise grounded nature. Galactus doesn't even speak here because he's enough of a threat with his raw power, though I expect we'll hear his booming voice at some point in the mini.

It's cool that Miles has a role to play in this event. After the way Galactus first appeared in Hunger, I was starting to think that the scene in AoU had been retconned, so it was nice that Bendis used the conversation between Miles & Ganke to clear that up. I don't read the Ultimates so the line-up was certainly interesting to see, and I'd like to see the Ultimate X-Men make an appearance since this story concerns the fate of that entire universe.

Bendis' pairing with Mark Bagley once again is yet another reason to pick this series up. Their partnership is legendary thanks to their record breaking run on Ultimate Spider-Man, and it actually gives the series more of an epic status. It's really cool to see Bagley drawing a Spider-Man again, as well as Galactus & The Ultimates. There are some parts of this issue that look a little rushed, but they are few and far between the action packed panels that Bagley frames beautifully. I've always enjoyed reading about Galactus and Bagley & Bendis look set to craft an epic chapter in the universe they helped to create...

Score: 4.5/5.0

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