Friday, December 25, 2009

Ultimate Origins

Title: Ultimate Origins

ISBN: 9780785128939
Price: $19.99
Publisher/Year: Marvel, 2009
Artist: Butch Guice
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Collects: Ultimate Origins #'s 1-5

Rating: 3.5/5

I have to admit, when Marvel first started their Ultimate line (X-Men, Spider-Man, etc.), I wasn't real enthused about the idea that they were going to tell the same stories from back in the 60's and 70's with a modern spin and new art. Because of this generated bias, I didn't get into reading anything in the Ultimate line.

With the Ultimate lines growing popularity, and the fact that I have enjoyed everything I have ever read from Brian Michael Bendis, I decided to finally pick-up a few of the trades to get a feel for the setting. When I picked-up Ultimate Origins, I knew where I had to start. I love being able to start from the beginning over going through a story and then... somewhere in the middle... get brought backwards to cover why this has been happening. To me, that tactic loses some of the interest in reading the story in the first place. If there's an origin story to tell, I'd prefer to know at the beginning rather than waiting until I am engrossed in the modern storyline and then being dragged back. This is the reason why I have yet to read the Wolverine origin trades. Probably some day, though.

Back to Ultimate Origins. Bendis did not disappoint with this storyline. A lone phrase uttered by Bruce Banner to Spider-Man at the beginning of this book sets the whole story. "Listen, it's all connected. That's it. That's the secret." From Nick Fury to Wolverine to Captain America and beyond, this story draws you in like nobody's business. Bendis knows how to write. I wish I had half of his talent with words.

Butch Guice provides the artwork for this particular tale. While I feel that it sometimes lacks the definition that I enjoy in sequential art, it definitely works for this tale. I think my distraction from the art comes from the covers that have been inserted to separate the issues within this trade. While I enjoy the look of all the variant covers, I'm not thrilled with the newsstand covers and I wish they had kept them in the back like so many other trades do. This is not a flaw of Guice's, but Marvel's layout design for the book.

This trade has made me look forward to reading Ultimate X-Men and Spider-Man, both of which I have started to pick-up to add to my collection. If you're already a fan of the Ultimate storyline's, this is well worth giving a read.

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