Friday, February 17, 2006

An Early review of "Ultimate Avengers"

I hate the sound of that. "Ultimate Avengers?" I liked the name "The Ultimates" being that, it tells you right away, that this is not "The Avengers," it's something different. That was Millar's little way of cluing in distraught people like my friend Mike (you know who you are, counter boy!) to the fact that this comic is about a different team.

I mean would our Cap ever belong to something as egotistically sounding as the "Ultimates?" Being an "Avenger" is about Honor and protection. Being an "Ultimate" is just telling everybody flat out that you are the pinnacle, the best of what there is. That's just rude. Which is what I love about the "Ultimates," it isn't about good guy heroes. Its about very flawed people and you honestly don't know if any of it is going to end up anywhere good, but you sure like the ride. These people are drunks and thrill junkies, sex addicts and psychos....and their friggin brilliant!!. I will never be able to look at the Hulk the same again! Of course he would try to either eat or have carnal relations with everything he sees!! He's Testosterone embodied!! All of the characters are real and vitally flawed when compared to there mainstream counterparts.

I will make exception for Thor. I have never liked him more than in this book, where these hardened soldiers see him as some power crazed hippie and even the reader isn't sure if he is a God or a madman who thinks he talks to Odin. What a brilliant idea!! Like "Swamp Thing" after Moore, this could have been its own comic, revamping the mainstream Thor will be much harder in comparison. For my money, "Ultimate Thor" is a God, and a pretty cool one too, if not the only totally redeeming character, unless you count cranky, asskicking Cap or Samuel Jackson, Badass Nick Fury. Scott Chitwood over at has an early review. Here's a taste, if you like it, mosey on over to there site HERE for the rest!

Ultimate Avengers Review

Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating: 7 out of 10

The Movie:
I should start out by saying that I'm a long time comic fan. I've followed the Avengers for years and I've read every issue of The Ultimates since it debuted. There's one word that describes The Ultimates perfectly – cinematic. From the dramatic art to the epic storytelling, the comic had all the makings of a great film. I always hoped they'd make a live action version of it, but it's easy to see why Marvel would choose it as the first of their adult oriented animation. So how did it translate from the printed page to the small screen? Not bad. It's certainly not as good as it could have been, but it's also a promising start for Marvel's animation.

The first thing any fan of The Ultimates will note about this animated feature is that the dark and violent edge has been taken off of Mark Millar's story. This is understandable since they want to market this film to the widest audience possible, but it also removes some of the plot points that made it unique. For example, Hank Pym doesn't abuse his wife Janet. They bicker, but there's no domestic abuse. The Hulk is also violent, but he isn't…er…horny and the embodiment of the male psyche run amok. (He doesn't want to kill Freddie Prinze Jr. either.) That being said, though, elements of that edge are still present mainly in the action scenes. The Hulk break's Giant Man's knee. The Wasp flies into Hulk's ear in a memorable moment. We also see Captain America fly a plane into a German base from the spectacular opening of the comic. So though it has been watered down to a degree, there's still a little bit of the edge left.

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