View Full Version : New Ultimates (#8 if you're counting)
01-16-2003, 01:36 PM
That old thread was getting, um, kinda old, so I thought I'd start a new one about the new Ultimates issue that came out this week. What did everybody think? Seems like another fill-in issue setting the stage for a lot of interesting plot developments. Though it's a bit of a disappointment, seeing as the last issue fit into the same category, and they're taking a hell of a long time to resolve this Giant-Man/Wasp stuff. I was expecting to see Pym and Captain America go at it in this issue, not the next.
What's the deal with this shape-shifting alien race? I was expecting the Skrulls, not these Chitauri or whatever they're called. Also, giving these aliens a background where they were responsible for the Second World War, specifically citing them as being behind Nazism is, well, a little icky for me. Seemed tasteless. Which may be par for the course in a series where wife-beating and horny Hulks are plot development staples. And does every male superhero in the Ultimate universe have to look like a member of a boy band? Aside from the older scientist types, they all have pretty boy NSync looks and big earrings, nose rings, etc. Hawkeye looks like Nick Carter. Who the hell is Marvel marketing this stuff to?
01-16-2003, 01:43 PM
What's the deal with this shape-shifting alien race? I was expecting the Skrulls, not these Chitauri or whatever they're called. Also, giving these aliens a background where they were responsible for the Second World War, specifically citing them as being behind Nazism is, well, a little icky for me.
Yea, the Nazi stuff was a bit weird for me as well, but Millar has the below explanation for Chitauri vs. Skrulls (and the Nazi stuff, as well):
"Type Chitauri into google. It's the original African name for the first alien species ever recorded as having made contact with human beings. The direct translation is Children Of The Serpent and, get this, they're green, reptilian shape-shifters. Sound familiar?
Little green men in pink costumes just didn't seem like a big enough threat to me for this arc so I went to the root of Kirby's inspiration for the Skrulls. I found out that HE was interested in this legend and how it cut across every culture on the planet for thousands of years-- cultures who never even came into contact with one another. Sure, it would have been easy to come up with something slicker, but I've been grounding this book in the real world as all good Marvel books should be. I don't really want to feature anything that a) the US govt isn't currently working on as part of their defence program or b) the US govt is currently hiding in a desert base somewhere. If we do an alien invasion storyline, I want this to be SO straight that it could almost be happening outside as you're reading the comic. The general public, unless this breaks out onto the streets, won't even know this is happening. Stay tuned.
Also, if you guys check out the main conspiracy sites at the moment, you'll see that the Chitauri (under various names) has become the kind of collective, real-world alien threat which ties together everything from Hitler to the Illuminati to the global One World Stalag guys like David Icke, Credo Matwa and so on are claiming we're heading for so it worked EVEN BETTER as an update of the Skrull mythoogy. Plus it's really, really simple; despite the sophistication of the book, something we're constantly striving for to attract that mainstream audience."
Grounding this book in the real world? I LIVE in the real world, when I read comics, I want to escape it, not relive it.
01-17-2003, 06:37 AM
I hated this issue. In fact, this one issue made the Ultimates go from "favourite series" to one I'll still collect, but am concerned about its longevity.
It seemed really contrary to the premise of the Ultimate series -- minimalizing fantastical elements, and writing stories as if heroes suddenly appeared today. The Hawkeye/Black Widow operation played out like a very bad James Bond episode, with one less fireball.
I liked the last page though.
01-19-2003, 01:39 PM
The Hawkeye/Black Widow operation played out like a very bad James Bond episode, with one less fireball.
I think you mean The Matrix. It was a pretty obvious pastiche/tribute/reference/parody/rip-off of the scene in The Matrix where Neo and Trinity storm the building to rescue Morpheus. Analogues:
1) They're both wearing all black leather with leather trenchcoats and black sunglasses, just like that scene in The Matrix.
2) On the first page of the comic, Black Widow is even holding two black duffle bags full of guns, exactly like Trinity in that scene in The Matrix.
3) Both enter a building and take on hordes of enemies, beating them without breaking a sweat.
4) Both firefights start with the male character having an ironic interchange with a security dude, capped by whacking the guy.
5) Both firefights end with the hero entering an elevator to go kick more ass. Quicksilver even makes a big point of emphasizing this.
6) Quicksilver dangling from great hights holding someone by the hand = Neo dangling from great hights holding Morpheus by the hand.
7) Black Widow making the impossible jump from building to building. Okay, this comes from an earlier scene in The Matrix, where Trinity does the same thing, but the pose is pretty damn similar.
01-20-2003, 02:20 PM
Thanks for the info, Thierry. Not up on my Internet conspiracy theories, and I've never heard of the Chitauri before. Anyhow, this makes the direction a little clearer for me. Though I'm disappointed that the Ultimate universe is just going to jettison the Skrulls with a similar replacement. I hope the Skrull name is reused at some point, perhaps to refer to a particular alien faction, or slang, or whatever.
I got the Matrix influence on the issue, but I never connected the dots to realize just how much of a straight ripoff it was. What is with this obsession that Marvel currently has for movies and actors? And who's behind it? It's gotta be some kind of editorial directive from the top, from Quesada and Jemas, because I can't see the writers individually coming up with inanities like regurgitating the plot of popular movies and reworking characters so that they look like popular actors. Whatever's behind it, I hope it stops sometime soon. It's pathetic, and a real comment on the lack of innovation in comics today. It's also ludicrous that Marvel claims to be somehow incorporating the real world into its books these days. Well, sure, if you call copying your panels and scripts from movies an attempt to be more realistic.
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