Ultimate Doom #4 reviewed by JD!

Title: Ultimate Doom #4
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Rafa Sandoval
Inkers: Roger Bonet with Jordi Tarragona
Colors: Matthew Wilson
Reviewed by Johnny Destructo

4 issues of Ultimate Enemy + 4 issues of Ultimate Mystery + 4 issues of Ultimate Doom = $47.88. This story could have been told for under $25 and would have been just as strong, if not stronger, if you ask me, which you didn’t. I’d be curious to see what the thinking was behind the marketing of this book over at Marvel, but it seems to me that 3 miniseries, virtually unrelated as far as the covers and numbering are concerned, would be hurtful to sales. Granted, I’m sure it was made up for by all the saps picking up what they thought was a #1 issue with either Ultimate Mystery or Ultimate Doom, only to discover that they were sitting down in the theater half-way through the film, but that’s not the point. I have to say, I think that’s a little crappy and under-handed, attempting to trick people, yes TRICK them, into buying what they thought was the beginning of a story. It’s just plain deceitful.

Now, with my ranting out of the way: Holy Hell I loved this series! Like I said, I would feel more strongly about it if it were half the issue-count, but I still feel really great about this series. Series of series? You know what I mean. The new Doctor Doom, if that what he really is, is awesome. I felt that as soon as he was revealed and I’m happy to say that Bendis didn’t wuss out in the end (not that I ever expect him to) by making him a doppelganger or under mind control or some other such nonsense. I think it fits in perfectly with the direction the character has been taking lately and they always say that brilliance and madness are an angel’s breath away from each other. Ben is different, the dynamic of the team is different and everything isn’t just reset back to normal at the end of this series, and that’s what makes this such a great experience for me. I’ll be honest, I was always harboring just a tiny bit of fear that before the credits rolled, there would be a nice, happy ending here, and I’m so excited it didn’t go that way.

Sandoval’s art is really strong and dynamic here. It evokes a less “together” Immonen style, which is a positive comparison, and I really enjoy how he draws hair for some reason. It’s all in one basic lump that rarely breaks off into strands, which should annoy me, but I really like what he does with it. It almost reminds me of the way Frank Cho draws his fabrics. Oh, I do have one complaint, but that is with Bryan Hitch’s cover. Besides the fact that I miss the J Scott Campbell covers, why did Hitch draw Reed Richards so OLD on the cover? He’s still a kid in the Ultimate Universe, but he’s drawn to look much more muscular, broad and just plain old! Other than that though, all of the art here is excellent.

As much as I enjoyed this week’s FF #1 over in the 616 Marvel Universe, I have to say that I definitely prefer the Ultimate Fantastic Four and all the shake-ups they are going through, and I’m chomping at the bit to see what comes next! This series was a hell of a read, and if you missed out, definitely pick it up when it hits the trade wall!

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