Joshua Hale Fialkov (Writer), Leonard Kirk (Artist) Jesus Aburtov (Colorist)

The Story: Rick Jones is warned multiple time that a huge and devastating event will soon happen. Cue Galactus.

The Review: If I have a certain sub-genre of comics I really love in comics, it would be the space-opera/ sci-fi vibe that some stories like Annihilation and Infinity Gauntlet possessed. The big scales, the problems, the conflict and how the players need to resolve some problems that are way beyond their capacities can lead to great stories. However, this genre is not always well-presented in comics, as many tries to mimic it, only to fail without reaching the height of those cosmic stories. Does Hunger, so far, relate to the former or to the latter?

Judging from the first issue, I’d say we have a big chance that it will be the former, as Joshua Hale Fialkov seems able to deliver on some very key front in terms of cosmic stories, the first of which being the scale. As we see the Chitauri–Kree war develop and how the animosity between those two races develop, we also see the Ultimate answer to Galactus, Gah Lak Tus, the Watcher, the infinite depth of space and more, all being led up toward the arrival of Jack Kirby’s creation himself. The pacing and the exploration of all these elements is done rather well, letting the readers escalate throughout the rapid flow of information and exposition. Fialkov let us know that the cosmic background of the Ultimate universe is different, as he shows it aptly throughout the issue.

How he does so, however, is quite befitting, as our protagonist, Rick Jones, is presented quite well too. His balance between cosmically aware, yet his utter humanity and his younger years do help us readers absorb the information, either by humor or by juxtaposing our own questions throughout his voice. However, the character isn’t exactly perfect either, as his utter cluelessness about his predicament do lead us to question why he has such powers, something that isn’t helped at all by the vague explanation provided by the Watcher. A good character he may be, his role as our window toward what is happening is a bit less effective due to a certain repetition of his lack of knowledge.

If there is a flaw in this issue, though, it would be the fact that there is much setup here, much explanation about what will happen instead of said events happening. While the exposition is quite appreciated and do set the tone of what will no doubt take place in this mini-series, it leave close to no page to the main event of the comic: the arrival of Galactus. Still, what do occur when he appears is indubitably interesting and full of potential in terms of surprise, yet it feels a bit too few for such a surprising twist on the role Galactus fulfilled with his appearances over the year.

What also feels too few, but in a good way, is Leonard Kirk as he leave us readers wanting for more. While the single scene on Earth does not play to his strength, he is simply wonderful on the space front with his rich details and his panels filled with vessels, spaceships and battles. He goes on full space opera mode here as we see the endless depth of space set the stage for what is to come. His aliens are great-looking, his cosmic powers are fantastic and his Galactus is threatening. He is doing some great work, which does make him seem quite at ease on the cosmic front of things.

Another one that is clearly at ease is Jesus Aburtov, the colorist, who really do know how to make the scope of those things even bigger. The way he makes those power crackles and those light shine, he create quite a contrast with the blackness of space. He creates a si-fi tone thanks to the use of cold and warm colors in tandem with the design of those character, creating the effect of superior technology with a simple technique like that.

The Conclusion: While there is a lot of setup and that there is some small problems with Rick Jones as a protagonist, the cosmic scale of the story and the stunning artwork from Leonard Kirk and Jesus Aburtov makes this issue quite worthwhile.

Grade: B

-Hugo Robberts Larivière