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

The Story: A different surfer arrives to see just who the mighty Galactus might be as the Kree and Chitauri reacts to his presence.

The Review: Mini-series have a rather hard job to do. In a limited amount of pages, they must show a whole story, complete with character arcs, exposition, explanation of the setting and so on in order to create a satisfying experience for the readers. It may not sound so differently from the regular ongoing that needs to do just that as well, yet the much smaller amount of issues do tend to make it so the creative team need to use each pages smartly by preserving a good pacing.

Hunger is one of those, but one that need to make its point in four issues, with this one being the second one, meaning that the story reached its middle point by the issue’s end. While the basic premise of Galactus being in the Ultimate universe is something that is rather silly, yet ingenuous, does it work in creating a story that is both entertaining and that fulfill a purpose?

It is a complicated question that comes with a complex answer, as there are several elements that are done rather well while others unfortunately flounders about. It is a mixed issue that does not doom the series, yet never truly sells its strength to the readers as well.

One of the strength of the issue is the use of the cosmic feeling and how Fialkov shows the difference between the regular and Ultimate use of that particular corner. Despite the Ultimate universe not showing a lot of characters, civilizations and other such things, Fialkov do try to incorporate what it has with the Kree, the Chitauri, Gah Lak Tus, the Silver Surfer and so forth. Showing us the main difference while never downplaying or handwaving them to the readers, this create a very different feel that is not unwelcome as the scope of the story is used fairly well when shown in contrast with Galactus himself.

The characterization is another matter altogether, though, as our protagonist, Rick Jones, is simply too archetypical for his own good. While the motivations and the reasoning of several of his actions never feel forced or out-of-character, the constant questioning and utterance of his confusion and utter clueless behaviour does not make him a particularly interesting lead. While he works as a point-of-view character for the readers to identify with during this problem of universal relevance, he just react to events, making the readers share the fact that even the character do not understand why he is here and what he should be doing. Considering the interesting introduction and use of this universe Silver Surfer, Rick Jones seems weaker by comparison as a result.

Another weakness is the plot, as despite the fact that it’s intent was absolutely clear (by which I mean ”Galactus arrives. Chaotic hilarity ensues.”), it’s rather puzzling to see where the series might be going with such a premise. While we have the constant promise of the Watcher that Rick Jones will be important and that he’ll elevate himself with due time, a tease of what might soon happen does not make for a strong direction. As once was said on this site: good ideas does not necessarily make for good stories.

What make for rather enjoyable ones in the comics medium, though, is an artist capable of rendering the right tone and scope to fit with the story. Leonard Kirk is one such artist, as he shines in the cosmic department, bringing in spaceships, alien landscapes, the vastness of space along with a good deal of Kirby krackles for good measure, all in the service of the story. Things move forward with him, with his panelling keeping a steady flow that is neither too fast nor too slow, allowing the readers to experience the cosmic mayhem in full. His characters are expressive, with evocative postures that allow the smaller amount to add to the largeness of the setting.

However, a lot of the space opera feeling would be lost if it weren’t for Jesus Aburtov, who seems to enhance things to a degree that’s almost absurd. The explosion of colors in several panels involving vast amount of energy, Galactus and the endless space surrounding such scenes is simply magnificent, showing the chaos and beauty of the universe through panels. After this series, Aburtov needs to do more cosmic.

The Conclusion
: It does have some big ideas and some truly terrific art with some astounding colorization, yet the story is almost absent of any direction and the main character is verging very closely to a degree of annoyance that may hinder the whole thing. A nice issue, yet not a particularly strong one.

Grade: B-

Hugo Robberts Larivière