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

The Story: Rick Jones is ready to finally fulfill his destiny as he brings the fight to Galactus.

The Review
: With the rumored death of the Ultimate universe looming around, not many expected this mini-series to close with Galactus being defeated. The announcement of Cataclysm: Last stand of the Ultimates cementing that fact, many could potentially wonder what exactly was the point of this mini-series in the larger context of the Ultimate universe. With mini-series having the necessity to be quicker at getting to the point, this issue had the need to show readers how things would end with Rick Jones and his destiny.

As it turns out, it’s a pretty disappointing read, as Joshua Hale Fialkov rushes to his climax and to the conclusion too quickly. There are some nice moments here and there in the confrontation, yet it seems that the final result of this whole story is hand-waved as many of the more interesting elements aren’t even focused upon.

One of the aforementioned nice things in this issue is Rick Jones, surprisingly, as his character finally develops into something easier to root for. While his sudden courage and desire to finally stop being a whiny little kid is a bit forced, it makes him and the action he participates in much better plot wise. His development finally happens, making him a better protagonist in the prospect as there are touches of heroism and a dose of idealism to the character that makes his actions count a bit more.

What also counts, though in a negative way, is the action. The conflict shown on the pages is focused, yet it goes from one stage to the other too quickly, without letting the repercussions be known to the readers. Despite the huge powers being shown on the pages, there is a certain lack of impact on the pages that makes it seem a bit meaningless. We get to see cosmic mayhem, yet it’s relatively vague as they show explosions and mysterious energy being thrown around without much thought given to it.

What’s also disappointing is the conclusion, which seems a bit anti-climactic, making the whole mini-series a bit pointless in the end. It is common knowledge that it’s never the ending and always the journey that usually counts, yet the ending makes the journey seems rather vague in its intent. It’s not entirely bad, to be sure, as there is something achieved after those four issues, yet in the larger schemes of things, it is a bit disheartening to see that the whole point of the story never was about the actual concept itself: Galactus appearing in the Ultimate universe. As a whole, it began with a bang, yet ended on a whisper.

Another aspect which was a tad disappointing in this issue is Leonard Kirk, who was usually one of the stronger aspects of this series. In this issue, though, he seems to struggle with the large scale cosmic action, with most pages and panels ending up looking chaotic and unfocused. The large amount of ships, smaller character and enemies alongside Galactus makes it a bit of mess visually, despite some of the stronger aspects of Kirk’s art. Taken individually, the characters, ships and many of the other elements are well-designed, yet it’s when they are all together that it becomes a jumbled experience. There are some moments of brilliance on his part, though, with some of the panelling being great-looking, bringing a dynamic visual flow to the whole thing. There are also some pages which are especially focused, which are good-looking when compared to the vast majority of them. It’s just sad though that the penultimate issue ends up being of less quality when it was much better in the three previous issues.

The overall art also manages to bring the general colorization down a bit, despite Jesus Aburtov’s efforts. With so many elements put on the page, the colorization ends up being rather chaotic as well, with so many explosions, types of energy and different palettes to juggle with. Just like Kirk and his handling on the different elements, the color choice for each elements is quite apt, with degradation and a nice choice of contrast when compared to the background, yet put together it simply look a bit like a mess. It’s another unfortunate negative point for this mini-series.

The Conclusion: There are some shining spots here and there, yet the rushed pacing and the rather chaotic art makes for a read that is barely passable. It could have been much better, yet this conclusion could also have been worse.

Grade: C

-Hugo Robberts Larivière