by Joshua Hale Fialkov (writer), Mario Guevara & Tom Grummett (Pencilers), Rachelle Roesenberg (colorist).
The Story: The Future Foundation deal with a grotesque trans-dimensional anomaly of indeterminate origin.
The Review: Remember when the Ultimate line first launched and you had Hitch, Bagley and the Kubert brothers offering slick, modern redesigns of classic characters? This relaunch is not that. Following last week’s debut of the horrendous redesign of the Spider-woman costume complete with quilted jacket and improbable boots, this week we get the future foundation redesigns which are even worse on the eye. Falcon’s costume is especially hideous; camouflage pants, blue vest and gloves, a purple bandanna, red wings, topped with pouches and a bright green logo. Ugh. None of these elements work together let alone with the rest of the team’s attire.
I’m not sure if it’s that the design work of Guevara and Grumett just isn’t that strong or that the way Roesenberg colors the book results in the team’s color scheme being completely disharmonious but the art on this book is really hampering my enjoyment of it. On the cover at least an effort is made to reign in the costume’s color schemes and make them work together but the interior art in this book was some of the most lackluster I’ve seen in an Ultimate book in quite some time.
The story itself is fine but never really rises beyond fine, it might be unfair to judge the book based on a 20 page opening chapter but the threat being a vague dimensional breakdown that mutates a group of construction workers isn’t particularly engaging in and of itself. The dynamic between the new team generally consists of witty banter and one-upmanship but at this early stage the relationships are lacking in depth. The last page addition to the team throws a spanner into the works that hopefully will serve as a source of tension within the team moving forward.
Speaking of the last page reveal, it is never revealed why the members of the team assume that the new arrival is Reed Richards or even what happened to him in the aftermath of Cataclysm. However given this books close ties to the Ultimate Fantastic Four book, as well as some of the cast’s relationships with him it seems safe to assume we’ll see Reed eventually.
Another new face in this book is an iteration of former Shield agent Phil Coulson, again with the lack of space available to develop the character he simply fulfils the role of central command for the Future Foundation without really displaying much character or giving readers a great deal to invest in. Like everything else in this comic he has potential but there is a lot of work to be done to make this book a must read every month.
Stray Thoughts: So far the Ultimate line relaunch has kind of sucked. After Ultimatum and Cataclysm it makes me wonder what the next big event/culling/shakeup will be and how far off it is.