There’s probably something fitting about the last Bento box ending with a book labeled “Ultimate”. It’s the Ultimate Avengers going up against an army of vampires from Mark Millar and artist Steve Dillon.
OK, I go back and forth on Mark Millar. Sometimes I like his work and sometimes I don’t. This book falls more in the “don’t” category than the “do”. Ultimate Avengers was supposed to be the covert ops team run by the Ultimate Universe version of Nick Fury. I actually liked Millar’s first Ultimates run by treating it like a mindless popcorn flick. The Ultimates may have had the same names and abilities of the original Avengers, but they were often meaner and more violent. It made them less likable as characters, but the stories didn’t really let up long enough for anyone to worry about such things. The thing is the recognizable Ultimates were on the “day team” so the “Avengers” were side characters, many made up expressly for this series, and Millar’s general ugly tone to this universe again doesn’t make them likable, but this time around we’re also dealing with new characters that are even harder to care about. Many of these Avengers are captured enemies from Millar’s previous run, and others are, in a sense, knock-offs. Ultimate Matt Murdock drowned to death in the horrible Ultimatum storyline, so this book introduces a new, younger Daredevil to take his place. What was his name? I don’t remember and it doesn’t matter. He’s turned into a vampire very early on along with Ultimate Stick and made into a bad guy. The same is true for the Nerd Hulk, a secret clone of the Hulk with the Hulk’s strength but Banner’s intelligence, personality, and fighting skills. This means Captain America tells him off and calls him a loser. When vampires appear in New York and look to get an army of superhuman vampires, they manage to get that Hulk and the Avengers have to deal with all that with help from Blade, acting as much like an asshole as everyone else in the book.
And as much as I like the late Steve Dillon’s artwork on stuff like Preacher or Punisher Max, I don’t know that he’s a good fit for superheroes like this series here.
So, between characters I didn’t know and not caring much about the ones I did, this one wasn’t all that good unless you really like Mark Millar’s work. 7.5 out of 10 stolen Iron Man suits.
And as for Comic Bento…
This was a nice service. I may not have loved everything they sent me, but I got to read a lot of trades for series I may not have given a second glance to if I even knew they existed. It introduced me to a lot of books and characters that I enjoyed, and more than a few I hope to read more on someday. I’m sorry to see it go, but I’m glad for what I got from it.
Plus the end of the boxes means I’ll never feel obligated to read another Zenescope book with T&A artwork again. Just sayin’.