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All-New Ultimates #1 Review

All New Ultimates has arrived, the series that takes the teen heroes from the Ultimates line and makes them into a unit of ass-kicking vigilantes. Here’s hoping they aren’t as dysfunctional as their predecessors as I review the first issue.

Our story begins with a group shot as they discuss their units name shortly after the end of the Cataclysm: Survive and, immediately after, we go to Hell’s Kitchen in the morning. This place is a nightmare in the regular continuity, so it should come as no surprise Ganke Lee is promptly mugged by some gangbangers with superpowers until Cloak and Dagger pop up to save him. It seems like they’ve been doing this for a bit since this is the third time this week they’ve had to kick ass and take names according to them. They try to get him to go to a hospital, but he declines so they take him to their home.

Like their counterparts they reside in an abandoned church and are soon joined by Miles, the new Spider-man, since Ganke is his BFF (their caption, not mine). It turns out Ganke came to get some Legos, which leads me to think that his obsession is unhealthy, but Miles claims not to judge so why should I? Anyway, they leave as we skip to the Lower East Side, where some cops have busted into a Poor Man’s Roxxon-lab only to find a half-melted corpse as the two suspects have run away.

Back in the Church Lana has arrived after talking to her parole officer and immediately bags on Cloak and Dagger’s home and they exchange phone numbers using SHIELD tech since the organization has been scrapped for failing to stop Galactus. Then they get down to business. Since Roxxon was no longer under SHIELD’s protection, for the reasons listed above, a local gang seized one of their labs and has been giving out what amounts to untested Mutant Growth Hormone. Naturally this ends with a high rate of fatalities and they want to resolve this. So they go the vigilante route, although I think Lana’s parole officer might have something to say about that.

In Chelsea Kitty Pryde is staying in Jessica’s place. She’s having second thoughts about everything. First she was hated as the leader of the mutants, now everyone loves her for punching out Galactus while hopped up on Giant Man Serum until Thor tossed his ass into the Negative Zone. She doesn’t want to be in the spotlight and doesn’t want to go back to Utopia for some reason, so she crashes with Jessica who asks her for a haircut.

Lana makes it to her government housing just as the two suspects from the lab, Stone and Styx, try to break into an old Roxxon outpost. The Serpent Skulls are already there and Lana hears the resulting squabble and gets her new team involved…and gets their butts kicked by Styx and Stone until the cops show up and decide to try and arrest them all. So it’s back to people getting ready to shoot at Miles already.

Things go pear shape as Styx melts the skin off one of the cops trying to get Miles and the other cop shoots him dead. Then the Serpent Skulls pop out of the lab intent on beating the hell out of everyone without a tattoo. The comic ends with the leader of the game, Diamondback, telling them to get started.

Okay, review time.

I’ve got to say this isn’t exactly a strong start for their new series. Leaving aside the artwork being inferior to the Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and the characters looking awkward at time, some of their dialogue seems out of character and there seems to be some continuity errors.

For example, Poey was the nickname of Lana’s boyfriend, Sid. He was crushed to death in Cataclysm by a random car to spur her into the hero scene. Now, while I’m all for retconning that meaningless death, I need some sign prior to this that he made it.

Then Jessica’s combat abilities seem to have been downplayed. Let’s be frank, she has training and Spider-Sense (and it’s not the weak version Miles has). She shouldn’t get hit by someone without super powers or extreme circumstances like war.

All in all, I can’t give this more than a 3 out of 5 and hope they do better next issue.

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