Comics : Cataclysm: The Ultimates' Last Stand #1

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This review was first published on: Nov 2013.

Background...

So... Hunger was the prelude to this event.... but nothing there really matters here. All you need to know is that Galactus of the 616 universe was transported to the Ultimate universe after Age of Ultron #10. In Age of Ultron #10, Miles Morales, the new Ultimate Spider-Man, witnessed Galactus arriving on Earth. In Cataclysm: The Ultimates' Last Stand #0.1, the Ultimate Vision was killed by Galactus in space.

In Detail...

Cataclysm: The Ultimates' Last Stand #1
Jan 2014 : SM Guest
Summary: Ultimate Spider-Man and Spider-Woman appear
Editor:  Mark Paniccia
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Artist:  Mark Bagley
Inker:  Andrew Hennessy
Cover Art:  Jesus Aburtov, Mark Bagley
Lettering:  VC's Cory Petit
Colorist:  Jason Keith
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Review

Today in Brooklyn, Miles and his friend Ganke are discussing how his dad hates superheroes. Miles assumes, “It has something to do with the mask and the city almost always being in a disaster.” Ganke urges him to discuss it with his dad, but Miles changes the subject. He talks to Ganke about a big guy he saw in the sky who flew away. Miles’ chubby friend doesn’t believe him and considers the fact that it could have been Giant-Man, which Miles assumes is wrong. When Ganke begins to ponder why it wouldn’t be on the news, he looks up at the sky.

Astonished, Miles and everybody else around him follow suit and watch Galactus emerge before them, surrounded in an orange smoke.

Immediately, Ganke urges Miles to suit up and help while Galactus stomps on the helpless buildings around them. Soon, Miles dons him black-and-red costume and slings toward Galactus, insecure about whether he will be able to stop the towering fiend before him. Galactus pauses in his path of destruction and a cosmic light streams from his hands. The light forms into a sphere, driving a destructive force which annihilates the people and buildings around it.

Above New Jersey in a S.H.I.E.L.D. carrier of some sort, Director Monica Chang is frantically screaming orders to the agents around her, exclaiming they have never encountered energy levels like Galactus’ before and New Jersey is already lost. The carrier begins to fire at Galactus until he is angered and swats it away.

While chaos is reining in the city around him, Spider-Man helplessly hangs on a building. A truck is flung towards him and he halts it from reaching the street below with a net of webbing. Spidey drops and collapses into a car. Ganke approaches to check on him and Spidey saves him from falling debris, telling him to get himself away from Galactus. While Galactus is devastating the city, the civilians all seem to be asking an identical question: Where are the Ultimates?

Finally, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, Spider-Woman, the Thing, the Human Torch and Susan Storm appear.

Firstly, Thor hits Galactus’ face with his hammer and a bolt of lightning. While Iron Man fires his energy beams at the purple planet eater, Sue Storms and the Thing ask who or what it is they are fighting. Stark, in his iron suit, finds that there is no file on their opponent on the planet. The Human Torch attacks Galactus and Stark discovers a familiar energy residue on Galactus.

Unfortunately, the heroes find that they have simply annoyed Galactus and their foe thrusts a mighty force in their direction. Sue Storm deflects it from harming the heroes with a force field and Tony Stark informs Monica Chang that Galactus isn’t from their universe.

When Chang asks him what Galactus wants, he responds…everything!

In General...

So…Cataclysm begins and the crap immediately hits the fan, which is a rarity for Brian Michael Bendis’ dallying writing. Galactus shows up and begins stomping on everything and inflicting chaos, conveying what very much is an uncomplicated plot. But it’s still a solid issue. While it doesn’t particularly have any depth, it holds potential for what looks like will develop into a stimulating story. I mean, this looks like it will be one of the first times in the Marvel universe that a character imposed serious damage on a universe separate of their own. (This, in turn, breaks an unwritten rule of the Marvel universe.) And, judging from the solicitations, this may develop into even more than just that.

As a Spider-Man fan, I was particularly satisfied by Ultimate Spider-Man’s involvement in this story. Not only does he direct the opening scene, Miles Morales is the lead hero of the majority of the issue and narrates a good portion of it. While he contributes very little to the battle against Galactus, he adds heart to the story and brings a bit of gravity into the situation.

Obviously, Galactus is the main attraction of the story. While Hunger didn’t particularly feature the purple planer eater as much as the Gah Lak Tus swarm, Bendis makes up for it with the many, MANY panels of Galactus destroying things. We finally got that two-page spread of his arrival that was lacking in Hunger!

Obviously, the star element of this issue is Mark Bagley’s art. Bagley really knocks it out of the park with his large, imposing panels of mass destruction and various superheroes. It’s really great to see him drawing Spider-Man again and he does a great job at keeping the massive Galactus proportional to the buildings around him.

Overall Rating...

This is mainly an issue of Galactus beating everybody up and destroying buildings. Spider-Man's involvement and Mark Bagley's art round it up to an average score.