Comics : Cataclysm: The Ultimates' Last Stand #3

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This review was first published on: Jan 2014.

Background...

When the planet-eating Galactus was dropped into the Ultimate Universe, the Ultimates must send Spider-Man to where he came (the 616 U) to find how to stop the foe! Ultimate Reed Richards wants to go with him but he's crazy so our heroes are reluctant.

In Detail...

Cataclysm: The Ultimates' Last Stand #3
Feb 2014 : SM Cameo
Summary: Ultimate Spider-Man Stars, Superior Spider-Man Cameo
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Artist:  Mark Bagley
Inker:  Andrew Hennessy
Cover Art:  Jesus Aburtov, John Dell, Mark Bagley
Lettering:  VC's Cory Petit
Colorist:  Jason Keith
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Review

Our story commences with Monica Chang pointing her gun at the interdimensional portal. Tony Stark asks her why she is doing so and she’s nervous that they sent “the worst person in the world to another Earth.” Amadeus Cho shouts that something is coming and Miles Morales, in a shredded costume, stumbles out. Everybody gathers around the fallen boy and Spidey yells, “He’s-he’s coming!”

Rewind to twenty five minutes ago, Reed Richards is attempting to explain why he should go with Miles. He clarifies that they have no other option and Susan chokes him with a force field. Cap forces her to stop and Iron Man grabs Spidey to talk in private. Tony takes him to the epicenter of chaos (I love writing that) and gives Miles a repulsor to use on Richards in case he acts suspicious.

Back with the others, Spider-Man and Richards are finally sent to the 616 Universe. Right when they get there, they see the Baxter Building and Richards asks if Stark told Miles to kill him. Spidey avoids the question and they cross to the rooftop of the Fantastic Four headquarters. The security system attacks Miles but recognizes Ultimate Richards. He overrides the system, therefore saving Spidey. “That was a perfect opportunity to remove you from the scenario,” Reed emphasizes.

When they enter the house, Miles asks if his comrade thinks the other Richards is around. He assumes that the security system would have neutralized them if he was. Ultimate Richards is stopped when he sees a picture of the 616 Richards Family. Miles inquires if he’s okay but he just resumes their mission. The superhero duo enters the lab and Richards calls it their “church.”

When they get to the computers, Richards has difficulty thinking of how to ask the computer about their problem so Spider-Man suggest “purple planet eater.” Richards doesn’t expect it will work, but it does. A flurry of videos of Galactus pop up and Richards loads it onto two drives.

Suddenly, Valeria Richards shows up and asks Ultimate Richards when her mother is coming home with her dress, assuming he is her father. (She’s holding a Spider-Ham stuffed animal.) When she sees his scar and realizes Ultimate Reed isn’t her father, she accesses security protocol override. Reed pushes Miles away and insists he takes the data.

A group of H.E.R.B.I.E. drones follow Ultimate Spidey out the window, shooting lasers at him. When Miles ducks under a building, the drones are redirected to attacking Superior Spider-Man, who happens to be web-slinging by. Miles apologizes to him, believing the Spider-Man he’s watching is Peter, and that leaves us with where our story began, with Miles back in the Ultimate universe.

After Miles, Richards appears and explains that Galactus is a major threat to the Ultimates. Cap decides that they won’t simply send Galactus back to the 616 U; they must stop him. Reed sadly tells Susan that he saw their daughter of the alternate universe, “what could have been.” Richards apologizes to his ex, and says, “And I’m sorry it took me this long to see how beautiful the world is.” Meanwhile, the world outside has reached its end.

In General...

Yeah… This was a pretty bizarre issue. In my review of Cataclysm #2, I mentioned that my judgment of the Ultimate and 616 universes merging was going to be based on this issue. So Miles and Richards DID go to the 616 U, but I’m frankly bewildered. Why did Bendis go through all the set-up of sending them to the alternate universe if barely anything happened? They just retrieved the data and left. What? They didn’t get into any kind of interesting shenanigans in the other universe? They didn’t create any kind of situation where the two universes would unite to stop Galactus? What was the point? What is this plot? Bendis really has me frustrated with this.

Not only that, but where’s Galactus’ active involvement in the story? I don’t know about you, but I picked up this issue because of the cover with Galactus defeating the Ultimate X-Men on it. I want some crazy, cosmic battles of epic proportions. Galactus makes a cameo and that’s it. The X-Men don’t appear at all.

You know what this is beginning to remind me of? Age of Ultron. While I gave the first five issues of that series positive reviews, the last five were absolutely horrible. Bendis went off with a crazy plot involving time travel and alternate universes and totally forgot the lead antagonist in the title. I feel like that’s what’s developing here. Bendis is going off on pointless interdimensional crap and is completely ignoring Galactus. I enjoyed Bendis’ events such as Secret Invasion and Siege, but, in his more current events, it seems like he’s trying to make big interdimensional stories that would cause major ripples in the Marvel Universe. Frankly, I’d rather if he just stuck to the epics that didn’t try to deceive us with all this pointless time and dimensional crap.

I guess the only upside to this issue is Bagley’s art. Again. Bendis’ script doesn’t really give him much to work with, which frustrates me because he’s a dynamic artist that specializes in action. The talking heads are fine… It was nice to see Bagley’s version of the Superior Spider-Man. My only complaint with the art is that Miles is depicted taller than he regularly is when he’s exploring the other dimension with Richards. And the coloring is a bit fleshy.

Overall Rating...

Yep. Pointless dimensional crap. Come on, Bendis!