Following the events of Age of Ultron #10, the space-time continuum has been broken and many unnatural occurrences have happened in the universe resulting from it. Among these occurrences is the world-eater, Galactus' arrival in the Ultimate universe from the 616 universe. Yes, the Ultimate universe is very screwed.
Also, in the Ultimate universe, Rick Jones had been chosen by the Watchers to "serve as champion of all creation." He ignored them and has been drifting throughout space "searching for purpose."
Our story begins in the Ultimate universe, with Rick Jones zooming towards Earth, thinking about the responsibilities of protecting the universe and how he thinks it's about time to get what he "deserves." He lands at Burger Shack and says, "For I am Rick Jones: Devourer of Burgers!" Once he has changed from his form as a yellow cosmic being into a regular boy in average clothes, he enters and tells the ladies at the counter that he wants a burger, even though has no money. Since he hasn't talked to anybody in a while, Rick begins questioning them on what has happened on Earth while he was away. You know, important questions like who won American Idol.
Suddenly, a lady at the counter's eyes turn orange and starts speaking in red font, saying, "Rick Jones. Cease this." She asks him why he has abandoned his post and reveals that the Watcher is talking through her body. The lady's coworker asks, "Cindy? What's--going on? Are you having a stroke?" (Yes, a person's eyes turn orange and they start talking in another voice when they are having a stroke. There's a reason why this lady is working at a fast food place.) Rick responds that it's "just a primordial cosmic entity that is always on [his] case" as he begins to walk away.
The Watcher tells him that he has no need for sustenance and the burger, which pissed off Rick. The Watcher touches his hand and teleports away with him, leaving his "Burgery loooooooove" behind.
In Chitauri-Controlled space, an eon-long war is waging between the Chitauri and Kree spaceships. The Watcher teleports Rick there and he barely avoids a piece of debris, transforming into his yellow energy form. The Watcher takes control of Rick's control of speech and explains to him where he is. Rick starts arguing with the Watcher, which is practically arguing with himself, until the Watcher tells him that this is about saving universes. Then, it teleports him away.
In the Chitauri Armada Flagship, the Chitauri Admiral orders that damaged ships are rammed at the Kree ships, even though it will kill nearly a hundred thousand of their men. Rick teleports to the ship and the Watcher renders him invisible to the others around him. The admiral is informed that half of their ships are down and the Kree will soon take their Throneworld, and he says that they will fight till they die. Then, a soldier explains that the Kree are halting their fire and requesting that they do the same, to which the admiral commands that they halt fire but not take their fingers off the triggers.
Soon, they receive a communique from the Kree and Kalxor, Ro-Non of the Kree. The Chitauri Admiral tells him to go to "Harial" and is harboring a vengeance against the Kree for killing his mother and father when he was a boy. Kalxor explains that a Gah Lak Tus swarm is oncoming and offers to join forces to stop them, but the admiral rejects. After that, Rick is teleported outside the ship to watch a fleet of Gah Lak Tus attack the Kree and Chitauri. The Watcher tells Rick not to engage anybody yet, but he cannot ignore the deaths and flies to help.
Aboard the Kree Command Ship, Kalxor detects that a second wave of energy is following Gah Lak Tus and space-time is breaking at subatomic levels. He attempts to form an alliance with the Chitauri again to no avail.
Outside, Rick is taking down the Gah Lak Tus swarm when he feels space-time break, which results in random super heroes and alternate Rick Joneses flashing before him eyes. Once the brief moment of craziness passes, the Watcher says that he has arrived and starts repeatedly saying, "The End." The Gah Lak Tus swarm senses a new energy source as Galactus himself climbs out of a portal. They rush towards him and he absorbs them all, upgrading his armor.
"Galactus...hungers. Herald. Seek. Consume," none other than Galactus says as he sends a fleet of Gah Lak Tus our of his hand.
I think Joshua Hale Fialkov understands how the Ultimate universe works. All you have to do is throw in a bunch of two-page splashes and teenage banter (that everybody never really thinks is funny, but says it is anyways) and critics go wild. Well, this critic doesn't buy it. I bought this book for Galactus, and was disappointed that he didn't even show up until the end. I'm not one of those guys who always complains at set-up issues, but even the build-up to Galactus' arrival was lacking. Having the Watcher say "The End" fifty times in a row won't make me believe that the end is really coming more than before. Plus, there were three different two-page splashes and not one is devoted to Galactus' arrival. Come on!
Now, I know that if you read my reviews on Fialkov's train wreck mini-series, Alpha: Big Time, you probably think that I am biased towards his writing and was going to give this issue a bad review either way. I am one to believe that every writer has their bad day (especially when they're writing fifty different books like Fialkov) and I entered this story completely forgetting the terrible Alpha story. I was in a Zen-like state of a clear mind when I started reading. Sadly, that Zen-like state was interrupted when I found that Rick Jones is voiced just like Alpha. Fialkov didn't even bother to separate the character's voices at all! From repeatedly asking what words mean to complaining about how he doesn't want his powers, Rick Jones completely turned me off by bringing back bad memories I had locked deep in the dark recesses of my mind.
Otherwise, on a positive note, we got to see the Ultimate Kree and Chitauri again. I always love warring alien races and, even though I would have preferred Galactus, it is something I very much enjoyed. Maybe we'll see the Skrull down the road... Screw that. Just give me Galactus.
The one part of this comic that made it worth reading was Leonard Kirk's artwork. Kirk's lines are very clean and his shadows are crisp, which fits the Ultimate universe well. Kirk's panel layout and two-page spreads are fantastic.
I would give it four webs if Rick Jones didn't sound like Alpha, Galactus showed up earlier, the build-up to Galactus' arrival was better handled, and a full two-pager was devoted to him. Hopefully we see Spider-Man next issue.