The multiverse was destroyed and now all that remains is Battleworld, a patchwork of worlds that no longer exist that are ruled by Doctor Doom.
The domain of Manhattan is where the several of the Marvel (616) and Ultimate (1610) heroes find themselves. Struggling to coexist yet interested in fixing the problem of a dimensional tear, they agree to try to work together and both Marvel and Ultimate Iron Man begin working against Doom's wishes.
Meanwhile, Marvel and Ultimate Hulk fight and destroy The Raft (a maximum security prison) allowing Ultimate Punisher to escape.
|Executive Producer:||Alan Fine|
|Chief Creative Officer:||Joe Quesada|
|Editor In Chief:||Axel Alonso|
|Assistant Editor:||Chris Robinson, Emily Shaw|
|Writer:||Brian Michael Bendis|
|Lettering:||VC's Cory Petit|
Two Weeks Ago: Marvel Doctor Bruce Banner wakes up in a containment facility at The Triskelion where Ultimate Nick Fury (flanked by a collection of Marvel and Ultimate heroes) demands to know what happened that caused him to destroy The Raft, kill agents of SHIELD and allow over one hundred criminals to escape! Marvel Iron Man tries to calm Ultimate Fury down but is shouted down. This is the tipping point and Fury must have an explanation!
Marvel Banner explains: He was working on a solution to the dimensional tear when Ultimate Bruce Banner walked in. Ultimate Banner told Marvel Banner to not bother trying to help, that they are cursed and that helping people leads to things getting worse, blame and persecution. Marvel Banner calls Ultimate Banner a broken little cowards and then all things Hulk broke out! Marvel Hulk threw Ultimate Hulk out to sea but accidentally hit The Raft.
Marvel Banner believes that being near Ultimate Banner caused him to Hulk out and offers to help find a solution but Ultimate Fury demands that he pay for his crimes and remains locked up. Marvel Iron Man loudly disagrees but backs down to Fury's threats. As he storms off, Ultimate Fury asks Marvel Emma Frost if he should be worried about anything in his head. She relies positively.
The unhinged Ultimate Punisher enters one of his safe houses and is soon joined by Marvel Punisher! Marvel Punisher thinks Ultimate Punisher is a Skrull but Ultimate Punisher gets the jump on him, killing him by stabbing him in the heart!
Bombshell (of the All-New Ultimates) finds herself trying to defeat the Marvel Wrecking Crew! She is about to be killed when the Crew begin being killed by a sniper - Ultimate Punisher! He kills them all... and then sets her in his sights!
Meanwhile, Two SHIELD scientists watch over and study Marvel Banner. A sudden blackout hits the Triskelion and, seconds later when the power is restored, Banner is gone!
A Marvel Iron Man suit is seen flying from The Triskelion. It carries Banner to his freedom and to Marvel Iron Man!
Brian Michael Bendis delivers more of the same this issue to the last. There is more time for character, more conflict and more prattling on about the tipping point but, as my last comment may allude to, what remains similar retains similar faults.
Last issue's Stalk/Stark scene was good. This issue's Banner/Banner and Punisher/Punisher is more of the same. It highlights the differences between the Marvel and Ultimate characters and ends up in various confrontations... that simply mean very little to be honest. It just doesn't seem as important or as fresh as it might, knowing that the Ultimate Universe is indeed going to end.
The focus on Ultimate Punisher is odd and his state of mind is clearly going to be dangerous thing but I can name countless other characters that are overlooked because of him. I suppose I'm slightly interested in where Bendis is taking his story, if only to know whether or not the page time he's getting is deserved.
Mark Bagley once again has more to do this issue and, again, nails the action sequences and level of emotion on offer, particularly in the Marvel Bruce Banner scenes. Bagley's third inker this series does his pencils no harm a testament to the quality of his work) and Justin Ponsor's colours bring out the realism in the crazy (as ever).
We're clearly building towards the big conflict we saw at the start of #1 and I'm hoping that there's a little more development next issue and not more of the same.
It doesn't get better... but it doesn't get worse.