There is a very broad extent to which I simply cannot review the first of the Ultimatum books. I mean, I can say that I’m thrilled to have finally found an author who wants to delve into the character of Ben Grimm, because it is. And I can say it’s nice to see Rogue do cool things, because that’s true too; I hope that when I someday get to her character in the main Marvel continuity, I find her entertaining, because she’s been one of my favorites in the modern era. So, generally speaking, there were cool things to see throughout the book, and I liked what they’ve done so far in the Ultimatum, which runs contrary to all my expectations.
But, at the same time, it is a deeply flawed book, as a book. Because, see, it is completely out of order. And this is inevitably going to be a complaint throughout the experience, so I will get it out now. Dear Marvel: if you are going to write interdependent stories that are missing information from completely other lines of comics? Publish a big book that includes everything I need to know, and include it in order, so I am not spoiling myself for some plot element or other no matter what I do! That’s just not okay. (For the record, I am reading them in graphic novel publication order, as that seemed my best choice.)
Also, while I’m here: this is the third time. Why exactly are the X-Men and Fantastic Four seen as such rich crossover material? I mean, in this case they didn’t actually cross over, so I shouldn’t count it, but they’re still crammed into the same book. Is there some historical or obvious present-day reason for the intricate ties that I am for some reason missing? Or is it just a fluke? Meanwhile, I will hopefully provide a more meaningful review in a book or two from now, when I actually know what the deal is that this book was interspersed with.