Ultimate Avengers: Crime and Punishment

I’m well over two-thirds of the way through the next book, mostly because I can’t be bothered to stop reading it long enough to actually review Crime and Punishment, the latest release in Marvel’s Ultimate Comics line. Although this certainly reflects far more on the book I have in front of me, I’m not able to claim, as I would like, that it has nothing to do with this one. Basically, it was not dissimilar to the previous Avengers book, but with fewer things I found awesome and more things I found subtly off. Which is to say, still more extraneous characters (apparently just for the sake of being new) and a focus that has shifted completely from the Ultimates in favor of recently-demoted Nick Fury’s blacker-than-black ops governmental hit squad. It’s not that I think a world full of genetically enhanced super-villains doesn’t need a secret government hit squad so much as that I think that’s a little more realism than I want from my superheroes comics. And then mix that in with the appearance of the Ultimate Ghost Rider, and I have a whole host of new complaints that are, admittedly, more fairly entrenched in my readthrough of the original Marvel line (where I have now gotten to October of 1973), and these complaints are purely personal taste, so take them as you will. But dammit, superheroes and the supernatural just don’t mix, five years of the CW’s Thursday (now Friday) night line-up notwithstanding.

Seriously, I just read a storyline where Spider-Man had to fight against a space werewolf. I like Spider-Man, you know, kind of a lot. And I like space werewolves! I just don’t really like them together. It’s like lemon pepper in spaghetti sauce: you’ll regret it. So now, when I’m watching these Avengers guys in combat against a skeletal biker sent by the devil to kill powerful people, it reminds me that it took about ten years for regular Marvel to start pulling this crap too, and I get a little bit despair-filled. Still, it is what it is, and it’s not like I intend to stop anytime soon. Oh, also, if you like the Punisher, he’s still kicking around and gets most of the best parts of this particular story. So that’s alright.

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