Mind Capsules – Birthright #15 and The Ultimates #5

Birthright #15
Birthright #15

Writer – Joshua Williamson
Artist – Andrei Bressan
Colours – Adriano Lucas
Letters – Pat Brosseau

The latest issue by the ongoing creative team of Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan and Adriano Lucas puts Mikey through his paces in a story of revelations and betrayal. There are a couple of different storylines going on at the moment, though they are both tied together with the first being that of Mikey’s mom Wendy and Rya who are being held prisoner by Mastema, one of the wizards Mikey has been seeking. Mastema reveals that Mikey is not only seeking her and her ilk, but hunting them as he has been possessed by Lore. It is a hard pill to swallow, yet they realize the truth of her words and now need to think of what to do next. Mikey on the other hand is facing off against Agent Kylen’s forces and he is a little more than outnumbered. The book is packed with action as Mikey finds himself in the midst of battle and as it comes to an end, things take place that raise a multitude of questions. If there is one thing you can always count on from Williamson, it is a never-ending mystery, for once a part of the puzzle falls into place, you realize that there are still more pieces that need finding. No matter what book he writes, whether Ghosted, Nailbiter or this one, the man has perfected the art of both appeasing and infuriating readers simultaneously. As it is, something larger is going on with the wizards who have made their home on Earth and whether that has to do with Mikey or Lore or something else remains to be seen. While at first they might have had a common goal it now seems as if Kylan, Mastema and Sameal all find themselves with different plans in mind. With the incredibly unforeseen ending that the book leaves off on, you have to wonder just where it is that we are being taken. Because of that, you can see why Mikey went to Terrenos in the first place and why all of the events that followed, happened, but was it according to plan or did it go off the rails at some point? One thing that is for sure is that Birthright just keeps getting better and better with every issue and you can finally see how things are starting to not only connect up, but how events are going to run headlong into each other with a thunderous explosion.

3.5 out of 5

Ultimates #5
The Ultimates #5

Writer – Al Ewing
Artist – Kenneth Rocafort
Colours – Dan Brown
Letters – Joe Sabino

Of late, the Ultimates have been doing what nobody else has been able to do and solving some of the biggest puzzles in the universe. At the moment, our heroes find themselves in a bit of trouble as they are currently outside of the universe and outside of everything – somewhere nobody has ever been before. But there is something else in the darkness, someone who has come to like the darkness but has decided that the best way to serve it would be to leave it. When Marvel relaunched their Avengers titles recently, each one seemed to have a distinct flavour with Ewing’s New Avengers being a lot of fun, Waid’s All-New, All-Different having that classic feel and this book which is also by Al Ewing, creating those moments that leave you speechless while giving the reader a palpable sense of excitement. And so it is that Ewing creates another big moment, one with little fanfare or action, simply a few scenes strung together and coming straight out of Secret Wars, one of many possible leftovers yet to be seen. It cannot mean anything good for anybody in the Marvel Universe and it is more than likely a problem that these new Ultimates are going to have to handle, sooner rather than later. This issue also puts the spotlight on two figures, at least momentarily with the first being Miss America who is being leaned upon by her teammates to keep the rest of them alive. As such, as she passes in and out of consciousness, we see a little bit of her past and it also happens to be a revealing character moment, something most of us can relate to. The other is Galactus, newly-transformed into a being of creation rather than destruction and it is he who comes to our heroes rescue when all seems lost. There is a bit of cryptic talk between Galactus and another and the book ends with a big revelation, previously alluded to in this review. A fantastic story by Ewing once again makes this truly worth reading and some perfectly astounding artwork by Kenneth Rocafort only adds the icing on the cake. A great book through and through.

4 out of 5

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