Mind Capsules – The Ultimates #6 and Aquaman #51

The Ultimates #6
The Ultimates #6

Writer – Al Ewing
Artist – Christian Ward
Letters – VC’s Joe Sabino

The big ideas book of the Marvel Universe keeps on going strong as Al Ewing brings us another issue with Galactus front and center. With Ewing is penciller Christian Ward and though he may have quite a different style from Kenneth Rocafort who is the regular artist on the book, it is just as exciting. One thing that is notably different is the lack of detail, yet once the book gets going, you hardly notice and by the time it is over, you find that if Ward were to stay on the book permanently, you really would not mind in the slightest. One of the best bits happens when Galactus has a chat with Lord Chaos and Master Order – those two floating heads to who control the very elements they are named after in the universe. They are displeased that Galactus has overcome his role as the Devourer and wish for him to return to such a state. Galactus of course, is having none of it as he has finally become that which he was always meant to be. So it is that Ward delivers one of the most visually funny and standout panels of the title so far – that of Galactus punching Order in the face. It is both kind of shocking and hilarious at the same time as there has never been another scene like it in all of Marvel’s cosmic books up until this point in time. That alone makes purchasing this book a must-have, but with Ewing’s incredible story factored on top of that, you cannot go wrong whatsoever. In addition to the fun that Ewing generally brings to a story, he also continues on with some of the grand schemes and storylines that Jonathan Hickman began in his series of Avengers comics, namely that of the Molecule Man and here, we finally get to see what happened to him after the latest big event. Though it is nothing that will shatter expectations, it is fun to see him have a chat with Galactus. It is also a revealing one where Owen, better known as said Molecule Man, talks about the end of the previous universe and the creation of the new one and how some see it as a return to form, when in fact – it is not. Big things are coming and Ewing is positioning this book as a keystone in the current universe that Marvel is currently exploring. Where it goes next is anybody’s guess, but that is what makes this particular title so much fun – the fact that everything is completely unexpected.

4.5 out of 5

Aquaman #51
Aquaman #51

Writer – Dan Abnett
Artist – Vincente Cifuentes
Inker – Juan Castro
Colours – Guy Major
Letters – Tom Napolitano

The man who was revealed to be Dead Water is now locked up in the Atlantean Embassy, deprived of anything resembling water so that the threat that he represented does not reappear. Aquaman and Mera feel terrible for him, for what they are doing is akin to torture. Yet, unless they want to risk more lives, what they are doing is necessary and such is the burden of wearing the crown. What Dan Abnett does next is like something you would see in any procedural which is an interrogation, but as it wears on, the worst happens and Dead Water returns. Thankfully, the book is not all talk and its pace picks up in the latter half as Mera faces off against Dead Water and Aquaman fights the returning Scavenger who seems to be a bit bigger and better armed than normal. One of the nicer things to see with Abnett taking over the book is the new role for Mera and seeing her try to adjust to it. She has always been a leader in one fashion or another and now, she is also going to be working hand in hand with other men and women from across the Earth in attempting to create a more cohesive and peaceful living experience for those both above and below the waves. It is by far the more interesting of the storylines that have been taking place as of late, not that any of hit has been boring per se. Dead Water represents a new villain to Aquaman’s rogues gallery and while he is a deadly beast, he is just that. Aquaman has faced a number of creatures over the course of the series and this just feels like more of the same which is a bit of a shame as there is always the chance to do something innovative. Being that this volume of the series is ending, it could be that Abnett is simply waiting to unleash the really great concepts he has cooking when the title begins again, but for now it is all just good. Not bad, not great – just good. Here is hopeful that things pick up when the restart happens.

3 out of 5

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