Ultimate Comics Avengers 2 #1
Writer: Mark Millar
Penciler: Leinil Francis Yu
Inker: Gerry Alanguilan
Colorist: Laura Martin
Release date: April 28, 2010
And we have a new winner for most unwieldy title ever. Not that it has anything to do with the quality of the book, but Marvel should really drop the “Comics” part from their Ultimate titles. I’m just saying. Anyway, let’s talk about the actual issue — Ultimate Comics Avengers 2 #1.
Nick Fury continues to assemble his team of black ops super-heroes, and this issue he goes after the Punisher. We see him do his thing in brutal fashion, until Fury is able to trick the Punisher and arrest him. The Punisher is then offered a choice, join the Avengers, or go to jail, and I think we all know what Punisher’s answer is, (otherwise, we’d have a pretty boring series).
I’m kind of surprised Mark Millar hasn’t written more stories featuring the Punisher before. He seems like the perfect character for Millar’s style of over the top violence, and Millar makes good use of him here. This is a Punisher who is the best at what he does, and what he does is shoot the crap out of a ton of people. The first eight pages of this issue are an orgy of violence, and are filled with classic Punisher action. It’s a Millar-written story, so it’s not surprising that the action is well done.
My problem with this issue is that I’m still not clear on why this is an Avengers issue. They only make a short appearance in the issue, and with the last page reveal, it seems like this is really more of a street level adventure than it is a big super-hero story. I don’t think the last arc made it clear that Nick Fury is working for a different group and that this team has a different modus operandi than the Ultimates do. It may not help that Millar has a line of dialog that reads “We get paid to do the dirty stuff, the kinda jobs Captain America and his friends would balk at…” but we’ve already seen Captain America in this issue, and he was the big focus of the last series. In what way would Cap balk at something and then take part in those very same somethings? I know this is supposed to be just a dumb action movie of a comic, and some might say I shouldn’t worry about something like this, but I still need the internal logic of the comic to work. Perhaps I’m just getting bored with Millar’s style, and this just isn’t as appealing to me know as it has been in the past. Maybe I’m too hung up on the title and need to not try to make any connections to other Avengers series. This is its own thing, and must exist on its own. There was just something about this issue that didn’t sit right with me.
What did sit right with me is the art of Leinil Yu, who has always been a personal favorite. His work is explosive from the first page and regardless of any problems I had thematically with the story, I had no problems with the art. This is Yu at the top of his game, and it certainly helps that he has an inker on this issue. His art seems to be leaps and bounds better when he has someone inking his pencils. The art will probably be enough to get me to keep reading the series.
I hope the next issue gets me more exciting than this one did, as I can’t say that I particularly enjoyed this one. There was just something lacking in the story, and it may just be something in my own head. This is just another typical Mark Millar issue, and if you like his stuff, you should enjoy this, and if you don’t this won’t change anything. I think I’m just ready to see something different from him.
I’m giving this issue a 2 out of 5.