Ultimates 2 #6

This issue is good for what it is and I'll actually review it on those terms later. However, I have to gripe for a bit about how disappointed I was that Millar didn't do something cool with the Defenders. I mean, this is the Ultimate universe. These are the freakin' Defenders.

I know the regular-continuity Defenders had more than their share of goofy moments (Cloud, anyone?) but they have always been one of my favorite teams. Mostly because they were a non-team. They didn't like each other very much but they came together when Big Bad Things were happening. I also liked them because they were the weirdest collection of heroes possible. It's like the Marvel editors drew a bunch of names out of a hat and turned the comic into some extended writing exercise.

The heroes who make up the Ultimate Defenders are also a weird bunch. Their introduction makes it look like they're gonna have really kewl powerz and interesting personalities. Instead we get a bunch of losers who are miserable failures at actually being superheroes. It's a funny concept but Great Lakes Avengers is doing it better.

Millar did the same ball-dropping maneuver when he introduced Captains Italy and Spain in issue #4. I thought "Neat! I wonder what these guys can do." I never found out. We might see the other captains later in the series but I really like to get some hint of what new characters can do before the end of their intro issue. Failing that, I'd like to see it eventually. Gradual information release can be done well. Young Avengers is doing a good job of slowly revealing things about the main characters. I end each issue of that title interested in what's going to happen next. I keep ending issues of Ultimates 2 frustrated. Even the cliffhanger and the near revelation of one of the series' big secrets at the end of #6 didn't pique my interest as it should have.

OK, I griped a lot. Ahem.

As I said above, this issue, unlike its immediate predecessor, accomplishes what it sets out to do. It manages to tell a little more of Henry Pym's story and it tells the tale of the aforementioned losers in a funny way. There are a few well-done nods to the original continuity and a Scarlet Witch joke I'm still laughing about.

The art is excellent and the cover is my favorite one on any comic so far this year. I doubt I'll pick up #7 but that's what I said about #6. Ultimates 2 keeps not sucking just enough to keep me coming back.

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