OK. Lousy Cover*. I mean, seriously, The Thing as depicted above looks worse than Michael Chiklis's makeup in the FF movie:
Which, as you can see, is pretty hard to do.
Despite that cover the interior art (ostensibly by the same person) kicks ass. The writing's good, too. Warren Ellis has introduced Ultimate Moondragon, Ultimate Silver Surfer and Ultimate Misty Knight. Now, those of you who have been watching the show so far know that "Ultimate" before someting usually means that that person goes up a few notches on the badass scale. Ultimate Hawkeye, for example, is someone I'd actually be intimidated by. Regular continuity (or "Earth-616" to those of us with no lives) Hawkeye often came off as a goofball. Sure, he had his cool moments but for the most part he wasn't someone that, were I a criminal, I'd be too worried about.
HAWKEYE: "Stop or I'll plug you full of arrows!"
ARCH VILLAIN: "Big deal! I've got adamantium armor! What are you gonna do? Strap Ant Man to one of them?"
Anyway, Misty Knight is one of the coolest characters Marvel ever came up with. She's an ex-cop, bounty hunter cyborg! And she dates Iron Fist. Badass! Ultimate Misty Knight hasn't met Ultimate Danny Rand yet but she is even badass-er than her counterpart in the 616. Also, since she's being written by Warren Ellis, she gets much better lines. She goes toe to toe with Ulimate Silver Surfer (cosmic badass!) and survives. Day-um!
There's a good "Revenge of the Geeks" moment between Reed Richards and Nick Fury. Ellis is playing up the whole "smart guys rule" angle very well.
The story is moving along nicely with no slow spots or padding. Gah Lak Tus (who turns out to be some sort of hive mind) is moving inexorably towards Earth and everyone who is aware of it is freaking out. Good stuff.
As I mentioned above, the interior art is good. In fact, it's excellent! Brandon Peterson (inks and pencils) does a great job of conveying the action as well as the quieter moments. He's a good fit with Ellis's writing on this book. It turns out I forgot to put this in either of my local hold boxes. This will be corrected with all due haste.
*Speaking of covers have you seen the latest Vanity Fair cover? WARNING: NOT WORK SAFE!!
Now that's the way to do a cover right!