Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ultimates Avengers 3 #1, #2, #3 and #4 - Marvel

I love the Ultimate Universe . . I think there is a great cast of characters here. I also love the 'break from conformity' that we get with these stories. I just have to keep remembering that the Avengers here are the 'covert' team. And that the Ultimates are the 'main-attraction'. I guess I'm just not used to that paradigm, so I get surprised every time I start reading a new one of these mini-series. Anyways, in this story we find out that there's someone out there who is trying to consolidate all the various factions of the vampire underworld. Plus . . he has aspirations of adding the 'super-hero' element to his consolidated army. In the first few issues it's kind of inferred that the culprit is none other than Tony Stark. He's wearing an older Iron Man shell, and . . his name is Anthony. We also find out that he's only been recently bitten, and is already using his intellect to try to do what the various vampire leaders have been talking about doing for years. In the first few issues things start to look bad for the 'super-heroes' already. First we see a new 'hero' develop, Ray Connor. He's the new Daredevil, and he's already being trained by Stick. However, he's barely on the scene when he and Stick are taken out by a vampire attack. And specifically . . the Nerd Hulk. It appears that Bruce was also recently 'converted', and is eager to prove that he can be more of an asset to this team than he was to his previous one. It isn't long before Anthony uses the Hulk, and his internal tracking device, to lure Nick Fury and his hastily assembled Avengers into a trap. They're lured into the sewers of Manhattan where Cap, Steve Rogers, is the next one bitten. Anyways, while all of this is going on, Blade is also working himself into this story . . from the outside in. He's just going about his normal routine . . killing vampires, when he also gets propositioned by Anthony to join his new Vampire nation. That's when he learns about Anthony trying to 'recruit' some super-hero vampires. He gets involved with the Avengers when they take Cap back to the Triskellion, after he's bitten. I have a feeling that Cap's Super-Soldier-Serum, that's coursing through his veins, will be able to counteract the viral assault. But . . as of these issues we don't see that happening, yet. In fact Cap tries to take a bite out of Blade . . when Blade tries to 'Stake' him. But he's got to know that won't have any affect on him . . seeing as he's already half Vampire. But he uses the distraction to break free, and join up with the rest of the Vampires. That's when Tony, and Gregory Stark get involved. It turns out the Anthony that's running around in Tony's old armor is actually Anthony, 'the greatest Vampire hunter of all time'. He's the one that trained Blade, as well as Stick and Stone and Shaft, and personally recruited Matt Murdock as the original Daredevil. Apparently, about a month ago, one of the Vampires got the drop on him. Anyways, by the end of issue #4, Nerd Hulk decides that he wants to make a play for the leadership role. After antagonizing and challenging Anthony . . he swiftly takes him out. 'Gamma Radiation mixed with Vampire blood? I won this fight before I even showed up, dumbass.' So now the question is, how will this change in leadership alter the Vampire's plans? And . . when will Cap get back to being himself, and go postal on these creatures of the night? Mark Millar is doing a great job with this story. But . . I expected nothing less. I'm also thrilled with Steve Dillon's art. His art is so crisp and clean, it's the perfect antithesis for the dark nature of this story. Plus it looks really good. The covers are by Leinel Yu, Ed McGuinness, Olivier Coipel and Greg Land respectfully. They all look stunning. My only question is . . why are there Vampires everywhere nowadays? They're plaguing the X-Men right now, as well as the Avengers, the small and big screen, and a variety of other places. All of the sudden they've become the chic anti-hero? It's interesting, but . . it's all getting to be a bit to much for me. Vampire stories, for me, are ok every now and again. But right now . . everywhere you turn they're popping up. Kind of like the Marvel Zombies a year or so ago. Anyways, I like this title, as well as this group. I think the Ultimate Universe is putting out some great material. It's interesting, full of fresh ideas, and . . they aren't afraid to shake things up a bit. I've enjoyed every one of their titles.

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