The United States of America is coming apart at the seams. With states breaking away from the Union and a nuclear armed and independent New Republic of Texas threatening to escalate the situation, the situation looks very grim indeed. Captain America reappears on the scene though in the former State of New Mexico and battles murderous anti-mutant militias inspiring both Tony Stark/Iron Man and Thor to rejoin the fight. It looks like the Marvel Ultimate U’s version of the Marvel Universe’s Big Three are reuniting to help turn the tide against the forces of the Sentinels and the anti-mutant radicals that are tearing the country apart.
Sam Humphries leads his book into the battle with a shield slinging, hammer slamming, and repulsor blasting blaze of glory as Thor and Iron Man join up with Captain America to rout some killer militias, save civilian lives, and prepare to do all they can to head off a nuclear escalation of the situation in the ravaged US following the Sentinel takeover of the American Southwest. There’s no doubt that soon Cap, Iron Man, and Thor will be running into Kitty Pryde’s X-Men as the make their way to the Southwest to battle the Sentinel forces.
I’m usually squarely on the fence when it comes to Billy Tan’s artwork, but in Ultimates #13 his work is nothing short of astounding. His images of Captain America in battle are beautiful and beautifully detailed. His action panels and choreography are also simply awe inspiring here. If Tan drew every book he worked on this good he’d be one of my favorite sequential artists right now.
The Ultimate Universe has gone from being an edgy hyper-realistic version of the Marvel U to an edgy, hyper-realistic version of the Marvel U where it seems that everything and anything goes. I haven’t enjoyed the Ultimate Universe this much since its inception a decade ago. Kudos to Marvel Comics for not letting the horrible Ultimatum storyline destroy what is a smart and worthwhile re-imagining of their iconic characters. I’m hooked...again.