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Ultimate Extinction #4

Posted: Monday, April 17, 2006
By: Shawn Hill



Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Brandon Peterson

Publisher: Marvel Comics


Plot: The cover shows us three beautiful and deadly women you donít want to mess with. Jean Grey, Sue Storm and the new Ultimate Vision. Inside, Moondragon and Misty Knight are other distaff combatants, and Iron Man and Captains Marvel and America get to play with all their favorite toys. The action heats up this issue as the threat draws ever nearer.

Comments: Iíve compared this series to Morrisonís Seven Soldiers project before, and I will do so again. While not as ambitious as the former work, Ellisís tale of Gah Lak Tus has been involving and surprising us over the course of some 13 issues in three sub-series, each one with compelling art and a mission of mounting threat.

In a time where the star writers at both companies sell loads of comics with flashy but mediocre stories, Ellis is turning out top-quality work for both companies to less fanfare. Planetary is perfection, Nextwave is anticipating the future of comic book style, and his take on the Ultimate universe gives us the most sophisticated and articulate versions of these characters yet.

Here Jean seems a bit too old to be the teen who appears in other books, but her knowledge of her powers and potential is compelling. Ellis in all his titles comes up with fun and believable new or streamlined applications for the powers of his superfolk, and in this issue alone we see: Iron Man manipulate his battlesuit by remote operators, Misty Knight use her bionic arm as another weapon in her copís arsenal, Jean use her head, Cap use his body, and the Vision talked into doing something novel by reason alone.

The story hums along, and the glimpses we get of Ultimate Moondragon (apparently an army of zealots) and the creepy alien threat of the Silver messiahs is chilling. Add in Reedís thinking prowess and Furyís organizational skill and you almost believe Earth has a hope against Ellisís very inhuman devourer.

We have visual: Peterson is surpassing all other instances Iíve seen of his work on this series, recalling the work of another ideal Ellis collaborator, Chris Sprouse, in his precision and attention to detail. The technology created by Reed and the X-Men is complex and convincing, and heís picking up on the nuances of McNivenís Ultimate Captain Marvel design while delivering several stunning action sequences.



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