Anyone who reads this blog knows I'm a fan of The Ultimates and love to see them in action. When Ultimatum was announced, it was shadowed in enough mystery to keep us guessing as to what would really be going on. Now two issues into the miniseries/crossover event, and things have changed around the Ultimate universe forever--and I'm not kidding!
For one thing, two major characters in the Ultimate U die (three, actually, but we know one of the deaths will be fixed next issue)! These are not "maybe" deaths, but serious this-one-ain't-coming-back-tomorrow kind of deaths. Now we know no one stays dead in comics, but it's going to be incredibly difficult to bring at least one of them back.
As with any crossover book Marvel does, you'll have to read the other "Ultimate" titles to see where each story goes between this issue and the next, but I can't really complain. These really look like nothing but good stories all around, with hardly any filler to be seen anywhere. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's great to end up with yet another series that causes you to spend money buying dozens of titles each week to keep up on, but it's still a good story.
The only problem I have with this story is the gratuitous violence used to kill off one of the characters. It looks like something you'd see in a horror movie somewhere, and it's as unnecessary as it could possibly be. Yes, the Blob has always been a big man, but when has he ever been a cannibal? Never, so why start now?
Also, it does have that "constant cliffhanger" feel after a little while as stories are started and then jump to another storyline without warning, but this isn't as bad as Final Crisis. In FC, you don't stand a chance of understanding anything going on without a lot of back history knowledge. At least this story is giving us what it promised: a change to the face of the Ultimate Universe.