I haven't done a comic book review in a long time, but I had to mention this last issue of the "Ultimatum" miniseries that I've covered pretty much since issue #1. The storyline finished up this week and I have to say I never saw the ending coming. In the ever-predictable world of Marvel stories, this one was a gem.
First of all, they continued the trend of killing off heroes and villains in this story. The shocker for me is which heroes they chose to take out! Look at the cover of the comic to the left there...only 3 of those heroes make it out of this miniseries alive--and two of them are female! The one man who lives to see another day? Well, it's not who you're probably thinking of.
The thing that I loved about this miniseries was the fact that every death made sense. There were some deaths that I think were just for shock value, but for the most part it added to the story. I still think Hank Pym's death in issue 3 was uncalled for, and Jamie Madrox's death last issue was harsh (simply because I think the character is cool), but the two major hero deaths and two major villain deaths in this issue really showed how serious Marvel is about changing up the Ultimate universe from this point forward. Give them credit: they said they wanted to really shake things up, and they have.
The question now becomes where do they go from here? They have killed off the vast majority of their character roster (the final page lists 20 characters now dead from the storyline) and they're going to have to rebuild a lot. I'm afraid they may have gone a little overboard. The beauty of the Ultimate Universe is the fact that it was familiar characters with a twist to them. Unfortunately now there will be very few familiar characters left to work with. It gives them a lot of room to create completely new folks, but we saw from the "New Universe" fiasco of the 80's that sometimes that doesn't work so well.
Overall, this has been a great story (though a little too gory at times) and if you haven't been following it you can do so all at once in a couple of months when it comes out as a hardcover collected edition.