A little background for newcomers or fanboys/girls who have been away for a while: Marvel comic’s ULTIMATE story arcs are a rebirth of the Marvel Universe for a new generation of readers and have storylines that fit better with the recent movie adaptations.
Bruce Banner is sentenced to death and executed by nuclear bomb. Soon after, three random disasters occur in remote places around the world that were not due to nature or terrorists. It doesn’t take S.H.I.E.L.D. long to determine the most likely cause is the Hulk. Nick Fury must find someone capable of hunting Hulk down and taking him out as quietly as possible; a super-human with no qualms about getting his hands dirty. Wolverine is the best there is at what he does, and what he does best isn’t very nice. Marvel’s ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK is a six-issue storyline that pits primal rage against godlike fury.
ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK is so freaking awesome that I’m not sure I can do a proper review without rampant expletives. The story opens with Wolverine lying in blood-drenched snow, wondering why he can’t feel his legs. When the next panel reveals what happened a few moments before, my reaction was to hiss “holy $#!+”.
With the decades of complex history in the Marvel Universe, it’s a monumental undertaking to invent new stories while remaining true to who the characters are, even more so for A-listers like Hulk and Wolverine. Many make the attempt only to crash and burn.
The creative team behind ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK made a comic book exactly how it’s supposed to be done. The illustration carries as much weight as the words. The fonts and placement complement the ambiance. Point of view shifts from issue to issue. The sequence of events constantly changes from the present, to immediate past, to days prior, to a few minutes from now. It would be nearly impossible for this story to have the same impact in any other medium.
Mr. Lindelof’s writing is as good as it gets in comics. The dialog, which is often an overlooked factor that makes or breaks a comic, grants the individual characters their own unique voices. The reader would easily know who is saying what even if there were no speech balloons. If Mr. Yu’s artwork had any more life in it, you’d feel a pulse. He uses fine lines that detail down to the smallest fragment or blood spatter. Yu’s rendition of these popular superheroes is like a glimpse into their very souls.
The reader feels dangerously close — almost too close — to the onslaught that is super-beings doing battle. Every time that I pulled my eyes away from these comics, I half expected to find my house in ruins. There are even rumors that medical doctors are prescribing ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK to increase low testosterone levels.