Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ultimate Avengers 2 #6 [2010] by Mark Millar

Unlike the Ultimates, the Avengers are the black ops team assembled by Nick Fury and supplied by Tony Stark’s older brother, Gregory Stark. Two new recruits are brought in unwilling: the Punisher and Banner’s mentor the first Hulk. Now the black ops Avengers team is assembled and their first mission is to take down the mysterious Ghost Rider. A direct execution order from the White House has been issued to take out Ghost Rider who is murdering wealthy Washington DC contributors.

The Punisher learns the hard way that he has neural implants embedded inside his skull to keep him ‘under control.’ For a covert ops team that wants to keep it under wraps that the Punisher has joined its ranks they sure do keep it hidden by putting a skull on his chest.

Both Shield agents and the Avengers are sent to protect a property tycoon landing at Chicago O’Hare Airport. Just as the plane carrying the tycoon is about to land – Ghost Rider arrives and kidnaps him. Hawkeye stops him from getting away and the stage is set up for the showdown.

Punisher is the first one to go toe to toe with Ghost Rider and it doesn’t go down as planned. The origin of the Ghost Rider is revealed as well as his connection to his next target: the Vice-President of the United States.

Mephisto took the soul of Johnny Blaze for his girlfriend’s life. Now Mephisto is willing to take the soul of the Vice-President for the defeat of Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider. He transforms the Vice-President into another Ghost Rider and the two Ghost Riders battle it out.

This issue wraps up Book Two of Ultimate Avengers. A flat conclusion with nothing really meaningful or drastically changed within the Ultimate Universe except for some new Ultimate character introductions. Writer Mark Millar has a 24-issue Ultimate Avengers story arc planned and we are halfway through with nothing to show.

Book One of Ultimate Avengers dealt with Captain America’s son the Red Skull, while the second deals with Mephisto, Ghost Rider, and the Punisher. Next week he begins the third “attempt” of his grand scheme to make us care about the characters with a new Daredevil and Blade. Not impressed with his Ultimate Avengers as I am impressed with his creator-owned comics such as Kick-Ass, Nemesis, and his upcoming Superior. It really feels that both Mark Millar and Ultimate Avengers artist Leinil Francis Yu are sandbagging their best works for their creator-owned ones.