THE ULTIMATES 2 #6
Writer: Al Ewing
Penciler: Travel Foreman
Colorist: Matt Yackey
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Release Date: April 26, 2017
Plot: The First Firmament tells the story of existence.
Story: In the past, I’ve raved about how big the Ultimate 2 series has been. Big in concepts, and the dealings of cosmic Marvel. But never before has there been anything as cosmically all-encompassing as the revelations found in Ultimates 2 #6. I’m not sure that cosmic Marvel is an accurate categorical definition of the things dealt with here. This goes beyond that. This literally reaches outside the bounds of eternity and places the conflict on the highest level of existence, and it was beautiful to read.
In the last issue, we meet that which is beyond all. The first universe- The First Firmament. In Ultimates 2 #6 his story is told. Creator of Celestials, who themselves are creators of the multiverse. The multiverse then knew life and mortality before being reborn into a new iteration, time and time again. Rebellion inspired revenge, and now the time has come that that bill be paid. The First Firmament has Eternity in chains, and with it, all of existence.
This is big. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy reading stories that create revelations about the truth of existence. When we think about what we as humans crave, it’s incredible to then correlate that to what this comic is giving us. Humans have curious expansive minds. For millennia, we’ve strived to understand the world we live in and the cosmos beyond. Religion, varied by culture, yearns to give us concrete purpose to our existence. More than anything else in the world, we crave answers to all things, and even more gratingly, the big things. The cosmic things.
That is why this book is so great. Though fictional, when we read stories, we are looking for answers, and after years of reading, we’ve never had an answer to a question quite so big as this one when it comes to Marvel. We know from reading old books that big concepts have been introduced. Things like, Yhweh, The Celestials and the cosmic beings such as Eternity, The Living Tribunal, and more, but we’ve never quite gone beyond. Sure, we’ve had lateral exercises with hopping dimensions and even the destruction of all eternity in stories like Secret Wars (2015), but there had never been a definitive explanation of exactly what all existence came from until now.
The scary thing is that the entity that created all is looking to wreak havoc, and the only thing standing in its way, are The Ultimates, and rightfully so since arguably, they are the most formidable team the universe has to offer. Of course, they have Galactus on their side, thanks to the heroic sacrifice of Anti-Man. But when it comes to expressing the limits of their powers the team goes beyond this even.
We learn of a new entity that the Troubleshooters have access to- a manifestation of the Psi-Force in the form of the Psi-Hawk. Given the way that it easily hefted Rodstvow, we can assume its power is great. Furthermore, we learn that given their power sets, that Blue Marvel and Spectrum have the ability to join and become an exponentially more powerful entity. Fueled with energy from Captain Marvel they become something that even the cosmic forces may shiver at.
Art: The art that expresses the cosmic level mastery of this book is so felicitous I could cry. It is beautiful. Perfect for the context of this story. Seeing the joined Spectrum and Blue Marvel, the Psi-Hawk, the Hungering Galactus, all of it is a joy on every page turn. The cover itself encompasses the contents of the issue well. The pictographic metaphor shows our heroes trapped within Eternity who is trapped in chains, and the execution is sensational!
Verdict: If you aren’t reading this book comic, you are missing out on one of the best series’ Marvel has to offer. Cosmic stories, powerful team, fantastic storytelling, accurate characterization, and by the way? This is diversity done right. We see a team full of beautiful representation, and none of it is forced or unnatural. It’s just a great story. If you don’t read anything else, read this.
Star Rating: 5 out of 5.