"Ultimate Comics The Ultimates” #18.1 is a one-shot tale from Sam Humphries and Dale Eaglesham that works as a mild primer of sorts but it doesn’t offer much enticement to return to the book. All of the characters of this title get some page time but it’s 50% exposition around them -- discussing Cap’s new role as President, discussing where Thor is and why he’s mopey -- and 50% dealing with a new threat that isn’t that threatening.
The team is assembled to take on the might of the so-called Titanium Man. He looks like a junkyard Optimus Prime, but he seems to be enough of a threat to fill 20 pages. It’s a shame the team isn’t truly tested as it means we get some posturing from the men in tights but not really any effort or struggle from them. This is more of an issue to make characters clear and accessible. However, we don’t want characters to tell us who they are, they should rather show this to us through their actions.
The unbelievably speedy arc of the villain for the issue lets the character down in every way. He’s barely built up before he’s torn down on every front. His lack of worth summarises the lack of depth to this issue. His resolution is also as much sad -- in what Tony says to him at the very end -- as it is relatively inconsequential.
Dale Eaglesham's art is as spectacular as ever. His faces are always fresh and engaging, and his art still sings on this issue through all the talking heads. He brings clear emotion to Thor in all his facial expressions. When it comes to heroic action and figures not many come more highly prized than Eaglesham. The colors from Andy Troy usually work to accentuate action and differentiate scenes.
“Ultimate Comics The Ultimates” #18.1 is more like a title sequence than a full episode on the lives and world of this team. The battle is short, the consequences even shorter, and the read time and satisfaction level might be the shortest. This isn’t a bad comic, it’s merely mediocre and ultimately forgettable, except perhaps the final page that offers something interesting for the Ultimate Universe to chew on.