Saturday, 7 May 2011


4.  Ultimate Avengers 3: Blade Versus The Avengers. Marvel. Written by Mark Millar. Art by Steve Dillon. Collecting a 6-issue miniseries.

First, a word of explanation. A few years ago, Marvel decided to create an alternate Marvel universe to create versions of their heroes and so the Ultimate Universe was born. Some of it worked brilliantly: The Ultimates by Millar and brilliant artist Bryan Hitch (who illustrates in an Alan Davis mode) was for a while the best superhero title out there with a fresh version of the Avenger. Also by writer Brian Bendis  and artist Mark Bagley, Ultimate Spider-Man. The rest varied from being generally pretty good to occasionally dire. I certainly preferred it to the main Marvel universe. The Millar-Hitch Ultimates only lasted a couple of limited series until recently when Millar, with different artists, wrote three limited series about the Ultimate Avengers, the black ops version of the Ultimates. The first was okay, the second (featuring The Punisher) was complete crap, and I only bought the third because of a few good reviews I came across.

And it's good if very violent fun. And when I say 'very violen't, I mean it. We're talking severed heads, heads with the tops cut off, dismemberment aplenty, and blood all over the place. The local vampires get themselves organised under the leadership of the vampirised Stick (Daredevil's mentor) wearing an old Iron Man suit and who sets about vampirising superheroes including a new teenage Daredevil and nerd-Hulk. Nerd-Hulk is a clone of Bruce Banner with a massive low self-esteem problem. After vampirising Captain America, the vampires launch an all-out assault on the Ultimates home base.

Of course the subtitle is misleading, it isn't Blade versus the Avengers, it's Blade versus the Vampire Avengers. Though he does kick the non-vampirised UA's asses occasionally.

It's superficial as hell but it is all good gory fun. Millar can knock these things out in his sleep and British artist Dillon, while not in the Davis-Hitch league, has his own distinctive style and knows how to draw a good action comic. One thing about this series is that you're never sure which heroes are going to survive because the Ultimate Universe is a far more lethal place than mainstream Marvel's which adds to the fun.
Supper-time Special: All you can DRINK buffet.

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