Take a short trip back in time with Brendan McGinley as he takes another look at what makes a series a "must have" Marvel title. What's not to love in these reprint editions of Millar’s The Ultimates 2 and Nyx?
Marvel Must Haves: The Ultimates 2 #1-3
When Marvel does super-heroes right, it does them perfectly. Mark Millar has writes The Ultimates like Robert Johnson plays guitar, and somewhere amid the laughing, gasping, and weeping, you realize he’s just made something very complex amazingly look natural.
It’s an odd thing, reading a Captain America who isn’t a lame horse, and this is probably the best case for giving Millar his dream-project of Superman, another blue boy scout suffering from inaccessibility to the adult reader.
Even when you disapprove of The Ultimates, personally or politically, you cheer them on and wish you could meet these human gods. Millar keeps those battles, both big and small, wildly unpredictable, and the art team of penciler Bryan Hitch and inker Paul Neary lay the whole adventure out in gorgeous pages which evoke stale comparison to a summer blockbuster one final time.
But it’s better than any movie. This team has turned fictional characters into celebrities both on and off the page. The entire story stretches wider than the book, with a perpetual sense of something grand and enduring in the work of both the Ultimates and their creators.
Marvel Must Haves: Nyx #1-3
It’s a shame Joe Quesada got busy with editorial work, because the Marvel editor-in-chief was putting out a great comic in Nyx. Normally when the boss takes the reins, it’s cause for dread, and triple that feeling when adults write about angsty, “edgy” teenagers, but this happy exception had everything going for it.
With wunderkind artist Josh Middleton delivering anime-perfect panels and the introduction of a hot new character, Nyx, could have been a revolution. Instead, it got bogged down in ridiculous delays that not only decimated the book’s momentum, it crashed the series entirely.
Ignoble efforts to blame Middleton, who was asking for script to draw, didn’t help the book though a year of silence didn’t stop the title from thunderous rounds at conventions, thanks to the first appearance of X-23, who as a teenage, mutant, ninja hooker, gothic jailbait, bad-girl clone of Wolverine, is every successful trend in comics from the last 20 years in one persona (plus a couple of failed ones).
Brendan McGinley is a long-time writer for ComicBase. His comic favorites include anything featuring Grim Jack, Punisher, Guy Gardner, Green Lantern, or written buy Evan Dorkin, Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, Deadpool… and the list goes on. But he insists he is of discriminating tastes.