Al Ewing you will find I almost always have positive things to say about him. The guy is just quite frankly a great writer, and when he's on a book I at least know I don't have to doubt if it will be entertaining. Two of his more recent works that show this are the sadly short-lived, "Contest of Champions," and a book that actually tied-in a bit with the previous but also is a great series all it's own, his first volume of, "Ultimates." Both are books that when you consider their background have the deck stacked against them, but somehow Ewing takes a potential, "Junk hand," and makes a Royal Flush, if I may use Poker metaphors. Let's discuss his books.
Contest of Champions Issues #1-#10
Secret Wars," it seems it lived on. That already sounds a bit confusing but here comes the best/worst part--this comic is basically just meant to be a video-game tie-in.
That's right, this comic draws from the free-to-play (but full of stuff you can buy) digital game found smart-phones of the same name, "Contest of Champions." Now, comics that relate to video-games are a times good, and possibly even great (the early, "Injustice," comics are awesome), but usually when a comic draws from a game it isn't too much of a stretch to say people probably expect very little. Almost as if Ewing knows people aren't that concerned about his comic, he goes and just gives us something incredibly fun. Ewing makes it so that some multi-dimensional characters are fighting for power and using heroes from various Marvel Universes. This brings us characters from the ,"Regular," Marvel-U as well as known entities (The Punisher from the 2099 comics, Maestro, etc.) and some characters completely made-up for the comic. I'm a sucker for alternate-universe tales so I already am interested, but Ewing just makes things even better.
|I always love a good alternate-universe team!|
Ultimates Volume 1/Issues #1-#6
This iteration of, "Ultimates," is still ongoing, but did have a re-launch after, "Civil War II," and now is, "Ultimates²," because somehow adding a, "Squared/²," to your logo makes more sense than simply using a 2. Anyways, after Marvel rebooted everything post, "Secret Wars," a lot of questions about continuity and the Marvel Universe itself were left dangling. The team in the Ultimates aims to address that and basically without Ewing I doubt anyone would have brought back-up how time was broken in, "Age of Ulton," and realities in general are pretty messed-up lately due to Marvel's constant events/how the Universe keeps changing (if we're giving an in-story reason).
The, "Ultimates," that Ewing gives us are fun, smart, and has stuff I love like weird science as well as explosive action (and Kenneth Rocafort's artwork is awesome on the book too). I am eager to pick up the second volume of this first, "Ultimates," series and then pick up, "Ultimates²," even if it has a weird title that is a pain to type because I keep having to remember the ALT-code for it (you hold ALT and type 0178 on the number-pad, in case you're wondering).