Whatever a Spider Can’s All-New Ultimates #5 review

This issue is what the last four issues have been building up to, ever since we saw the teen superhero team get severely overwhelmed in the alleyway brawl involving the Serpent Skulls and the New York police. The idea was that this team of underprepared and off-guard super-teenagers would gradually fall together and overcome the fairly low-level threat of the Serpent Skulls after getting their act together, or at least that’s the storyline-trope I thought we were heading towards. If you missed our recap of #5, check here first!

However what we’ve instead been presented with is an ambush, the All-New Ultimates have yet to ‘get their act together’ and instead are forced into another head-on conflict with the Serpent Skulls after one of their own is brainwashed. It’s for this reason that I’m not geared up for this second battle, why I’m just not all that into it. Personally I think that, considering the narrative, it’s too soon in terms of what’s happened in the previous issues for the two opposing forces to be forced into a climax.

And I say that with the addition of Crossbones who really does look like a formidable foe when he finally enters the fray five issues in. He strikes a hulking figure compared to the tiny teens and throws them around like they’re nothing, especially poor Miles who gets absolutely clobbered alongside Pinna’s vicious sound-effects.  Again, I feel that in terms of narrative this was the wrong time to showcase Crossbones’ strength and stature, as it tips the balance in a fight I still don’t believe the Ultimates can win

With that all that being said this is clearly only the prelude, the run-up to the main event as there are still several players yet to turn up. We have Detectives Brigid O’Reilly, Vernon Brooks and Paul Dennis on their way and we also have the vigilante Scourge to add to the drama as well. This means that the next issue is probably going to be more of the same as the conflict at the All-New Ultimates’ headquarters still has some legs.

This is good because Crossbones is still severely underdeveloped as the main villain of leader of the gang that controls the criminal underworld. A lot of the Ultimates themselves are also still sorely underdeveloped, Cloak and Dagger have been bit-part players in this entire story, and Kitty Pryde’s delayed entrance into the team has alienated new readers against her, as all of her development is based on the events in the comic before All-New Ultimates.

Thankfully Lana aka Bombshell has been an integral part of the storyline, and whilst it’s increasingly hard to care about the death of her boyfriend Poey, it’s good to see her emotionally strong enough to break free from the Diamond Dust and begin her explosive and erratic revenge. Lana was the character I knew the least about going into the All-New Ultimates and now I feel like (with the exception of Miles Morales, because he has his own title) she’s the one I know the most.

Also fairly noticeable is that fact that Pinna seems to finally be getting a solid grasp on his artwork as for the first time in the All-New Ultimates’ rather short history I wasn’t confused about which character it was that I was supposed to be seeing. Besides Pinna is at the top of his game when there are explosions and fights happening and thanks to Bombshell’s triumphant finale he really gets to excel with his art.

All-New Ultimates is still far from excellent, especially when compared to the other Ultimate Spider-Man comic, however for the second issue in a row I’m looking forward to reading the next issue, and at the very least that means that the comic is improving slightly. I’m going to stick with it because I feel that this team have a lot of potential and that one day they might reach it!

Check out Whatever a Spider Can’s other All-New Ultimates recaps and reviews
All-New Ultimates #1 recap, and review
All-New Ultimates #2 recap, and review
All-New Ultimates #3 recap, and review
All-New Ultimates #4 recap, and review
All-New Ultimates #5 recap

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