Size: 32 Pages

Price: $3.99

I feel like a bit of a fool. I had been looking forward to this for some time, I have been nothing but impressed by Millar’s return to the Ultimate universe and on the whole, his two Avengers arcs have been some of the most entertaining buys each month. After the latest Ghost Rider/Punisher arc wrapped up I was excited to see where this was heading, so naturally I dived straight into this vampire themed story without taking note of the artists.

As I began to read through I began to get confused, the last two arcs have featured stunning, jaw dropping art that brings the feel of the Hollywood blockbuster to the page – this however is dark, brooding and carried a very Punisher MAX feel to it. That is of course around the time I realised that Steve Dillion (Preacher/Punisher MAX) was on art, a move I’m not sure fits the overall tone of the book. While it’s plain to see that Millar is going for the B-movie horror vibe, the art – which I must also point out at this juncture is usually some of my favourite around – seems a bit out of place. Everything is very simple and frank about it’s intentions, but the similarities to Preacher and the latest Punisher MAX series are just too great… the Avengers book looses it’s identity somewhat.

The writing sadly doesn’t fare much better this issue. It’s rather dull. Blade is introduced as the standard black macho guy stereotype and this new Daredevil sadly doesn’t really differ much from the one that was slain during Ultimatium.

Red Skull had a unyielding menace to him, Johnny Blaze and Frank Castle were kept intriguing through their dynamic together –hopefully Millar will find a way to put any form of interest into these two new characters.

The violence in this book is also noteworthy, it’s very MAX. That is to say it is fairly bloody, gory and savage – I can only see more to come as they delve deeper into the vampire fight, but it was rather unexpected for a ‘Ultimate’ book to carry such content.

While this is going to be a much darker, horror themed story I don’t see why this means we have to compromise on the suave, quietly funny style that this book has carried for two arcs already. Hopefully Superheroes fighting vampires and… well, superhero’s fighting superhero vampires will keep the pace and interest we have come to expect, I’m not holding out high hopes.

Josh “origami kid” West



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