While I was on holiday I discovered more than theme parks, panic stricken Americans and Cheerleaders. I also discovered the brilliance of the new Marvel Ultimate comic books. I was aware of the new books, but I’d not really looked into the specifics, but two things resulted in me checking them out: (1) I saw the shiny Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Spiderman hardbacks in numerous stores (and since I was on holiday and flush with cash I bought them) and (2) in the future I’m going to playing in a Mutants and Masterminds game using an Ultimate style universe as its inspiration (in terms of style and content).
I consider myself a fan of comics (who else would have their picture taken with the X-Men? Though Rogue had a fine ass), in the sense that I think they are a good thing, I like to read them and I’ll defend them against detractors, etc. The strange thing is, this does not extend to actually reading them that often. You see, while I think they are a valid form of literature, I cannot be bothered to put the time and effort it takes to get on board with the continuity, and I hate the fact I’d be reading from issue 100+ (and probably later) should I start reading a major title like the X-Men (which was spread across numerous books anyway last time I checked, something else I dislike). This explains why I’ve only read two comics for any length of time, one was a UK digest of four Spiderman titles which I read in my early teens, and the other was the Spawn comic which I was able to collect from issue one. I did collect it, until it started going the way of all comics and fragmenting the story across mini-series and other books.
As a result, the Ultimate books are a great idea, as they make it possible for people like me to start at the beginning, without any continuity, while putting the characters and stories in a modern framework as well.
I intend to collect the hardback books that collect 12 issues together, if anyone knows if they are going to continue with these hardbacks for Ultimate Spiderman, Ultimate X-Men and the The Ultimates (which does not have one yet) then zap me a mail, as I’d love to know.