Another week goes by. Only the two books this week, Ultimates 2 #13 (finally) and The Great and Secret Show #12. Well, it's almost lunch time for me so let's get right to it.
Ultimates 2 #13 -- I can't do a review of this book without bringing up the lateness of it. The series has been known for its lateness but the last issue came out in September. I've seen (and been involved in) enough finger pointing already so I won't go into that again. But Marvel really needs to get it under control. Too many books are just way too late. Getting beyond that, let's get in to the details. Do we have the big epic battle that we need? Yep, though throughout I wondered where Iron Man and his big battle cruiser was in all this. He gets tacked on in the end but it's like Millar just forgot about him. Or maybe I forgot what happened in the last issue (it has been a while) and there's a reason he wasn't in on the fighting. But everyone else gets screen time at least, if not dialogue. Tony gets nothing until the fight is over. Do all the plot lines and questions get answered? Yep. Do the bad guys get what they deserve? Yep. Everything gets a nice little bow on it so the next creative team can take over and do what they like. In fact, the team even sheds its overbearing and borderline evil controlling ways by splitting from the US and SHIELD to become their own little superteam (funny how Millar puts all the heroes under the US and SHIELD in the regular universe and then comes up with logical reasons to split them here). So there's less worry about the series continuing to have a political tone to it and may get to be a superhero book after all. As for the art, in some parts it did feel rushed. I'm not 100% sold on Hitch's art. Sometimes I look at a page and go "Woah! What detail." And then I look at a page and see the Hulk's arm twisted in some way that would make him appear to be rubber or Captain America with skinny, weird looking arms. The battles are impressive (as is the 8 page foldout) in the grand scope but also seem rushed at times. Perhaps he needed more than 9 weeks or could have dialed down the level of detail. So the story comes to a fitting end and everything is ready for the next team. I'm kinda happy with that. So all in all, it was worth the read and maybe some of the wait.
The Great and Secret Show #12 -- The series comes to an end here. The best thing about this book, they include a few pages at the beginning that run down the major events and characters so far. I needed that refresher and it was well done. It was worth the $4 (or whatever it was) right there. Then the story reaches its epic conclusion and we get the usual epilogue and set up for the next chapter in the story. This issue continued to be as well done as every other issue in the series and the recap really helped me (I keep saying that don't I?). Just like the Ultimates, things are tied up nicely while setting you up for the next chapter/book. Though maybe one or two times things get a bit rushed through for the sake of finishing the story but it wasn't too bad, it wasn't Spider-Man 3 bad. :) The art continues to be a great match for the story. For the Clive Barker fans (those who have read the novel and those who haven't) this series really does the book justice. And by their thank you statement to Mr Barker it's clear that doing a good job of adapting it was their priority. Perhaps I should have waited and picked up the TPBs but either way, it's worth the read.
For future reviews I'm considering going with a rating system of some sort. I don't want to go in to detailed scoring or anything, just give it three possible scores like a thumb up if I think it's worth checking out, a thumb down if not, and maybe a sideways thumb for books that on the fence. But I'd rather not go with the thumb as it's been done too many times. I'll have to come up with something. And some books I might give multiple ratings for multiple groups of people. One example would be a rating for fans of a character or creator and one for the common fan. But enough rambling, it's just something I'm thinking about doing.