Monday, August 06, 2007

Ultimate Galactus Trilogy…

A way around continuity issues…?!

Much as been written in recent years concerning the self-imposed continuity issues surrounding the myriad storylines, created by its many collaborative teams of artists and writers over the years.

I have just finished reading the Ultimate Galactus Trilogy and I think this is certainly a better way forward for Marvel’s comics stories to be written, avoiding such issues.

I have never understood this constant going back to their roots avenues or re-writing origins and the beginnings of a character or characters, which in so doing often alienate the original readers.

Okay I haven’t kept up date with the American comics scene over the past five or so years, like I used to do, aside from reading Comics International and similar publications, reading stuff on the Internet and buying the odd comics here and there, preferring as it were to buy collected Masterworks, original Graphic Novels, Art Books, and things like Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus series and collected trade paper backs and hard cover editions from Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse and the like, but it’s not like I haven’t seen any comics at all during this period.

A lot of my work was outside of comics since 1999 and as such I didn’t find myself frequenting comics shops as much as I used to. The work I am now seeing coming out has somehow gained my interest again, but in a big way.

Okay back to the reason for this Blog.

I won’t spend too much time looking at and describing what goes on in the book, after all some of you reading this may not yet have seen the original comic books and have yet to pick up this collection, but I will say this…

The ideas behind the story and its characters are something, which could have alleviated any continuity problems, if they had been employed long ago. Okay the characters aren’t the same ones created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, exactly, but they are if you look at it from the perspective of being in an alternate dimension or some such…A kind of “What if” scenario. In these stories the characters we all know are more gritty, violent and in your face. If these kinds of stories are contained within the “Ultimates” books and books of a similar design, then the original Marvel comics can happily go about their daily business of storytelling, without having to appear all dark, grim, gritty and depressing, not that the Galactus story is in anyway depressing.

Maybe this is why I have taken to reading comic books, as well as the collections and odd trades, again, because some of the stories from the new Marvel and DC, etc, comics are once more fun to read, whilst the new Ultimates type storylines give the alternative stories an opportunity to be told, without the constraints imposed by existing continuity and also without affecting sales to younger kids.

Galactus is a great story with great art and is totally different because it remains in the alternative Ultimates Marvel universe. The characters, because the old continuity doesn’t exist (exactly) means that you can look at the story and characters through fresh eyes, much like being a kid again and seeing things for the first time. Well-done Marvel for doing something to write fresh stories, whilst keeping the integrity of what has gone before.

The story is a re-invention of the Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, Galactus trilogy of the sixties. The threat from the alien god-like, menace is no less foreboding or exciting than the original, it’s just different. Nick Fury of Agent of Shield fame here is a Samuel L Jackson look-alike, who has a mean get-the-job-done and shoot ’em if you have to attitude. The FF are there and are somewhat like the originals but with a little harder edge to their demeanour. The Avengers, here called the Ultimates, are there as well and consist of a line up Captain America, Sam Wilson - The Falcon, Iron Man, Thor (no longer speaking with a medieval dialect), The Black Widow with Nick Fury at the helm. The X-Men are there and are the nearest to what folks know best as the actual original concepts, in my mind. The Silver Surfer is there too and bears more than a passing similarity to the latest film outing in the FF 2 movie, in this version. Then there is Galactus and here is the biggest change…but then that would be telling…and I said I wouldn’t.

An excellent read that had me hooked to the end. Kudos to the creative teams that worked on the original series!!!

Excellent cover choice! The design and packaging is great too. It looks like an over-sized Masterworks book and is very well put together, plus it looks great on the bookshelves!

If you haven’t read it then I can recommend you go out and treat yourselves to a copy or buy one from the web. Forbidden Planet’s website has some great offers on, especially when the books first come out…so go on and take a look.

I think you’ll be glad you did…

I’m presently reading Godland – Celestial Edition One, which arrived today and will give you my thoughts later…my initial reaction is…”Wow this looks like Fun!!! It is after all a Kirbyesque pastiche and looks to be excellently done too. I’ll read this and should be finished in time to start reading my next volume of Jack’ Fourth World series when it arrives…can’t wait…

Oh well back to Hot Wheels…

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
August 6th 2007


Louis said...

Just had a look on the front of the cover. Some big names on there, the standout ones being Warren Ellis, Mark Millar, Steve McNiven and John Romita Jr... Might consider the purchase... Great blog, thanks!
The lad in gre-er, I mean Lewis.

Tim Perkins said...

Hi Lewis,

You will be happy you did.

Costs about £16 odd at the moment from Forbidden Planet and well worth the money, I can tell you.