Warren Ellis, Cary Nord & Dave Stewart - Ultimate Human No.1 (4 stars)

Warren Ellis, Cary Nord

(Marvel)

SUPERHERO

Marvel’s Ultimate line was intended to reinvent the company’s main characters for the 21st century, to drag them out of the hands of continuity-obsessed fanboys for a while and show off how well superhero stories could function as a reflection of their times. In a comic like this, with a writer like Warren Ellis, that intention is realised almost perfectly.

The leads in this first of four parts are the Ultimate versions of Iron Man and the Hulk, the former being Tony Stark, an alcoholic, technopathic millionaire playboy, the latter Bruce Banner, an ostracised scientific freak. As the former tries to cure the latter, these ‘two halves of the push to post-humanity’ are swept along by Ellis’ sterling character work and trademark musings on the far reaches of technology. It’s unlikely that both characters’ forthcoming movie versions will be packed with as much style or imagination.

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