Title: The Ultimates Vol. 2: Homeland Security (The Ultimates Trade Paperback #2)
Author: Mark Millar, Bryan Hitch
Pencils: Paul Neary
Inks: Andrew Currie
Book Format: Trade Paperback
Published: April 5th 2006 by Marvel (first published April 5th 2004)
This is the continuation of The Ultimates Vol. 1. It includes issues 7-13 of the comic book series of the early-mid 2000’s. I rated the first volume 3 of 5 stars and rightfully so compared to this volume. This is where writers Millar and Hitch truly find their stride. The story comes together much better in issues 7-13. There actually seems to be a purpose and an outcome worth reading.
Essentially, earth is being attacked by an alien force and it is up to The Ultimates to take them on and save the world. There is plenty of story to go around, however, with the relationship between the Pyms going bad and of course, Bruce Banner and the Hulk which is always an interesting dynamic. Other characters include Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, and Black Widow. The last two surprised me considerably as I’ve not had any experience reading comics with them. The sheer violence brought on by the two of them was jarring. It took me a moment to understand what they were doing and why they were killing what appeared to be innocent people. I’m still not sure how they knew the people were not “people” but wow, that was pretty intense.
Without spoiling too much of the story, I’m always surprised how the Hulk is used, and how he is made into a weapon, the deadliest weapon of all sometimes. I also love how he was drawn. Much more modern from the way I’m used to seeing him in cartoons. A much scarier and more sinister look. He looks, uncontrollable, which keeps you wondering how the likes of Captain America, Iron Man, or even Thor will be able to contain him. Let alone use him for good.
This book saved the series for me. It wasn’t the best series I’ve ever read which is why it only gets 4 of 5 stars, but it’s a solid read if you can get past volume 1 (issues 1-6).