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    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2008 edited

    Pic 1
    Until further notice, every page is a three-panel page – three page-wide panels of equal size stacked one atop the other.

    I’m writing this on the fly at high speed, so forgive any rank stupidity below, and email me if anything makes no sense.

    EXT. STARK BUILDING, MANHATTAN. DAY. I don’t know if there’s a previous look established for this – if not, give me something fun. This is a guy who can have any building, anywhere, built to his tastes, so if he wanted an Art Deco tower made out of stainless white plastic, that’s what he’d get.

    LETTERER; we’re trying something a bit different on this. When I ask for a OVERLAY, it means I want a caption done in display lettering, no box behind it – but VERY BIG, and ghosted out to, say, 50% opacity. You’ll have to do a bit of trial and error with it, but I want overlay captions that are themselves a graphic statement on the panel. And, like dialogue in Ultimates books, the OVERLAYs should be Sentence Case.

    OVERLAY: Stark International in Manhattan


    So... anyone read it?


    -- W
  1.  (441.2)
    I haven't as of yet, but i plan on picking it up tomorrow. As a designer the caption lettering idea intrigues me. Can't wait to see the final product.
    • CommentAuthornastyadam
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2008 edited
    Watching the birds on page 1 was really funny. My first reaction was, uh-oh, symbolism, but no, just a joke. Thanks for that. You really nail the dynamic between Tony and Bruce as scientists. I'm looking forward to seeing Mr. Nord draw more action... Just out of curiosity, what if Banner's Hulk stack blood cells got into Tony? I need a drink.
    • CommentAuthorjmarquiso
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2008
    Ultimate Wisdom. That's all I have to say.

    Okay - yeah - I have more -

    The dialog between Tony and Bruce is pitch perfect. Bruce's reaction toward the end is quite good. I'm glad you're writing this.
  2.  (441.5)
    I like it.

    I loved your run on mainstream Iron Man, stacking great ideas into really good, sharp dialogue and solid plot structure. I think you brought that to the table big time here, and I love the interpretation of Pete Wisdom/the Leader. It's a really good first issue, and I'm very much looking forward to the next one. Great delivery, smart story.
  3.  (441.6)
    Warren, in the script excerpt above, you said you wrote this:

    on the fly at high speed, so forgive any rank stupidity below, and email me if anything makes no sense.

    Well, that's the problem: this issue feels exactly like it was written in a hurry. There are plot holes, mischaracterizations and expositive dialog. I'll elaborate:

    The whole premise of this book is set around an apparent plot hole: how the fuck a genius scientist like Bruce Banner noticed ONLY NOW that he could use nanotechnology like Stark's to control The Hulk? Banner was trapped in a glass cell for months thinking just about ways to control him (The Ultimates v2), and only now he comes up with that? And Stark too, why didn't he help Bruce with that before? Two geniuses came up with this idea just now?

    Also, why use a fancy atmospheric box to turn Bruce into The Hulk? Wouldn't mild electrical shocks have more or less the same effect without letting Hulk so pissed off? And how can Bruce Banner have survived Venus' atmosphere, or, as you put it, "half a mile of ocean piled on his head"? He was supposed to turn into The Hulk AFTER being hit with that, so how did he survive?

    Also, the big-headed villain is very weak so far. His monologue is - I have to be honest here - terrible. Expositive and artificial, it's a cheap way of telling us who he is and where he came from without wasting more than two pages or so. I also thought Banner's monologue was a little too exaggerated, as if he trained it for days in front of the mirror, instead of just entering in Stark's room and saying: "You use nanotech to control Iron Man. I could use it to control the Hulk. What do you think?".

    It's an entertaining issue, though. I liked the overlay, it's a nice idea, and some of the dialog is good, after all, you're Warren Ellis. But this whole book feels way too rushed. Cary Nord's art, though, is wonderful as usual. Dave Stewart's coloring is the best I've seen in a long time from him.

    If there's an explanation to the apparent plot holes I pointed out, please do tell me. But even if they can be explained, I maintain the big-headed villain and Banner's monologue were quite artificial and weak, and that the atmospheric box thing was a little... mmm... fancy. It doesn't feel like it's "easier than throwing him out of a chopper".

    I'll be sticking with this series. Hulk vs. Iron Man written by Warren Ellis is still a great fucking premise, especially with art by Cary Nord.
    • CommentTimeJan 6th 2008
    . warrenellis wrote :
    Until further notice, every page is a three-panel page – three page-wide panels of equal size stacked one atop the other.

    Just finished reading it and I have to say you guys sticking to a 3 panel per page is quite elegant, keeping the cinematic comic to its simplest form, the widescreen proportions. It does feel like you're reading the whole thing in an editing room (slowing down the paneling for the hulk shots while shots on Tony are rushed (no way tony can deliver that many orders and explain everything that is happening in the time it takes for the hulk to straighten up). Juxtaposing the two rhythm in the same 3 panel widescreen pages is very efficiently spielberg-ian.

    As for the plot I see it as warren ellis for curious teenagers, lots of big ideas and scientific concepts rendered sexy and accessible, very much what doctor who always did. The plot needed a big jail where the hulk was throwing punches against walls as tony and everybody else around him are trying to control a situation slipping away from them after each punches. It's a ticking bomb countdown as plot. The fact that it's a planetary simulation room is just warren's way of sex-ing up a cage for the hulk.

    anyway , i liked it, from the ultimate version of the Leader, to Cary's insane need to twist the frames as if he was perched drawing on a steadycam.
  4.  (441.8)
    "As for the plot I see it as warren ellis for curious teenagers"

    My approach exactly.

    -- W
    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2008
    So far, so good. I have to say that I am enjoying the ride of the first issue. I've recommended it to a couple of friends as well.

    I am a little disappointed about using Pete Wisdom as the Ultimate Leader, but it is only the first issue so that opinion may change as the story goes on.
    • CommentAuthorhank
    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2008
    It looks like a great setup to a good fight.
  5.  (441.11)
    I can't wait until the next issue, when the thrown downs really start.
  6.  (441.12)
    If there's an explanation to the apparent plot holes I pointed out, please do tell me

    Your pointing at a variation on an issue so basic to shared universe Super Heroes it can't even be called a plot hole. Worlds get populated by super scientists and magicians who can solve any problem when presented but problems have to persist for the sake of narrative.

    Its one way shared worlds will always be broken, so you have to tell stories that suspend disbelief on that issue.

    Here the story is about the related genius of two "post human" maniacs in the Ultimate setting, and how they try and solve issues before they get to the punching. And Stark is just as crazy as Banner in Ultimate, thats part of the point I think. Stark is playing with Banner's life here because he can, and was given permission. Banner is a brilliant sad sack who is going to let him.

    Now you...could write a story which confronts why the wonders and magic of the world never go anywhere. Maybe about how someone or some group keep it for themselves. Perhaps an analogue of a classic comic super scientist could be the villain of the piece.

    ...I wonder when issue 27 will be solicited by DC; if Cassaday has started drawing it or is finishing up X-men still....

    Anyway, fun issue. Grabbed it will in Oxford burning some time, I really like the 3 panel bar layout though its a shame we could not get the transparency effect described above. The Peter Wisdom bit was a nice in-joke. Gota keep killing him Warren or he won't stay dead.

    Edit: Lunesta make for typos go!
  7.  (441.13)
    I still feel this issue to be too artificial, but hell, it's fun. But I take back what I said earlier about Banner's monologue. After re-reading, it makes sense. Banner wants people to pity him, it's normal in his condition, so that justifies the long (and well-written) monologue. But the rest still feels exaggerated. But fun.
    • CommentTimeJan 8th 2008
    Yeah fun book. I'm not sure how seriously i can take this book. Its just a set up for a fight scene kinda like the ultimate wolverine hulk book that never finished. Yeah it looks great, has some interesting things going on.
    • CommentTimeJan 8th 2008
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    Just finished it and I really liked the plot. I mean if you can't suspend a bit of disbelief about the occasional minor plot hole what the heck are you doing reading super hero comics?
    I loved seeing Pete Wisdom again in any form and it definitly bodes well. I was so into the story I did not even notice the 3panel layout the first time through.
    I thought it worked pretty good. I did not see any real plot holes. Banner probably did practice for days in front of the mirror to get Tony to help him.
    Why he never considered nanotech could have simply been trying to find the answer in his specialty.

    Iron man and the Hulk are supposed to be a bit more exaggerated and if the term has not been paindfully over used "extreme".

    I expect it to be one of the better X Books. It is more mainstream than the Avatar stuff which is really how it should be but I loved what Warren did with Pete Wisdom and am really looking forward to seeing Ultimate Wisdom/Leader.
    • CommentAuthorMark R
    • CommentTimeJan 11th 2008
    Late to the show, but I enjoyed it a ton. The rest of the run should be a fun ride.
    • CommentAuthornleavitt
    • CommentTimeJan 11th 2008
    "What? What? VENUS?"

    I laughed. It's good stuff, great writing, nice art, evil Pete Wisdom. I'll be grabbing the run. I like it when he's angry.
  8.  (441.18)
    The use of Pete Wisdom as the leader was genius.
    Lots of fun action and science talk. Just what i wanted from the issue.
    • CommentAuthorSoul-bot
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2008
    Loved it so much. Tony's atmospheric box was insanely awesome, and Banner's monologue at the beginning was perfect.
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2008
    I was a great fan of this so far, all the little gadgets and sci-tech that Warren has mastered in the Ultimate Universe, Ultimate FF was a prime example of this, and a chair ridden leader Howling for blood is chilling and intriguing. The last panel made me almost spit up water i was drinking all over my desk at work.