Thing loves Invisible WomanPosted: 03/25/2014
Well, in the Ultimate universe. For those not up to date, the early 2000s brought us an entire different Marvel universe, where all the heroes de-aged back to when their voices still cracked. It went well for a good decade or so until Ultimatum event came around. Because the Ultimate universe isn’t technically canon, the writers have free rein to destroy and mutilate their world and characters as they see fit. And oh my goodness, did they. If your name wasn’t attached to a series title, you were almost certain to perish during the event — and even that didn’t save the majority of X-Men.
But rising from the remains of Ultimatum allowed for ideas that could have never gone to fruition before. Like our two characters in the title. And a new supervillain that terrorizes the entire Ultimate universe for years and years: Mr. Fantastic. But I’m jumping ahead of myself to build suspense. Today, using the following comics, we’ll be analyzing how Ben Grimm and Sue Storm fell in love. And explosions and punches and angry outbursts:
Ultimate Fantastic Four Requiem, written by Joe Pokaski and drawn by Robert Atkins
Ultimate Enemy #1-4, written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Rafa Sandoval
Ultimate Mystery #1-4, written by Bendis and drawn by Sandoval
Ultimate Doom #1-4, written by Bendis and drawn by Sandoval
Think of Enemy, Mystery, and Doom each as an act in a much larger story. Also, Bendis is a genius, I love his comics unconditionally, and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise. We start at the funeral of Sue and Johnny Storm’s father — one of the unfortunate Ultimatum victims.
Let’s backtrack a bit. Just like all that delightful canon stuff, Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman get together over the course of Ultimate Fantastic Four and form a meaningful and lasting relationship. But just no children, because they’re eighteen years old. During Ultimatum, Sue overexerted her powers attempting to hold back the New York City flood. And then she almost died. Unfortunately, Mr. Fantastic abandoned her to go beat up Namor and that whole “save the world” thing, leaving the Thing and the Human Torch to save dear Sue’s life. They totally do and Reed totally saves the world, but their relationship couldn’t survive Reed being a jerk.
Anyway, a new day rises and it’s time for Sue to get a job. Ultimate Sue is a super genius on par with Mr. Fantastic – a character change I can definitely get behind.
See where Ben’s leading here? Newly single Sue and and a lovesick orange rock monster alone in a factory/laboratory with nothing between them but years of traversing dimensions and solving fancy science problems.
So everything instantly becomes terrible and awful on a catastrophic scale. And I mean instantly — I cut off the bottom two panels of the page above that show Sue being eaten by a giant sludge thing. Sadly, superheroics demand that evil be conquered before declarations of love get answered. And trust me, a lot of superheroics are needed:
Halfway through, something amazing happens. You know the brief mentions of Thing’s rocks falling off? If we think of those as a coat instead of armor, the Thing receives the best gift of the entire series when his rocky wardrobe’s removed: a superpower without the depression of being a mountain monster
Right? How great is that? Plus super strength looks way cooler with a purple aura to it. Regrettably, love once more has to take a backseat to punching and world saving. Great power, great responsibility, etc.
That’s Ultimate Nick Fury disguised as normal Nick Fury. Now, in order to have a successful relationship, there can’t be old boyfriend drama still lingering. More importantly, what better way to appreciate sexy purple Thing than with a reminder of how bad her previous choice was?
All those explosions, bad guys, and skyscraper-sized goo attacks? Meet the new Reed Richards, far eviler than the old Reed Richards.
A force bubble in the brain immediately kills her opponent. Just one flick of the wrist. Let’s all take a moment and be glad she fights for good and righteousness. Though with Mr. Fantastic’s stretchy organs, the instant aneurysm doesn’t have the same effect. Anyway, to initiate readers to the new big baddie of the Ultimate universe, the whole series leads up this climax. And the Human Torch discovers a secret.
While Reed Richards can certainly take down the toughest of the superheroes, even he can’t take down all of them. With the former Mr. Fantastic defeated (momentarily), it’s time to get back to the juicy stuff — after all, it’s been twelve issues since Ben’s love declaration. It’s time for Sue’s response.
There’ll never be a better ending than a happy ending.