About a year ago I started buying the Ultimate Fantastic Four series by writer Mike Carey and artist Pascual Ferry (at least, those were the guys on the title at the time). It was the Silver Surfer storyline and I was jazzed about the new movie coming out, and a combination of being a slave to hype and the monthly comic doing everything it could to drive me away from it, I chose the Ultimate version of Marvel's first family to latch on to for my first family of Marvel fix.
After picking up the first issue or two (#42 & #43, I think), I went back and started reading the earlier issues from the beginning. When they initially launched the title, I didn't want anything to do with it, partly because I was skeptical regarding anything Ultimate, partly because it was Bendis or Ellis or Millar and Hitch and I was tired of these big 'widescreen' event comics, and mostly it was because they reintroduced the team as teenagers. Something about that ticked me off.
Still, after reading the first few issues, I saw something in it that was dynamic, interesting and not without its charm. Sort of the same reaction I had to reading Ultimate Spider-Man for the first time. I decided to continue catching up while picking up the newer issues and do so until the newer stuff no longer interested me.
As of issue #53 I'm officially done.
Not only am I having tremendous amounts of trouble with the artwork of Tyler Kirkham, but the stories by Carey have lost all their momentum. What originally felt like a slow, interesting building up to the cosmic cube storyline eventually fell horribly flat when it finally hit its climax with the return of Thanos to the book and the Four to Earth. Bad dialogue, bad storytelling, bad art and bleah characters finally killed this thing for me. And it's strange because it sort of came out of the blue. I mean, I wasn't truly happy with some of the issues in the late forties, but they were still readable. And Carey's other work still engages me whenever I run across it.
Anyways, the good news is that, with UFF, The Batman Strikes,and Teen Titans, Go! all getting (or having gotten) the axe (by me or their respective publishers), and with Whedon's Runaways storyline completed, there's a spot or two now open on the ol' pull list that I can fill with stuff that I enjoy. I've been picking up Chuck Dixon and Chris Batista's Robin and I've really been digging it, so...