Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Bryan Hitch, Andrew Currie, Alex Sinclair, and Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: September 27th, 2023
THE END…OR THE BEGINNING? War breaks out as timelines and universes collide in this week’s Ultimate Invasion #4 by Jonathan Hickman! Iron Man must choose between the lesser of two evils – the Maker or Kang. But what secret does Iron Man know about the men behind the masks? And at the end of it all, the world outside your window will be forever changed! Don’t miss this giant-sized, action-packed conclusion – or is it only the beginning…?
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read The Ultimate Invasion #4 Review.
So… I have… questions. Tons of questions in fact after reading Ultimate Invasion #4. And truthfully, it’s just the ambiguity and lack of clarity throughout key moments that developed this uncertainty. What exactly was the Maker attempting to do with the Immortus Engine? And why couldn’t he make it on his own? Some would assume it’s because he forgot how to make it due to his “cranial obstruction”. But, it seems too loose a plot thread to dangle out there without direction.
Additionally, the use of the Immortus Engine was left vague as well. The belief is time travel. However, how did the Maker even create this new Ultimate Universe in the first place? Again, it’s the empty direction and open format of Ultimate Invasion #4 that I feel left too many unanswered questions. Before this title ventured forth, I thought this entire series was going to be about the creation of the Ultimate Universe. However, it turns out the Universe was already created and the story was about something else entirely.
Yet, the biggest question of them all is why did Howard need to remake this huge Immortus Engine. And, did it have other capabilities? Nevertheless, we hand it to Hickman to leave fans with some curiosity and clever skepticism as Ultimate Invasion #4 comes to a close. Does Howard die? Does the Maker die? And, as many have speculated since this series began, who is this Kang? Is this Kang Howard, Tony, the Maker, or someone else entirely? And fans, this is what makes a Hickman comic so exciting. Even if you leave a Hickman story with unanswered questions, the thought-provoking elements and questions are still enough to encapsulate the reader.
Ultimate Invasion #4 leaves the reader with mystery, intrigue, and wanting more. It creates a beginning for this Universe to take off providing a feeling very similar to DC Comics Earth Two where things are similar yet also very different. For example, if we get this Ultimate Universe, we won’t have a Spider-Man, Hulk is different, many of the main characters we know and love are dead, and those that remain are mostly different thanks to the Maker. My point is that this series touches down as a perfect starting point for any writer’s creative juices to flow since Hickman quickly created the groundwork. Yet, the problem still remains that the foundation created was built on a few open-ended questions that I deem are important for fans to find answers moving forward.
Ultimate Invasion #4 wraps up this inaugural event that kick-starts a brand new Ultimate Universe. Now, to those diehard fans, it’s not the original Ultimate Universe. Technically, that’s Earth 1610. The Maker stole Illuminati tech from Earth 616 to jump to an alternate timeline called Earth 6160 and remade it in order to create a new home for himself where he controls everything. So indirectly, we have a new Ultimate Universe. However, the exact how and why I just established for you was still reasonably vague and cluttered with speculation. And that was kind of the problem with this entire event. As much fun as a Hickman book can be with its creativity, speculation, and clever imagination, the only way to decipher what actually happens is to re-read and head to discussion forums to figure out what’s actually going on. Is that what you want from a book?
Ultimate Invasion wasn’t bad by any stretch. Again, it offers a wildly creative beginning to what could be a pretty stellar campaign if driven by the right creative team. Hopefully, Hickman sticks this Universe out, takes the reins, and orchestrates the perfect direction moving forward. No one knows the Maker, his desires, and his relationship with Reed better than Hickman. Moreover, tapping into his S.H.I.E.L.D. series, Hickman has a firm grasp on Howard Stark as well. If you haven’t noticed, Hickman writes one heck of a genius intellect. But, sometimes the premise gets a bit too big at times which is what caused some mild confusion as Ultimate Invasion #4 began. Was this Hickman’s best performance? No. But was it still an interesting read worth the price? Definitely. If you like to think and speculate over plot threads and possibilities, this series is totally for you. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!