Survive opens with the memorial for President Steven Rogers. I honestly didn't believe Cap died when we saw his plane crash, but the Sentinel of Liberty has truly fallen. I'm not sure why they made the choice to do it off panel, although with the Ultimate Universe's track record you have to assume they stand by the creed of "dead is dead." We then move to "New Jersey" where Monica Chang, head of S.H.I.E.L.D, is told by Attorney Franklin Nelson that she will be held responsible for the devastation caused by Galactus and that S.H.I.E.L.D will most likely not survive the political fallout. This should certainly be a fun plot point to watch, but I'm not entirely sure where this takes place. It seems at least a little bit of New Jersey survived the insatiable appetite of the Devourer of Worlds. We get a little more of Tony Stark's eulogy for Cap, which isn't much that wasn't said during the death of 616 Cap, about him being the best of the heroes and such. We then move to the Baxter Building.
Reed Richards inadvertently crosses paths with Sue Storm during a visit to the remnants of the Ultimate Baxter Building. This section mainly serves as catch up for those who may have missed the Cataclysm series. Reed explains to Sue that while in the 616 universe he met their counterparts' daughter and realized the life they could have had together. (You know, if he hadn't turned evil and tried to kill her.) Sue listens but doesn't let him get close, and the two end the conversation with the idea of restarting the Baxter Building think tank. With a new Ultimate FF series on the way, it seems likely this is a springboard for that new series.
We then jump to fan favorite mutant Kitty Pryde, whose phasing abilities were crucial to the Ultimate Universe's defeat of Galactus. Kitty receives a phone call from the president, who tells her her actions may have been enough to sway public opinion in favor of trusting mutants. This is easily the most exciting development because it could mean some plotlines that just can't be explored in the 616 universe. Bigotry has been a constant, and seemingly essential, catalyst for X-Men stories for decades. This could open a whole new realm of stories should Bendis really take the Ultimate Universe past the disdain for mutants. Following Kitty's phone call we jump to Spider-Man, who saves a construction worker from falling debris while helping with the cleaning effort. His appearance really is that simple, although it's presumably because his series needs the least hyping. Miles will be in the Ultimate Spider-Man 200th issue, due out next week, and thus doesn't earn much space.
All in all, Survive wasn't much to write home about, but it is a good read if you are interested in jumping into the Ultimate Universe. It does a nice job of balancing catch-up exposition with the beginning threads of several new big arcs, allowing the book to feel necessary, unlike many other "catch-up books" that tend to feel like advertisements more than original content. What did you think of Survive? Which new Ultimate book are you looking forward to? Let us know and stay tuned to fanboysanonymous.com as we work through the new beginning for the Ultimate Universe.