Miles Morales' best friend, Ganke, kicks things off by being mugged early in the morning by a pair of men who look part lizard, part Savage Dragon. Cloak and Dagger promptly arrive and thwart the mugging, though how is hard to say as the action panels are a bit difficult to follow. The real take away here is that lizard men with scaly handle bar mustaches are now canon. Cloak and Dagger take Ganke to an abandoned church, which they are using for a secret base, where Miles awaits their arrival. Elsewhere, a group of police offers break into a drug lab which turns out to be empty, though they find a green cadaver with melted flesh. We watch a Serpent-like person complete with boils flee through a back alley, though the police are none the wiser.
Back in the base, Jessica Drew shows up with Bombshell and gives the various heroes S.H.I.E.L.D communicators, making their team official. She then briefs them on a local gang, "The Serpent Skulls," who are dealing a Roxxon drug that's a derivative of the one that gave the team their powers. They break the group meeting, agreeing to sweep the streets and begin chasing down leads. Jessica heads over to Kitty Pryde's house where the two discuss Kitty's new found celebrity. It's a pretty frustrating couple pages as it's Kitty's only appearance in the book even though her story, having publicly defeated Galactus thus massively swaying pubic opinion of mutants, is the most interesting. Sadly, she's only used for a few conversation pages where she uses her powers to complete mundane tasks, like fetching a napkin, to make the dialogue interesting.
Later, Bombshell follows her ears to somebody shouting next door while coming home from a date. She stumbles across the Serpent Skull we saw leave the drug lab and quickly engages him and his tech-wielding sidekick. Jessica Jones promptly arrives to join the fight debuting a new costume, and demands to be called Black Widow for reasons they don't care to explain in this issue. It feels forced. The police then arrive as Spider-Man and Cloak and Dagger simultaneously swoop in. The team battles the Serpent Skulls to a stand still, which falls apart when Spider-Man dodges a desperate attack by one of the Serpents, allowing the acid-based attack to fall on one of the police officers. As the team reels from his mistake, dozens of other serpents emerge from all around, circling them.
All-New Ultimates #1 kicked off the Ultimate Universe's new super group with a whimper. There's this idea in comics that teenagers can only take on rookie or youthful threats, which decreases the scale of the book and deflates the grandeur of these heroes. This is a group of individuals who just helped circumvent the apocalypse at the hands of a giant cosmic entity and they're now having difficulties battling bikers with acid touch. Perhaps Cataclysm left a lot to be desired, but this just feels like the Ultimate line took a bold step forward, then two large steps back. The unsure tone of the book fits a world that's rapidly changing, but the overall product is simply underwhelming at best. Bendis had hinted that he has big plans for Ultimate Spider-Man. Hopefully he starts holding the other members of the Ultimate line to a similar standard of excellence.
What did you think of All-New Ultimates #1? Are you happy the Ultimate Universe survived, or has this book left you longing for a reboot? Let us know in the comments section below!