COMIC REVIEW: Captain Ultimate #1

captainultimate_cover_thumbnailAnnounced this year at SDCC as a new book from Monkeybrain, Captain Ultimate is IGN comics editor Joey Esposito and IGN writer Benjamin Bailey’s joint foray into all-ages comics. With Dutch artist Boykoesh bringing the world to life, the team tells the story of Captain Ultimate, the greatest hero who ever lived, but a hero that has been forgotten about.

The story opens with a primer on who Captain Ultimate was. He was the greatest of heroes, the most virtuous man that ever lived, but one day he left. He hasn’t returned, and in the meantime he’s been forgotten about. The current tale begins as a giant squid monster attacks the city. Young Milo is heading back from the comic shop with an issue of the old Captain Ultimate comic, when he’s stopped by some other kids who are emulating the new gritty anti-heroes that have popped up since Captain Ultimate has disappeared. As the monster attacks, the Super Revenging Society springs into action, only to show how unlike heroes they really are. As Milo bravely confronts the monster, Captain Ultimate miraculously reappears, saving the day. It only takes someone standing up when everyone else runs away, he says.

Esposito and Bailey obviously have a love for the heroes of the past, those heroes that were truly good and noble. Ultimate’s disappearance is obviously talking about the disappearance of the simpler, better heroes of the past and the grim and gritty heroes that they’ve been replaced with. The story is simple, but it delivers a clear message of hope and heroism as Ultimate’s words to Milo set a good tone for the book. It’s a welcome addition to the rather meager all-ages or kid-friendly comics that are currently available. And the kids even like it, if my 4 year-old nephew is to be believed.

Boykoesh’s art is great for the book as it brings a playful and light feel to the characters and world, something akin to a Saturday morning cartoon. The nice touch of having Captain Ultimate textured differently than the rest of the book, only further playing up his Golden Age origins, really adds to the overall visuals.

As someone who has tired of the grim and gritty anti-heroes, it’s nice to see something that makes superheroes fun and pure again. Captain Ultimate is great for readers young and old, leaving a big smile on their faces. Plus, for just $0.99, it’s a complete and total steal. Make sure to pick it up on Comixology from Monkeybrain.

Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Leo Johnson

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