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This review is from: Ultimates 2 Volume 2: Grand Theft America TPB: Grand Theft America v. 2 (Graphic Novel Pb) (Paperback)
Okay - if you haven't read "The Ultimates 1" & "The Ultimates 2 - Volume 1: Gods & Monsters" then you won't have a clue what's going on in this book. But rest assured, if you do take the time to read the aforementioned graphic novels, you will be richly rewarded.
Mark Millar is a Scottish writer and one of the very best in the comic industry. He's the writer of "Wanted", "Chosen" and the first few volumes of "Ultimate X-Men" and "Ultimate Fantastic Four". So he knows his superhero stuff. Bryan Hitch is also a superb artist and one of my favourites, he has an incredible eye for detail and renders each character and all the locations with exquisite beauty. I guess that's the biggest bonus for "The Ultimates" 1 & 2 - they look FANTASTIC. It's worth it for the artwork alone, no joke. "The Ultimates" - like her WildStorm sister "The Authority" - is definitely 'widescreen comics' and is just crying out for a film version - Hollywood, you've been warned!
As for the story, Millar has an edgy style and, with the exception of a few endearingly corny lines from Captain America, the dialogue is sharp and, most importantly, believable. That is, you can actually imagine a real flesh-and-blood person speaking it which, if you read most of the garbage that some writers fill their characters mouths with, is remarkable and a welcome change.
The story follows on directly from where "Gods and Monsters" left off and, not to spoil it for you, pretty much every hero gets beaten but hey, they do have Cap, so you just know the good guys are gonna kick some terrorist ass. The story is definitely a bold one and kudos to Millar for not pulling his punches with regards to the exil machinations of his 'Axis of Evil' involving Arab, Russian and Chinese terrorists. This is also a rare graphic novel that does exactly what it says in the title - America is 'stolen' by the bad guys. Air Force One is literally knocked out of the sky and crashed right into the White House for cryin' out loud!! The final issue does feel too constrained by the page limit but you have to remember that this is part of a larger, on-going series that will be picked up in "The Ultimates 3" by Jeph Loeb, which starts in December. However, it will be radically different from "The Ultimates" 1 & 2 as it will only be five issues and set up the events of "Ultimatum" the first crossover event in the Marvel Ultimate universe, something they promised a couple of years ago they'd never ever do!!
But "The Ultimates 2 - Volume 2: Grand Theft America", along with its previous volumes, is absolutely worth it for Millar's great writing and Hitch's extraordinary artwork. Trust me, in ten years everyone (well, everyone who counts) will look back on "The Ultimates" 1 & 2 and say that they are classics.