This issue, much like CATACLYSM #0.1 did, established the fact that the 616 heroes are much tougher than their Ultimate counterparts. This is a pretty hopeless story, right off the bat. Fans are going to notice that this won't be an easy battle for the behemoths of the Ult Universe. They'll be compelled to read on because writer Brian Michael Bendis made this event engaging as well as intriguing. It's a page-turner, and fans are truly going to want to know what's going to happen next. There's no way Galactus will destroy this universe that easy, right?
The book is pretty split between Galactus' arrival, the Ultimates taking him on, and Miles being more of a street-level hero. These three aspects really come together to make a very solid story that gives the reader a larger scope of how this is affecting New York City. Not only is the reader seeing this actual battle, but they get to see how the normal people who live in the city deal with this, mainly through the use of Miles trying to save those caught in the crossfire.
It's really nice to see Mark Bagley working back on an Ultimate book. For the most part, he really shines on this issue. On pages three and four, we are treated to a gorgeous spread of Galactus landing in New York City as Ganke and Miles look up at him. He uses a lot of different perspectives to show the reader just how large and immense Galactus is. Personally, one of my favorite things about Bagley's work on here, along with the inks of Andrew Hennessy and colors of Jason Keith is the use of the cosmic bubbles that many people associate with Jack Kirby's work. It's a cool effect and a very nice way to tie the 616 and Ultimate universes together in this cross-over.
The final page here isn't some sort of giant reveal, but it is a page that's really going to get the reader interested in the continuation of this event. The art team's work here is pretty stunning and I can't wait to see how the Ultimates deal with this in the next issue.
Bagley's art was a bit of a mixed bag (no pun intended). At times, it really hits its mark, but in more than a few cases, it was a bit of a let down. The biggest problem was that Ganke, Miles Morales' best friend from ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN, doesn't look like Ganke at all. Miles looks a bit older too. The "kid" part of these characters is lost a little. While it's true that a new artist is going to have his or her own style, the characters still retain a lot or the facial and style elements from the last artist. With the Ult SM-cast, it's a bit lost.
There's been a lot of hype around this book because it may or may not destroy the Ultimate Universe. That being said, this book does live up to the hype. It's an all out war and incredibly satisfying throughout the issue. We get a larger scope of what's going on here as the book splits its time between the Ultimates fighting Galactus and Miles Morales saving people on the ground. The writing and art are incredibly solid, for the most part. I did have one gripe about how Bagley was drawing Ganke and Miles because they looked quite a bit different, especially in Ganke's case, from their main-series counterparts, but overall, I was very happy with this first issue and you will be too.