It's no secret there's a lot of hardcore Ultimate Universe fans (ahem... me). A lot of them are freaked out with how CATACLYSM is going to affect their favorite property. Fanboy tendencies aside, the overall HUNGER mini-series is great, and this issue in the best of the run. It makes fans of the Ultimate Universe comfortable with what's going on. There's a gleam of hope here as Rick Jones and the Silver Surfer take on Galactus. Writer Joshua Fialkov makes this last issue, which is pretty much one epic battle, pretty dang awesome.
The art steps up in this issue as well. The layouts look great here. There's a fantastic flow from panel to panel and some of these layouts are incredibly epic, which really fits the book since Galactus is treating this universe like his own personal smorgasbord. Artist Leonard Kirk does some really cool things with this finale. This is a large scale battle, and some of these pages have large scale panels, and many times, there's some great two-page spreads as well. Obviously, it's the writer that sets the number of panels on a page, but the way Kirk lays out the battle, later in this issue, and the way the eye moves over the page, really adds to the immensity of this story.
Continuing with the art, the Rick Jones/Captain Marvel design is awesome. It has a cool look to it, and best of all, there's a very cool Watcher eye as the emblem on his chest. Fialkov had a field day with meshing together a bunch of characters during this mini-series, which can be a disaster. However, the result in HUNGER was pretty dang cool, especially with Rick Jones. How do you defeat a Galactus/Gah Lak Tus hybrid? With a Rick Jones/Captain Marvel hybrid. It's things like that which make this issue a ton of fun.
Ultimate Rick Jones, prior to HUNGER, was a down the middle of the road character for me. I didn't really care much for the guy. This last issue actually got me excited for the future of this character along with The Watcher. These characters are left at a very weird place in this universe and it seems like there's still more to see from them. Not everything is wrapped up into a nice little package, by the end of the issue, and that's what really makes the overall story a worthwhile read. It leaves the reader hanging.
What this mini-series does really well is get the reader excited for what's about to happen next. It's a good build to the poopstorm that may or may not be hitting the Ultimate Universe in CATACLYSM. HUNGER is also a solid follow-up to AGE OF ULTRON. The most interesting thing to happen from AoU was Galactus jumping into the Ultimate Universe, and this series and issue handles it very well.
HUNGER really isn't it's own mini-series. It's a catalyst for CATACLYSM. It's really the second act of this large scale story, in which AGE OF ULTRON is the first. Overall, it's a very good second act, but there's not too much resolve here, simply because it can't be resolved in this issue with CATACLYSM coming up next month. There's no real question of "Will Galactus be stopped?" You know the answer, unless you've been hiding from all the Ultimate Universe news. If you have, I applaud you.
HUNGER #4 delivers the fun and excitement of Hungry Hungry Hippos without the anger or palm blisters. When you look at the bigger picture of what's happening with the 616 and Ultimate Universes, HUNGER is an awesome story. It's a fun piece that moves the event forward and prepares fans for CATACLYSM. While readers know most of what is going to happen with this issue because the next event starts in November, there's still a few twist and turns along the way. Fialkov and Kirk do a great job with making this large scale event and battle feel epic. Overall, it's a great read for Ultimate Universe fans. I highly recommend this issue.