The Ultimate universe has gone through some serious changes, even very recently. With S.H.I.E.L.D. out of the picture and the Ultimates being a street-level team, who is going to watch over the world from bigger threats?
What makes this team work together, on the page, is the fact that a few of them are not "prime-time players." Sam Wilson, Susan Storm, Phil Coulson, and Danny Ketch aren't characters fans would think of, right away, when it comes to a new roster for The Ultimates or any other team. Aside from that, this team is much more about geniuses coming together to solve problems rather than tough guys smashing things with their fists.
Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov has these characters play off each other very well throughout the scenes. The dialogue is fresh and highly enjoyable. There's some big personalities here and Fialkov has a fine way of showing it through their interactions with each other.
Without giving too much away about this story, ULTIMATE FF deals a lot with cleaning up the aftermath of Cataclysm and the Galactus fallout. There's some bigger things happening here, and frankly, it's easily the most interesting #1 issue, storywise from Marvel in the past few months. Readers are treated to an extremely solid set-up to the book, and a story that is engaging. This is also a great place for new readers to start as well.
The colorwork of Rachelle Rosenberg really helps define the look of this book. Her background shading and tonal transitions are wonderful here. This book utilizes a lot of colors fans aren't used to seeing on heroes: purple, aqua-marine, darker yellows. Simple changes, like that, give this book a real fresh feel.
Finally, GOAT-LEGGED DOOM!
This was a case of loving the story but hating the art. While I really appreciate that Mario Guervara and Tom Grummett step away from the over-done "house style" that fans are way too accustomed to, their style feels unfinished and rushed. Part of this may also be on the inks of Juan Vlasco, which are so thin and almost non-existent. Faces look distorted at times and the sketchy style just isn't working too well through certain scenes here. More predominant inks wouldn't have fixed this, but it certainly would have helped the overall art.
The art may be a bit rough, but the story for ULTIMATE FF #1 is one tremendous start. As far as the Ultimate universe goes, it's a bold, new direction, featuring a team of characters which a few have never really been in the spotlight. It's off to a great start and shows a lot of promise. It's a new team, a new start, and so far, is the best out of the Ultimates books. Overall, I highly recommend this issue and series.