A Look Back at UltraForce #2 (1994)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Some time ago, I wrote and explored what would happen had superheroes been real and got involved with government leaders and the corporate media. Considering what has been going on for some time now, I hope that more readers would read the article and realize the conspiracy between political parties and corporate media is real and even dangerous. Did you even notice that in America, the Left-leaning media outlets have been distorting the facts about the riots involving the Marxist movement Black Lives Matter and the violent Antifa group? Also, did you notice that the liberal media distorted the meaning of the words peaceful protesters? Being a former local community print media publication journalist myself, I know why media outlets (whose owners and managers willingly get involved with those who wield power) would distort the news and insult the public’s intelligence. Really, the truth is that objective, truthful, responsible and professional journalism is shrinking.

Enough with the sickening news wave of negativity magnified by corporate media. It’s time to examine the superhero-government-media conspiracy followed by a fantastic conflict within the Ultraverse in this look back at UltraForce #2, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Gerard Jones and art by George Perez (breakdowns) and John Statema (finished pencils).  

The cover of the limited edition.

Early story

The story begins with UltraForce member Ghoul visiting a place within the woods. He stops at a huge grave site of the Exiles and tries to communicate with his former teammates but to no avail. He only got glimmers from them. After expressing himself to nobody, he walks away.

Shortly after, UltraForce composed of Hardcase, Prime, Prototype, Ghoul, Pixx, Contrary and Topaz meet with US President Bill Clinton, US Senator Bob Dole, UN’s secretary general Boutros-Ghali and Blackrock of the press in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC. As they discuss important matters together, Atalon makes his move against the civilized world…

Quality

The interactions between the members of UltraForce are richly written.

To start with, this comic book is a build-up type of story containing lots dialogue, exposition and explanatory pieces with not too much spectacle. That’s not to say this is a boring issue, in fact it still remained quite engaging to read. The very wordy script for this comic book was written with care and there were efforts made to keep the story cohesive even as it grapples with all the details for explaining. What the writer presented not only explained what is happening and why the world is being threatened by Atalon and his forces from underneath, the script also took its time in presenting the characters struggling with each other’s views while providing key moments that add some development to the personality of some of the characters (example: Prime’s interest in Chelsea Clinton reflected not only his teenage self but also his first encounter with her during the Prime monthly series). As far as storytelling goes, it succeeded in helping me understand the huge event transpiring and justified why UltraForce as a team is needed. When you think about it, Prime, Hardcase and Prototype already have major affairs of their own (especially when you read their respective monthly series) but Atalon is a major threat that requires the three to work together (along with Pixx, Ghoul, Topaz and the ever scheming Contrary).

More on the conspiracy between the superheroes, the government leaders and the corporate press, this comic book is more relevant than ever today even though superheroes do not even exist in real life. I like the moments when Contrary wanted access to government files which drew a strong reaction from Bill Clinton who in turn is being watched carefully by opposition leader Bob Dole. For his part, Hardcase expressed that his team does not want any power struggle between ultras and the government. And then Bob Dole stressed to Prototype that he works for Ultratech and said: I take it that you are a defender of the rights of the private sector?

Of course, the highlight of the writing is the dynamic interactions between the UltraForce members when they are on their own and struggle to work together due to their respective differences. The dialogue is very rich.

When it comes to visuals, this one is rather unique because it has breakdowns by the legendary George Perez with finished pencil work by John Statema. It’s not a pure Perez art work which is obvious but still I recognized the characters and there is still a high level of visual detail all throughout. Still a solid looking comic book!

Conclusion

This is a clever way of doing exposition…Bill Clinton learns more about Topaz and Ghoul but only the readers get a visual presentation.

Never mind the fact that it lacked spectacle, UltraForce #2 is still compelling to read mainly due to its strong writing, the memorable interactions between the characters and emphasis of the crisis that justifies the presence of the team complete with impact on the world. Not only that, this comic book event went the extra mile to emphasize crossing-over within the Ultraverse by including The Strangers (check out The Strangers #4 and Hardcase #4 for reference).

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of UltraForce #2 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $8 while the near-mint copy of the limited edition costs $12.

Overall, UltraForce #2 (1994) is highly recommended!

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at The Solution #6

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

As this is retro comic book review of another Ultraverse comic book written by the late James Hudnall, I encourage you to take time to check out his background and other works via Comic Book Resource’s report of his death on April 2019.

In memory of James Hudnall, here are his words published near the end of The Solution #7:

The Solution is a dream team for me. I’ve been wanting to mix the genres of fantasy and cyberpunk science fiction with the super-hero genre for some time. Add my love of Japanese animation and Hong Kong cinema and you can see where I’m coming from here. This series is designed to show us some of the more bizarre and dark sectors of the Ultraverse without, hopefully, falling into the trap many similar books do where they lay it on too thick. The Ultraverse is a complex and multi-faceted universe and our books explore different sides. Here I want to delve deep into the criminal and espionage arenas as well as the magic sub-cultures that exist.

The characters themselves have a rich and interesting history that I plan to slowly unveil as the series progresses. When you first meet someone, you usually don’t know that much about the person. The characters are rather deep, as we will discover, and their personalities and more complex than you’re probably used to seeing in comics.

Now we can start this look back at The Solution #6, the Ultraverse comic book published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by James Hudnall and illustrated by John Statema (with ink work by Dennis Jensen and Mark Stegbauer).

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Lela Cho (Tech) alone paying respect to her father at his grave. She tearfully recalls what happened right after he died.

The narrative then shifts to 1993, specifically the day her father was about to get buried with many guests involved. Even though she is mourning, a man with blonde hair approaches her. His name is Kyle Sanders and he tells her she wants to talk to her about the corporation called Hypersonic. After receiving his business card, Lela feels a strange sense of dread creeping up on her.

A few days later, Lela attends a Board of Directors meeting at the headquarters of Hypersonic. She reminds them that she inherited all of her father’s shares in the company that makes her a majority stockholder and it was written in his will that she will assume his post as Chairman of the Board. Even though she already earned her Master’s Degree in Business at Harvard, the BOD members rejected her on the grounds that she’s too young and has no previous practical experience. They expressed that it would be better for her to work within the company and climb her way up.

Even though she got rejected and found herself alone, she decided not to give up and move forward by visiting NuWare, a corporation in San Francisco, California, that specializes on bio-tech implants (Wetware) that can make a person an Ultra…

Quality

20
Lela Cho/Tech in action!

This is a very compelling, character-driven comic book, one of the best of the Ultraverse I read as of this writing. Clearly the late Hudnall achieved his goal of not only developing Lela Cho/Tech, but also defining her as a living part within the Ultraverse. Speaking of the Ultraverse, there is this nice and subtle connection with certain people regarding The Strangers.

Back to Lela Cho, her personality was very deeply defined by Hudnall. By the time you reach the end of this comic book, you should at least be caring about her even though her status as a super-rich lady trying to make her way up in business (while protecting herself) puts her on a different class. Ultimately her transformation into an Ultra is special to read and examine, even worthy of a cinematic adaptation.

Regarding the visuals, John Statema pulled of a great job. I love how the facial expressions he illustrated brought out the ranging emotions of the characters, specifically with Lela. When she’s mad, she really looks mad. When she is sad, you will see the sadness. Regarding action, Statema’s effort was decent.

Conclusion

11
Really nice art and good choice with the colors for the light effect.

I really liked The Solution #6. From start to finish, it kept me engaged and ultimately it made me understand Lela Cho/Tech much better, which also made me go back to re-reading the first issue.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Solution #6, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4.

Overall, The Solution #6 is highly recommended.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com