Book – Ultimate Avengers 2: Crime and Punishment
Authors – Mark Millar and Lenil Francis Yu
Date – 2010
Genre – Graphic Novel
Pages – 148
Lent to me by Chris Allum

Starting to work with Chris and discovering his massive love of superhero comics, along with his rather impressive collection, has meant that he has very kindly lent me some of his favourites.  Trying to enter the universes of Marvel is a tricky one, and having read the first X-Men comics and also the Avengers Disassembled graphic novel (I really need to get back on track of writing these in order!) Chris lent me one of his favourites – Crime and Punishment.

What is particularly interesting about this version of the Avengers, is just how dark they are.  Without reading everything is perfect order (a genuinely nigh on impossible task) I don’t follow exactly where we are in the overall storyline of things, but this iteration includes the Hulk’s mentor who is a gangster, a rude Hawkeye who is nothing like the films, an evil version of Spiderman, and as their feature attraction, the mass-murdering Punisher.  It’s a far cry from the MCU films we have all seen of late, but it really whets the appetite.  There is such a dense amount of storylining to everything that Marvel have produced, that the possibilities for the films are endless.

In terms of story, this is good (focussing on the backstory of Ghost Rider) if not a stone cold classic.  What makes it a really good read is understanding some of these characters a little better – particularly for a relative newcomer such as myself.  I found myself wanting to get to know more about some of the characters who are on the periphery of the story (Nerd Hulk.  There is a character called Nerd Hulk.  And yes, those two words sum him up perfectly).

Universe reading such as with Marvel, and presumably DC as well (don’t worry, Becky and James got me The Killing Joke for my birthday, so I shall be visiting there as well) can really hook you in, and I am very much looking forward to falling deeper down the rabbit hole.