Ultra is an interesting story. I should preface this all by saying it is NOTHING like any of the other things they have done. The Girls was a twisted horror story. The Sword is a gruesome fantasy/adventure story. Ultra? Ultra is a borderline romantic comedy featuring super heroines. The premise of the story is that three super heroines (Ultra, Aphrodite, and Cow Girl) all go out one night on a break from their “job.” They stop by a fortune teller who tells each one of them what will happen in the next 7 days, and for the next 7 issues of this 8 issue miniseries, we see what happens as the days go by. Ultra, who had been single 5 years after breaking up with her long term superhero boyfriend, was told that she would find the love of her life in the next 7 days, and through the coaxing of her friends she begins to look for it. Through all of the trials and tribulations of being a super hero, we follow Ultra around her days in what is probably the craziest week of her life. This all rounds up to essentially be a chick flick in comic book form.
Ultra itself provides a very interesting take on the “real life super hero.” Set in our world, it’s similar to the Boys in that the super heroes that exist all have press agents and are registered with the law. Granted, there is no form of control that punches holes in their heads, but they still have villains to battle and people to save. The super heroes in Ultra are essentially the celebrities of today. They’re harassed by paparazzi, they are on tabloid headlines, they record hit radio singles, and they have their own award ceremonies. In retrospect, Ultra takes an interesting look at what it means to be a celebrity with the parallel. On top of that, Ultra is formatted to be filled with fake advertisements featuring the heroes as well as each issue itself being a parody of a famous magazine like Time, Maxim, Vogue, and Rolling Stone. Accompanying each issue is a parody write up of an article from the magazine which fleshes out the characters and their back stories a little bit to add a sense of realism to the mix. It all makes for an interesting take on social commentary.
Then it comes down to whether or not I actually enjoyed it. As a Luna Brothers fan, I would say that I did. The art is just as on touch as it always is, and the writing is well done. We only know the characters for 8 issues, but it’s easy to connect to them and then compare it to how we view the celebrities of today. So often we are quick to judge what we see in photographs, but we also do have to take into consideration that we don’t know these people, and all we see are glimpses and pieces out of context. However, as a comic book fan I’m not sure how I felt. All in all, while an undoubtably interesting premise, I’m not sure that this is something I hold in as high regards as their other work. I still have no problem with it being in my collection and I’m more than happy to have it there, but it’s not a book I feel I’d ever pick up and read again. To be honest, it’s kind of like what Sex and The City might play like as a comic book, except with a tad bit more drama. The super hero parodies in it are great, and I think it’s an entertaining read, but it’s nothing to really write home about.Continued below
If you would like to give Ultra a shot, please click the image to the left. If you’re a fan of the Luna Brothers, it’s definitely worth the read, and if you’re looking for a gift for your girlfriend who doesn’t read comics but loves celebrity gossip blogs, this is the perfect one.