I loved Ultimates when it came out first. The first two volumes (Superhuman & Homeland Security) are absolutely marvelous.
Millar completely nailed the idea of widescreen superheroes and totally reinvented the Marvel heroes concept in a fresh and interesting way. Of course, it helped that Bryan Hitch was producing the best artwork of his life, out-widescreening Millar's writing with ease.
Volume 3 and 4 (or Ultimates 2 volume 1 & 2 if you prefer) were let-downs, failing to build upon the greatness of what had gone before and just repeating what had gone before. Not so good, not so original.
But this is the cover to Ultimates Volume 3:
New writer Jeph Loeb is reported as saying:
"At the end of the day, Ultimates lived in a very political arena. That was something that interested Mark and it's something that he does probably better than anybody. That's not a world that I want to try to copy anymore than Joe Madureira wants to imitate Bryan Hitch. He has to make it his own - we have to make it our own flavor."
Personally I'd like to see Joe Madhureira imitate Bryan Hitch. Then I wouldn't have to look at that horrible picture. Holy fuck. Is it 1992 all over again? That's just bloody awful.
(image via IGN)