Um...you were saying that to me, weren't you?
Well, it's a darn good thing you were, because you're kinda right. Flip open your copy of Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #9 (you do have one, don't you? Don't you?) and you'll find just what the bull ordered, with the small exception that the story's not set on Earth-616 but rather the Marvel Ultimate Earth, Earth-1610. If you wanna quibble, it doesn't even take place on sixteen-ten, because the not-then-published Ultimate Fantastic Four series would later render it non-canonicalthe horror! The horror of being removed from canon! To which I say, in my best Nero Wolfe impression, pfui. In the words of a very, very smart man with a very, very, very bushy beard, it may be an imaginary story...but aren't they all?
As Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #9 opens (with a bang!), high school student Ultimate Peter Parker has arrived at the Ultimate Baxter Building for a school science mentoring program with Ultimate Reed Richards, but instead is mistaken as the Ultimate FF's new Ultimate Intern. Ultimately. Our kookie quartet immediately puts poor Petey to work heading down to Ultimate Starbucks to fetch Ultimate lattes for Ultimate The Thing...okay, I'll quit that now:
(Note: Jaunty Jim Mahfood, who provided the beautiful and energetic artwork for this issue, tends to work in large spreads across the entire page or even two, so many of the panels here were too large to reproduce in my slender blog column at full size. No worries, or fearful one! Just click on any image that's a little too small to read and by the sorcery of HTML (Hogwarts Topographic Magic 'Lumination), the image will inflate to readable size! Cool, huh? Make sure you put them back when you're done with 'em, please.)
Poor Peter Parker, already pushed, pummeled, and other P-words by the FF, grumbles as he heads to get Ben Grimm's java fix, and accidentally causes a space-time portal to be opened in the Baxter Building...and I think you all know how painful that can be!
SKRULLS! Pete's unleashed hundreds of fierce and furious Skrull warriors on an unsuspecting sixteen-ten Manhattan. Man, I hate when that happens!
Are you clickin' on those images to blow 'em up to Ultimate-size? I sure hope you are, because one of my favorite elements of Jim Mahfood's artwork is its sheer franticness: everything and the kitchen sink is going on in his panels, and just like an issue of Top Ten or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, you're rewarded if you peer closely and take a look at each character, as Mahfood has squeezed in quite a lot of jokes and silliness in every Skrull-infested panel. Why, I do believe he's even put my Mama in there...did you spot her?:
Of course, just like any time the Skrull invade, there's gonna be civilian casualties. Let's just be glad it's this guy:
But what the Sam Scratch (you're asking me) does this have to do with the offices of Marvel Comics, Bully? And that's a very good question. Luckily, all we have to do is turn the page and check in on Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, who's about to find out the hard way what happens when Skrulls attack! (Answer: walls get knocked down.)
With Peter Parker in hot pursuit of the strange stampeding shape-shifters, it's only a matter of time before his be-spandexed alter-Ultimate-ego makes an appearance on the scene so that we can all sing "Look out! Here comes the Spider-Man!" Editor Ralph Macchio (this one, not this one) makes an appearance here, yakkin' on the phone to writer Brian Michael Bendis. Man, I haven't seen so many in-jokes and so much chaotic detail since Evan Dorkin's Bill & Ted's Excellent Comic Book, one of my favorite fun titles of yesteryear.
Luckily, because the chaos gets too outta hand, Reed Richards and company show up, to fire up an electronic device that sends the Skrulls back to the homeworld at the same time Reed scolds Bendis for being too clever-clever:
And as quickly as the comic started, it's all over but the exposition. Take it away, Reed:
But just like any good monster invasion adventure, there's always a twist at the end, as we peek in on the office of former Marvel CEO Bill Jemas:
Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha! A month of wordless comics? Why, that would be the most Ultimate evil plan ever! Surely it could never happen...
But if it ever did, my lips are sealed.