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  1. #1
    Disney Subsidiary Personamanx's Avatar
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    Default Hypothetical new "Ultimate" Imprint

    As the title suggests, this is strictly a hypothetical discussion.

    Recently I've been re-reading some Ultimate comics (primarily X-Men, and the Miles Morales Spider-Man era), and it had me thinking that it's been something we've been missing out on for a while. Now, when I suggest a relaunch or reboot of the Ultimate imprint I don't mean that it would be a good idea to bring the series back as they were. I more mean that a fresh, jumping on point universe of familiar Marvel characters would be a good thing to have in regular print. After all, it is quite arguable that after such a long existence the original Ultimate universe stopped being any more accessible than the mainstream comics in 2007.

    My point being, that you can call it whatever you want but it would serve the same purpose as the original Ultimate line twenty years ago. A series of titles that would take elements, and concepts from longer running franchises to re-invent them in a modern context. Give incoming readers a line that would allow them to hop into a series early enough to not be lost, while giving long time fans an alternative to event after event. Creators could get a little more wild with their ideas than would be allowed if they took over a mainstream title.

    What would you like to see from this new "Ultimate" universe? What creators would you like to see involved? What would you call it?

    I would naturally assume the line consists of: Spider-Man, Avengers/Ultimates, Fantastic Four, and X-Men. But whose to say they'd even use those franchises? That's just what I would assume they'd start off with. Something like the following:

    Avengers/Ultimates: G. Willow Wilson, and Jamie McKelvie

    X-Men: Gerard Way, and Jake Wyatt

    Fantastic Four: Greg Pak, and Fiona Staples

    Spider-Man: Chip Zdarsky, and Chris Bachalo

    Just fun creators being able to re-create the Marvel Universe from scratch.
    Continuity, even in a "shared" comics universe is often insignificant if not largely detrimental to the quality of a comic.

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  2. #2

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    Ultimate Marvel was a major "lightning-in-the-bottle" thing. Born out of necessity and zeitgeist. It came out in 2000, turn of the millennium, Marvel was in bankruptcy, the earlier attempts to relaunch (Heroes Reborn and so on) failed. It's entire ethos, "It's the 21st Century, we need to make the characters as contemporary as ever, put them in today's context and violate these alternate types in as many different try-it-see-if-it-sticks sense".

    So it's quite different from today. Now, we are in the last year of the second decade of this century, it's New Tens. The 21st Century is now somewhat familiar to us so there's nothing new to define culturally and get out in front of, as when Ultimate Marvel came. I mean year 2000 (when Ultimate Spider-Man came), DC and others were still doing same-old and same-old comics, and their titles still feel and read like holdovers from the previous century (It took Chris Nolan to make Batman feel like he belonged to this century).

    Ultimate Marvel was also made with the idea of doing something movie-friendly and adaptable. So the supernatural and cosmic stuff is played down and de-emphasized as much as can be and it was basically written in the Fox X-Men "yellow spandex" joke idea. Now you have the MCU and we are living in the age of the Talking Raccoon and the CGI Purple Dude breaking out and becoming the protagonist of a $1bn movie.

    And in any case, you also have these legacy characters, Miles Morales Spider-Man and others, and it's all in 616. So why reimagine Spider-Man for the 21st Century, just read Miles Morales. Or Spider-Gwen, or Kamala Khan, or Jane Thor, or X-23?

  3. #3
    Ultimate Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Honestly, you could build such a thing around Spider-Gwen. The vast majority of heroes have yet to show up in her world, Earth-65. The ones who have are:

    Peter Parker - became the Lizard and died.
    Silk - lacks her 616 counterpart's powers, is a villain, currently in jail.
    Matt Murdock - is the Kingpin, and also in jail. He became the Kingpin in the first place because Wilson Fisk was jailed.
    Captain America - is Samantha Wilson, a gender swapped version of 616 Falcon.
    Falcon - is a male clone of Samantha.
    Peggy Carter - has Nick Fury's classic role as director of SHIELD.
    Wolverine and Shadowcat - villains.
    She-Hulk - doesn't have her powers, but instead is a wrestler using face paint. Gwen still used her as her lawyer regardless!
    Reed Richards - a black kid. Think male Moon Girl.
    Ben Grimm - a cop.
    Sue and Johnny Storm - actors. None of the Fantastic Four have their powers and they're not a team. The F4 is instead a sitcom about Johnny, Sue, their father, and HERBIE.
    Tony Stark - apparently owns coffee shops (Starkbucks) instead of a weapons factory. Iron Man doesn't exist.
    Janet van Dyne - apparently a retired superhero. She was Wasp, and created Gwen's web shooters, which she used until the Venom symbiote made them obsolete.

    That still leaves plenty of heroes with either no powers or not introduced at all. The Avengers aren't a team (616 Spider-Woman found her Avengers ID card wouldn't serve as valid ID because of that) and it seems neither are the X-Men.

  4. #4
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    I just want to know what Spencer's UXM outline looked like before I die.
    heroine addict we love you come back

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop Dogg View Post
    I just want to know what Spencer's UXM outline looked like before I die.
    For me the real Ultimate X-Men was Morrison's New X-Men and the X-Men Evolution cartoon. Both woks did what Ultimate Marvel is supposed to do, reimagine and update the Mutant mythos for the 21st Century, so you have more diversity, you have Morrison's NXM doing stuff like mutant fashion and stuff like that. That was new directions to take things in, whereas Millar's Ultimate X-Men is what, just Claremont melodrama with more edginess, a cannibal Magneto and so on.

    I think Spencer's UXM outline would be more in the Morrison and X-EV think than Millar's take. His revival of the X-Men Post-Ultimate Fallout was trying to update and take things in new directions, so you had the mutant commune thing and Kitty Pryde as the leader of the X-Men. That should be the way to go I think.

  6. #6
    Ultimate Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    I thought of something like this not too long ago.

    My idea was a neo-noir post-apocalyptic Marvel Universe with powers being a rarity.
    It was part Bladerunner, part Alien, part Mad Max and part Metropolis.

    The first group of heroes consisted of Gambit (who wore a top hat and carried a cane and had no powers), Hellcat (a pink haired daredevil motorcyclist inspired by Faster Pussycat Kill Kill) and Madrox (a tech wiz hacker).

    The Alpha Primitives became the Replicants of the reality.
    The Brood became the Aliens.
    The Reavers were the nomads that ruled the area outside the habitable zone.
    Deaths Head (the one from the Liam Sharp drawn series) became a tribe of humans that also lived in the area outside the habitable zone, and became the reality's Predators.

    Earth colonized Mars and the Alpha Primitives were created to provide cheap labor that can survive the harsh conditions.
    And one colony separated from Earth, with its people coloring their skin green to become 'true Martians'.
    "There's magic in the sound of analog audio." - CNET.

  7. #7
    Disney Subsidiary Personamanx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digifiend View Post
    Honestly, you could build such a thing around Spider-Gwen. The vast majority of heroes have yet to show up in her world, Earth-65. The ones who have are:

    That still leaves plenty of heroes with either no powers or not introduced at all. The Avengers aren't a team (616 Spider-Woman found her Avengers ID card wouldn't serve as valid ID because of that) and it seems neither are the X-Men.
    Maybe, I think Spider-Gwen did a fairly good job of existing in her own world but she was introduced tying into a Mainstream Spider-Man event. She kept being, and continues to be pulled into such events as well.

    I feel that kind of goes against the stand-alone nature that made the original Ultimate line accessible. Sure the titles eventually existed in a shared universe, but for much of their existence could be read in complete isolation. It wasn't until Ultimatum that the titles started to become more intertwined, and it wasn't until they passed the Ten year mark that they had any crossover with the "Main" universe.

    I'm sure more modern characters like Spider-Gwen, X-23, Runaways, Champions and Miles Morales would be a significant influence on a newly built Marvel universe. But none of the existing stories, characters or elements would be anything more than strong influencers.

    DC's current Wild Storm universe is a good, current example. Granted it this case it's more them reviving a dead property rather than creating a more accessible alternative.
    Continuity, even in a "shared" comics universe is often insignificant if not largely detrimental to the quality of a comic.

    Die - Paper Girls - Runaways - The Wild Storm

    Nobody cares about what you don't like, they barely care about what you do like.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Raye's Avatar
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    I think it could work. I got into Marvel right around the time the Ultimate line launched, and though it did happen in an alternate universe, it helped provide an entry point on some characters that would have been hard to find otherwise. Even though the characters were different in a lot of ways, and they lacked the same stories, the basics were largely the same and could be used as a starting point in the main universe. At the time, trades were not as widely available as they are now, and even if they were, it is a lot of back material, so it was nice. And at least early on, the stories were great too.

    On the Spider-Gwen note, while I think they did a great job in building an interesting universe, i think too many of the characters are turned on their heads and way different from the main continuity to use it as an Ultimate starting point. It is a fun universe, but part of the fun there is seeing how differently characters and events went, compared to the main one. It's enjoyment in a way depends on having some familiarity with the main universe because of that. I think they need to start from scratch so they could keep the core essence of most characters in line with their main universe (and/or MCU) counterparts. Actually, now I mention it, something MCU based may do the trick. It may not be able to actually be the MCU because it may conflict with the movies, but something modeled after it. If the intent is the same as the original Ultimate of providing a low continuity entry for newer readers, the MCU would probably be what they would find most familiar.

  9. #9

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    I think you'd need more of a hook than just being a modern reset of the MU. Something similar to Bruce Timm's Gods and Monsters might be interesting but it could be seen as a step too far.

  10. #10
    Disney Subsidiary Personamanx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the illustrious mr. kenway View Post
    I think you'd need more of a hook than just being a modern reset of the MU. Something similar to Bruce Timm's Gods and Monsters might be interesting but it could be seen as a step too far.
    I just think it would come down to how one would approach, and put emphasis on certain things. The original line did a lot with conspiracy, genetic engineering, standard mad science, and the military-industrial complex. All those things could still come into play, as they're as relevant today as they were 15-20 years ago. But what would the new element be that wasn't present when the original line started? I would suggest modern misinformation campaigns, and the weaponization of social media. How one incorporates that into an isolated reboot of recognizable characters could be interesting.

    Mutants are real, but governments have been covering it up for decades, when their presence becomes undeniable the powers that be continue to deny their existence let alone rights. The X-Men fight not only those who prosecute, and abuse them but also those who try to deny that they're even real.
    Last edited by Personamanx; 04-15-2019 at 01:53 PM.
    Continuity, even in a "shared" comics universe is often insignificant if not largely detrimental to the quality of a comic.

    Die - Paper Girls - Runaways - The Wild Storm

    Nobody cares about what you don't like, they barely care about what you do like.

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