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  1. #106
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    Ultimate Marvel had the same problem most 2000's superhero films had. It was an attempt to tell Marvel stories that were more "modern" and "realistic", but in reality weren't any more realistic than what came before. "Realism" in Ultimate Marvel language meant taking the core appeal out of characters and often even straight-up bastardizing them. Even Ultimate Spider-Man, the best and only good book to come out of Ultimate Marvel, still did this to its villains.

    To be a bit fair, part of the reason it hasn't aged well is because a lot of its best ideas were imported or became more highlighted in 616. So to a certain extent, it was revolutionary in a positive sense. Still, if you can import all the pros of Ultimate into 616 without people even noticing, it begs the question why they needed a separate universe in the first place.

    I would argue the MCU succeeded where Ultimate Marvel failed. The MCU was a modern retelling of classic stories that actually brought in new fans without ignoring the appeal of the 616 version of the characters.
    Last edited by Kaitou D. Kid; 08-13-2020 at 03:56 PM.

  2. #107
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou D. Kid View Post
    Ultimate Marvel had the same problem most 2000's superhero films had. It was an attempt to tell Marvel stories that were more "modern" and "realistic", but in reality weren't any more realistic than what came before. "Realism" in Ultimate Marvel language meant taking the core appeal out of characters and often even straight-up bastardizing them. Even Ultimate Spider-Man, the best and only good book to come out of Ultimate Marvel, still did this to its villains.

    To be a bit fair, part of the reason it hasn't aged well is because a lot of its best ideas were imported or became more highlighted in 616. So to a certain extent, it was revolutionary in a positive sense. Still, if you can import all the pros of Ultimate into 616 without people even noticing, it begs the question why they needed a separate universe in the first place.

    I would argue the MCU succeeded where Ultimate Marvel failed. The MCU was a modern retelling of classic stories that actually brought in new fans without ignoring the appeal of the 616 version of the characters.
    Good points.

    Ultimate Marvel began with Ultimate Spider-Man, in 2000, which was the brainchild of Bill Jemas. All the other titles came out of that. And it's important to note that Ultimate Spider-Man followed a year after John Byrne tried and failed to launch "Spider-Man Chapter One", and also borrowed ideas from it (like Norman Osborn being involved in the background of multiple villains, and Doc Ock getting his powers from the same accident that gave Spider-Man his powers). This also came a few years after Heroes Reborn failed. Ideas like SHIELD forming the Avengers were first used then.

    So with Ultimate Marvel it's important to understand that it came at a time when Marvel was in bad financial circumstances, and that it was another attempt to follow-up on plans that had failed before but now they went into it with better marketing and the latest storytelling styles, and new creators who were up-and-coming at the time. A lot of people often point to Ultimate Spider-Man as an example of Spider-Man being a teenager being the right decision for the character and calls to de-age the original Peter but people ignore the context that it followed a year after the attempt to do that crashed and burned (and a few years after Untold Tales of Spider-Man which had cult success and critical acclaim). Teenage Spider-Man wasn't inherently an idea that was automatically fated for success. Rather it was an idea that Marvel Editorial at the time wanted to roll many dices with it until they found something to prove the point they already settled on. By the same token, the success of the Ultimates doesn't mean that it's ideas are automatically valid and successful for that reason alone. Because Heroes Reborn a few years back failed. (This is also why stuff like "voting with your wallet" is often hypocritical because publishers and editors are disproportionate in counting the votes. If a female superhero title for instance has a weak launch and so on...that failure becomes a "female superheroes don't work" object lesson...but if ideas which Editorial cares about and believes in fail, then it becomes a question of marketing, finding a writer with a more youth voice and more contemporary artwork).

    Ultimate Marvel wasn't built to last. It was the product of weak financial situation, the need to capture the zeitgeist of the 21st Century and get out ahead on the new styles of storytelling. When it became clear that the 2000s would be "another lousy millennium" (to quote the opening lines of Futurama's pilot), I think it lost its original appeal. With Ultimate Marvel, the company succeeded where it failed in the early 90s. In the early 90s, Marvel drove away its best-selling artists like MacFarlane, Jim Lee, Silvestri, Larsen over to Image and as such the defining style of mainstream superhero comics of the 90s, for better and for worse, happened outside Marvel rather than inside it. With Ultimate Marvel, Jemas got Bendis on USM, he got Bryan Hitch fresh off the success of The Authority (where he introduced the Widescreen storytelling that would be repeated in The Ultimates). So that allowed Marvel to define the style of writing and the style of art for the 2000s, for better and for worse.

  3. #108
    Extraordinary Member TheCape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou D. Kid View Post
    Ultimate Marvel had the same problem most 2000's superhero films had. It was an attempt to tell Marvel stories that were more "modern" and "realistic", but in reality weren't any more realistic than what came before. "Realism" in Ultimate Marvel language meant taking the core appeal out of characters and often even straight-up bastardizing them. Even Ultimate Spider-Man, the best and only good book to come out of Ultimate Marvel, still did this to its villains.

    To be a bit fair, part of the reason it hasn't aged well is because a lot of its best ideas were imported or became more highlighted in 616. So to a certain extent, it was revolutionary in a positive sense. Still, if you can import all the pros of Ultimate into 616 without people even noticing, it begs the question why they needed a separate universe in the first place.

    I would argue the MCU succeeded where Ultimate Marvel failed. The MCU was a modern retelling of classic stories that actually brought in new fans without ignoring the appeal of the 616 version of the characters.
    It also some of their worst ideas to the mainstream, i'm convinced that Daniel Way horrid work on Wolverine was inspired by the Ultimate Universe.
    "Wow. You made Spider-Man sad, congratulations. I stabbed The Hulk last week"
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  4. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dboi2001 View Post
    you are actually going off topic and taking fiction too seriously. Sorry the Ultimates aren't perfect angels
    Man, he's not going off topic, it's a perfectly reasonable reason to dislike the ultimate universe.

  5. #110
    The King Fears NO ONE! Triniking1234's Avatar
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    Well people dislike the Ultimate Marvel line now because it got dragged through the wringer. Ultimate Spider-Man was fire and produced one of the best Spider-Man games. Ultimate X-Men managed to keep up with the 616 titles in sales. People were complaining that Ultimates was a "seasonal" book rather than an ongoing. I liked UFF even though they messed up some good ideas and wrote like they were dragging out for the trade.

    I feel like having to go through two destruction events (Ultimatum and Cataclysm) was too much. Ult. Future Foundation and Ult. New Ultimates died, no X-Men at all and it was just Miles carrying in the end.
    "Cable was right!"

  6. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triniking1234 View Post
    Well people dislike the Ultimate Marvel line now because it got dragged through the wringer. Ultimate Spider-Man was fire and produced one of the best Spider-Man games. Ultimate X-Men managed to keep up with the 616 titles in sales. People were complaining that Ultimates was a "seasonal" book rather than an ongoing. I liked UFF even though they messed up some good ideas and wrote like they were dragging out for the trade.

    I feel like having to go through two destruction events (Ultimatum and Cataclysm) was too much. Ult. Future Foundation and Ult. New Ultimates died, no X-Men at all and it was just Miles carrying in the end.
    I feel like the novelty wore off after a while, both for the creative staff and the readers. And Ultimatum didn't help things either ....probably a lot of readers were put off by it. I had enough when the cannibal Blob was devouring the Wasp.

  7. #112
    Astonishing Member Omega Alpha's Avatar
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    The problem was that only half of the universe was really sucessful- USM and Ultimates (under Millar), but with UXM and UFF they didn't really know exactly what direction to take and there was never a great run in those titles. And then came Ultimatum, which I still think it was the worst creative decision in the history of Marvel, killing any momentum the line had.

  8. #113

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    Actually, the premise of Ultimatum was a good one. Superhero crossover events often have massive or even complete casualties, but just for shock value, as they are reversed within the story itself (Secret Wars, Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity Crusade, Secret Wars 2015, etc). If someone dies, it's just one or two guys, and they eventually return anyway. Ultimatum had massive casualties, and there was no magical undoing of it. With only a handful of exceptions (Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor, Valkyrie, Dr. Doom), a big number of guys died and stayed dead. Good or bad, alternate or not, that was a crossover event that had to be made at some point.

    As for quality, it is correct that it isn't the best thing that came from Ultimate Marvel. But it's not the worst from Marvel either. Marvel has produced things that were much, much worse: One More Day, The Crossing, Fearless, Absolute Carnage, Heroes Reborn, the Clone saga, Inhumans vs. X-Men, etc.

  9. #114
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
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    Actually, the premise of Ultimatum was a good one. Superhero crossover events often have massive or even complete casualties, but just for shock value, as they are reversed within the story itself (Secret Wars, Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity Crusade, Secret Wars 2015, etc). If someone dies, it's just one or two guys, and they eventually return anyway. Ultimatum had massive casualties, and there was no magical undoing of it. With only a handful of exceptions (Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor, Valkyrie, Dr. Doom), a big number of guys died and stayed dead. Good or bad, alternate or not, that was a crossover event that had to be made at some point.
    I can agree with this. Ultimatum was very much the kind of thing the Ultimate Universe was built on. However, I can just picture the people at Marvel sitting around afterwards and thinking "Okay.... so now what do we do?" There's a reason why big crossovers don't have huge body counts.

  10. #115
    see beauty in all things. charliehustle415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan2099 View Post
    I can agree with this. Ultimatum was very much the kind of thing the Ultimate Universe was built on. However, I can just picture the people at Marvel sitting around afterwards and thinking "Okay.... so now what do we do?" There's a reason why big crossovers don't have huge body counts.
    The issue is they killed characters that were never explored.

    Why kill Dr. Strange?

  11. #116
    Astonishing Member CrimsonEchidna's Avatar
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    I think in retrospect people came to realize that Millar went a little too far in making so many of the characters edgy assholes.
    The artist formerly known as OrpheusTelos.

  12. #117
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonEchidna View Post
    I think in retrospect people came to realize that Millar went a little too far in making so many of the characters edgy assholes.
    That's kind of Millar's go-to for his mainstream comic work. I mean, look at how he handled Civil War.

  13. #118
    Latverian ambassador Iron Maiden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimate Captain America View Post
    Actually, the premise of Ultimatum was a good one. Superhero crossover events often have massive or even complete casualties, but just for shock value, as they are reversed within the story itself (Secret Wars, Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity Crusade, Secret Wars 2015, etc). If someone dies, it's just one or two guys, and they eventually return anyway. Ultimatum had massive casualties, and there was no magical undoing of it. With only a handful of exceptions (Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor, Valkyrie, Dr. Doom), a big number of guys died and stayed dead. Good or bad, alternate or not, that was a crossover event that had to be made at some point.

    As for quality, it is correct that it isn't the best thing that came from Ultimate Marvel. But it's not the worst from Marvel either. Marvel has produced things that were much, much worse: One More Day, The Crossing, Fearless, Absolute Carnage, Heroes Reborn, the Clone saga, Inhumans vs. X-Men, etc.
    They made a weird retcon of Doom's death. It was revealed late in the Ultimate FF run that Mary Storm was impersonating Doom when Ben came in and killed her. Made things awkward between Ben and Sue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    That's kind of Millar's go-to for his mainstream comic work. I mean, look at how he handled Civil War.
    I don't think Millar is missed by many Marvel fans. He's always reverent to Superman, which he admits being a big fan but IMO always treated Marvel's characters pretty shabbily.

  14. #119
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Maiden View Post
    They made a weird retcon of Doom's death. It was revealed late in the Ultimate FF run that Mary Storm was impersonating Doom when Ben came in and killed her. Made things awkward between Ben and Sue.
    That Mary Storm character was especially weird in UFF. The comics implied that she was hitting on Reed or Reed had a crush on her for some reason. And then she was evil. It was one of the many dead ends in that comic...as was giving Franklin Storm an elevated role (which went into the 2015 movie to ill effect).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimate Captain America View Post
    Actually, the premise of Ultimatum was a good one.
    No it wasn't.

    Good or bad, alternate or not, that was a crossover event that had to be made at some point.
    Except for the fact that the crossover event of Ultimatum was conceived as, and approached with, the spirit of waste disposal. Jeph Loeb and others were told to clear house with Ultimatum and change stuff for titles and characters that were considered dead ends or uninteresting. When characters die, either for real or if it's faked, it should mean something on an emotional level, whereas nothing emotional was achieved with Ultimatum. Reading it felt like watching people throw stuff into a trash compactor. A full page splash image of Blob biting the ribcage out of Ultimate Wasp and muttering "tastes like chicken" is not indicative of a writer approaching the project with any real seriousness or belief in the story.

    As for quality, it is correct that it isn't the best thing that came from Ultimate Marvel. But it's not the worst from Marvel either. Marvel has produced things that were much, much worse...
    Again with whataboutism...why can't Ultimate Marvel defenders accept that the comic wasn't perfect that many parts of it were filled with flaws and that there are valid reasons why that entire line fell out of fashion and dropped out of the mainstream. Even when you admit flaws you have to take shots and claim other stories are worse as if that's somehow a saving grace to be boasted off proudly.

  15. #120
    Astonishing Member Ptrvc's Avatar
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    Never could get over rapist cannibal Hulk.

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