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  1. #1
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    Default Ultimate universe fail?

    I remember when this was coming out. Marvel decided to put out a line of comics that were different and separate from the main 616 line and I really liked the idea. I wish they'd bring it back. So, what happened and why did they decide 15 years later to fold the universe into 616 and eliminate everyone except evil Reed Richards and Miles Morales? Lots of good titles, Ultimate Spider-Man X-Men and Ultimates etc.

  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    The Ultimate Universe didn't fail. It did exactly what it was supposed to do -- workshop some visuals and story ideas that could never be done in 616, toss it on the wall to see what worked what didn't and so on.

    It was never meant to last. Don't be sad that it's over, be happy it happened. Words to that effect.

    The Ultimate Universe began in 2000 around the turn of the millennium, with Ultimate Spider-Man. A big part of why it was successful was that in the year 2000, in the onset of this big milestone year, Marvel (and not DC) put out a comic titled "Ultimate" with the premise of what if Marvel heroes started today in the 21st Century. That's an incredible lightning-in-the-bottle stunt, that just can't be repeated because milenniums and all those futuristic optimism that people still had in 2000 (Soon to disappear a year and 9 months later) can't really be repeated.

    And once the 21st Century got kicking and it turned from 9/11 to the War on Terror to the Financial Crisis, people realized that we weren't going to be in any progressive futuristic millennium but merely process (at least in the first 2 decades) leftover 20thC. bullsh-t.

  3. #3
    Invincible Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's been a bad two decades hasn't it? 9/11, 7/7 (London terrorist attack), Russian, Chinese and North Korean political stuff, trouble in the middle east (Gulf War II, Israel and Palestine), a financial crash, and now a pandemic.
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  4. #4
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digifiend View Post
    Yeah, it's been a bad two decades hasn't it? 9/11, 7/7 (London terrorist attack), Russian, Chinese and North Korean political stuff, trouble in the middle east (Gulf War II, Israel and Palestine), a financial crash, and now a pandemic.
    Futurama got it right:


  5. #5
    Traveler of omniverses Thor-Ul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The Ultimate Universe didn't fail. It did exactly what it was supposed to do -- workshop some visuals and story ideas that could never be done in 616, toss it on the wall to see what worked what didn't and so on.

    It was never meant to last. Don't be sad that it's over, be happy it happened. Words to that effect.
    Exactly. Also, another objetive of the Ultimate Universe was to sell the concept of superhero to Hollywood and in that aspect was successful.
    "But it's the fool who ponders on "what ifs" and "might have beens" for overly long?"
    Richard Swift (The Shade #11).

  6. #6
    Welcome Back Spidey Kurolegacy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Futurama got it right:

    And we’ve still got another 979 years to go.

  7. #7
    Latverian ambassador Iron Maiden's Avatar
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    A lot of us here on the CBR boards were highly suspicious of the Ultimate line. Between this, Marvel Knights and the Heroes Reborn many thought that the "originals" would be replaced. Marvel was dealing with the bankruptcy and sales had declined so things were looking bad for their usual line of X-Men, Avengers, Spider-Man, etc. The new "wonder boys" like Mark Millar and Bendis ( and to a much smaller extent Warren Ellis's brief run on the Ultimate Fantastic Four) were given the task of reimagining the Marvel Universe. I think most would say the only lasting success as a title/character was Bendis and Bagley's Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales. Mark Millar gave the reader a totally unlikable Avengers team called the Ultimates that featured among other characters a cannibalistic Hulk. Eventually Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch would leave and Jeph Loeb would take over in a new title / mini series Ultimatum. Loeb proceeded to turn the title into a charnel house of death. The Wasp was eaten by the Blob, who has his head bitten off by Giant Man/Hank Pym. I don't think I read much of the rest of the series but there were probably a couple dozen deaths.

    For something that was supposed to be a bright future Marvel, it took a dark turn fairly quickly and imploded. Many blamed Jeph Loeb and one can see why....I don't know if it was editorially mandated to start all the mayhem and put an end to it all. Ultimate Fantastic Four dragged on for a while and we found out that Doom wasn't killed by the Thing in Ultimatum and that it was Mary Storm that was inside the armor when Ben came looking for Doom in his castle.

    IIRC the main survivors of the Ultimate universe are Miles Morales and the Maker/Reed Richards. Ultimate Doom with the goat legs was also still around and was last seen during the final incursion fighting Ultimate Spider-Man.

  8. #8

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    I don't think it failed, I think it just got canceled. It's a show that got canceled after a few seasons which is still a success to me.

    I don't care to return to it. I rather just do another reboot and see what happens.

    My pitch would be a Justice League Gods and Monsters style experiment. Keep the name and throw everything else out.
    Last edited by the illustrious mr. kenway; 06-12-2021 at 03:59 PM.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member Raye's Avatar
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    I don't think it failed, but it did reach a point where it could no longer accomplish one of it's original goals, providing a continuity lite entry point for newer readers. While yes, part of the reason for it's existence was the ability to do things with the characters that would never be allowed in the main universe, another one of the reasons they launched it was because it was felt that a lot of newer comic book readers felt daunted by years and years of continuity that made it a bit difficult to jump into. I know a lot of people did just jump in and figure it out, but it is daunting to some people to see that there's like a hundred+ issues that came before, and wonder if they'll be missing out if they haven't read it all. And to be fair, sometimes the past continuity can be extremely confusing if you get it info-dumped int he form of a wiki or something. The Ultimate universe solved that problem..... temporarily. But of course it was just a few years before it started to get similarly daunting numbers of previous issues and some continuity with twists and turns just as odd and confusing as the main universe. This was going to happen sooner or later no matter what they did, of course, so i don't consider it a failure, more just... coming to the natural end of it's usefulness. I mean, i do think the quality also declined a fair bit towards the end for the most part, but still. The movies now fill the role it once did of introducing people to the characters even if they haven't read the comics.
    Last edited by Raye; 06-12-2021 at 03:16 PM.

  10. #10
    Invincible Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Maiden View Post
    A lot of us here on the CBR boards were highly suspicious of the Ultimate line. Between this, Marvel Knights and the Heroes Reborn many thought that the "originals" would be replaced. Marvel was dealing with the bankruptcy and sales had declined so things were looking bad for their usual line of X-Men, Avengers, Spider-Man, etc. The new "wonder boys" like Mark Millar and Bendis ( and to a much smaller extent Warren Ellis's brief run on the Ultimate Fantastic Four) were given the task of reimagining the Marvel Universe. I think most would say the only lasting success as a title/character was Bendis and Bagley's Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales. Mark Millar gave the reader a totally unlikable Avengers team called the Ultimates that featured among other characters a cannibalistic Hulk. Eventually Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch would leave and Jeph Loeb would take over in a new title / mini series Ultimatum. Loeb proceeded to turn the title into a charnel house of death. The Wasp was eaten by the Blob, who has his head bitten off by Giant Man/Hank Pym. I don't think I read much of the rest of the series but there were probably a couple dozen deaths.

    For something that was supposed to be a bright future Marvel, it took a dark turn fairly quickly and imploded. Many blamed Jeph Loeb and one can see why....I don't know if it was editorially mandated to start all the mayhem and put an end to it all. Ultimate Fantastic Four dragged on for a while and we found out that Doom wasn't killed by the Thing in Ultimatum and that it was Mary Storm that was inside the armor when Ben came looking for Doom in his castle.

    IIRC the main survivors of the Ultimate universe are Miles Morales and the Maker/Reed Richards. Ultimate Doom with the goat legs was also still around and was last seen during the final incursion fighting Ultimate Spider-Man.
    Earth-1610 was restored - pretty much Bendis's last act before he left Marvel to go take over Superman - in Spider-Men II. But yeah, before that, the only survivors were Maker, a few mutants who turned up in X-Men Blue, notably Jimmy Hudson, and of course Miles and the members of his supporting cast who didn't have 616 counterparts, those being his family, Ganke, Judge, and the Bombshells. Bendis wanted to keep Jessica Drew around as well, since she's not actually her 616 namesake's counterpart (if anything, she was Ben Reilly's), but was refused. Of course she came back in Spider-Men II alongside 1610 Peter and the Ultimates. Too bad 1610 went to seed afterwards in Venom, which is where Maker's appearances have mostly been recently.
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  11. #11
    Ultimate Member jackolover's Avatar
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    Isnít the Ultimate Universe still around? I thought there was a recent storyline where Evil MU Miles Morales was trying to suck good Ultimate Miles back to the UU? What happened to the UU in Venom to make it go to seed?

  12. #12
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digifiend View Post
    Earth-1610 was restored - pretty much Bendis's last act before he left Marvel to go take over Superman - in Spider-Men II. But yeah, before that, the only survivors were Maker, a few mutants who turned up in X-Men Blue, notably Jimmy Hudson, and of course Miles and the members of his supporting cast who didn't have 616 counterparts, those being his family, Ganke, Judge, and the Bombshells. Bendis wanted to keep Jessica Drew around as well, since she's not actually her 616 namesake's counterpart (if anything, she was Ben Reilly's), but was refused. Of course she came back in Spider-Men II alongside 1610 Peter and the Ultimates. Too bad 1610 went to seed afterwards in Venom, which is where Maker's appearances have mostly been recently.
    Quote Originally Posted by jackolover View Post
    Isn’t the Ultimate Universe still around? I thought there was a recent storyline where Evil MU Miles Morales was trying to suck good Ultimate Miles back to the UU? What happened to the UU in Venom to make it go to seed?
    No one knows yet. Maker just lands there, in a devastated and empty cityscape with signs asking what happened to the Ultimates.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  13. #13
    see beauty in all things. charliehustle415's Avatar
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    It was basically a Skunk Works line for Marvel.

    Come to Ultimate Marvel do some crazy ass storylines without the burden of continuity and fan backlash and go buckwild.

    Some were massive hits a la Ultimate Spidey (my definitive Spider-Man)

    Some were of its time a la anything and everything by Millar

    and some eventually forced Ultimate Marvel to buckle under its own weight a la anything written by Loeb

    Once Loeb came on the scene with Ultimatum it really hobbled the Universe because soooo many heroes and villains were killed.

    I think the editors didn't realize that fans liked the reinterpretation of classic heroes in the "modern" world and NOT the wholesale murder and mutilation of them.

    So for me it kinda came to its logical end and combined the best parts with the 616, we got Miles, The Maker, and Fury.

  14. #14
    Invincible Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Nick Fury Jr is MCU synergy, but not actually from the Ultimate Universe... though the MCU version of Fury is based on the Ultimate one so that mistake is understandable.
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  15. #15
    see beauty in all things. charliehustle415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digifiend View Post
    Nick Fury Jr is MCU synergy, but not actually from the Ultimate Universe... though the MCU version of Fury is based on the Ultimate one so that mistake is understandable.
    Oh yeah, he's Fury Jr.

    Talk about a round about origin.

    Ultimate Fury -> MCU Fury -> 616 Fury Jr.

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