Marvel’s Ultimate Idea

Earlier today I discussed how much I loved the Illuminati and what they represent to the Marvel Universe. I have also briefly discussed my feelings about the Ultimate Universe in my ongoing coverage of Divided We Fall. I, however, have not gone in-depth about what I love about the Ultimate Universe.

The Ultimate Universe appeals to the child in me. When I was a kid and a young teenager I was hopelessly fooled that comic books began and ended with angsty, on the edge, dark heroes, struggling in a world constantly suffering a cataclysmic crisis. Thankfully Superman showed me the error of my ways and inspired me to demand more from my heroes.

Enter the Ultimate Marvel Universe. By the time I was into comics the Ultimate Universe was just blossoming, and heading for its first crisis……. Ultimatum. While Ultimatum was a horrible story full of bull shit character deaths, it did one thing right. It made a no win scenario. It inspired that child in me. The one who craved that type of story telling. Today it still does. The Marvel Universe has never recovered. While Ultimate X-Men is horrible and painful to read (and frankly boring) because they killed off all of the good characters, it only enhances the feel of the Ultimates. Reading the most recent run of Ultimates done by Hickman was amazing. It’s one of the best things I’ve read. Only because it does nothing more than plunge the world into multiple unwinnable crises, kills off some heroes (and a villain or two), and features a fallen hero (OH MY GOD IT’S SUCH AN AWESOME TWIST!!!!!!!!) but no spoilers.

Ultimate Comics has functioned with only three core titles for quite some time now. This not only makes story telling easier, but is the most reader friendly universe I can think of. Even Divided We Fall is just a conflict that stemmed from Ultimatum. Ultimate Marvel punishes its heroes mercillessly, and never lets them rest. There is no moment of pause in any of their characters stories (even Miles has suffered at the hands of Ultimate Marvel). As an adult, I despise this style of story telling, but as a child I was inspired by this apacolyptic mess of super heroes, pain, and suffering. Even creating my own universe of super heroes that was very similar in tone to Marvel and Ultimate Marvel.

So as an adult reader who demands higher quality heroes and no kill codes, I find a happy home with DC’s characters. However, when I truly want to unwind, to live out my childish urges, I turn to Ultimate Marvel.

Until the next time, live long and prosper.

Rn

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2 thoughts on “Marvel’s Ultimate Idea

  1. I realized the other day why I really like the Ultimates: it, perhaps more than any other comic in the two big companies massive catalogs, explores what the world would be like if people with superpowers popped up all over the place. It took out heavily established superhero history and jumped into the social ramifications of throwing a team of dysfunctional people into greater society. It obviously has problems connecting with the other Ultimate titles because of it’s large scope, but it works well for the universe, I think.

    • Again, I dislike disfunctional super heroes, but you are correct they worked well for the universe. Reading Divided We Fall it bugged me because the Ultimate Comics Ultimates has been dealing with big problems for years now. So Divided We Fall is in full swing there, and you can easily connect the pieces. With Ultimate Spider-Man it’s different. The title is generally upbeat and positive. I guess his part of New York is different than the one that got blown up in the Ultimates. It makes Divided We Fall feel clunky. The Ultimates bring the crisis, but Spider-Man has felt out of place in the big cataclysmic universe.

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