Marvel will release a new Secret Wars this May. The series will be subtitled BattleWorld (harking back to the original Battle World created by The Beyonder during the original Secret Wars mini-series). According to the trailer, this new Secret Wars will drop heroes from the different Marvel Universes (the main Earth-616, Ultimate Marvel, House of M, The Zombies Universe and more) onto the BattleWorld and, most probably, fight against each other.
This is really big news and a new Secret Wars is always welcome, this isn’t the reason why I’m interested in this new series. Rather, it’s the news that, running parallel to this storyline, Marvel is going to release another mini-series called Ultimate End. This will ultimately (pun intended) end the 15-year run of the Ultimate universe that was started with Ultimate Spider-Man.
I was a big fan of the Ultimate Marvel Universe and its plan to give newcomers a “universe” of their own that wasn’t weighted down by decades and decades of past stories. I loved how the writers tried to create fresh takes on old Marvel Heroes and give more modern influences. But, after 15 years, I do feel it’s time to end the Ultimate Universe.
It may seem callous, especially for a former fan of the Ultimate Marvel comics, to say that. But, looking at it now, the main reason why that series/universe was created is already moot. Like I mentioned above, the Ultimate Marvel Universe has many years worth of stories told and, frankly, it’s as difficult to get into as the “regular” Marvel universe. So, The Ultimate Marvel Universe, a comic line created so that newbies can get into comic without having to research on the numerous storylines that have past, also has a long history now. If that’s the case, why not just read up on the “original” stories and not this alternate take?
The Ultimate Universe is also not the newest continuity under the Marvel brand anymore. In fact, Marvel’s success with the Marvel Cinematic Universe have probably attracted much more new blood into reading comics that the Ultimate line ever did. This is definitely the universe most mainstream audiences are familiar with these days. And I don’t think the normal moviegoing audience member who would want to pick up a Captain America comic after watching a Marvel movie would pick up anything from this “unknown” Ultimate Universe when they could go check out the “original” stories.
But that’s not to say the Ultimate Marvel universe was a total bust. There were a lot of good things that came out of this “experiment.” It did show that a comic book fans are definitely open to new, fresh takes on the established superheroes. I also do think they did manage to attract some new comic book lovers who were intimidated by the long history of comics (accomplishing their goal). The stories from the Ultimate universe were also much darker and grittier so, if you enjoyed that kind of thing, then the Ultimate line was for you.
We also got really good characters from the Ultimate universe, namely the Samuel L. Jackson looking Nick Fury as well as the Ultimate version of Falcon (Sam Wilson). Of course, I can’t forget about Miles Morales, the kid that took up the mantle of Spider-Man after Peter Parker’s death. Come to think of it, the Ultimate Marvel Universe managed to depict different races in a good light. Although this Universe will officially die in the upcoming Secret Wars, here’s hoping that these characters get folded into the “official” universe.
While I’m kind of bummed out that Ultimate Marvel is going away, it had a good run. I’ll miss you but it is time to move on.
What’s your thoughts on the Ultimate Marvel Universe and the upcoming Secret Wars? Let me know in the comments section below!