How Marvel Comics’ Ultimate Experiment Shaped the MCU | Popgen Tech


Most of Marvel’s comics take place in their shared “616” universe, but for a while, there was another major timeline published by the company. The Ultimate Marvel Universe is one of Marvel’s biggest success stories, and it has influenced various media adaptations. Despite this, the exact importance and impact of the Ultimate Universe is still understated.

From introducing new characters to giving old classics a more modern sense of “cool,” Ultimate Marvel is a breath of fresh air after a pretty rough time in Marvel’s publishing history. Along with a wider cinematic edge, this comic line continues to live on and remain relevant. Here’s how the Ultimate Universe made a permanent mark on Marvel.

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The Ultimate Universe Makes Classic Heroes Cool Again

In the case of Ultimate Spider-Man, that book slightly updated what was already Marvel’s biggest and most popular hero. For some of the other Marvel characters to get an Ultimate Universe facelift, however, they weren’t nearly as big at the time. The Avengers in particular were a shadow of what they would be years later, lagging behind the X-Men for years at that point. Through cynical and cinematic Ultimates books, however, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes was reimagined in a way that made the former also-ran team a major property. Compared to these “new age” titles, even the well-received Kurt Busiek Avengers run through time that seems a little old and strange.

The same can be said for the Fantastic Four, which has definitely seen better days in terms of mainstream appeal. The underrated Ultimate Fantastic Four The book took their ideas outside and made them pop in a more chic and eccentric way. Even in the case of the X-Men, which certainly rode a wave of popularity, the Ultimate Universe managed to distill the property down to its elements. In Ultimate X-MenGone are many of the gimmicks or more vestigial concepts from the team’s earlier decades, with what remains being a fusion of Fox X-Men movies and shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This made the comics and their characters more modern, especially when paired with the art of famous creators such as Mark Bagley, David Finch and Bryan Hitch.

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The Ultimate Universe offered a Jumping On Point for Marvel’s Heroes

Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man swinging.

Much of the initial goal for the Ultimate Universe was to present an updated version of the various properties that would allow both longtime fans and newcomers to jump in without going through years of continuity. This is perhaps best achieved by Ultimates books. In the case of the original trilogy of properties, they don’t take place much in the cinematic miniseries. This form of storytelling allowed readers to simply read the later collected version and get the complete story without having to stick to the monthly title.

This way of storytelling foreshadows the future of comics and Marvel in several ways. For one, rival company DC will be doing something similar with their “Earth One” imprint. These were originally graphic novels that told more singular, cinematic stories, with most of their content (in the case of the Superman and Batman books, at least) having aim to modernize the characters and create versions that are less locked into continuity. and iconography. Again, these books are not monthly titles, which eliminates much of the confusion when entering the medium.

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The Ultimate Universe has influenced Marvel’s Comics and Movies

Also, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will also emulate the Ultimate Universe in various ways. For one, the Avengers movies are special team-ups, like how The Ultimates is a series of limited books and non-monthly titles. Other elements of the MCU are drawn from the Ultimate Universe, as well. For example, the costumes for Captain America and Hawkeye were based on the Ultimate Universe rather than the 616 design, and Tom Holland’s younger Spider-Man persona could be based on Ultimate Spider-Man. Of course, the casting of Samuel L. Jackson as a black, leather jacket wearing variant of Nick Fury is pulled straight from The Ultimateswhere the reimagined character is drawn as such.

Captain America’s costume in the mainstream books will begin to resemble his appearance in the Ultimate Marvel comics, and a black son for the classic Nick Fury will be introduced and succeed his father. Miles Morales, the second Ultimate Spider-Man, went into the mainstream Marvel Universe, and became a permanent resident. Miles is perhaps the biggest legacy point of the Ultimate Universe, appearing in cartoons, movies and video games. Also, the slightly harder edge that the Marvel Universe has started to take on in the last ten to fifteen years is probably in response to the success of that tone in the Ultimate Universe. Those comics not only helped pull Marvel out of bankruptcy, but it helped to start putting all of the company’s characters on the map.


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