Back in the 2000s, Marvel released a line of Ultimate Marvel comics that offered then-modern takes on the publisher’s premier characters. While the line overall eventually fell in quality, two of its strongest books were Ultimate Spider-Man and its sequel series, Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man from writer Brian Michael Bendis and a variety of artists such as Sara Pichelli, Stuart Immonen, and Mark Bagley. As the Marvel Cinematic Universe was becoming a gargantuan hit Marvel basically wrote the Ultimate Universe off via the 2015 Secret Wars event, with its saving grace Miles Morales (and his supporting cast) being brought over to the mainline Marvel universe for his eventual MCU reveal.
While the Ultimate Universe has been quietly persisting since then, Marvel’s preparing to shine a light on it yet again. The Ultimate Invasion series from Jonathan Hickman and Bryan Hitch is wrapping up next week, and spinning out from that will be Ultimate Spider-Man from Hickman and Daredevil artist Marco Checchetto. Details at present are currently scarce, with more details to come from Marvel’s Next Big Thing panel on October 14 at New York Comic-Con.
Towards the Ultimate Universe’s twilight years, Hickman was one of the chief writers: he penned solo miniseries for Thor and Hawkeye, and co-wrote the Ultimate Comics: Fallout event with Bendis and Nick Spencer that focused on the aftermath of Peter Parker’s death. He’d later go on to write a new version of The Ultimates, which helped to set up threads that (eventually) paid off in Secret Wars. When he spoke to Entertainment Weekly in February ahead of Invasion’s release, Hickman noted that he and Hitch wanted to make the new Ultimate comics “inverted from what the original universe was. We wanted this to be…a new way of thinking about, and enjoying, a new version of the Marvel Universe.”
At time of writing, this is the only Ultimate book we know about, but we know more is coming—Hickman and Stefano Casselli’s Ultimate Universe #1 will help to set the stage for other Ultimate books to come in the next several months. With how big Hickman revitalized the X-Men and is also introducing a new set of cosmic characters in the G.O.D.S. miniseries, it’ll be interesting to see what he’s helped cook up for one of Marvel’s most enduring alternate realities.
Let us know in the comments below what you’d like to see (or don’t want to see) in the all-new, all-different, Ultimate Marvel universe that’s coming in 2024.
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.