Starting with the recent death of Peter Parker, Marvel has decided to relaunch its Ultimates story line. Now, this isn’t a complete reboot like what DC is doing. Marvel is simply just tweaking how they drive the stories in the overall scheme of the Ultimate universe.
The death of Peter Parker sent major shock waves through the entire Ultimate universe even (SPOILER ALERT) resulting in the retirement of Captain America. If you haven’t read any recent Ultimate books I would recommend you do so. The stories have been solid and I have thoroughly enjoyed where they have taken some of my favorite heroes.
If you aren’t familiar with the Ultimate universe it is a gritter, dare I say, more realistic take on the Marvel universe we all know and love. Some of the changes (like most all the X-men being dead or in detainment camps) I could do without, but for the most part it is a refreshing take worth being part of your collection.
The first new Ultimates book has Nick Fury trying to deal with multiple incidents across the world. I will spare you the details here, but Fury has his big guns out which include Iron Man and Hawkeye. In the Ultimate world Hawkeye is no longer the former criminal he is in the regular continuity. Instead he is a highly trained militant and Fury’s right hand man. Also, you get a nice face off between Thor and the new Captain Britain.
(At this point I feel the need to point out the upcoming Avengers movie is clearly taking it’s origins and designs from the Ultimate universe. That has never been more obvious then with the first shots of Hawkeye in full gear.)
So with chaos abound, the last wrench thrown in the works is the fact Reed Richards is back and has started a cult like version of the Future Foundation.
The Ultimate universe story will continue with six books of Ultimate Comics:Hawkeye (Aug. 31st), Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man (Sept. 7th) and Ultimate Comics: X-Men (Sept.21st).
I can honestly say I just barely scratched the surface here. You don’t have to go back to the first Ultimate book to catch up. Take a look at the Ultimate Fallout series and Ultimate X to give you just enough back story to make sure you don’t feel lost starting with the new The Ultimates comic. If you really feel the need to find out why Reed Richards was in the negative zone you will have a lot of work to do. You can go back to Ultimate Mystery as well as Ultimate Doom to to see how Reed was sent down his current path.
If you haven’t already embraced the Ultimate universe now is probably the best time to jump in. Happy reading!