Ultimate Universe’s Importance

With the release of Avengers: Endgame just over the horizon, I feel obligated to take today’s post as an opportunity to take about how the Marvel Ultimate Universe (1616) paved the way for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Before Marvel had established a bigger universe with block busters, it took a huge chance on re-inventing many of our most beloved characters and stories. Giving new origins, new partnerships, and even new friendships and relationships.

In it’s original run, it was viewed as a mini series and not long term. They re-introduced us to the Ultimate versions of X-Men, Fantastic Four and Spider-Man. There were also the “Ultimates” an avenger like team up that occurred. We were introduced to the Chitari and a Nick Fury based on Samuel L. Jackson himself. We would later see both of these come to the silver screen many years later.

The chances that were taken with this new universe tested the waters for readers to see if they would accept new ideas or stories. If we as consumers had evolved with some of these characters. It worked out well and lasted for over a decade as it’s own universe before the events of Secret Wars and the consolidation of the universes.

We also got the opportunities to experience the real loss of Spider-Man. At the hands of the Green Goblin ( a literal mutated Goblin, not just a masked Villain), Peter saves his friends and family but unfortunately is fatally wounded along side Norman Osborn. Previously comics would just reverse this and find an out to save the titular hero, which they did eventually, but in this case we spent many years without 1616’s Peter Parker.

In fact his identity was shared out and everyone knew who Spider-Man was, just a 20 something year old with the weight of New York city on his shoulders. This taught the Marvel movies, that they don’t have to save everyone. As seen in Age of Ultron, one of the new up and comers, Quick Silver is fatally killed with no signs of any return.

The other huge benefit of this is that we see introduction of a completely new Spider-Man, Mile Morales. Miles a teen boy much like the Peter we met many years ago, struggles with learning and coping with his new found abilities. Miles over time became a fan favorite, enough so that even Sony recognized this and introduced him to the big screen through Into the Spiderverse. As well as a reference by his Uncle during the MCU’s Spider-Man Homecoming.

Another example of changes being made are Villainizing former heroes in the Ultimate Universe. The Hulk was used early on as an antagonist to the Ultimates, Reed Richards redux as the Maker. These changes made great story telling and turbulence that previously was not explored.

Great new characters, great new stories, great runway to demonstrate fans would embrace new Marvel. I hope everyone is safe and enjoys themselves some Avengers:Endgame this weekend.

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