Ultra the Multi-Alien
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|Ultra the Multi-Alien|
Cover to Mystery in Space #103,
art by Lee Elias
|First appearance||Mystery in Space #103, (November 1965)|
|Created by||Dave Wood (writer)
Lee Elias (artist)
|Alter ego||Ace Arn|
|Abilities||Superstrength, flight, magnetokinesis, electrokinesis.|
Ultra the Multi-Alien was a science fiction superhero featured in comics published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Mystery in Space #103 (1965), pushing out Adam Strange and Space Ranger from that title. He was created by writer Dave Wood and artist Lee Elias.
Fictional character biography
Ultra was originally Earth spaceman Ace Arn, living in an unspecified future era when spaceflight was commonplace. After crash landing on a planet in a different solar system, he was attacked by four aliens, each of a different species. The four aliens simultaneously shot him with rayguns designed to transform him into a member of their respective species, but would only work on matter from an alien solar system. Because all four rays hit him at the same time, he was instead transformed into a combination of the four different species. The upper right section of his body grew green fur and gained super strength; the upper left section turned blue and gained magnetic powers; his right leg grew feathers and small wings, giving him the ability to fly; and his left leg was transformed into a bolt of lightning.
He combined the first letter of the worlds the four aliens were from, along with the first letter of his name to come up with: U-L-T-R-A, his new name. He soon found a device to convert back to human form, to make it easier to move in society. His series lasted until issue #110 (1966), when Mystery in Space was cancelled. He would not reappear for several years.
Ultra was one of Wizard Magazine's "Mort of the Month", a featurette showcasing comic characters considered low-quality. Grant Morrison used him both in his run in Animal Man (in issue #25 Ultra and other pre-Crisis characters appear in comic book limbo) and in the Aztek monthly series (though not shown, Ultra makes two appearances).
The character appeared in Starman #55 (1999), in which Ultra, along with Space Ranger, is riding in Space Cabby's cab and looking for Starman IV's cosmic staff for the Space Museum. Each regales the other with a different interpretations of Jack and Mikaal rescuing Starfire from a space pirate.
Geoff Johns was the next writer to use these concepts. A storyline in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. involved Young Justice teaming with Star-Spangled Kid and S.T.R.I.P.E. to stop a group of Larroo (one of the four aliens from Ultra's origin) from using their ray to turn everyone in Blue Valley into Larroo. It was established that the Larroo had invented the ray, but were preparing to sell it to the other three alien races.
Ultra appeared as a background character in the Infinite Crisis event. Having apparently somehow traveled back in time to the present era, Ultra is one of the many spacefaring heroes who aid Donna Troy in the fallout of the Rann-Thanagar War. He also appeared in Superman/Batman # 31 (2007), overwhelmed by an alien influence that is affecting many of the part-alien heroes on earth. After a highly destructive rampage through the American town of Dalesville, he leaves (causing more destruction upon his exit) with Supergirl, also affected. In "Superman/Batman" #33, he and other influenced aliens try to destroy the titular heroes. Fortunately his mind is soon cleared of all influence and the villain behind it all, Despero, is defeated.
The planet Larroo appeared in Action Comics #867. Brainiac attacked the planet while searching the universe for Superman. Superman arrived but could do nothing. A city containing all four races which created Ultra was contained within a forcefield, shrunk and captured. Their star was detonated and Superman was left floating among the remains of the planet. One of his most recent appearance is in the same Action Comics storyline, where he was held with other humanoid characters on Brainiac's ship. Vixen later mentions him as a potential Justice League member (albeit half-jokingly). He later appeared in the Strange Adventures 2011 One-Shot.
In other media
- Ultra the Multi-Alien appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "The Siege of Starro" Pt. 1. He helps the Green Lantern Corps fight the Starro invasion by fighting the Starro-controlled superheroes, but eventually succumbs to mind-control.
- In December 2010, Conan O'Brien did a segment on his late-night show Conan that featured some of the weaker characters in the DC Universe. O'Brien called Ultra "a f***ing mess."
- Ultra the Multi-Alien makes a small appearance in Superman: Unbound (based on the storyline Brainiac). As in the story, he is held captive inside Brainiac's ship.
- Toonopedia entry on Ultra
- DC Universe entry on Ultra
- Amazing World of DC entry on Ultra
- DCU Guide: Ultra the Multi-Alien