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|Country of origin||U.S.|
|Headquarters location||New York City|
|Distribution||Diamond Comic Distributors|
|Publication types||Comic books|
|Owner(s)||Marvel Worldwide, Inc.|
Ultimate Marvel, later known as Ultimate Comics, was an imprint of comic books published by Marvel Comics, featuring re-imagined and updated versions of the company's superhero characters from the Ultimate Universe. Those characters include Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. The imprint was launched in 2000 with the publication of the series Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate X-Men, providing new original stories for the characters. The Marvel Multiverse, which comprises an infinite number of galaxies and alternate universes, calls this universe Earth-1610.
The Ultimate Universe, as a part of a large scale reboot of the All-New All-Different Marvel multiverse, ended at the conclusion of Secret Wars, when select characters from the Ultimate Universe moved to the mainstream universe.
The Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610) was introduced in 2000 with the publication of Ultimate Spider-Man, followed by Ultimate X-Men in 2001, The Ultimates in 2002, and Ultimate Fantastic Four in 2004. The characters in this line exist outside of the regular Earth-616 Marvel Universe and therefore do not normally interact with their original counterparts. However, since certain characters within the Marvel Multiverse, such as Reed Richards, possess the means to contact or enter other universes, direct interaction was possible, though it rarely occurred early on in the universe's existence.
Ultimate Marvel features modern-day retellings of the mainstream origin stories of characters from past and present continuities (many of which were created in the 1960s and 1970s), updated to reflect contemporary sensibilities. For example, Ultimate Spider-Man gains his superpowers from a genetically-engineered spider rather than a radioactive spider, and his alter ego, Peter Parker, was originally a photographer for the Daily Bugle newspaper but now has a part-time job as the paper's webmaster. Many of the characters are younger than their regular-continuity counterparts.
Writers noted for their work in the line include Brian Michael Bendis, Warren Ellis, and Mark Millar. Joe Quesada and former Marvel president Bill Jemas were also involved in the creation of the line.
Ultimate Comics relaunches
The Ultimate Marvel imprint was re-launched in 2009 after the conclusion of the "Ultimatum" storyline, under the Ultimate Comics brand. All previously running titles were canceled and given "Requiem" one-shots to wrap up the "Ultimatum" story line, and only Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man returned to consistent publication, the other series existing only as limited series.
In August 2011, Marvel re-launched the Ultimate line again, this time with the "Ultimate Comics Universe Reborn" tagline after the conclusion of the story arc "The Death of Spider-Man," an arc of Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man, ended with issue 160 on June 22, 2011. A new multi-ethnic Spider-Man, Miles Morales, was introduced in Ultimate Comics Fallout #4 in August 2011. Ongoing titles after this relaunch were Ultimate Comics: All-New Spider-Man, Ultimate Comics: X-Men, and Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates, supplemented with several limited series.
The Ultimate line was re-launched a final time in April 2014 as part of the Marvel NOW! initiative, as "Ultimate Marvel NOW!". This followed the "Cataclysm" event that ended the previous ongoing titles, replacing them with Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man, All-New Ultimates, and Ultimate FF. Ultimate FF ended after six issues, while Miles Morales and All-New Ultimates ended after twelve each, Miles Morales directly leading into Ultimate End published in 2015, which ended the Ultimate Marvel imprint after 15 years.
The end of the Ultimate Marvel
Ultimate End launched the "Battleworlds" branding of Marvel's "Secret Wars" storyline, which is written by Bendis and artist Mark Bagley, the team that launched the Ultimate Marvel universe with Ultimate Spider-Man. Miles Morales, select members of his supporting cast, and the Maker moved to the post-Secret Wars Marvel Universe. Jimmy Hudson is revealed to be another refugee from the Ultimate Marvel that leaped to Earth-616.
Ultimate Marvel series timeline (by date of publication)
- "Ultimate Universe". Marvel.com. Retrieved 2016-05-14.
- "The MARVEL UNIVERSE Is Ending". Newsarama.com. 2015-01-20. Retrieved 2015-02-01.
- Franich, Darren (June 21, 2011). "Where will 'The Death of Spider-Man' rank compared to the great superhero deaths?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
- Khouri, Andy (2009-02-07). "NYCC LIVE: Cup O' Joe". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
Quesada then clarified that the entire Ultimate line will be canceled, sent off with a number of "Requiem" specials, and re-launched as Ultimate Comics.
- "Kaare Andrews Covers Marvel's Ultimate Relaunch". Comic Book Resources.com. 2011-05-17. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
Prepare for Ultimate Comics Universe Reborn, signaling the biggest changes to ever hit the Ultimate Comics Universe!
- Franich, Darren (August 2, 2011). "The new Spider-Man will be a half-black half-Hispanic teenager". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
- Sunu, Steve (January 10, 2014). "Marvel Releases Details, Covers for Ultimate Marvel NOW! Line". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved May 14, 2016.
- McMillan, Graeme (2015-01-28). "'Ultimate End' Closes a 15-Year Era of Marvel's Comic History". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2015-02-01.
- Sacks, Ethan (June 21, 2015). "Spider-Man Miles Morales — popular biracial version of the hero — joins main Marvel comics universe this fall". NY Daily News. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
- X-Men: Blue #1