Marvel comics will be reviving its incredibly beloved ultimates line this June. Originally announced on Entertainment Weekly and immediately followed up at IGN, writer Jonathan Hickman, and the G.O.A.T. of Marvel Ultimates himself, superstar artist Bryan Hitch, kick off this four-issue revival with ULTIMATE INVASION. With a story focused on Miles Morales, the series will see The Maker (Reed Richards in Ultimates Universe) responsible for seeking to bring back Earth-1610, the Ultimates Universe, back at any cost…
For those who don’t know, the Marvel Ultimate Universe was the go-to story for millennials and anyone who got into comics around the dawn of the modern Marvel superhero era. They were modern takes on superheroes unafraid to get edgy and even violent. Whereas the 1980s saw comics changing due to changes in the comics’ code of authority, along with a budding commercially profitable toy line, the 2000s era of comics with the Marvel Ultimates arrived at a time when Marvel itself just hit bankruptcy. The publishing, very much in a corner, was willing to try out new ideas.
Marvel movies, meanwhile, just hit theaters for the first time with 20th Century Fox films such as X-Men, Blade, and Spider-Man. All of these pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe. Experiencing financial whiplash, Marvel had gone from nearly losing everything to turning it all around before being bought out by Disney several years later.
The Ultimates would go on to inspire the MCU. Captain America’s suit, for instance, is actually designed off the Ultimates iteration created by Bryan Hitch. Likewise, the original 2012 Avengers, is based on Marvel’s The Ultimates. The superhero counterpart of the Avengers in the Ultimates universe.
If that weren’t enough, probably the biggest takeaway from the importance of the Ultimates line was the creation of Spider-Man: Miles Morales. His entire history was taken from the Ultimates Universe that was then incorporated into Earth-616’s main timeline. Mostly, out of popularity of the character.
Now, Jonathan Hickman isn’t a stranger to dramatic Marvel reboots as he was also the writer responsible for the major House of X storyline in 2019. He’s also no stranger to the Ultimates run, as he was the very one to end the line with Secret Wars back in 2015. Whether or not this 4-issue limited will see the full return of Marvel Ultimate Universe remains to be said.
“[Revisiting the idea of Ultimate Comics] couldn’t be replicating or revisiting what Bryan did in the original Ultimates — creating a streamlined, modernized version that would eventually become the spine of the MCU, and it certainly couldn’t be what I did, which was a final chapter of a pre-existing universe,” Hickman explained to Entertainment Weekly. “We also thought the very idea of Ultimate Comics needed to be inverted from what the original universe was — we wanted this to be something that could really only exist in the comic space: a new way of thinking about, and enjoying, a new version of the Marvel Universe. I’m pretty happy to say that it feels like we’ve accomplished those things and we’re very excited for everyone to get to read it.”
“It’s been more than 20 years since I started work on The Ultimates, a project that would have a big impact on my own career and beyond, so when Marvel came to me with the idea of revisiting the Ultimate Universe with the man who so brilliantly and spectacularly destroyed the last one, I was both feet in!” Hitch said. “Jonathan is a terrific writer of big, sprawling epics, and we’ve talked about working together more than once so for this new Ultimate Universe adventure to unite us is very exciting. I get to bring two decades of new experience as an artist and storyteller to this. It’s new, different and familiar. It’s big budget, high-concept, widescreen storytelling. I feel right at home.”
The debut issue will include new data pages by Jonathan Hickman – plus exclusive behind-the-scenes material on the world-building that has gone into this project. Check out Bryan Hitch’s cover below, which will also be available as a foil variant cover.
ULTIMATE INVASION #1 (OF 4)
Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Art and Cover by BRYAN HITCH
Colors by ALEX SINCLAIR
Foil Variant Cover by BRYAN HITCH
On Sale 6/21