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Ultimate End (Secret Wars: Battleworld) Paperback – January 19, 2016
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Created back during the year 2000, the Ultimate universe (a brand-new and different Marvel universe than the main traditional Marvel universe that had been around for decades) was born on October 9th, 2000 with Ultimate Spider-man # 1, written by a then unknown Brian Michael Bendis and veteran superstar artist Mark Bagley. The end result was an ultimately marvelous (pun intended) comic book featuring a young Peter Parker still in high school which took the comic book world by storm. Marvel's ultimate line expanded with the debuts of Ultimate X-men, The Ultimates (the Ultimate universe's version of the Avengers, including the Samuel L. Jackson inspired version of Mark Millar's and Brian Hitch's Nick Fury), and Ultimate Fantastic Four (which featured the younger versions of characters like Reed Richards), etc. These books went on to dominate the top ten comic book sales charts for most of the 2000's.
Then towards the end of 2008 / beginning of 2009... Ultimatum happened. Featuring the end of most of the Ultimate X-men, Ultimatum was a VERY controversial comic book event. While some readers left the Ultimate books altogether out of anger, others stayed and got to see some really awesome books and events which came after (which began phase two of Marvel's ultimate line) like Mark Millar's Ultimate Avengers, Loeb's Ultimate X, The New Ultimates, Bendis's trilogy of events known as Ultimate Doomsday and Brian Michael Bendis's Ultimate Spider-man which eventually led into "Death of Spider-man" saga.
Following the ending of the "Death of Spider-man" saga (which featured several events like "Ultimate Avengers VS New Ultimates"), Phase 3 of Marvel's Ultimate line (which began around September 2011) featured the debut of Miles Morales as Ultimate Spider-man, Jonathan Hickman's Ultimates, and the new Ultimate comics X-men with Kitty Pryde leading most of the remaining Ultimate X-men that survived Ultimatum. Really great stuff happened with all of these books, from Brian Wood's fantastic Ultimate comics X-men books which culminated with the final great story arc "World War X", and Joshua Fialkov's fantastic "Ultimates Disassembled", to Bendis's "Spider-man" No More" in the Ultimate Spider-man series. Really awesome stuff.
Phase 3 ended with the late 2013 / early 2014 series "Cataclysm: The Ultimates Last Stand". A LOT of people thought this would be the FINAL tale of the Ultimate universe books since at this point, the only book that was selling in the Ultimate line was Ultimate Spider-man. Despite this, the Ultimate universe survived "Cataclysm" and lived on.
Phase 4 was the FINAL phase for the Ultimate universe. Beginning in 2014, Miles Morales as the Ultimate Spider-man continued and the two new books, Ultimate FF (Ultimate Future Foundation) and All-new Ultimates launched. Despite the launch, sales were not very good outside of Ultimate Spider-man. Such a shame since Fialkov's Ultimate FF story got cut short (a LOT of cool stuff was set to happen which never did). MEANWHILE.... in the main traditional Marvel universe, writer Jonathan Hickman was writing some VERY serious Marvel multiverse stories over in his Avengers and New Avengers books.... about the slow DEATH of the Marvel multiverse. Eventually, Hickman's Avengers # 41 (during 2015) would feature the Ultimate universe and the final issue of Hickman's Avengers, issue # 44, would feature some VERY shocking events with Marvel's Ultimate line and the traditional Marvel universe crossing over in the most insane way. Meanwhile, the final issue of Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-man (issue # 12, during 2015... which came out around the same exact time as Avengers # 44) also featured some serious stuff that was in relation to the grand chaos that was happening in Avengers # 44. The end result of all of these final issues? All of the chaos led into.....
May 2015's...... SECRET WARS.
Some REALLY serious stuff went down during the first issue of 2015's Secret Wars where Marvel's Ultimate universe and Marvel's main traditional universe went head-to-head.... resulting in perhaps the most chaotic event in the history of ALL of Marvel comics.... (and that's not hyperbole.... Secret Wars # 1 literally was perhaps the most chaotic event in the entire history of Marvel.... in the most glorious, fantastic way possible).
And all of this led to....
Taking place sometime AFTER 2015's Secret Wars # 6, but slightly BEFORE Secret Wars # 7 - # 9, Ultimate End features the FINAL tale of Marvel's Ultimate comics line.
Writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mark Bagley (who both started the Ultimate universe) come in to officially end the ultimate universe and give it legit closure with Ultimate End.
Featuring the FINAL fates of many Ultimate characters, Ultimate End # 1 features many characters that were resurrected after the end of Secret Wars # 1. Many characters are resurrected after Secret Wars # 1... only to be stuck in a situation which is leading to... their ULTIMATE END (pun intended).
Not to give too much away, but Ultimate End features many of the Ultimate characters interacting with the traditional Marvel characters. Some of the characters NOT getting along.... at all.
Bendis started crossing the Ultimate universe with the main traditional Marvel universe with the mini-series "Spider-men" during phase 3 of the Ultimate universe.
The second crossover was during Cataclysm: The Ultimates Last Stand... with Galactus from the main traditional Marvel universe invading the Ultimate universe during the end of phase 3 of Marvel's Ultimate line.
The third crossover was during Bendis's All-New X-men story-arc "The Ultimate Adventure", which took place at the same time as phase 4 of Marvel's Ultimate line, but prior to 2015's Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-man issues #10 - #12.
Following the events from Hickman's Avengers and New Avengers (especially issues # 41 and # 44 of Avengers) Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-man # 12 and 2015's Secret Wars # 1 - # 6, Ultimate End is the FINAL crossover between the two different Marvel universes.
Perhaps one of the best moments during Ultimate End was the violent confrontation between Ultimate Hulk and the Hulk from the main traditional Marvel universe. Also, the interaction between both of these characters prior to their violent confrontation was a really cool moment since it showed how different both of these Hulks / Banners are from each other.
For years, we have been seeing Ultimate Nick Fury treating Ultimate Hulk like crap, treating him like a captive animal, and treating him like a weapon and forcing him into violent situations (which no doubt contributed to Ultimate Hulk's bad attitude, making him MUCH more violent, insane, and evil compared to the Hulk from the traditional Marvel universe). What happens when Ultimate Nick Fury and the Hulk from the main traditional Marvel universe interact? What events spiral out of control because of this?
Meanwhile, Ultimate Punisher (who has been resurrected for this event) meets someone from the traditional Marvel universe... which literally drives him insane and leads him to do several unspeakable acts of violence and murder.
Ultimate Iron Man (who has a drinking problem) and the Iron Man from the main traditional Marvel universe (who has been sober from alcoholism for years) meet each other for the first time... leading to a very interesting meeting between the two.
Meanwhile, what important roles do characters like Peter Parker / Spider-man from the main traditional Marvel universe, Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-man, and several other characters play during Ultimate End?
Tying in directly with 2015's Secret Wars, a series of insane events lead into the finale, which results in the final fates of many characters.
MANY characters from Marvel's main traditional universe are featured interacting with MANY characters from Marvel's Ultimate universe during Ultimate End.
While some characters might be missing during Ultimate End (Ultimate Reed Richards is only featured in the 2015 Secret Wars series and plays a big part during that series. Meanwhile, Ultimate Thor is featured exclusively in the Secret Wars tie-in known as THORS).... or are still dead and weren't brought back (for example, some of the characters that died during Cataclysm and Secret Wars # 1 are resurrected for Ultimate End, but many of the characters that died during Ultimatum are still dead), but overall, Ultimate End features many of the Ultimate characters.... for the final time.
This series is awesome. Granted, the reason I'm giving it four stars instead of five stars is because the fifth and final issue / chapter in this book has an ending which I feel could have featured a LOT more action during the final pages, but didn't. Instead, we get a few final pages that aren't really action packed... but are emotional in a sad, yet cool way. That's all I will say since I don't want to give anything away.
On a side note, it should be noted that the Secret Wars tie-in OLD MAN LOGAN (Warzones) ties in with Ultimate End directly. The fifth issue (or fifth chapter if you have the TPB) of the Secret Wars related Old Man Logan series ties in directly with the events that happen with the last half of Ultimate End. It's not necessary to read, but it is cool to read and adds a LOT more to Ultimate End since the end of Old Man Logan (Warzones) expands more on the ending sequence to Ultimate End and features Old Man Logan interacting with a certain member of Ultimate comic's X-men in an emotional way.
Overall, I think we got a FINAL tale for the Ultimate universe that was cool.... I just wish that the ending sequence had MUCH more action than what was featured (Bendis went for a more emotional ending than an action packed ending). However, we did get a pretty cool official ending for the Ultimate universe that brings legit closure for the universe that began during October 9th 2000.
R.I.P the Ultimate universe
October 9th 2000 - December 16th 2015 (that's the day when the final issue of Ultimate End was released)
15 years old....
You will be missed.
I am sad to see the UItimate Universe come to a close. When it was introduced in 2000, it was far fresher and handled more adroitly than the 616. With the destruction of all universes in Marvel's Crisis-like event, we are now headed into the great unknown with Marvel. Continuity was there standard from 1961, and now it is all gone.
Ultimate Nick Fury was the model for Samuel Jackson's Fury in the films (I prefer Garth Ennis's interpretation of Fury). I prefer Ultimate Cap to 616 Cap and Ultimate Thor to 616 Thor. The Iron Man's are different but probably equal, and I can see no real difference between the Punishers, Peter Parkers, Ben Grimms or Daredevils (but 616 Daredevil had MUCH better stories and writers). The most important character from the Ultimate Universe has been saved and transferred into whatever Marvel produces going forward, and that is Mile Morales (he is also the most significant Marvel/DC superhero created in the 21st century).
The story is convoluted, but then universe collisions always are. It's fun and the characters are handled well. The sheer number of them is a bit overwhelming, so there is no deep story, but it still entertaining.
1) Our Banner tries to stop the Ultimate's Hulk from saving the universe because they always screw it by "making it worse." He describes their "curse" as "we can actually think we can help." They disagree and a typical fight breaks out between the Hulks. A few pages later, the same Banner is captured and begs to help. What???
2) Sloppy dialogue to take up space and stretch the books so you will buy all the books.
3) Panels with no words to take up space and again stretch the books so you buy all of them.
4) No clear resolution as to what is happening. Even the last page states "not even close to the end."
5) No individual feelings of heroes who are about to die. You would think that they could expand on this since we will all go through this in our lives but no, just a lot of artwork of stupid expressions.
If you want good stories, pick up Daredevil's Omnibus by Frank Miller. Timeless and the standard in which all other comic books should be judged against. Also Miller's Dark Knight Returns, Alan Moore's Killing Joke, Bendis' Daredevil and Ultimate Spider-man series run, Pak's Hulk and Hercules run, Wolfman's Teen Titains run, Brubaker's Captain America, John Byrne's and Hickman's Fantastic Four run, and of Course Chris Claremont's and Josh Whedon's Xmen run.