Marvel‘s Ultimate Universe plans are finally out in the open. At least, the initial wave of titles for the rebooted alternate comics universe… Thanks to the Marvel: Next Big Thing panel at this year’s New York Comic Con.
Marvel’s Ultimate Universe was originally ran for 15 years, starting in 2000. It was an attempt by the publisher to create a continuity-free line of comics. Ideally, one that would work as an easy entrance for new readers. Naturally, the continuity got more complex over time. And ultimately — no pun intended — was destroyed during writer Jonathan Hickman‘s Secret Wars storyline. This year, Hickman brought it back in the miniseries Ultimate Invasion. Thanks to some machinations from The Maker, an evil version of Reed Richards, the Ultimate Universe is back… Albeit in an entirely new form.
What form that is, exactly, will become clear in Ultimate Universe #1, written by Hickman and art by Stefano Caselli. That will lead to a new line of titles, including the previously announced Ultimate Spider-Man #1, written once again by Hickman, with art by Marco Checchetto. The other titles announced/confirmed at yesterday’s (October 14) panel include Ultimate Black Panther, by Bryan Hill with art by Stefano Caselli; and Ultimate X-Men, by Peach Momoko.
No shade to any of the rest of these announcements, but Momoko on an ongoing, in-continuity X-Men title is by far the most intriguing part of this announcement. The writer/artist has been creating her own line of books at Marvel, Demon Days, which all take place in Feudal Japan. How will her unique sensibility translate to the new Ultimate Universe? Why, we’ll all just have to find out together.
Check out some looks at the covers, and much more info, on the upcoming Ultimate Universe series below.
Ultimate Spider-Man #1: Meet Ultimate Peter B. Parker
Revolutionary writer Jonathan Hickman and acclaimed artist Marco Checchetto (Daredevil) bring you a bold new take on Spider-Man, with the debut title of the new line of Ultimate Comics! After the events of Ultimate Invasion, the world needs a hero…who will rise up to take on that responsibility? Prepare to be entangled in a web of mystery and excitement as the all-new ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN comic redefines the wall-crawler for the 21st Century! On sale January 10, 2024.
Teasing the series, Hickman said, “Ultimate Spider-Man is a book I never thought I’d be writing. It’s a bit of a Peter B. Parker situation…”
Ultimate Black Panther #1: Wakanda Vs. Moon Knight
In the wake of Ultimate Invasion, Khonshu and Ra – the force known together as Moon Knight – are seeking to expand their brutal control of the continent of Africa. In response, the lone bulwark against them, the isolated nation of Wakanda, will send forth its champion…its king…the Black Panther! From the creative minds of Bryan Hill (Blade, Killmonger) and Stefano Caselli (X-Men Red, Avengers) comes a bold new take on the world of Black Panther and Wakanda! On sale February 7, 2024.
“I was invigorated by this opportunity because in addition to my immense respect for Johnathan Hickman’s detailed storytelling, the idea of shepherding this bold new take on Black Panther in this event gives me a platform to do the kind of broad, epic, storytelling I’ve always wanted to do in comics,” Hill said. “My influences range from the history of Black Panther comics, to Ryan Coogler’s incredible work with the recent films, to Frank Herbert’s world building capacity of Dune. This is something people won’t expect, in the best of ways, and full credit to Marvel and editors Wil Moss and Michelle Marchese for bringing this creative possibility to me.”
Ultimate X-Men #1: X-Men Evolution
Visionary creator Peach Momoko reinvents mutantkind for the Ultimate age! In Japan, when a young student named Hisako Ichiki develops armor powers, she discovers she’s a mutant—and she’s not the only one! Meet a new generation of mutants, filled with original and familiar X-Men characters. Together, they’ll learn what it means to be mutant in the Ultimate Universe as they explore their emerging powers and the startling ways they connect to folklore, legend, and magic! On sale March 6, 2024.
“I am very honored to be a part of the new Ultimate Universe,” Momoko said. “I am very careful in delivering the unique X-Men mutant elements while still being true to my vision and voice. I am also very proud (and surprised) that I was given enough freedom from C.B. Cebulski and Jonathan Hickman to create a brand new X-Men character. It might not be the normal portrayal of a super hero… but, just like with my Momoko-verse stories, I am excited to introduce everyone to this new world.”
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