->''"Established, popular characters? Check. Reinterpretation of a beloved, classic storyline? Check. Stretched-out presentation of the same? Check. Helmed by a popular creator of original works in his own right? Check. Updated characterizations that sometimes toy with the original creator's personas? Check. A bigger, more contemplative/brooding/generally 'big' tone? Check. Yeah, it's an Ultimate book, at least as we know them now."''
--> -- [[http://joglikescomics.blogspot.com/2005/07/lots-of-manga-talk.html Jog]], on Creator/NaokiUrasawa's ''{{Pluto}}''.

A kind of [[{{retool}} "reboot"]] designed to create an AdaptationDistillation effect in the same medium as the original. Said adaptation will usually incorporate bits of plot and design from each previous incarnation, but is overall a standalone world/story that can be understood by newcomers. A more specific and very deliberate form of AlternateContinuity.

Extremely common in {{Retool}}ed {{Cross Over}}s, as this allows a more precise meshing of plots than a {{Retcon}} may allow.

They may usually contain several [[MythologyGag Mythology Gags]], referencing things from the original work (either as a remake of popular plots or circumstances, or as a mere detail that the fans may notice and the new readers may not even notice as such). If both universes are being used, the original and the ultimate, the ultimate universe may take more liberties than the original: for example, an important character may be KilledOffForReal, because StatusQuoIsGod only at the original universe.

Named for the MarvelComics "UltimateMarvel" line, which sought to update and streamline decades of continuity with a reboot but without canceling out the original storyline. Most superheroes under the "Ultimate" umbrella brand are given reboots of their own, but on a smaller scale -- Comicbook/{{Spider-Man}}'s [[ILoveNuclearPower 'radioactive spider']] origin story was replaced with an [[GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke updated 'genetically engineered spider']] version.

The "Ultimate" line, it should be noted, was intended to present Marvel's flagship characters to a new, modern audience; the rationale behind the quasi-reboot was that new readers to those series would be lost when confronted with nearly 30 years of backstory (though after ten years and running, UltimateMarvel is developing quite a backstory of its own).

{{Fan Fiction}} writers frequently do this in {{Alternate Universe Fic}}s, essentially rebooting the mythos to incorporate their own ideas, {{Fanon}}, and other material.
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!!Examples:
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* ''{{ROD The TV}}'': Mainly retooled the ''Read Or Dream'' manga's basic story to fit into the storyline done in the ''Anime/ReadOrDie'' OAV.
* ''Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040'' is a deep reboot of the classic anime {{OAV}} series ''BubblegumCrisis''. However, so many changes were made, from character designs to backstory to the overall plot, complete with a pseudo-GainaxEnding, that most fans of the original series were rather unimpressed with the end product.
* This was essentially the hook of the Alternate Universe series of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam''. As a result, ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' has '''seven''' of these! (''[[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam G Gundam]]'', ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Gundam Wing]]'', ''[[Anime/AfterWarGundamX Gundam X]]'', ''Anime/TurnAGundam'', ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed Gundam SEED]]'', ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Gundam 00]]'', ''GundamAGE'').
** ''SEED'' is a more explicit example, as it bears a lot of similarities to the original series and is sometimes called "21st Century First Gundam" by {{Sunrise}}[[labelnote:*]]''First Gundam'' is a semi-official nickname for the original show[[/labelnote]].
** You can generally tell which series are examples by how big the focus is on their respective GUNPLA line. Seed and 00 have entire separate lines dedicated to them, making them stand out even more as reboot series.
** There was also ''For The Barrel'', an obscure LightNovel-styled story featured in Newtype magazine with radically redesigned characters and mecha.
* Naoki Urasawa, creator of ''{{Anime/Monster}}'', did this for ''Manga/AstroBoy'' with ''{{Pluto}}''. One reviewer explicitly compares it to Ultimate Marvel (see page quote). The [[Anime/AstroBoy 2003 animated series]] also arguably qualifies, as it took many of the unrelated storylines from the largely continuity-free classic manga and wove them together into a cohesive story-arc.
* The ''TenchiMuyo'' [=OVAs=] have two: ''TenchiUniverse'', which has all the main characters and more or less a basic outlining of their backgrounds, plus an another character and the same BigBad and ''TenchiInTokyo'', with pretty much the main characters in the latter.
* Go Nagai's ''Devilman'' series possibly qualifies - there's a comic series, 1970s anime TV series, and three linked {{OVA}}s released between 1987 and 2000; each one of them retells the same events but in an updated, refined, condensed way. And, of course, there's ''Devilman Lady'', which is something of a combined ultimate edition and full-on reboot...
* {{Negima}} neo, which is [[RecursiveAdaptation based on the anime based on the manga]].
* This is Hideaki Anno's stated intention with ''RebuildOfEvangelion''. However, there is evidence to suggest it may also be a StealthSequel to [[NeonGenesisEvangelion the original series as well]].
* The {{Naruto}} Movie, Road to Ninja, appears to be based off this, featuring an earth with Naruto's parents living and alternate personalities for each character, though their histories and romances appear to be similar to the mainstream Naruto's.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* As mentioned above, MarvelComics' ''UltimateMarvel'' is the TropeNamer, as it's the UltimateUniverse version of the normal ''MarvelUniverse''.
* The DCComics "All-Star" line, which had the ''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman'' and ''ComicBook/AllStarBatmanAndRobinTheBoyWonder'' miniseries (with future projects based on WonderWoman, ComicBook/{{Batgirl}}, and possibly {{the Flash}}), is a form of this. The series aren't supposed to take place in any particular continuity (although ''All-Star Batman and Robin'' does supposedly take place in the same continuity as Frank Miller's other Batman stories), and are supposed to be a concentration of what makes those characters special. As well, ''Justice'' is basically ''All-Star SuperFriends'', even if it couldn't legally be called that.
* The two upcoming series of trade-paperbacks ''ComicBook/BatmanEarthOne'' and ''ComicBook/SupermanEarthOne'' are following the Ultimate Marvel formula more closely than the All-Star line, intending to be a modern reboot in a new continuity rather than mini-series written outside of continuity.
** As of March 2014, there will be a Wonder Woman: Earth One and Teen Titans: Earth One coming.
* The New 52 relaunch also has some of this, but confusingly not always. Some series are just continuations of old series with renumbered issues while others are complete reboots or retellings. Can be quite confusing to tell which is which at times. Ironic, as the whole point of the New 52 was to make things less confusing for new readers.
* Devil's Due productions attempted this with ''Franchise/GIJoe Reloaded''.
* Creator/IDWPublishing's ''[[ComicBook/TheTransformersIDW Transformers Generation 1]]'' material, but this can be said of damn near all modern ''Transformers'' material.
* ''ComicBook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesIDW'' has taken it upon itself to become this, introducing characters and concepts from different incarnations of the property and blending them together.
* ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'', which ran from 1996 to 2001, got this treatment in the form of the less-acclaimed ''PK'', that ended in 2005.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''FanFic/MegaManDefenderOfTheHumanRace'' is one for the Mega Man cartoon and the games; it combines them while adding original characters and plot developments.
* ''FanFic/MegaManReawakened'' takes elements from every version of Mega Man to create an original universe.
* ''FanFic/MegaManRecut'' is one for the cartoon and the games, with every Robot Master set to appear and a heavily layered plot.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]
* ''Film/ManOfSteel'' is seen as this for the Christopher Reeve Superman films and Superman movies as a whole as it takes place in an entirely different universe and providing a more modern take to the Superman story.
* ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan'' could be said to be an Ultimate Universe to the Sam Raimi Film/SpiderManTrilogy. Appropriately, while they both draw from both continuities, Amazing seems to be leaning more towards the comics Ultimate Spider-Man.
* The 2009 ''Franchise/StarTrek'' movie ("''[[Film/StarTrek Star Trek XI]]''") and its [[Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness sequel]]. They take place explicitly in an AlternateTimeline compared to the TV shows and the earlier films, created via time travel in the first film, but show all the hallmarks of an Ultimate Universe in terms of retelling iconic storylines in a more "contemporary" style.
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[[folder: Literature ]]
* The sequels to ''2001: A Space Odyssey'' are all set in the universe established in the film version (the mission terminates at Saturn in the novel, at Jupiter in the film), but each one is set in a somewhat divergent universe that does not necessarily take all events of the previous novel(s) into account. Thus ''2061'' diverges from and ignores the epilogue of ''2010'', and ''3001'' glosses over several major implications described in the three previous novels. Clarke stated in the introductions to all three sequels that this was deliberate.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action Television]]
* ''{{Smallville}}'' is commonly thought as the Ultimate take on the {{Superman}} mythos.
* In ''Series/OnceUponATime'', the Land Without Magic (aka Storybrooke) could be considered this. Individuals who in their realms were contemporaries of each other, have existed as stories in our universe for hundreds, if not ''thousands'' of years.
* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'' is considered an Ultimate take to the GreenArrow mythos.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* Several campaigns by RPGA managed to receive the Ultimate treatment following their original publisher's demise. To wit, "Living City" became "Living Planar," "Living Greyhawk" evolved into "Blackmoor," and "Living Death" turned into "Fellowship of the White Star."
* WhiteWolf's ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'' is an Ultimate SpiritualSuccessor of the ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'', created to tighten focus, tweak rules mechanics, standardize rules between different gamelines, and replace a {{metaplot}} continuity that in just a little over a decade had become as convoluted and incomprehensible as any comic book universe with a more ambiguous, optional, and largely more internally consistent one.
** It's been confirmed that another White Wolf product, ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', is going to be given this treatment in the coming third edition, with the map redrawn and multiple new types of Exalt appearing. The fanbase ''immediately'' [[BrokenBase underwent extremely hostile mitosis]] on whether this was a good thing.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'' does this with EVERY universe and storyline from previous titles, making one streamlined plot out of all [[OriginalGeneration original characters]]. This is especially interesting, as the games are already a MassiveMultiplayerCrossover AdaptationDistillation of many diverse HumongousMecha anime.
** Played straight twice: not only is Original Generation an attempt to blend all originals into one cohesive storyline, but it got a ContinuityReboot. Originally started on the GameboyAdvance, a VideoGameRemake on the PlayStation2 entitled ''Original Generations'' tweaked the storylines and certain character personalities to make more sense, while adding new scenarios, units and characters from other ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' (even some from obscure titles, such as ''Great Battle IV''). It's not as major a reboot as many other examples here, but it IS the Ultimate Universe for developer Banpresto.
* The VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries is somewhat an example. The story is largely self-contained, and while there ''are'' references to previous ''Batman'' comic stories, they generally have the story weight of {{Mythology Gag}}s.
* ''[[VideoGame/DmCDevilMayCry DmC: Devil May Cry]]'' falls right into this, much to the [[BrokenBase dismay of fans]]. It streamlines many elements from the DevilMayCry series' convoluted story while adding original wrinkles, such as making Dante's mother a literal [[FemaleAngelMaleDemon Angel]]. It also brings back a fan favorite Vergil ,who was KilledOffForReal in the original series in the First game through a RetCon [[MakesSenseInContext in the Third]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]
* ''WebComic/DumbingOfAge'' is basically a reboot of ''Webcomic/{{Roomies}}'', minus the MundaneFantastic that eventually took over the strip and plus the [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters hundreds of characters]] created since then.
* ''Webcomic/TheJapaneseBeetle'' went through this in 2003, retelling stories from its 1998 origin in more modern style. WordOfGod later admitted that this was exactly what he was going for.
* ''PowerpuffGirlsDoujinshi'' is basically a UltimateUniverse version of old cartoon shows, with WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls as the protagonists, but also starring [[WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory Dexter]] and others.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeRenegades'' may be this in regards to the Franchise/GIJoe franchise.
* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' as well for the Franchise/{{Transformers}} franchise. It is part of the Franchise/TransformersAlignedUniverse, which exists entirely outside the Transformers {{multiverse}}.
* The [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012 2012 TMNT series]] uses aspects from many previous continuities. It's more or less got many of the 1987 show's plot elements, but has a tone that slowly becomes more in line with the 2003 series, as well as the show's use of {{Composite Character}}s and sometimes reworking the origins of particular villains (The Rat King and Mutagen Man being the most notable).
* ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'', which functions as a darker, more dramatic take on the original ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats'', showing the more realistic aspects of the war between the cats and the lizards, as well as the culture of the main characters.
* ''WesternAnimation/SonicBoom'' is shaping up to be this for the SonicTheHedgehog series.
[[/folder]]
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