* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Is Red Skull lying about wanting a better life? Is he just trying to screw with Fury? Is he deluding himself? Is he just trying to justify his actions?
* AndYouThoughtItWouldFail: To say that Marvel had absolutely no faith in the Avengers is an understatement, as they wouldn't even allow Mark Millar to actually ''call'' the team "Avengers." Their reasoning? ComicBook/UltimateMarvel was not only a relaunch to cater to the 21st century, but also a collection of story pitches for major movie studios to pick and choose material from easily. Needless to say, Millar's revamp of the team was somewhat [[Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse influential]].
* {{Asspull}}: Tony's brain tumor was actually an Infinity Gem. How that makes sense is anyone's guess.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeArt: Bryan Hitch's knack for realism and talent for "widescreen" panels make the reader feel like he/she is watching a big budget action movie on in a comic book. Coupled with Mark Millar's gritty and cynical deconstruction style of writing, is it any wonder the first two volumes are so fondly remembered?
* BrokenBase: This being a reimagining of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, you can't win them all.
** Ultimate Captain America: a more realistic portrayal of what would happen if someone like him woke up several decades into the future to a technologically advanced but far more crass and vulgar society, or an overly jingoistic joke of a beloved character? His infamous "You think this letter on my head stands for France!?" line he gives to Herr Kleiser certainly dind't help matters.
* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: During Jeph Loeb's run, the series seemed more concerned with just making it DarkerAndEdgier, without any good reason or paying any respect to the canon.
* EvenBetterSequel: The first series is generally considered great, but ''Ultimates II'' is considered better by many for its more complex story, stronger action scenes, and more charismatic villains.
* FranchiseOriginalSin: Creator/JephLoeb's run started the downfall of the Ultimate line, but even the early stuff by Creator/MarkMillar has started to be criticized for the same reasons the later stuff has been, including making the protagonists into very dark antiheroes, and his characterizations of the Hulk being a cannibal and Hank Pym an unrepentant abusive husband.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: After the third volume, Quicksilver questioning Wanda if she was flirting with one of Hank Pym's robots turned from just a little MythologyGag regarding her relationship with Vision into this for two reasons: the first being that the robot fell in love with her, resulting in it becoming Ultimate Ultron and murdering her, alongside the realization that that comment might have been Quicksilver being ''[[BrotherSisterIncest jealous.]]''
* FridgeLogic: The DNA-specific bullet. [[spoiler: Ultron calls this whole thing a ''crime of passion'', and he apparently only shot Scarlet Witch the moment he saw that she and Pietro were lovers. ''Yet he'd been carrying a bullet coded to her DNA around all this time?'']]
* HarsherInHindsight: [[spoiler: In ''The Ultimates 3'', the Blob says to Wasp "[He's] going to eat [her] up." Come ''ComicBook/{{Ultimatum}}'', he makes good on this.]]
* HilariousInHindsight:
** [[Creator/SamuelLJackson Nick Fury]] gives us this little gem: "This nose has been smashed more often than [[Film/IronMan Robert Downey Jr]]."
** While on the subject, when the Ultimates and Fury are sitting around discussing who would play them in a potential movie adaptation of their exploits, Nick Fury is quick to say that he would want to have none other than Samuel L. Jackson cast as him and only him with no exceptions. Six years later, who else but the most famous most baddest of mofos would approach [[Film/IronMan Tony Stark (played by RDJ)]] to discuss [[Film/TheAvengers2012 the Avenger Initiative]]? Though of course, Fury was already drawn to resemble Jackson on the condition that he could play Fury in movies.
** Ultimate Hawkeye is a violent sociopath with the ability to turn any thrown object into a deadly weapon, making him an {{Expy}} of ''ComicBook/{{Daredevil}}'' antagonist Bullseye. Years later during ''Dark Reign'', Norman Osborn has several villains take on the identities of the Avengers; guess who Bullseye disguises himself as?
** A minor example, but the introduction for the hardcover collection of the first series happens to be written by Creator/JossWhedon.
** [[http://ew.com/books/2018/04/06/mark-millar-on-his-new-netflix-comic-the-magic-order-and-the-origins-of-the-mcu/ According to Mark Millar]], Marvel considered the Avengers so much of a FranchiseZombie that they did not want to have an Ultimate version of it, and when they finally accepted, they asked that the team was renamed. Yes, the same Avengers that became a worldwide film juggernaut by adapting Millar's take on them.
* JerkassWoobie: Hulk, Quicksilver.
** Red Wasp is a former terrorist, who has some truly horrific baggage, and it's all but outright stated she's being forced into performing wet-work for the U.S. government when she first appears.
** [[spoiler:Red Skull]] of all people is revealed to be one. In this series, he's not just a Monster, he's the ultimate walking talking MoralEventHorizon. But what was his goal? [[spoiler:He wanted to go back in time and save his father from being frozen so that he could marry his mother and they could all be a family because he utterly hated his life as a TykeBomb. It doesn't help that his final scene is saying goodbye to his mother before reflecting on his complete mess of a life and how all he wanted was a happy ending to it all before being executed by Red Wasp. But then again, despite having his goal in hand, he still decided to use it to be a sadistic dick to the Avengers some more instead of immediately using it to make it so his actions never happened.]]
* MagnificentBastard: Captain America will regularly perform incredible combat strategies that are calculated within seconds, and [[LampshadeHanging stated outright]] that he seems to have "always winning" as an actual power. He will simultaneously sprout callous (from anybody else extremely arrogant sounding) {{Jerkass}} sentiments while performing them.
* MisaimedFandom: Millar used the story to advance his anti-war ideas, but some people simply took note that Captain America as a conservative asshole was so cool... Millar explains it best: "People would say, "''I joined the army after reading The Ultimates because I wanted to make a difference in the Middle East,''" and I was like, "''Well, I kinda meant the opposite of that!'' And I kinda like that, though, because I do quite like it being open to interpretation."
* MoralEventHorizon:
** [[spoiler: Black Widow]] arranging for the deaths of Hawkeye's family.
** For Hank Pym, there his attempt to kill the Wasp after the two have an argument, including spraying her with bug spray and siccing ants on her after she shrunk.
** For Ultimate Reed Richards, if orchestrating the city consuming Germany was not be enough, then [[spoiler: assassinating the president by blowing up Washington D.C. definitely counts.]]
** The Red Skull, like his mainstream counterpart has plenty, but one of his worst is [[spoiler: threatening to kill the child of the woman who's become Swarm/Red Wasp if she didn't kill her husband--only to kill the baby, anyway, and have have her gang-raped]].
* {{Narm}}:
** From Ultimate Avengers: "I voted for the hot Alaskan chick." As a BondOneLiner.
** Joshua Hale Filkov's run is practically fueled by it.
** ''Vol. 3'' gets special accolades for the ''worst'' BondOneLiner imaginable:
-->'''Ant-Man''': "If she's the mother... ''I'm the mother-fucker''!"
** From ''Vol 1'' The Hulk gives us this immortal line:
-->'''Hulk:''' HULK WANT FREDDIE PRINZE JR!
** In fact a majority of Hulk's lines fall directly into Narm territory. Especially the time he creepily told Thor that being pummeled by Thor's hammer "only makes Hulk hornier".
** The reason Black Widow II and Nick Fury got divorced? [[spoiler:Over a period of few months, [[YourCheatingHeart he somehow cheated on her]] with ''every single female relative and friend she had''.]]
** From ''Ultimate: Avengers'', the story of Red Skull's origin describes how he managed to kill an entire base of soldiers, but the art ruins it by showing a small swarm of [=GIs=] ''charging'' an unarmed teenager and getting slaughtered en-masse, rather than, say, ''using their guns to shoot him'', making it look like they were just TooDumbToLive. (Never mind the logic of how a teenager managed to kill an entire base of soldiers by himself, even as a SuperSoldier.)
* NeverLiveItDown:
** The 616 version of Hank Pym hit Janet once during a [[FreakOut mental breakdown]], and he's been paying for it since. This version of Hank meanwhile is a straight-up DomesticAbuser who nearly kills her during an argument. And since this series was incredibly popular, this has only made the Never Live It Down even ''worse'' for 616-Hank.
** Captain America's infamous "You think this letter on my head stands for France?" line is something that is often brought up by his detractors to this day.
* OnlyTheCreatorDoesItRight: There's a reason why after ''Ultimates 3'' and ''Ultimatum'' bombed, Mark Millar's return provided some relief to fans.
* RootingForTheEmpire: The Ultimates are not [[GoodIsNotNice pure good guys]], they are a military unit used by the United States to pursue its expansionist agenda. The Liberators, on the other hand, are villains from several oppressed countries, who organize a terrorist attack that seeks to stop American imperialism. Given the GrayAndGrayMorality of the series, along with Mark Millars own political beliefs, it's possible that he intended to invoke this trope.
* StrawmanPolitical: From all sides of the bale.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks:
** The idea to make Ultimate Captain America display DeliberateValuesDissonance attracted a lot of controversy even ''before'' they famously took it into hamhanded directions, since his mainstream counterpart is famously portrayed as being forward-thinking, idealistic and enlightened for whatever era he's in.
** Utterly averted with Ultimate Reed Richards. Fans and Critics alike praised his descent into villainy.
*** This was played straight when Brian Michael Bendis and Josh Fialkov tried to redeem him. Once Reed was back in the hands of Creator/JonathanHickman, he returned to his evil glory, to the rejoicing of the fans.
** The ''All-New Ultimates'' take on Jessica Drew, from the costume to the new alias. A lot of people aren't happy with the changes, which is even easier to notice since she was a big EnsembleDarkHorse before the series started.
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