I donít think anything quite sums it up like the fact that Ultimatum is a comic that doesnít have an ultimatum in it. Like the series itself, itís just something that someone thought sounded cool, and the more you think about it, the worse it gets.It started off as a simple task. The Ultimate Marvel universe, originally created to appeal to new readers without fear of years of Backstory or Retcon, had begun to stagnate. Sales had lowered and some series, such as Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four, had fallen into Seasonal Rot. So the powers behind Marvel came up with the ultimate plan to renew reader interest, a Crisis Cross Over. A Wham Episode which would bring all the characters of the Ultimate Marvel universe and shake up the status quo to make a new jumping on point for new readers, written by Jeph Loeb.It starts with Magneto claiming Thor's hammer and using it to flood New York. And then, well, it goes pretty much downhill from there. The series lasted for 5 issues (January-July, 2009).Unfortunately, the series was not very well received. The series was criticized for relying on shock value, anticlimactic deaths, and borderline Gorn. On the brighter side, the art was praised and the series actually did accomplish its task of creating a new status quo for the universe, and was a sales success. Ultimately, this storyline is a rather touchy subject.
—Chris Sims, "Worst of the Worst"
Contains examples of:
- Always Save the Girl: Subverted in the Fantastic Four section. Reed prioritizes stopping Doom over saving Sue, leaving Ben to help her. She is not happy once she's better.
- Anyone Can Die: And we mean ANYONE. Here's a full list of deaths.
- Artistic License Ė Physics: Reed gives two explanations for how Magneto caused the tidal wave. Either he reversed the earth's magnetic poles (which wouldn't have much effect) or he reversed the axis (which he would have no power to do). Some have speculated that he could have caused the tectonic shifts necessary to create a tidal wave by moving large metal reserves in the earth's crust, but this is never stated in the story.
- Crisis Crossover
- Darker and Edgier
- Disney Death: Spider-Man manages to survive his near death experience, presumably because Bendis didn't want him killed off... yet.
- Valkyrie and Captain America too. Being resurrected by Thor's Sacrifice.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The reason why Magneto doing this His children being killed. Bit of an overreaction there dude. And even then its revealed he was being manipulated into doing this by his own son, Quicksilver with the help of a mysterious woman and we still don't even know the reason why they did this in the first place. Should further be noted that he was horribly, horribly abusive to said children, to the point of crippling his son at one point just for siding against him, further adding to his hypocrisy.
- Downer Ending: Various heroes are dead, the X-Men (what's left of them) and Fantastic Four disband, Quicksilver is working for a mysterious evil individual, and Mutants are even more discriminated against then they previously were.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Just about everyone who dies.
- Gorn: Blob devouring Wasp's ripped guts, Hank Pym getting blown up by suicide bomber Multiple Man, complete with flying guts and a skeleton being incinerated, Doctor Strange getting squeezed by his own cape until his head graphically explodes, etc.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Yellowjacket gathers the Madrox dupes suicide bombing the Triskellion & takes them out to sea to save the rest of the Ultimates.
- I'm a Humanitarian: When Hawkeye finds Wasp's body, it's had a chunk bitten out of it by The Blob, who comments that it "tastes like chicken".
- Infant Immortality: Notably, the mostly teenage cast of Ultimate Spider-Man survives untouched, as do the youngest members of the X-Men. Subverted with the Fantastic Four, as all four members of the team survive (With the exception of Johnny, the team are all in their early twenties), but Sue & Johnny's dad doesn't.
- Killed Off for Real: See directly below. But more specifically, Professor X, Wolverine, and Magneto are gone, among many other really big names.
- Kill 'em All: No kidding.
- Mood Whiplash: In an example so cruel that Linkara actually uses the Trope Namer clip for And Now For Something Completely Different to describe it, we go from the truly awesome moment of Cap and Thor fighting the hordes of the undead to the Blob EATING the Wasp.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Magneto has this after learning the truth about mutants who in this universe are a result of genetic experimentation, leads to a brief Villainous Breakdown before Cyclops kills him with an optic blast.
- Neck Snap: How Magneto kills Professor X.
- Rasputinian Death: Wolverine's; first almost all his soft tissue is blasted away, then his skeleton is torn apart, then the individual cells of his last remaining bones are destroyed.
- Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: Could be the comic codifier. With the amount of ridiculous deaths, it starts to seem like someone at Marvel was using this as some sort of catharsis.
- Selective Magnetism: Magneto is seen somehow treating a bleeding wound using magnetism. Probably the best explanation (in that it wouldn't work, but sounds almost possible if you don't know) is that he's controlling the iron in blood.
- Shoot the Dog: At the end, after hearing Reed talk about how much of a threat Dr. Doom is, Ben quietly goes to Latveria, kills Doom, and leaves.
- Could be a case of Harsher in Hindsight when you consider what Ultimate Reed goes on to do down the road in The Ultimates himself.
- Tastes Like Chicken: The Blob says this exact line when he's eating the Wasp.
- WHAM Episode
- What the Hell, Hero?: Hawkeye gets a damn justified one on Captain America when he makes a snarky comment about Hank Pym's Heroic Sacrifice.