Follow TV Tropes

Following

Comic Book / The Ultraverse

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Ultraverse.jpg

The Ultraverse was a line of superhero comic books (as well the official name of the universe they were set in) published by the Malibu Comics company during the 1990s. Although Malibu already produced some superhero comics, they decided to forgo them for an all-new, interacting universe (which was believed to be one of the reasons why DC Comics and Marvel Comics dominate the American comic book industry). They hired several professional artists and writers — including noted Science-Fiction writer Larry Niven — to develop the characters and ideas on which the comics would be based. These creators were lured in by an offer to share a part of the royalties.

The central concept of the Ultraverse was the "Godwheel": a flat planet the size of a solar system, with technological civilizations in one side and magic-using ones in the other. All of the power sources seen in the series came from the Godwheel, as did some of the characters. However, for the most part the general population of Earth was unaware of this, and the appearance of super-powered individuals — known as "Ultras" — was believed to be a recent phenomenon. Many of the Ultraverse characters were alternate company equivalents of existing heroes, though usually given a distinguishing twist, sometimes even a controversial one.

The Ultraverse comics featured art and stories comparable in quality to anything Marvel or DC were offering at the time. Despite this, the crash of the speculator market for comics in the '90s forced Malibu to sell the line to Marvel Comics, who tried to integrate the characters to their multiverse in a story that featured the then-popular Infinity Gems. All the Ultraverse series were relaunched in altered forms (including Cosmic Retcons to their continuities). This proved unpopular with the fans, even with Marvel characters such as The X-Men's Juggernaut added in, and the line was canceled soon after.

A one-shot called Ultraverse: Future Shock resolved many of the loose ends of the canceled series, and revealed that both the original Ultraverse and the "Marvel" version still existed, in separate realities.

Marvel still owns the rights to the Ultraverse characters, but are wary of using them again allegedly due to royalty issues with the characters' creators and former Malibu exec Scott Rosenberg.


The main Ultraverse characters are:

  • Hardcase is Tom Hawke, a former superhero (his teammates were killed by a mysterious robot) who turned to life as an actor. He eventually discovers that he's been the victim of a conspiracy due to the fact that his powers come from nanotechnology. His series lasted for 26 issues, from June, 1993 to August, 1995.
  • Prime is Kevin Green, a boy with the ability to "grow" an organic Power Armor in the form of an adult superhero. His original series lasted for 26 issues, from June, 1993 to August, 1995. Vol. 2 lasted for 15 issues, from October, 1995 to December, 1996. 41 regular issues in all. Plus a mini-series, an annual and a number of one-shot crossovers with other characters.
  • The Strangers are a bunch of unrelated people from San Francisco who gained superpowers when a mysterious "lightning bolt" struck the trolley they were all in, and who decided to stay together as a superhero team. Notable for featuring one of the rare openly gay male heroes in superhero comics. The series lasted for 24 issues, from June, 1993 to May, 1995. There was also a special.
  • The Freex: A team of superpowered, freaky-looking teenagers. As infants they were among "dozens" of infants injected with nanotechnology by a mysterious nurse who hoped to spread superpowers around. As teenagers they manifested said powers, which affected their lives in various ways. They searched for others like themselves and ended up bonding together, mostly because they had nobody else to turn to. Contrary, who might have been the mysterious nurse, tried to recruit them for her school of other Ultra-powered teenagers, but they did not trust this Evil Mentor and were always on the run from her. The series lasted for 18 issues, from July, 1993 to February, 1995.
  • Mantra is a beautiful sorceress who was really an ancient male warrior trapped in the body of a divorced mother. The protagonist Lukasz (sic) is an eternal warrior involved in an endless war. One of several such warriors, since the sorcerer leading them ensured virtual immortality for them. Whenever Lukasz or his fellow warriors were killed, their souls were preserved and then allowed to possess new human bodies. Their latest battle did not go according to plan. The sorcerer himself fell and the others' souls were disembodied. The sole survivor Lukasz awakes in a new body, that of Eden Blake. For the first time in his existence, Lukasz has to cope with being a woman. The original series lasted for 24 issues, from July, 1993 to August, 1995. Vol. 2 featured a Legacy Character. Mantra II was Lauren Sherwood, the teenaged babysitter to the original's children, who finds herself accidentally inheriting the powers and identity. The series only lasted 7 issues, from October, 1995 to April, 1996. A total of 31 regular issues from both series, plus a mini-series and a couple of one-shots.
  • The Exiles, a team composed of Ultras who gained their powers from a disease known as the "Theta Virus". Although marketed as an ongoing series, this was actually a miniseries where all the main characters died suddenly in the end; this was done as an intentional Wham Episode. Lasted for 4 issues, from August to November, 1993.
  • Prototype is James Ruiz, a man hired by a high-tech company to test their Power Armor suit. The comic also follows the story of Robert Campbell, the previous Prototype who lost his arm due to an accident. The series lasted for 18 issues, from August, 1993 to February, 1995. There was also an issue #0, but otherwise Prototype mostly appeared in team books.
  • Firearm is Alec Swan, Badass Normal private detective who specializes in cases involving Ultras, using a special gun. His series lasted for 18 issues, from September, 1993 to March, 1995. There was also an issue #0. A second series was called Codename:Firearm, lasting for 6 issues (June-September, 1995). But this one focused on Firearm II/Peter Cordova Lopez, a regular family man who discovers the submerged memories of his previous identity. Said identity being a Deep Cover Agent for an organization which also had connections to Swan.
  • The Solution: Super-mercenaries for hire. Consisting of Dropkick, Outrage, Shadowmage, and Tech. They typically faced other mercs, such as Black Tiger, Bloodshed, Casino, and Incoming. Their series lasted for 17 issues, from September, 1993 to February, 1995. There was also an issue #0.
  • Night Man is Johnny Domingo (alias: Johnny Domino), a Jazz musician who was also empowered by the same "bolt" that affected The Strangers; having gained the ability to hear the thoughts of evil people, he became a costumed crimefighter. Notable for being the only Ultraverse character to actually have his own (short-lived) live-action TV series. His original series lasted for 23 issues, from October, 1993 to August, 1995. Vol. 2 only lasted for 4 issues, from October to December, 1995. A total of 27 regular issues. Plus a few one-shots.
  • Sludge: Basically Swamp Thing except made of toxic waste. Frank Hoag was a Dirty Cop, affiliated with The Mafia. When his employers commanded him to murder another cop, Frank refused, even threatening to turn evidence against them if anything happened to the other guy. Their reply was not unexpected. They tried to kill Frank himself, within a Pharmaceutical Company under their ownership. The body was bathed in chemicals and thrown into a sewer. A chemical reaction brought him back to life. But in an entirely new form and with some mental issues. His series lasted 12 issues, from October, 1993 to December, 1994. There was also one special. A second special intended to flesh out his background was never completed, but its script became available on the net.
  • Solitaire: A crimefighter whose only mission was to destroy one criminal cartel: his father's. Nicholas Lone grew up believing his father, Anton Lone, was a businessman. At 9, Nicholas experienced the disappearance of his mother. Courtesy of his father. At 14, he discovered his father was performing a large scale Insurance Fraud. Orchestrating the destruction of much of his real-estate property in bombing incidents, just to get the insurance money. By his late teens, Nicholas discovered his father was orchestrating bloody coups in the Caribbean. Turning on the old man, Nicholas tried leaking information to the press. Resulting only in a number of murdered reporters. Trying and failing to hinter his father in any way, Nicholas eventually grew depressed. He tried to commit suicide. Only to find himself reviving, granted a Healing Factor by an experiment of his father. Now genuinely super-powered, Nicholas goes on a campaign against his daddy. The series lasted 12 issues, from November, 1993 to December, 1994.
  • Rune is a cannibalistic alien stranded on Earth, who often feeds on Ultras (a rare example of a Villain Protagonist with his own series). So named because of the sentient runestone necklace that he wears. He has vampire-like abilities. He is reportedly immortal, with various storylines revealing him as active in the Hyborian Age, Ancient Egypt, ancient Africa (posing as Anansi), The Late Middle Ages, and The Gay '90s (where he grew interested in the work of Nikola Tesla). His original series lasted for 9 issues, from January, 1994 to April, 1995. An issue #0 reprinted Rune related back-up strips from other titles. It was followed by the 4-issue mini-series Curse of Rune (May-August, 1995). Rune Vol. 2 lasted for 7 issues, from October, 1995 to April, 1996. That was followed by the 3-issue mini-series Rune: Hearts of Darkness (September-November, 1996). There was a special "giant-size" issue and various one-shot crossovers with other characters.
  • Wrath: Thomas Hunter is an Agent of Aladdin, the secret organization that monitored Ultras. The series lasted 9 issues, from January, 1994 to December, 1995.
  • Warstrike is Brandon Tark, a merc who has the power to see the future... but only when he is in danger. He was originally introduced as an opponent for Mantra but gained his own series.,which lasted for 7 issues, from May to November, 1994.
  • Ultra Force is a team composed of several established Ultraverse heroes; it had its own short-lived animated series. The original series lasted for 11 issues, from July, 1994 to July, 1995. It started with an issue #0. The final issues added a Marvel character to the team, Black Knight/Dane Whitman. Vol. 2 featured Whitman as team leader. It lasted for 16 issues, from October, 1995 to December, 1996. 27 regular issues in total. There were also a few one-shots, mostly crossovers with The Avengers.
  • Elven is Elvia Swensen, a teenage girl equivalent to Prime, with the same power, though in her case she changes into a female elf form. Her series lasted for 4 issues, from November, 1994 to February, 1995.
  • Eliminator. Rick Pearson used to be among the top field agents of the Aladdin organization, until killed in a mission. But someone managed to rebuilt his remains into a Cyborg. With no memory of his previous life, Pearson is now a freelance operative. He may not truly remember the people and events of his previous life, but he gets a bloody reunion with a former partner. Eliminator starred in a 4-issue mini series (April-July, 1995).
  • Siren. Jennifer Pearson is a daughter of the Eliminator. As an infant Aladdin experimented on her, trying to give her an indestructible skeleton. They failed and deemed the child useless. Allowing the "powerless" child to grow with relatives. What they didn't figure out is that they had managed to cause a mutation, but the powers would not surface until puberty. Jennifer eventually demonstrated heightened reflexes, strength, low-key telepathy, and telekinetic control over any liquid in her vicinity. As a teenager she became a thrill-seeking Classy Cat-Burglar. At first appearing as supporting character in various series, Siren was reinvented as a mercenary in her starring roles. She starred in the one-shot Siren Infinity (September, 1995), the 3-issue mini-series Siren (October-December, 1995), and a Siren Special (February, 1996). Her series included receiving training by Taskmaster and developing a working relationship with Diamondback/Rachel Leighton.
  • All New Exiles. A group consisting of a mix of characters from both the Marvel Universe and the Ultraverse. Juggernaut had been exiled to a void between dimensions for some time. In the Ultraverse Amber Hunt, sole survivor of the previous Exiles, has a struggle with her enemies Shuriken and Strike (Warstrike under a new codename). In the regular Marvel Universe, Siena Blaze battles against the Reaper. The simultaneous activations of their powers sends all five of them to join the Juggernaut. Their efforts to rejoin the Ultraverse are successful, but the energy released causes massive damage in New York City. All six superpowered beings find themselves on the run from the authorities and having to rely on each other for survival. The group was introduced in the one-shot All New Exiles Infinity (September, 1995). There were some changes in their lineup, but their regular series lasted for 11 issues (October, 1995-August, 1996). They had a one-shot crossover with the X-Men.
  • Foxfire. Rose Autumn is a genetically-engineered Half-Human Hybrid from the future. She wields part of the phoenix Force and returns to the "present" of the Ultraverse in an attempt to avert tragic events of her timeline. She starred in a 4-issue mini-series of her own (February-May, 1996) and played a part in a Phoenix-related crossover.


The Ultraverse provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Alien Invasion: The last two parts of the "Maximum Destruction" crossover had the Ultraforce and the All-New Exiles fend off an alien invasion led by a group named "Alien Elite".
  • Alternate Company Equivalent:
    • Contrary looked, dressed, and acted similar to Emma Frost.
    • The Freex were equivalent to the New Mutants.
    • Contrary's students, "Academy of the New Elite" were equivalent to the Hellions.
    • Prime was pretty explicitly inspired by Shazam!, though his creation predated DC's Power of Shazam revival by a few years. Alex Ross's painted cover for the "Prime Time" trade paperback ran with it, being a direct homage to Whiz Comics #22.
    • In The Phoenix Resurrection: Aftermath one-shot, among the assembled heroes, there is one that is clearly a female version of Marvel's Wolverine (claws, hairstyle, a dirty brown coloured version of his yellow-and-blue costume), only named Ferret.
  • Alternate Universe:
    • In the one-shot Hulk Vs. Prime, Kevin Green is trapped in the Marvel Universe and tries to find his aunt's apartment in New York, only to meet a tenant in the same address in Marvel's version of New York.
    • When Dane Whitman (The Avenger Black Knigh) was transported to the Ultraverse, he had to take a while to fit in. In one sequence, his Inner Monologue states that, in the Ultraverse's version of New York, he was "drawn" to the same address where the Avengers' Mansion was located in his home dimension.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Being a superhero universe, Ultraverse (pre- and post-Marvel reboot) had its share of ultras named after animals. Some examples:
    • Cayman - a member of Freex; looks like a bipedal crocodile.
    • Culebra - a solo vigilante named Jay Alvaros that looks like a giant lizard; powers operate like Prime, meaning the "Culebra" is his "shell" or "armor".
  • Animated Adaptation: DiC Entertainment made a 13 episode Ultra Force cartoon series in 1994.
  • Annoying Arrows: In issue #20 of his first series, Rafferty, a mercenary, shoots a modern arrow against Prime, which literally enters one ear and leaves out in the other, then explodes.
  • Body Horror: This was more prominent in Prime Vol. 1: whenever Kevin's Prime form reaches its time limit, the Prime "shell" deflates and becomes some sort of organic-looking cocoon, from which Kevin must come out of lest he suffocates.
  • Braids, Beads and Buckskins: Lament, one of the Ultraforce's new members introduced in the Marvel-rebooted series, is a Native American woman. She is always barefoot, has a vertical blue tattoo over her right eye, and wears a feather earring and a light brown leather jacket wth fringes.
  • Brains and Brawn: In a sequence in issue #22 of his first series, Prime's father goes to infiltrate a house and spies on two musclebound bodyguards discussing philosophy.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: At the end of the second arc of the Marvel-rebooted Ultraforce, the Black Knight expels Ghoul, Lament, Topaz and Wreckage from the team, though this is more of a case of We ARE Struggling Together, since the Black Knight did not approve of the drastic measures they took to solve a case.
  • Canon Immigrant: The Exiles was originally planned as comic series for a different continuity. However, creators thought the characters and the storyline would work for the Ultraverse.
  • Chrome Champion: Topaz appears on-panel as a normal human, but sometimes she is depicted as a having a metallic shine on her body. The latter is explained as an effect of her power: she can coat her skin with a metallic surface.
  • City in a Bottle: The subterranean Fire People.
  • Clothing Combat: Lady Killer from The Strangers is a fashion designer turned superhero. Her power is perfect aim and every part of her costume is designed so it can be used as a weapon. Most common is using her sash as an entangling weapon.
  • Crossover:
    • Malibu had three issues published of a Street Fighter comic. The third issue had a sparring match between Ferret and E.Honda. The issue also had Ferret reading a newspaper article about Mike Haggar's wrestling comeback.
    • Before the Marvel reboot and the "Black September" event, Ultraforce crossed over with the Avengers in the event Avengers/Ultraforce.
    • When Marvel Comics acquired Malibu, they had a massive crossover. This was a unique crossover in that it affected the Ultraverse continuity and for a few months, two Marvel characters crossed over into the UV and joined their ranks: The Black Knight and Juggernaut. This crossover also introduced the seventh Infinity Gem but it seems as though Marvel ignored it.
    • Another intercompany crossover was The Phoenix Resurrection: some Ultraverse comics had a short prelude in their flipsides, which lead to a two-parter titled The Phoenix Resurrection: Genesis and The Phoenix Resurrection: Revelations, where Ultraforce and the All-New Exiles allied with some X-Men and Generation X.
    • A last crossover before their ultimate cancelation was Maximum Destruction, which ran through "All-New Exiles" #11 (their last issue), "Ultraforce" #12 and "Ultraverse Unlimited" #2.
  • Dark Age of Supernames: As another victim of 90s "edginess", several characters were introduced with "hardass" names: Sludge (a being made of toxic waste); Hellblade (a demon-looking Anti-Hero).
  • Darker and Edgier: Being from the 1990s, Kevin Green, during an arc in his first series, fashions a new "badass" look for his alter ego Prime, which he calls "Rogue Prime": a mullet-wearing man with a spiked diadem, a five o'clock shadow, a scar near his right eye, spiked boots and a cluster of chains around his waist. A later issue described this ensemble as "Grunge".
  • Destructive Saviour: For a newcomer superhero, in his first series, Prime sure did not shy away from destroying his surroundings whenever he was in the middle of a saving.
  • Death Dealer: Casino.
  • Does Not Like Men: Being from a Lady Land, Topaz's inner thoughts and conversation always mention her distaste (to put it mildly) of males.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After a bit of time travel, the heroes of the "original" Ultraverse saved the Marvel versions.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Boneyard.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The second half of the Marvel-run Ultraforce, in short, happens in a very short timespan, with almost no room to breathe. To wit:
    • At the end of "Smoke and Bones" (#5-7), the Black Knight expels four members. However, Lament and Topaz stay in their HQ "for a week".
    • Issues #8-9 happen in the span of 12 hours, and finish when future Prime and other Ultras come to help the past Ultraforce.
    • Issues #10-11 happen almost immediately after the previous arc: the team is tasked by their "janitor" to clean up the place after, then his monstrous-shaped brother is accidentaly released then contained. At the end of the issue, they learn of an invasion in New York and go to help the All-New Exiles ("Maximum Destruction crossover", which crosses with issue #12).
    • Issue #13 is an Immediate Sequel to the "Maximum Destruction" crossover, with Exiles Amber Hunt and Hellblade joining the Ultraforce.
  • The Gambler: Casino.
  • Government Conspiracy:
    • Their shady organization is Aladdin, so named because of their supercomputer, "Genie". They even have the genie's lamp as their seal.
    • In the Marvel-rebooted Ultraforce's second arc, "Smoke and Bones", the team deals with the political assassination of a U.S. senator that possibly involves Aladdin and an Ultra. During the story, someone goes to great lengths to stop any investigation (e.g., invading a morgue to burn the remains to the bone.)
  • Grand Finale: Well, while not quite as grand a finale one would expect for a superhero universe, the Future Shock one-shot gives closure to the Ultraverse.
  • Having a Blast: Grenade from The Strangers has the ability to project explosive energy outwards from his body (most commonly focused through his chest).
  • Heroic Build: Exaggerated to an almost grotesque degree with Prime.
  • Hot Witch: Mantra.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The Sportsmen, who take it a bit further than usual.
  • I See Dead People: This is Ghoul's whole schtick: being a sorta zombie/revenant, he can revive the recently deceased and summon their ghosts to gather information.
  • Informed Judaism: In an issue of Prime Vol. 1, Kevin Green and his mother light up the candles in a menorah to celebrate Hanukkah. In the same issue, after he rescues Kelly, Prime even wishes "Happy Hanukkah" to some reporters and Kelly, to the latter's surprise.
  • Ki Manipulation: Dropkick of The Solution is trained in the "Trine Style" of martial arts which allows him to fire ki blasts.
  • Lady Land: Ultraforce's Topaz is described as a "Warrior Queen" from an all-female society where women hold political and military power.
  • Magic Is Feminine: In Mantra, Lukasz was one of eleven extremely experienced warrior whose served an extremely powerful sorcerer called the Archimage. Any time one of the warriors fell in battle, the Archimage would reincarnate them in a new body. This arrangement went on for centuries until one of the warriors betrayed the Archimage to his Arch-Enemy, the Evil Sorcerer Boneyard. The Archimage was captured and the other warriors were killed. As Lukasz fell, the Archimage used the last of his magical strength to reincarnate Lukasz into a new body: a woman named Eden Blake. The Archimage did this because he knew that without his brother warriors, Lukasz would need new skills to battle Boneyard. In Eden's body, Lukasz could use the latent magical potential of her bloodline, and the longer he was in her form, the more he could access this power, slowly becoming a vastly powerful sorceress.
  • Magic Pants: Initially averted with Kevin Green; his clothes always dissolve or shred when he summons his Prime body, so he's naked when he reverts back. Played straight later on when he finds a way to preserve his clothes even as Prime.
  • Meta Origin: The Godwheel.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: In his first series, Prime (in his darker and edgier 90s incarnation) is accosted by some reporters about his strange interest in "teenage boys" and how one person found a teen's clothes in one backpack - first, his true identity is a teenager, so he knows how people in his age group are put down by their parents; second, the clothes are his, when he changed into his older alter ego.
  • Muck Monster: Sludge. Frank Hoag was a Dirty Cop who was killed and covered in chemicals by an explosion before his body was dumped in a sewer. The chemicals had regenerative properties and tried to heal Hoag, but combined the sewer substances with his body, transforming him into a huge mass of living slime.
  • Mutagenic Goo: Dirty Cop Frank Hoag is killed in an explosion that showers him in chemicals before his body is dumped in the sewers. The combination of the chemicals and the sewage cause him to transform into the monstrous Sludge.
  • Older Alter Ego: Prime; Elven, Wicca.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Ghoul is introduced in the zero issue of Ultraforce coming out of the grave. He is in effect a zombie, but able to talk normally and communicate with the spirits of the dead.
  • A Pirate 400 Years Too Late: Scar and his crew from The Strangers.
  • Pirate Girl: Sangre, one of Scar's Raiders.
  • Playing with Fire: A pyrokinectic in the "Smoke and Bones" says her powers make her look 50, despite being 23.
  • Prequel: Ultraverse Year Zero: The Squad details Hardcase's beginnings as an Ultra and a hero, the death of two of his teammmates, and his Love Interest falling into a coma.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Prime's original and repackaged forms wear the colours red, yellow and blue.
  • Put on a Bus: After the cancellation of their title in 1995, the Strangers do not appear post-Black September/Marvel-reboot, save for ZipZap in a single issue of Prime.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Mantra, Rune, and Hardcase villain Rex Mundi.
  • Reincarnated as the Opposite Sex: Mantra from Malibu Publishing, the main character is a warrior employed by a wizard. He's continually reborn by having the wizard transplant his soul into a new male host whenever he died. At the start of the series, the wizard is betrayed and has only enough strength to move his most loyal warrior's soul one more time. He tells the warrior that this time it will be different. The warrior awakes to find himself in the body of a single mother. The series deals with him coping with this and having to learn magic to cope with his lack of martial abilities.
  • Revenant Zombie: Ghoul of the Exiles and later Ultraforce.
  • Samurai Cowboy: Tugun, a member of the villain group TNTNT, is a samurai who wields two guns instead of two swords. He combines the ethos of the Samurai with the tactics of The Gunslinger.
  • Scary Scarecrows: Lord Pumpkin.
  • Sexbot: Electrocute of The Strangers was originally constructed as this. The 'Jumpstart' event that gave the other Strangers their powers granted her sentience and allowed her to transcend her programming.
  • Sealed Evil in a Duel: In the last few issues of the Marvel-rebooted Ultraforce, their leader Hardcase comes back from somewhere else. Their reunion is short-lived, as the team fight Demonseed. At the end of the final issue, Maxis creates a portal to a Limbo-like dimension, and Hardcase makes a Taking You with Me ploy against Demonseed. In the Limbo dimension, the duo are forever locked in combat, falling eternally into darkness.
  • Sexier Alter Ego: Prime; Elven, Wicca.
  • The Speedster:
    • TurboCharge, aspirant to the role of Prime's partner, was injected by his father with experimental insulin (since he is diabetic) that accelerated his internal metabolism. As consequence, he is able to run at supersonic speeds. He also uses an armored suit fitted with an injection system to regulate his insulin levels.
    • In another series of the same universe, The Strangers, ZipZap is an African-American sixth grader caught up in a mass empowering event, and develops superspeed powers, being the only member with such powers on his team.
    • Another Ultraverse speedster is Rush, a sole player who only uses his powers if he is paid. During a charity race against other speedsters, in a though bubble he admits his powers are nowhere near the level of the other two.
    • In one issue of Prime, the main speedsters of the Ultraverse (TurboCharge, ZipZap and Rush) join Flying Brick Prime for a charity race. None of them wins, since they crash into each other in a Looney Tunes-esque moment.
  • Stripperific: Mantra and Contrary are the biggest instigators, what they wear barely qualify as outfits. Late entry to the 'Verse, Witch Hunter, also qualifies.
  • Story Arc:
    • Ultraforce (Vol. 1).
      • The first story arc (invasion of the Fire People) happens in seven parts, including issue zero.
      • The second (and last) major arc deals with Black Knight, a member of the Marvel Universe's Avengers, being transported to their world.
    • In Prime second series:
      • The title's first arc deals with Kevin meeting Amazon natives who worship a "Spider-God", him using a Spider-Man-esque suit, and dealing with his older alter ego gone rogue.
      • In the third and last arc, a Generalissimo from a Central American Banana Republic tries to steal Prime's powers. He succeeds; Prime loses his powers and reverts back to his kid self in front of several cameras. Oh, and Lord Pumpkin returns.
  • Super Gender-Bender: Mantra. Originally a male warrior, he gained magical powers after his soul was transferred into the body of a woman.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Prime and Elven, because of their adult superforms, sometimes suffer these.
  • Thinks Like a Romance Novel: In an issue of his first series (after a crossover with Mantra), Prime has an Imagine Spot where he envisions himself as a Knight in Shining Armor and Mantra as a princess, complete with a medieval princess hat.
  • Third-Person Person: Prime sometimes referred to himself in the third person.
  • Token Human: In the Marvel-rebooted Ultraforce, Black Knight is the only non-Ultra superhero.
  • Touched by Vorlons: The "bolt" that created The Strangers and Night Man was actually sent by a starship stranded on the Moon.
  • Toxic Waste Can Do Anything: Dirty Cop Frank Hoag is killed in an explosion that showers him in chemicals before his body is dumped in the sewers. The combination of the chemicals and the sewage cause him to transform into the monstrous Sludge.
  • Transplant:
    • After the Black September event, four characters from the main Marvel Universe were carried over to the Ultraverse: Avenger Black Knight (Dane Whitman), C-list mutants Reaper and Sienna Blaze, and X-Men character The Juggernaut. Black Knight is a special case, since his last appearance in the Marvel Universe was at the end of the The Gatherers Saga, which ended a year prior.
    • The Phoenix, a sort of cosmic entity of the Marvel Universe, is transported to the Ultraverse in the The Phoenix Resurrection, taking over Ultra Amber Hunt as its new host. After the crossover ends, Amber Hunt is sometimes mentioned on-panel in relation to the Phoenix.
  • Two Girls to a Team:
    • The Strangers' founding members are Lady Killer (Elena La Brava) and a female pleasure robot named Candy, who developed a conscience and took on the codename "Electrocute". Later, they are joined by an alien sorceress named Yrial.
    • After Pixx's Heroic Sacrifice, the Ultraforce team is reduced to two women, Topaz and Contrary.
  • Universe Bible: In a very rare case for American comics, everything about the Ultraverse was planned ahead before creating the characters that would star in it.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: During the All-New Exiles phase, Amber Hunt and Juggernaut were quite close to each other. Another possible couple were 'Strike and Sienna Blaze, who had their fair share of mutual flirting, but, with her return to the Marvel Universe, the relationship did not get off the ground.
  • Was It All a Lie?: A special issue of The Strangers revealed that one of their founding members, Atom Bob, was actually their nemesis Pilgrim. Though the team defeats Pilgrim, the next in-continuity issue has the team deal with this revelation, specially Grenade, Atom Bob's childhood friend, and Lady Killer (Elena La Brava), who was proposed by him.
  • Where Are They Now: The Future Shock comic allows us to see the fate of the characters years in the future. Most are OK.
  • Who Watches the Watchmen?: This is the premise of the first Ultraforce series: after the appearance of the revived Ghoul, two mobs clash against each other about the fate of the ultras. Hardcase flies in to intervene and is questioned about how to police the Ultras. Hardcase doubts the efficiency of government control and does mention the possibility of Ultras regulating themselves. This is what leads to the creation of the Ultraforce.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: In the first Ultraforce issue, Kevin Green watches Hardcase's interview about regulating the Ultras, and thinks that he can show Hardcase Ultras can work as a team. At the end of the first arc, Atalon surrenders, but his demands are met by the USA government. In response, Prime says that they, heroes, cannot allow him, a villain, to win, but Hardcase tells Prime "this is not a comic book".
  • The Witch Hunter: Witch Hunter, a.k.a. Maria DeLorentti, a member of the Seventh Sign, a secret organization dedicated to the eradication of evil supernatural forces. Unlike more traditional witch hunters, she hunted witches in a Stripperific outfit featuring a Navel-Deep Neckline rather a Badass Longcoat and a nice hat. She still carried a BFS, though.
  • Woman Scorned: Kelly's mother - since Kelly is Kevin's schoolmate - tries to come on to Prime thinking he is an adult man, but he says he cares only for Kelly's well-being. The woman mistakes this for something else and files a restraining order against him.
  • World Shapes: The Godwheel is flat, and about as wide as half the size of our solar system.
  • Xenomorph Xerox: The Nanotech Mechanized Entity, or "NM-E", was a gigantic robot that looked like a combination between the Xenomorph and Robocop 2 (as in the heavily-armed and armored killer cyborg). It was responsible for killing Hard Case's former team, "The Squad".
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Being a product of the 1990s, this was inevitable. Examples:
    • Freex - a group of outcast Ultras (or "freaks").
    • Kutt - a minor antagonist in Prime (Vol. 1). An ultra with the ability to project a glowing magenta blade in his hands, sharp enough to... cut.
    • Phade - an ultra with the power to alter her body's density, which she can also use to move through walls.
    • Nyteflyt - a bat-like humanoid member of the Alien Elite.

Top