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Comic Book / Ultimate End

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The end... at least for the moment.

Ultimate End is a 2015 Marvel Comics limited series written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Mark Bagley.

The series is part of the Secret Wars (2015) event, set at a time when reality has been remade and the only remaining planet is Battleworld, a patchwork of different realms held together by the will of Doctor Doom.

One of those realms is the Kingdom of Manhattan, where the heroes of both the Marvel Universe and Ultimate Universe live together. In many cases, this includes two versions of the same person. Both groups live under the assumption that their realms got mixed as a result of some experiment gone wrong, but can't fix it because the Thors, Doom's praetorian guard, do not allow any of that. The tension between both groups rises, and it is about to turn into an all-out war.

And then, Miles Morales (one of the few survivors of the universal destruction, and one of the main characters of the main series) shows up to interrupt the fight. He tells the truth to all the heroes: that initially they were once whole universes, and that Doom is keeping them mixed on purpose as a punishment because they opposed him in the past. The heroes then cease the conflict and agree to take the fight to Doom himself.

The series was purportedly the last story set in the Ultimate Marvel universe. However, it should be noted that, as per the First Law of Resurrection, the end of the Ultimate Universe was just temporary. Several characters were moved into the mainstream universe, and the universe itself was restored at the end of Spider-Men II, in 2017.

Ultimate End provides examples of:

  • Alternate Self: Many heroes have a counterpart in the other universe. However, they are all not the original. Miles Morales and the 616 versions of Thor, Captain Marvel, Peter Parker, and Cyclops survived the multiverse's destruction and remember the old world. The Miles featured in this series is the same one; consequently, he is the only Miles Morales in Manhattan. Similarly, Thor and Captain Marvel are not present in the book. However, the Peter Parker and Cyclops featured here are native to the amalgam Manhattan and are unaware of Battleworld's true nature (never mind that 616 Cyclops was killed by Doom in Secret Wars #4).
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: The two Jean Greys (the Ultimate one and the young one from All-New X-Men), Rachel Grey and Emma Frost peak into Miles' mind to find out what he knows. They find about the destruction of the multiverse.
  • A Truce While We Gawk: The big fight between all the heroes is suddenly halted when both Nick Fury and Falcon order a ceasefire to hear what Miles Morales has to say.
  • Always Someone Better: Hulk may be the strongest one there is... but if there is another Hulk from an alternate universe in town, all bets are off.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: When everyone finds out the truth about the world, they realize that Doom has won. He has become a God with unlimited power.
  • Back from the Dead: The finale reveals that Rio Morales is alive once again on the post-Battleworld Earth.
  • Because I Said So: The rift will be kept, and the heroes will have to live with it. No reason is given. It is the will of Doom, and that should be reason enough.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Punisher is so badass that he fights his way out of Cloak's cloak, something that has never happened before.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Doom knows everything that takes place in his domains.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The All-New Ultimates do this for Spider-Man when he's fighting the Ultimate Serpent Squad.
  • Bittersweet Ending: After Miles reveals the truth of Battleworld to the assembled heroes of Manhattan, the heroes bury the hatchet and decide to challenge Doom and save Battleworld. It's implied that most of them die in the ensuing war depicted in the main Secret Wars series, but Miles' actions indirectly strips Doom of his power and allows him and his friends and family to live in the recreated Marvel Universe. Eventually, the Ultimate Universe is brought back as well.
  • Bookends: On a meta level, the series, which chronicles the end of the Ultimate Universe, was written by Bendis and drawn by Bagley— the two men who started the Ultimate Universe.
  • Bullying a Dragon
    • The Thors command the heroes not to challenge Doom's will. Haweye challenges it. He is fried for the inconvenience.
    • Some random prisoner mocks the Punisher for being jailed like any other criminal. Not a good idea indeed.
  • Call-Back: Issue #1 flashes back to the beginning of the All-New X-Men storyline where they crossover with the Ultimate universe, revealing that not only did Ultimate Amadeus Cho's portal malfunction, it also ended up bringing 616 Tony into the Ultimate universe briefly.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: With so many characters discussing with alternate versions of themselves, there has to be a clue on who is who.
    • Ultimate Tony Stark is not wearing his armor. The other is. When neither of them have it, Ultimate Tony Stark is the one with the darker T-Shirt. Also, they have different eye colours (Ultimate Tony is brown, Regular is blue).
    • Ultimate Hulk is the gray one, the other is green.
    • Both Punishers are similar, but this being Punisher, there are not two of them for long. Ultimate Punisher kills the other one.
  • Cosmic Plaything: At the end of the series, Miles Morales, via Emma Frost and the Greys, shows the heroes in the 616/1610 fusion world their old worlds and that Doom saved them to be put into an endless loop of failure and constant in-fighting just because they crossed him.
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover of issue #4 prominently features Miles Morales, who stands defiantly against the unknown enemy that has apparently defeated the Manhattan heroes. The actual issue features the heroes fighting each other, while Miles doesn't actually appear until the last page.
  • Death Glare: The Thors shoot the heroes one en masse when they kill Hawkeye as an example. Making it more chilling since it's people like Storm and Thor.
  • Defiant Stone Throw: A missile is not a mere stone, but against an army of Thors... it's about the same thing.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Tony discusses this with himself. Do they blame themselves for not seeing this crisis coming? No: they blame themselves for seeing it coming, as well as so many other potential disasters, and doing nothing about it. Well, Regular Tony does. Ultimate Tony doesn't
  • Didn't Think This Through: The two Tonies investigate the dimensional rift, despite Doom's explicit orders not to do so, and find a solution. Now what? Take things to Doom's Science Foundation, and risk being blown to pieces for not obeying him? Try to implement it on their own, under Doom's radar (if that is even possible), and risk being blown to pieces? Banner tells them they should had figured this out before starting the investigation.
  • Doppelgänger Gets Same Sentiment:
    • Peter's attitude towards Ultimate May.
    • Thanks to retcons, done retroactively. The inhabitants of Manhattan aren't the same people who thwarted Doom so often, but they look like them, and that's clearly enough for him.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: 616!Hawkeye is frazzled by the Thors as a show of force.
  • Erotic Dream: It seems that Spider-Man once had a dream about a squad of hot and evil serpent women, and it has just became true! But You Were There, and You, and You
  • Failed a Spot Check: Old Man Logan gets involved in the final brawl, but a lot of people don't notice the elderly Wolverine until he starts speaking.
  • Grand Finale: The series was meant to be this for the Ultimate Universe, until All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe retconned it into being a universe like the Ultimate Universe, and not actually the Ultimate Universe.
  • How We Got Here: The story starts with the Punisher preparing his sniper rifle and aiming at the super heroes, who are about to start a fight. Then we go a bit back, and find out how things got to that point.
  • Immune to Bullets: The Punisher tries shooting the Hulk. Works about as well as you'd think it does.
  • It's Been Done: Spider-Man protests when Tony Stark has "an existential crisis with... himself". Those are his thing! He invented the whole idea!
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Nick Fury has Bruce Banner under arrest. Tony ask Fury to release him, he's a friend, and he's not from his domain. Fury then proceeds to list all the atrocities the Hulk had commited just some minutes ago, and how all those super heroes are not really helping but just make things worse. Bruce just says "Fury is right".
  • Last Stand: The Thors have arrived, and Magik left with all the heroes. Punisher, who was not among them but in a nearby building, was left behind in the hurry. What can he do now? Of course, fire a missile to the Thors. They No-Sell it and take down the whole building to kill him, but he does it anyway.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The series seems to set up a fight between the "616" and "1610' heroes. So far "Ultimate" Hulk has fought "616" Hulk, and "Ultimate" Punisher has fought "616" Punisher. "616" Hulk defeats "Ultimate" Hulk, "616" Punisher is killed by "Ultimate" Punisher.
  • Literal Metaphor: Adult Peter is at home with Ultimate Aunt May and Ultimate Gwen Stacy
    Peter: I don't know what the protocol is
    Gwen: Don't look at me.
    Peter: You know what I mean, Gwen...
    Gwen: No, I mean don't actually look at me. You're freaking me out of my skin.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The general reaction to Miles' reveal.
  • Me's a Crowd: Stark uses the "attack with all the old Iron Man suits, all at once" trick again.
  • Mind over Manners: As always in a comic written by Bendis, no telepath bothers ever asking anyone before rummaging around in their mind, and they don't apologize for it after either.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: The heroes of both universes had one. One at the How We Got Here intro, and another when we get to that point.
  • Mythology Gag: The cover of the first issue is an homage to the cover of Contest of Champions (1982).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In issue #1, the get-together with the Ultimates and the remaining Avengers and X-Men does indeed catch the attention of the Thors. In the same issue, Spider-Man accidentally blurts out his identity to those who didn't know it, bringing back his "Ultimate" self's horrible problem of keeping his identity secret.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Punisher shoots Lana, but she's fine: he just shot her ear. That means that she will live, who cares about the blood loss?
  • Open Secret: In the Ultimate universe many people knew it in advance, but when Spider-Man died everyone got to know that he was Peter Parker. This is not good for the adult Spider-Man, as everyone out there knows who he is.
  • Orcus on His Throne: In the whole crossover Doom has a bigger role, but here, he's just sitting on his throne in Doomstadt and sending Thors to do his bidding.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Tony Stark meets his worst enemy; Another Tony Stark. Specifically, Regular Tony can't stand Ultimate Tony, while Ultimate Tony is just bemused by the whole thing. The fact Ultimate Tony still drinks (and has less of a problem with alcohol than Tony) doesn't help.
  • Police Brutality: In Ultimate End issue 2 the Thors have no problem brutally murdering Hawkeye, who was no danger to them.
  • Praetorian Guard: The Thors, enforcers of Doom's will.
  • Reaction Shot: Issue 5 has two pages of every hero reacting to the truth of Battleworld being given their own individual panel.
  • Retcon: The kingdom of Manhattan was stated both in the main title and here to be the remnants of Earth-616 and Earth-1610 merged together. Unfortunately, there are several significant continuity issues: Ultimate Captain America is alive, despite having died before the Incursion took place (and thus should have stayed dead when the fragment of Earth-1610 was restored to its state before the Incursion); Earth-616 Iron Man was not Superior; and Earth-616 Spider-Man was there, even though he had been saved in the Raft. The All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe guide ultimately resolved these discrepancies by revealing that these universe were not Earth-616 and Earth-1610, but universes like them.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Inverted
    Nick Fury: Where is the Hulk?
    Iron Man: Inside all of us?
    Captain America: Tony.
    Iron Man: Oh, you mean the actual Hulk.
  • Running Gag: And now, it's the adult Peter Parker who makes a sloppy mistake and accidentally reveals his secret identity.
  • Screaming at Squick: Spider-Man is clearly shocked to find out that Jessica Drew is a female clone of him, just like Ultimate Peter Parker back in the day.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Bruce Banner is a hero, so Tony Stark breaks him out of captivity (even against Banner's own wishes), ignoring all the legal charges that Nick Fury made against his destructive rampage.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: After the meeting, the heroes from the mainstream universe leave. They mention that the Ultimate heroes do not trust them. Why should they? And that they will work on a solution on their own. Meanwhile, the Ultimate heroes also mention that those other heroes do not trust them. Why should they? And that they will work on a solution on their own.
  • Superhero Paradox: Punisher thinks that superheroes are to blame for the whole Battleworld crisis. Of course, his solution is to kill them all.
  • Tempting Fate: Valeria talks with Doom, as the mass conflict between all the heroes starts. "But what is there is something in all the chaos, something we don't see coming, something that changes everything?" Cue the arrival of Miles Morales, who knows the whole truth about Battleworld.
  • Throwing the Distraction: The attack with the Iron Man suits was just a distraction. Captain America noticed it almost immediately: they were fighting with just 20% of their actual firepower.
  • While Rome Burns: Ultimate Tony Stark is still an alcoholic, much to the dismay of his alternate self. But hey, Doom may destroy them at any moment, so why not?