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Comic Book / Cataclysm: The Ultimates' Last Stand

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Cataclysm: The Ultimates' Last Stand is a multi-part series set in Marvel Comics' Ultimate Marvel Universe.

In the aftermath of Age of Ultron, time and space is damaged thanks to Wolverine's jaunts through time. As a result, the Destroyer Of Worlds, Galactus, has discovered the Ultimate universe and has slipped through. Even worse, the first thing he bumps into is his cybernetic Ultimate counterpart, Gah Lak Tus, who merges with him into a gestalt being hungrier than ever. Even worse, the Big G heads for Earth to settle his hunger. Even worse, the heroes of the Ultimate Universe are in a bit of a conundrum: they can't let Galactus have his way and yet they can't just send him back to his universe or deposit him in another universe. What do you do at this point?

Cataclysm is separated into two stories:

  • Hunger is the four-issue mini-series (September-December, 2013) detailing Galactus' arrival in the Ultimate Universe, his trek to their Earth and the attempts of many to stop him.
  • Cataclysm: The Ultimates Last Stand is the five-issue mini-series that details the heroes of the Ultimate Earth attempting to deal with Galactus' arrival and how to save their Earth, if it's possible. There are also three mini-series that run side-by-side with this series: Cataclysm: Ultimate Spider-Man, Cataclysm: Ultimates and Cataclysm: Ultimate X-Men. All three titles replace the ongoing titles that were running at the time.

Following the comic, three new Ultimate comics were released: Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, All-New Ultimates, a team featuring Miles, Cloak, Dagger, Bombshell, Kitty Pryde, and Jessica Drew, who abandons the title of Spider-Woman for that of Black Widow, and Ultimate FF, the Ultimate incarnation of the Future Foundation.

Not to be confused with the original Ultimate Galactus Trilogy.

Cataclysm: The Ultimates' Last Stand provides examples of:

  • All Your Powers Combined: Rogue stole the powers of all the X-Men at the dimension with the remaining pieces of the Gah Lak Tus swarm. Except Rick Jones, who is not a mutant, and the guy that just looks like an ugly duck and nothing else.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: The Gah-Lak-Tus swarm have consumed countless planets and are one of the most destructive and feared forces in the Ultimate universe. They quickly realize that Galactus is not only out of their league, but greater than them, and decide to merge with him and serve as his herald instead.
  • Anyone Can Die: While it doesn't have a through-the-roof-high casualty rate like Ultimatum, a few people do indeed bite the dust, namely Captain Marvel, Vision, the Punisher, Pixie, MODOK and Captain America.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: How do the Ultimates plan on stalling Galactus? By turning Kitty Pryde into a giant!
  • Back for the Dead: Neither the Vision nor Mahr Vehl had been seen in a while, they both end up killed by Galactus.
  • Big Bad: Galactus fused with Gah Lak Tus.
  • Book Ends: In the first Ultimates, Captain America drove a jet into a Nazi compound to allow the troops to enter the facility. This eventually led to his frozen rest for a little over 60 years. In Cataclysm: Ultimates Last Stand, Captain America does the same thing against Galactus. He didn't survive this time.
  • The Cameo: Superior Spider-Man and Valeria Richards both appear in minor roles in issue #3.
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • Galactus, again. In Cataclysm #2, Miles Morales momentarily jumps to the main Marvel Universe, then back again. The fact that Mysterio is from the main Marvel Universe is also addressed.
    • The Chitauri's true forms are based on their appearance in The Avengers (2012), as their previous appearances had never revealed their true forms.
  • Continuity Nod: The Galactus' files at the Baxter Building include images from The Coming of Galactus (the one and only, by smilin' Stan and King Kirby). 'nuff said!
  • Continuity Snarl
    • In Ultimate Secret, the Kree were fish-like, and Mahr Vehl had to undergo surgery to look human. The Kree we see in Hunger, while not completely human-looking, are much more humanoid.
    • Rick Jones, who has been in space for a very long time, was unaware that Spider-Man died, and that he was his neighbor Peter Parker. However, he does know about the crimes of the Maker, which took place afterwards.
  • Covers Always Lie
    • A title such as "The Ultimates' last stand" confused a lot of people into thinking that this story would end the Ultimate Universe. Bendis had to step in to refute those rumors.
    • In the tie-ins, Spider-Man is very busy dealing with the consequences of Galactus' rampage that he has no time to even try to confront Galactus himself. The covers may fool you into thinking otherwise.
  • Crapsack World: The Vision explicitly Lampshades the Darker and Edgier nature of the Ultimate universe after witnessing the mainstream Marvel Universe. She points out that while the mainstream X-Men are a veritable army, the Ultimate X-Men have been nearly driven to extinction. The Avengers are Earth's Mightiest Heroes, while The Ultimates are a group of damaged heroes and Jerkasses. Mainstream Reed Richards is one of the world's most respected scientists and heroes, while Ultimate Reed is a psychotic Well-Intentioned Extremist, and so on.
  • Crisis Crossover: Around the entirety of Ultimate Marvel. This also ultimately ended up being the imprint's final one before Secret Wars.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Nearly everything, in Galactus' favor. The Gah Lak Tus swarm surrendered itself to him without him even moving a finger, the Kree and the Chitauri got utterly annihilated by him, Captain Marvel's and Vision's best tries resulted in them being killed and he no sold the combined attack of the Ultimates as if they were flies.
  • Decomposite Character: A Truer to the Text, Kree Ro-Nan shows up after the previous appearance of an In Name Only version of Ronan the Accuser in Ultimate Fantastic Four.
  • Doppelmerger: Gah Lak Tus fuses his 616 counterpart.
  • Dramatic Irony: In issue #3 when Miles and Ultimate Reed cross over to Earth-616, Miles briefly interacts with 616-Peter Parker and guiltily uses him as a scapegoat for the Baxter Building's security response. Miles, of course, has no way of knowing what's been happening on Peter's end since their last meeting during Spider-Men — that is the Superior Spider-Man (i.e. Otto Octavius possessing Peter's body) and that, frankly, Otto deserves some Laser-Guided Karma.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Miles unmasks himself to his bigoted father in Spider-Man #2, trying to save him.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: The Vision to The Falcon.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: How the civilian populace is seeing what happens.
  • Forgot About His Powers: The cannon used against Gah Lak Tus is never mentioned. Someone would think that, if it hurt the swarm and forced it to flee, it was at least worth a try.
  • Fusion Dance: At the end of Hunger #1, Gah Lak Tus fuses with Galactus, with the big G only hinting at how curious it was.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Galactus is so far out of everybody's league that it's crossed twice. The first is S.H.I.E.L.D resorting to firing a missile containing the Hulk at the Gah Lak Tus swarm, which backfires spectacularly when the swarm simply infects Hulk, turning him into another servant of Galactus. The second is the Ultimates agreeing to team up with Ultimate Reed Richards in order to figure out how to stop Galactus.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Ultimate Reed Richards goes on the interdimensional trip with Miles and not only helps the Ultimates in spite of all he has done, but does not get rid of Miles when he had the perfect opportunity to. But this could be interpreted as Galactus being a greater threat. His real turn happens when he sees Valeria Richards, the daughter he would have had if he did not turn evil. From this point on, Reed Richards becomes determined to save the world from Galactus.
  • Heroic BSoD: The Watchers had one when Galactus entered the Ultimate universe.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Captain Mahr Vehl plans to do this to stop Galactus, but dies of his injuries before he can activate the nuclear warhead in his armor.
    • Captain America flies a jet into Galactus in order to allow the Triskelion to escape.
    • Thor sacrifices himself in order to trap Galactus in the N Zone.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Around issue #3 of Cataclysm: The Ultimates Last Stand, and things start to look a little better for the Ultimate Universe as a whole. Reed Richards and Miles Morales retrieve information from the 616 Universe on what Galactus is, the X-Men are eventually able to escape the inside of Galactus, and the Howling Commandos are eventually able to defeat the Ga Lak Tus cult/mind-control machines.
    Nick Fury (in the middle of a robot zombie swarm): That's it. I am done being treated like an amateur and being humiliated. I am Nick &***# Fury and this ends now.
  • Hope Spot: Reed Richards and the Ultimate come up with a plan to destroy Galactus's planet eater machine with Kitty Pryde's phasing abilities. They also use Jean Grey's telekinetic psychic ability amped up by Celebro in order to read Galactus's mind in order to see if there is any way to kill Galactus. To bad that Galactus also has telekinectic abilities and reads Jean Grey's mind finding out the Ultimates' intention.
  • Humble Goal: All that Rick Jones wanted was to leave that "protector of the universe" stuff for, say, five minutes, and eats some burgers. It could not be.
  • Meaningful Name: The story's title. It's not the last stand of the Ultimate Universe. It's the last stand of The Ultimates.
  • Mutually Assured Destruction: The Kree's final solution to stop Gah Lak Tus.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Initially, no one knew just where the hell Galactus came from when he arrived at Earth (well, Vision had found out, but she was destroyed without even scratching the big guy before he came to Earth). It took Tony Stark matching the energy signatures of 616!Peter Parker and Galactus to figure out that Galactus was not of this world.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Vision, Rick Jones, Silver Surfer and Captain Marvel all know that Galactus comes from an alternate universe. However, none of them could join the fight at Earth, which only advances when the local heroes figure out that detail by themselves.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: The endings of the Cataclysm: Ultimate Spider-Man and Cataclysm: Ultimates reveal that the series were little more than set-up for the upcoming All-New Ultimates and Ultimate FF titles.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: Thor gets deposited into another universe alongside Galactus.
  • The Reveal: Miles Morales unmasks before his father and tells him that he is Spider-Man.
  • Series Continuity Error: In the main series, Storm swears by the "goddess", as she does in the regular universe. Except that's never been a trait of Ultimate!Storm.
  • Spiritual Sequel: Hunger and Cataclysm to Spider-Men.
  • Take Up My Sword / Legacy Character: After Mahr Vehl dies, Rick Jones takes up his armor and becomes the new Captain Marvel.
    • Storm picks up Cap's Shield by the end of Cataclysm.
  • Title Drop: Not in the series itself, but there is one in the final issue of The Ultimates leading up to the crossover.
    Kang: It's worse than your theories. It's coming. Now. A cataclysm...
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • Galactus's reaction to the Gah-Lak-Tus swarm trying to consume him? "Curious".
    • When Galactus first arrives on Earth, the X-Men are busy trying to rescue people from the destroyed Tian, so Jimmy Hudson proposed to ignore him and stay focused in the rescues.
  • We Come in Peace — Shoot to Kill: Despite fully knowing what he is, Vision gently asked Galactus to simply return to his own universe. Galactus destroyed her.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: The Vision finally understood what is love, before dying.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: When Miles unmasks to his father, his dad is not pleased at all to find out that Miles is the reason why his brother was killed (he does not know that Aaron was trying to blackmail Miles) or that Miles was the cause of his wife being killed (Venom was after Miles because he held the secret to spider powers). He was so livid that he even hit Miles, but he immediately regrets it when he watches Miles rescue people after an airplane crashes in the middle of Brooklyn.