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Comic Book / The Ultimates

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Earth's Mightiest Heroes, only bigger jerks than usual.

"The idea behind The Avengers is that the Marvel Universe's biggest players all get together and fight all the biggest supervillains they can't defeat individually, whereas Ultimates 2 is an exploration of what happens when a bunch of ordinary people are turned into super-soldiers and being groomed to fight the real-life war on terror."

Marvel Comics' reimagining of The Avengers as part of their new Ultimate Marvel continuity, courtesy of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch. As the above quote says, this series is not merely a retelling of the classic crossover superhero team, but goes the extra mile and reimagines the Avengers in this reality as a superhuman strike force team founded by S.H.I.E.L.D. as an attempt to curb the rising threat of super terrorism and other Persons of Mass Destruction. Originally launched in 2002, the first miniseries saw the iconic group go up against one of their own after Bruce Banner hulks out during a personal meltdown and later uncover an ancient alien conspiracy by a race called the Chituari who have been plotting world domination as far back as World War II.

The Ultimates 2 dealt with other countries taking issue with America using the Ultimates on their soil whether they ask for it or not eventually culminating in a rival European super hero squad called "The Liberators" giving America a taste of their own medicine as well as a mole personally orchestrating much of the events of the volume behind the scenes...with some help from a higher power.


The first two volumes of the Ultimates were well received and their take on classic characters and even storylines can be felt all over in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Ultimates 3 was penned by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Joe Madureira. Due to Loeb not being familiar with the source material (leading to the Wasp being retconned to be white when she was previously established as being of Asian ethnicity for example) and suffering personal problems at the time he wrote it, the 3rd volume of the Ultimates wasn't very well received and led to the universally reviled event known as Ultimatum. After that, the concept was rebooted into two series: Ultimate Avengers and New Ultimates. Ultimate Avengers, by Millar and various artists was told over the course of 3 six issue arcs, centering on the returned Ultimate Nick Fury, Hawkeye along with featuring new Ultimate versions of Marvel characters and original creations for the team of Black Ops super heroes. New Ultimates by Loeb and Frank Cho told the story of most of the remaining original Ultimate team, including Captain America as they faced off against another threat.


The two teams would clash later on in the Ultimate Avengers vs New Ultimates crossover, which tied into the Ultimate line event "The Death of Spider-Man" leading to a line reboot that had The Ultimates get another series titled Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates, as well as giving Ultimate Hawkeye his own mini-series by Jonathan Hickman, until after issue 12, where Sam Humphries took over as writer of the team. After issue 25, Joshua Hale Fialkov, writer of I, Vampire became the writer of the team.

Following Cataclysm, the title was relaunched as part of the Marvel NOW initiative with a brand new cast and creative team. Written by Michel Fiffe and drawn by Amilcar Pinna, the book featured Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Cloak & Dagger, Kitty Pryde, Bombshell, and the newest Black Widow (Jessica Drew). The title ended in January 2015.

Following Secret Wars, The Ultimates were revived as part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel initiative in October 2015, though this iteration of the team didn't feature characters from Earth-1610, but rather: Black Panther, Blue Marvel, Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau, and America Chavez. Their first enemy? Galactus.

The comic's main series was made up of the following series:

  • The Ultimates (2002). 13 issues, from March, 2002 to April, 2004.
  • The Ultimates 2. 13 issues, from February, 2005 to February, 2007.
  • The Ultimates saga, one-shot in 2007.
  • The Ultimates 3. 5 issues, from February to November, 2008.
  • Ultimate Comics: Avengers. 18 issues (over 3 numbered mini series), August 2009 to January 2011.
  • New Ultimates. 5 issues, from March 2010 to February 2011.
  • Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates. 31 issues, from August 2011 to November 2013.
  • Cataclysm: The Ultimates. 3 issues, from November 2013 to January 2014.
  • All-New Ultimates. Ongoing series from April 2014 to January 2015.
  • The Ultimates. Ongoing series beginning October 2015.

Tropes in the Ultimates include:

  • 100% Adoration Rating: Tired of the protocols, Captain America wanted to step down from the presidency of the US. Stark tried to talk him out of it, saying that he's "the most popular president since... well, ever".
  • Accidental Adultery: Bucky marries Captain America's fiancée during the latter's long stint as a Human Popsicle. Considering that Cap emerges still physically in his twenties to find Bucky and his former fiancée as senior citizens, a resumed romance was unlikely in any case.
  • Achilles in His Tent
    • Initially, Thor refused to join the Ultimates. When Hulk started his rampage, he said that he would help if Bush increased the budget for foreign aid. They took it as a refusal, and started the fight without him. But suddenly, there is a thunder and Thor shows up stomping Hulk under his hammer. Bush had just increased the budget for foreig aid.
    • Captain America after the events of Death of Spider-Man.
  • Adaptational Villainy:Black Widow is The Mole, kills Jarvis and tries to hold Tony Stark hostage.
  • Affirmative Action Legacy: Played with. After Black Widow I gets killed by Hawkeye she gets replaced by Monica Chang, an Asian woman, who was the original Black Widow. Making I the second one.
  • A God Am I: Red Skull with the cosmic cube.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: The Red Skull, of all the people, gets this in his send-off. It turns out all he wanted was to use the Cosmic Cube to go back in time, prevent Cap from freezing, and then his parents (Steve and his then sweetheart, Gail) could marry and raise him themselves (since he utterly loathed his life as a Tyke-Bomb. To his credit, he knew the evils he had committed, but by then, it was too late for him.
    • The Colonel too but he wasn't really a villain
  • The Alcoholic: Tony, even a robot double that impersonates him.
  • Alien Invasion: Luckily it's an Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion since they were already damaged and on the run.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Ultron, same as usual. However, unlike the original version, he doesn't turn on Hank immediately after being turned on.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: A lot of villains pull this.
  • Always Someone Better: Gregory to Tony. Which really doesn't help when he turns out to be evil.
  • America Saves the Day: Deconstructed. The team is American, but other countries start worrying about the Ultimates being used in their countries, whether they like it or not. There's also several European Super-Soldier initiatives including Thor, who is really a Norwegian nutjob who stole the prototype tech for his country's hero. Except in the end he really isn't. It comes to a head when it's revealed Gregory Stark has been using superhumans to support rebellions for overthrowing the countries of governments to be replaced by American-friendly ones, mimicking Real Life tactics employed by the US in certain areas.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Chitauri.
  • Anti-Hero: Most of the Ultimates members. The Avengers team in particular is a black-ops team meant to handle jobs the Ultimates won't take. They've recruited The Punisher into their ranks...
  • Anti-Hero Substitute: The Ultimate Avengers are a team of anti-hero substitutes for the, er... anti-heroes of the Ultimates.
  • Anti-Villain:
    • Frank Simpson (Known in the 616 as Nuke) has shades of this. Made as Captain America's replacement for The Vietnam War he was exposed to the less than glorious part of the war, with Agent Orange, killing children and women not just soldiers. He turned rogue for a reason.
    • The Colonel, who, despite being the leader of the villainous Liberators, is arguably one of the most sympathetic characters in the entire series. His death is surprisingly respectful and almost touching.
  • Arms Dealer: Several in human genetics.
    • Ghost in Armour Wars.
  • Attack Drone: Crimson Dynamo employs these. Later Tony has them as well, Post Ultimatum, named Wasps.
  • Back from the Dead: Captain America because of Thor's sacrifice. Thor later as well. Subverted with Valkyrie who SEEMS like she's pulling this but instead has to fulfill the mythological version.
    • Tony Stark via Brain Uploading and then using the Infinity Gems to restore his body.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Wanda in death.
  • Becoming the Mask: The Defenders started as guys pretending to be super heroes, and eventually got real super powers. But the blonde girl is a special case. She started as "Thor Girl", a mere fan of Thor, and in an amazing turn of events she got powers similar to those of Thor, who fell in love with her. She also called herself Valkyrie, and in a not-so-amazing turn of events, she turned into an actual Valkyrie.
  • Big Bad: Herr Kleiser in The Ultimates; Loki in The Ultimates 2 and New Ultimates; The Maker in the 2011 series.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Quicksilver is very protective of his sister.
  • Bishōnen: Loki
  • Black Widow: Black Widow
  • Boxed Crook: The Spider-Man clone, who comes across like a Hannibal Lecter. Trading personal information that makes people uneasy for his assistance.
  • Brick Joke: Early on, Quicksilver claims to have saved Hawkeye and Black Widow multiple times during a mission. During Vol 2., it turns out Quicksilver moves so fast no-one ever notices what he's doing, and during a splash page in the final fight, he's seen doing exactly that.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, going from implied to straight up stated in Ultimates 3.
  • Butt-Monkey: Hank Pym. To be fair, he did discover the formula for how to make himself and others grow several stories high which SHIELD later uses to make several giant soldiers. Other than that however, He gets needlessly jealous of Captain America after the Hulk incident makes the Ultimates rockstars! (The Hulk easily took Pym and knocked him out despite the difference in height!)
    • After said incident with Banner, Pym beats Wasp to within an inch of her life after a heated argument turns into a domestic fight with superpowers. Thankfully Cap hears about what happened and righteously kicks Pym's sorry ass from which afterwards Pym is banned from the Ultimates
  • Cain and Abel: Tony Stark and his brother, Gregory. Or at least in the eyes of Gregory, who needs to be the Always Someone Better
  • Canon Character All Along
    • "The Maker", the leader of that futuristic city in Europe that engulfed Berlin and killed all the Asgardians, is Reed Richards
    • "Kang", that woman that aids the Maker, is a Sue Storm from the future
  • Canon Immigrant: Combined with Affirmative Action Legacy—the Nick Fury of the Ultimate Universe who was based on actor Samuel L. Jackson was played by Jackson in the movies and had a Expy introduced into the classic Marvel Universe as the original Nick Fury's black son.
  • Captain Patriotic: The EU's superheroes are all called Captain Britain, Captain France, Captain Italy, etcetera. Lampshaded when the scientists behind it mention that they were going to go with more imaginative names, but by the time they'd gotten the tech working, they just decided to go with the theme.
  • Chosen Conception Partner: Hela propositions Thor to impregnate her with a son in exchange for being allowed to leave the land of the dead. He agrees.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Scott Lang joined the team at the end of Millar's Avengers vs. New Ultimates series, but was quickly forgotten about.
  • Clock King: Herr Kleiser and Loki
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Gregory wears all white in contrast with Tony's usually all black suits.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Basically everyone except Giant-Man.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: As mentioned elsewhere on this page, Nick Fury was deliberately modeled after Samuel Jackson and Nick Fury says in comic that Hollywood would most likely cast Jackson to play him. Six years later, Jackson plays Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Composite Character: Ultimate Doctor Faustus is this and part MODOK.
  • The Constant: A little time after waking up, Captain America is sad. All his world is gone. Everyone and everything is either dead, about to die, or changed in grotesque ways in the meantime between WWII and modern day. Everything... except one thing. Cue to a waving US flag.
  • Continuity Nod: The Hulk's rampage mentioned in the first issues took place in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Tony Stark, who can remotely control the nanites he gives Natasha, just in case.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Ultimate Thor is 21st Century Jesus, even moreso than his Hijacked by Jesus 616 counterpart.
  • Cult: Thor's followers
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Hulk delivers one to most of the team, and to the Abomination.
    • Nerd Hulk beats Whistler in an old Iron Man suit in one punch.
  • Darker and Edgier: Darker than The Avengers, Edgiest of Ultimate Marvel.
    • In-Universe, the "Ultimate Avengers" are this to the Ultimates. The Ultimates are the Ultimate Marvel equivalent of The Avengers; the Ultimate Avengers, meanwhile, are a governmental black ops and assassination team.
  • Day of the Jackboot: The Liberators invade the U.S., level the Statue of Liberty, and plan to execute major government figures. It lasts for like an hour.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Quicksilver at one point uses an envelope to have Sue Storm pass out from pain. He equates it to the feeling you have when you lick an envelope and you get a paper cut.
  • Decompressed Comic
  • Decon-Recon Switch: The series starts off as a deconstruction of the Avengers operating in the 21st Century, how, as a team of assassins and scientists, they would naturally be in the employ of a government organization while also Flanderizing some personality traits to emphasize how none of the members are actually superheroes. Then comes Ultimates 2, where the team discovers the disastrous consequences of being a government-sanctioned team of superhumans and decide to become independent from SHIELD. From then on, the Ultimates become official superheroes...until Mark Millar left, Jeph Loeb wrote the sequel, and the heroes went back to working for SHIELD.
  • Depower: Thor after the Asgard is destroyed by the forces of the City. Forcing him to have to use a Powered Armor and weapons to still fight alongside the Ultimates.
  • Deus ex Machina: At the end of volume 2. Emphasis on the Deus, there.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Tony feels Black Widow is this for him.
  • Divided States of America: Following the Sentinels rampaging in the Southwestern states, along with the destruction of Washington D.C. and most of the government, Texas and later other states start to declare independence from the union.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Fury's empowering in Ultimate Origins is eerily reminiscent of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment.
    • Sweet Christmas! It sure looks a lot like Luke Cage's origin.
    • The Chitauri, Shapeshifting reptiles clearly culled from popular conspiracy theories, especially those of David Icke — who was a key influence on Ultimate Thor.
    • Black Widow and Hawkeye's black-coated lobby entrance is the same scene from The Matrix with arrows instead of bullets; Widow's building jump was also taken from the same film.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Turns out, Kang is actually a future version of Sue Storm.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Wasp. So much.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Initially, the Ultimates did not get along very well. In time, Cap, Thor and Tony become Fire-Forged Friends.
  • Enemy Mine: The Ultimates try to pull this with Xorn and Zorn on the City. It doesn't work, Xorn extends them an olive branch. Reed burns that bridge, and incurs the wrath of Zorn, who attacks him with a black hole.
  • Evil Counterpart: Everybody in the Liberators in Ultimates 2 is a parallel to one of the Ultimates.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Black Widow (Natasha), Nerd Hulk (via vampirism), Gregory Stark and Reed Richards.
    • Also Quicksilver, after the death of his sister.
  • Faked Rip Van Winkle: Cap suspects this upon his awakening, only discover that no, its a real Rip Van Winkle.
  • Fantastic Racism: Deconstructed. If it is possible, humanity is more harsh with mutants in the Ultimate Universe, than in the original 616. So, when a new country emerges as a mutant haven, almost every mutant from the United States leaves for their own good. Even if the government suddenly realizes, that a few more superhuman individuals would be handy against the imposing threat of the City.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Cap, Thor and Iron Man.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Cap, to greater extremes than his 616 counterpart, since he's far-less forward thinking than the original.
  • Flanderization: In some ways, the Ultimates are the original Avengers with each of their most noted personality aspects amplified to eleven though Millar managed to keep them interesting. The trope was fully unleashed, however, when Loeb took over.
    • The Ultimate Punisher may be even crazier than his mainstream counterpart. It takes a certain kind of mind to hear the words "keep up the good work" from the Ultimate version of Ghost Rider, who in this setting is explicitly a man sent back from Hell by Satan to claim the souls of sinners, and think "this is a message from my family/God himself".
  • From Bad to Worse: In the 2011 Hickman series. Hoo, boy. Asgard has been destroyed by Reed Richards and the City, with all the souls of the gods now existing solely in Thor's head. The S.E.A.R. has been taken over by the superhuman Celestials and Eternals. Germany has been completely absorbed by the City. A nuclear crisis is brewing in South America. Nick Fury just cannot catch a break.
  • Gambit Pileup: Fury pretty much says flat out in the first Annual that that's the way his world is.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: The Ultimate Marvel buzzword is Person of Mass Destruction.
  • Genre Savvy: When having captured Hawkeye, strap him down so he can't pick up anything to use as a lethal weapon!
    Hawkeye: "Should've taken my fingernails, you bastards!"
  • Giant Mook: After Giant Man leaves, his powerset gets copied to a team of them.
  • Groin Attack: For all his old school ethics, Cap's not above kicking The Hulk in the stones.
    • Not above kicking Valkyrie that way either.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Spider-Man clone.
  • Hard Gay: Jarvis was this trope, for as far as a 50, 60 year old man could be it. Guy took no shit from anybody except Tony (and who wouldn't).
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Giant Man and the Giant Men, Giant Women.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ultimate Spider-Man, Peter Parker takes a bullet meant for Captain America. He possibly could have survived had he not had to then go face off against a group of his own rogues that were attacking his family.
  • Heroic Sociopath: Hulk
    • Professor Leonard Williams aka "Tyrone Cash" is just as bad, if not worse. Banner in Hulk's mind at least vaguely cares about being a hero. Professor Williams, previously Banner's mentor and predecessor in taking a Hulk making serum, tore his way out of the lab after transforming, leaving behind his wife and son to ultimately become a brutal gangboss/warlord in Africa and Asia for the hell of it; he has to be blackmailed into joining the Avengers, and keeps up his illegal empire on the side.
  • Hive Mind: The Chitauri worker caste (Officers have a bit more free will as a result of absorbing alien minds). Also, Ultimate Galactus.
  • Hope Spot: Fury says Banner is acquitted of 852 counts of murder as the Hulk, since the other Ultimates testified on his behalf about how he saved the world. Fury gives him champagne so they can celebrate. Bruce blacks out from the drugged champagne, and they take him and put him on an abandoned aircraft carrier next to a one-megaton nuclear bomb...
    • The conclusion to the Hydra arc, United We Stand has the final issue open this way. Cap reads a speech he wrote, and Tony scoffs saying it's a good thing he didn't have to read the downer speech because they won. Peter Parker then asks what is wrong, in a room filled with Scarlet Witch and Giant Man (And others) and Cap replies "No. This isn't what we fought for." and it bursts.
  • Human Weapon: Ultimates 2 has the rest of the world fearing that the US Government would start utilizing them in politically-motivated conflicts after Cap saved some hostages in the Middle East. Which is exactly what they do, crippling a nuclear program in Afghanistan.
  • Hypothetical Casting: At one point, on a slow day they sit around talking about who would play them in the movie of their lives. Naturally, Nick Fury says Samuel L. Jackson (on whom Ultimate Nick Fury was based).
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: This is explicitly part of Black Widow's powers, and Hawkeye's only power.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Well, not human, but Hulk eats Kleiser. And the poop is collected by SHIELD just in case.
    • He'll eat humans too. One early issue, after a black out, has a character mention that when the power dropped, Bruce hulked out and he ate several of the doctors and nurses. He also eats a number of people in Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk as well. All There in the Manual says that it's just part of the Hulk's rebellion against the limits Bruce Banner sets — Banner refuses to eat meat at all, the Hulk pushes this beyond the bursting point by eating human beings.
  • Intangible Man: The Ghost, just like his 616 counterpart. Except he's got Iron Man armour.
  • In the Style of...: The Authority, another series that Millar and Hitch worked on.
  • Island Base: The Triskelion.
  • Jerk Ass: On a team consisting mostly of jerks strongly aggressive personalities, Henry Pym stands out.
    • The second miniseries seemed to be trying to turn him into a Jerkass Woobie. He's basically kicked off the Ultimates, replaced with guys who can grow even bigger than he did (and it took him decades to get that big), the Wasp finalizes his divorce, Fury won't even take his ideas for free, he ends up on the D-list superteam The Defenders, and the only friend he can make is Bruce Banner, who is permanently imprisoned for his crimes as the Hulk. And then killed. He survives, though.
  • Killed Off for Real: It might be easier to list who isn't.
  • Kill It with Fire: When the team goes to confront Thor, they bring flamethrowers. All it does it burn his hair.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Herr Kleiser has nearly defeated Captain America, and he wants him to say "I surrender, Herr Kleiser. Make it quick". Instead of that, that gave Cap the conviction to have an Heroic Second Wind, turn the tables on him, and gain the upper hand. He pointed to the "A" in his mask and asked: "Surrender? SURRENDER?!! YOU THINK THIS LETTER ON MY HEAD STANDS FOR 'FRANCE'?"
  • Legacy Character: Doctor Strange from the start, Wasp and Hulk as of Ultimate Comics Avengers.
    • Monica Chang aka the second Black Widow
    • Giant Man (Even before he leaves the team proper) gets replaced by a squadron of Giant Men, and later Giant Women.
    • Hulk as well, via Retcon, turns out to be the second Hulk.
  • Lensman Arms Race: With genetics.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Ultimate Red Skull is Cap's illegitimate son.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Justine Hammer
  • Magic Pants Subverted. The Hulk's pants often don't survive battle. Cue Scenery Censor. In volume 1 he steals the pants from a dead fat guy.
    • The Wasp's usually nude before or after a size-change, too, as does Giant Man if he doesn't have his supersuit.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Loki. Nick Fury, especially in the Ultimate Power miniseries.
  • Masquerade: The Chitauri, Captain Marvel Mahr Vehl.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The series began with an unclear origin for the powers of Thor. Is he a real God from Asgard, attacked by a rival god with reality-warping powers? Or just a madman with delusions of grandeur, who stole high-tech weapons produced in Europe? In the first two story arcs, both options seemed plausible to the reader. The final answer only came at the end of the second arc.
  • Mind Control: Most of Hydra.
  • Mind Screw: For a while there, the reader isn't sure if Thor is just a crazy Norwegian nurse with a big scary hammer, or actually what he claims. Thanks to Loki, neither is SHIELD.
  • The Mole: Black Widow
  • Monumental Damage: Some super powered soldiers push over the Statue of Liberty. Later, some superheroes pull it back up again. Averted in the same story where Ultimate Cap and The Colonel duke it out along The Wall (the Vietnam War Memorial) and it is not damaged.
  • The Movie: The Direct to DVD Ultimate Avengers and its sequel were based off this series.
  • Mythology Gag: Nick Fury has a Full-Body Disguise that is identical to his standard Marvel Universe appearance.
    • He seemingly later uses it under the guise of Scorpio to work for Hydra. The name Scorpio itself being a nod to the original Nick Fury's sometimes evil twin brother using that title several times.
    • The enchantress put the female members of the team (Valkerie, Zarda and Carol Danvers) under her spell, and makes them betray the male members. A similar premise was delivered by Roy Thomas in the 1970s, but fortunately this time the story does not end saying that women should Stay in the Kitchen.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Repeatedly. The Ultimates always seem to manage to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat.
  • No Badass to His Valet: Tony's antics have no effect on Jarvis the first.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.
    • Freddie Prinze Jr. appears, but his face is obscured, and when we say "No Celebrities Were Harmed" we mean that literally in his case.
  • Not So Different: Why Captain America takes no joy in finishing off the Colonel, having realized that much like him he was a meek kid who was enraged by the injustice he saw and went to fight off what he perceived as an international threat.
    Cap: No jokes, Abdul.
  • Now or Never Kiss: When the Liberators begin their attack on the Triskelion, Betty grabs Nick's hand for comfort. Things, however, do not go beyond that.
  • Nuke 'em: The way the US government tries to kill off the Hulk
    • Also, they send everything they've got against the city It gets all the acting US politicians killed. ALL.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Monica Chang, aka Black Widow II, taking on a Giant-Man squad after getting pinned underneath one's hand, next time we see her she is standing on on of them before leaping into the battle with the remaining troops sent against her by SHIELD.
  • Oh, Crap!: A recurring motif.
  • Older Than They Look: Fury, Cap, Herr Kleiser. If Thor is who he believes, he's Really 700 Years Old, as is Loki, later Thor's son After he comes back from the world tree.
  • Palette Swap: Tony's brother Gregory is a blonde version of Tony who prefers white suits.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Thor cradling his son
  • Piggybacking on Hitler: Herr Kleiser was Captain America's chief nemesis during the Second World War, but was actually an alien known as a Chitauri (aka a Skrull) that ate the real Kleiser and impersonated him, backing Hitler by giving the Nazis advanced weaponry. Really, this was just a scheme to soften the Earth up for a full-scale invasion.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Gregory Stark and Tony Stark in Ultimate Comics: Avengers. Becomes a case of Cain and Abel.
  • Powered Armor: Iron Man
  • Power Trio: After Ultimates 3, Ultimatum and the first 5 issues of Ultimate Comics: Ultimates, Thor, Cap and Iron Man have truly bonded and become Fire-Forged Friends.
  • President Badass: President Captain America, as of Ultimate Comics Ultimates #15.
  • Pretty in Mink: Wanda wears a fur-lined coat just before she is tragically shot.
  • Psycho Rangers: The Dark Ultimates.
  • Psycho Serum: Banner's Hulk Serum. Later, at the brink of despair, he takes it up another notch by combining it with the Super Soldier serum.
  • Race Lift: Nick Fury is black (and a dead ringer for Samuel L. Jackson), and Wasp is Asian.
    • Also Crimson Dynamo and Abomination are Chinese, Hurricane is Korean and Swarm is Syrian.
    • The second version of The Vision is black.
  • Real After All: Thor really IS the Norse God of Thunder.
  • Reality Warper: Loki
  • Reconstruction: After having been deconstructed for so many books, the arc United We Stand is followed by one called Reconstruction, trying to make the Ultimates more heroic than they've been in the past.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Quicksilver is killed by Kang after he realizes how monstrous her plan really is and tries to stop her.
  • Redshirt Army: 20,000 SHIELD elite troops go into the bag when the Chitauri nuke their own base in Micronesia. Also, most of the Ultimate Reserves are killed in the beginning of the Liberators attack.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Deconstructed. Plus points, that they did it with the Trope Namer itself. Because what happens, when you are the most brilliant mind in the planet, full of well intention, and the world just would not change, if you play according to the rules? You will go nuts, that is what happens. You definitely go nuts, buddy!
  • Relationship Reveal: Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.
  • Replacement Goldfish: After Jarvis Gets shot, Tony replaces him with a new guy who's name he quickly forgets and calls Jarvis. Later still he's replaced (without noted reason) by an half-Asian woman. Whom he also names Jarvis.
  • Retcanon: Around the time of Iron Man 3, Tony started dressing up like Iron Patriot. The Iron Patriot armor was later destroyed, allowing him to return to the Iron Man identity.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: The Ultron units in Volume 3.
  • Rich Bitch: Natasha Romanov, after becoming engaged to Tony Stark.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Hawkeye, in the Cover of Ultimates 2 #9
  • Secret Relationship: Kept secret from everyone, including the readers, but Word of God says Nick Fury and Betty Ross were in a romance during The Ultimates 2.
  • Series Continuity Error: In the first volume, Thor mentions fighting Loki. However, Volume 2 and Ultimate Comics: Thor show that Loki had long been imprisoned in the Room with No Doors and only just escaped in Ultimates 2. This implies that Thor was joking with Nick Fury.
  • Shout-Out: Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen appear, unnamed, as part of a 60 Minutes interview staff.
    • Jarvis also hangs out with a butler's club in his spare time - and a guy named Alfred is mentioned to be amongst the members.
    • In Ultimate Armor Wars: one of the heads on the wall is of Nayland Smith, a main character in the Fu Manchu books.
    • Reed Richards has a Neon Genesis Evangelion poster on his bedroom wall.
  • Slave to PR: The team itself. As a government supersoldier program with a tremendous budget they were constantly threatened by public scrutiny and for a while had to justify their budget in spite of the lack of an immediate threat. This lead to a major plot point that stretched through two volumes when Bruce Banner hulked out and the Ultimates stopped him, SHIELD covered up the connection between Banner and Hulk turning a story about the team cleaning up its own mess into their first public success.
  • Smug Snake: Herr Kleiser
    • Reed Richards after his Face–Heel Turn following the events of Ultimatum and especially once he becomes leader of the City.
  • Sour Supporter: Many of the team.
  • Splash Panel
  • Super Soldier: The basic premise, and the origin of most, is superhumans.
  • Technopath: Tony Stark Via his latest brain tumor.
  • Temporal Paradox: The City that Reed Richards designs in the latest series is one big ball of paradox, while it exists in the present, within its walls generations pass while Reed was expanding it with the outer edges closer to normal time. While inside its walls, time moved at an accelerated rate the closer one got to the Core, so as one moved within the City's limits the further into the future it traveled until the City stopped expanding. Which it wound up taking out Germany and a good chunk of Europe when they reach its current size.
  • Tempting Fate: Goes hand in hand with Oh, Crap!. Honestly, if someone tries to say that Thor isn't the god of thunder, and is instead a deranged scientist, they will proved wrong mere moments later.
  • There Are No Therapists: Nobody seems to do anything about Hawkeye's obvious PTSD.
  • This Cannot Be!: Smug Snake Kleiser's repeated reaction to any event he hasn't planned for is a blank stare and a stunned "...What?" which is apparently Chitauri for "Oh, Crap!".
  • Tomorrowland: The Maker (Reed Richards) turns Western Europe into a dangerous version of one of these.
  • Too Happy to Live: Pietro and Wanda being incestuous wasn't a bad sign. It was being so joyful about it that proved to be intolerable.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Ultron, surprising absolutely no one — except, once again, Giant-Man.
    • Zorn and Xorn, twin super mutants who were created by the South East Asian Republic, S.E.A.R, as part of a project aimed at wiping out mutants and later took over the entire nation and turned it into a mutant haven for any that wish to join them.
  • Twincest: Quicksilver And The Scarlet Witch. Funnily enough, they're the happiest, most stable, reliable and least asshole-ish of the team members. All through the series, Quicksilver has been claiming to have been running around behind the scenes saving people's asses, while this has never been actually shown to be true. Ultimates 2 reveals that he really has been doing so, as he goes into an Unstoppable Rage at the threat to his friends posed by another Fragile Speedster.
  • Unpleasable Fanbase: In-Universe. During Ultimates 2, people are worried about the Ultimates intervening in the affairs of other nations, They are simultaneously pissed off about them spending their billions of dollars of taxpayer money saving people from fires. Basically, they only want the Avengers to fight only major superhero threats, operate only on American soil, and to do it on less money. Yes, they're actually more idiotic than their 616 counterpart—but then again, the 616 Avengers are funded by a non-profit charitable organization, which is likely the only reason the public hasn't raked them over the coals regarding expenses.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Bruce was already well on his way to losing it, but it was overhearing his colleagues mocking him that drove him to re-inject himself with the serum that turned him into the Hulk.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Chitauri
  • Western Terrorists: Hydra, initially introduced as a small Right-Wing Militia Fanatic group, after Modi's defeat they have since began stealing S.H.I.E.L.D. tech and apparently under the guise of a man called Scorpio.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The custom built super-soldiers the Liberator's home countries cook up, not to mention the giant-ass spaceships they have. Raising more questions is why no-one ever brings these up ever again.
  • Who Shot JFK?: It was Red Skull.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?: The team discusses who would play themselves in a film adaptation.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Heroic example, Cap says it about Kleiser.
  • You Are Who You Eat: This is how Chitauri shape shifting works.
  • Zerg Rush: The vampires attack on the Triskellion.


Example of: