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Comic Book / Ultimate Marvel

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"Crime is becoming super-crime. Terrorism is becoming super-terrorism. Even the fattest, most stupid politician on Capitol Hill realizes that Son of Star Wars is going to be useless against the kind of problems America's really facing out there."

The Ultimate Marvel (Earth-1610) comics started as an Adaptation Distillation of the classic stories of Marvel Comics, but set in a new continuity rather than the old Marvel Universe.

Back in the Turn of the Millennium things were not going well for Marvel. New readers were forced to be up to date with a Back Story that goes back to the 1960s, with plots elements that started one way, were Retconned into something else later, and then retconned back so frequently that not even the writers themselves could keep track and caused frequent Continuity Snarls. The usual tropes of the superhero genre, such as the suits with bright colors, the characters with corny names and the general Fantasy Kitchen Sink had been a boom in the 1960s but did little to get new readers on board. Even more, The Dark Age of Comic Books was fading as well. As for bringing readers from other media, Marvel never had a good reputation for film adaptations at this point, and the acclaimed FOX animated series were followed by failures such as Spider-Man Unlimited and The Avengers: United They Stand. Not a good time.


The idea of the new project was to release comics based on the characters in their initial and basic premise, set in a more realistic world and with a down-to-earth approach. Unlike previous reboots, the comic started from scratch, and not as the result of some major event in the main universe (such as Heroes Reborn or Age of Apocalypse), and the original comics were not replaced but kept being published concurrently. Even more, this new universe would be off-limits to interdimensional crossovers. To ensure that the comic would have a fresh view, Joe Quesada hired Brian Michael Bendis, who had never worked for major publishers before, and started Ultimate Spider-Man in 2000. This comic was complemented by Ultimate Marvel Team-Up, that introduced some other characters reimagined in the Ultimate style.


Spider-Man was followed by the Ultimate X-Men, by another rising talent, Mark Millar. As Millar had a superficial knowledge of the X-Men at the time, he based a large part of the initial design on the recent X-Men film, including the leather suits. It was another success, and Marvel proposed him to write a spin-off comic based on Wolverine. Millar, however, preferred to make a reimagination of The Avengers, who were not among Marvel's highest selling titles back then. This led to a conflict with Kurt Busiek, the ongoing writer of the Avengers, who felt that his work would be shadowed by the new comic, so Marvel tried to appease him by naming it The Ultimates instead of "Ultimate Avengers". The comic, focused on SHIELD spies and geopolitical crises, was an even greater success. Ultimate Fantastic Four was also released, to explore the science-fiction angle. Ultimate Marvel Team-up was cancelled and the line moved to a new system of World Building: the four series mentioned were complemented by limited series that provided crossovers, introduced some special stand-alone story, or both.

Ultimatum was the first general Crisis Crossover of the line. It was meant to be a Kill 'Em All event, and be followed by a reboot; but it was later decided to keep it canon and continue the comics in its aftermath. It was not well received, as it caused the death of several important characters, including the four "sacred cows" of the X-Men (Xavier, Magneto, Wolverine and Cyclops). Although those characters had been dead before in the main comics, this was the first time that they were dead at the same time. This was followed by even bolder changes: Reed Richards has a Face–Heel Turn and turns into the new Big Bad, and Peter Parker is killed, so that a new guy, Miles Morales, becomes the new Spider-Man. Hickman's Ultimates were not as successful as Millar's, but were welcomed as a return of the Ultimate line to its former quality, and Miles Morales proved to be the highest success of the whole line. Morales had the first crossover of the Ultimate Marvel universe and the main Marvel universe in Spider-Men. As sales were declining there was a new Crisis Crossover, Cataclysm: The Ultimates' Last Stand, against the universe-displaced Galactus. The last three titles were Ultimate FF, Ultimate Spider-Man, and a new Ultimates team composed of street level superheroes.

The universe ceased to be published in 2015 during the Secret Wars (2015) Crisis Crossover, following the arc of Jonathan Hickman's Avengers about incursions between universes. The regular and the Ultimate universes clashed in a last incursion and were destroyed, while Dr. Doom got godlike powers and created a battleworld with domains composed the few realities he could save. One of those domains was the New York of both universes combined into a single one and with all their heroes (including duplicates). This was detailed in Ultimate End, the last Ultimate Marvel story. Miles Morales played an important role in the main story, and when the main universe was restored the Molecule Man made sure that his family and friends were "transplanted" to it as well. Although he was the most important one, with his own comic book and more key roles in subsequent crisis crossovers, Miles was but one of the several canon immigrants that were moved to the main universe; Jimmy Hudson was also incorporated in X-Men: Blue and the Maker would be a featured villain in several series. Brian Michael Bendis would later bring back the Ultimate Universe in his Spider-Men II miniseries. The fate of the Ultimate universe would become an ongoing subplot years later in Miles Morales: Spider-Man and Donny Cates' Venom.

No relation to the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon show, though like most every other Marvel adaptation since the Turn of the Millennium it incorporates a few Ultimate comics elements. Both Ultimate Spider-Men would meet each other and join forces as part of the Spider-Verse event (in both comic and animated versions), however.

Major series in the Ultimate Marvel Universe are

Phase 1note 

Phase 2note 

Phase 3note 

Phase 4note 


Characters with their own pages

The Ultimate Marvel titles provide examples of:

  • Abled in the Adaptation: On one side, Mahr Vehl never got cancer. On the other, Tony Stark's damaged heart was replaced by a brain cancer tumor.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • During the Ultimatum crossover, The Wasp was killed after being eaten off-screen by the Blob. Before pulling a Heroic Sacrifice, Yellowjacket was seen telling Iron Man to take the Wasp's body into his lab and activate something known as "The Jocasta Project", hinting that her life might somehow be saved (since in the mainstream comics, Jocasta was an android with the Wasp's brain patterns). This was never mentioned again. In the same event, Doctor Strange was slain by Dormammu. Upon Stephen's death, a mysterious figure appeared in front of his corpse and teleported away with it. Like the business with the Wasp/Jocasta, this was never addressed or even mentioned again.
      • Ultimatum caused a lot of these. In Ultimate X-Men, it had been revealed that Emma Frost (who was thought to be a hero and ally to the X-Men) was actually a Mole working for the Hellfire Club. Emma was killed in Ultimatum (offscreen no less) before this subplot could be continued.
      • In an Ultimate Comics: X-Men arc following Ultimatum, it was revealed that Havok was still alive and in a mental institution. He was released by Nathaniel Essex and introduced to Layla Miller, with the implication that there were plans for the boy. This plot point was never resolved, as the book ended up being given to writers who never followed up on any of this.
      • Connected to this was a thread of several characters seeing "ghosts" of loved ones telling them to follow plans that made everything worse for everyone, much like Havok, with the implication that Apocalypse was the one behind it all, and that he was looking for a rematch with The Phoenix (after his last appearance had him be Curb-stomped by it), along with William Stryker Junior's mind being uploaded to all the Sentinels. Then Nick Spencer left, and the incoming Brian Wood didn't even pay lip-service to any of this.
      • At the beginning of the Ultimate Spider-Man tie-in to Ultimatum, the NYPD figure out that Peter is Spider-Man and bring Aunt May in for questioning, threatening to arrest her for aiding and abetting a fugitive if she doesn't come forward (by this point, she's become one of his secret keepers). The police station (and most of New York) gets destroyed during the flood, and this plot point is never brought up again.
    • Mary Jane supposedly had the OZ formula purged from her body at the end of the "Clone Saga" arc in Ultimate Spider-Man, but there were still scattered hints that some of it remained. She briefly grew claws at one point during a tense argument between Peter and Kitty Pryde, and was shown having nightmares where she transformed back into the Demogoblin and killed Peter. This whole subplot was quietly dropped after a while.
    • Ultimate Wolverine: At the end of the series, Jimmy gets a Wolverine suit. He never actually used it.
    • In Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, after injecting herself with the Hulk serum and becoming She-Hulk, Betty Ross is taken into custody by S.H.I.E.L.D., who want to reverse engineer the transformation. Nick Fury uses this to blackmail the Hulk so he won't try to attack them, and will have a reason to work for them again in the future if he so chooses. This marks the first and last appearance of She-Hulk in the Ultimate universe, and more importantly the last appearance of Betty Ross, who is never seen or heard from again despite having been an important character since The Ultimates Vol. 1.
  • Action Dad
    • Howard Stark. Who, for the occasion, had come prepared with a 26-man SWAT team and a team of paramedics, all of which he had (presumably illegally) bribed to do his personal work. "Exactly where is my boy, and how many people do we have to kill to get to him?"
    • Wolverine, as seen in Ultimate Wolverine. He conceived Jimmy Hudson, and knew of his parenthood, in the middle of an adventure.
    • Captain America, for Red Skull
  • Action Girl: There are several: Spider-Woman, Black Cat, Jean Grey, Storm, Kitty Pryde, Rogue, Sue Storm, Wasp, Black Widow, Valkyrie, etc.
  • Adaptation Amalgamation: Ultimate Marvel adapts, reformulates and mixes elements and stories from all the long history of Marvel Comics. From the Fantastic Four to Cable, from Galactus to the Clone saga, anything is fair game.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Has its own page.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Loki, usually portrayed as a wrinkled old man at the time, is here portrayed as looking like a handsome twenty-something.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance
    • In the original comic Peter was initially alone, then Gwen Stacy was his love interest, and Mary Jane (introduced as a background character) was promoted to love interest. Here, she appears from the very begining.
    • Colossus and Storm are founding members of the X-Men, and Wolverine joins shortly after. In the original run, they appeared decades after the creation of the team.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: has its own page.
  • Adaptational Ugliness
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Black Widow; in the comic, she starts out as a villain, but ends up having a Heel–Face Turn; in Ultimate, as a reversal, she starts as a heroine and turns out to be a spy for Russia, and the Liberators.
    • Reed Richards, who turns out to be the Ultimate Enemy in the trilogy of the same name. After "Cataclysm", he is making an attempt at reforming. Then New Avengers reveals he was faking it all along, and if anything only got worse.
    • John Wraith is the head of the Weapon X project, instead of one of its victims, and enjoys regularly abusing anyone he can find, teens included.
    • Longshot, Forge, and Multiple Man are willing members of the Brotherhood. In the classic universe, the three of them were either allies of the X-Men or even outright members of the team.
    • Jean DeWolff (spelt Jeanne DeWolfe) and Iron Fist work for the Kingpin, though the latter is being blackmailed into doing it.
    • Abraham Erskine, normally a genial and grandfatherly scientist, is a cold and remorseless man willing to experiment on unwilling African-American volunteers.
    • As a result of their bitter divorce, Moira MacTaggert was standoffish to Xavier and the X-Men. What places her here instead of in Adaptational Jerkass is because she's also the creator of the Banshee drug and even sided with Magneto.
  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated: The reason Mahr Vehl defected to Earth. He liked our stuff.
  • All There in the Manual: SHIELD was closed after Cataclysm, and Richards tried to seek redemption. However, in the first issue of Secret Wars, SHIELD is working again, Reed is evil again, and he had even joined a group of interdimensional villains. This was explained in Avengers vol. 5 #41, but not in any of the Ultimate comic books.
  • And This Is for...
    • In Ultimate Thor, Odin trapped Loki into the Room Without Doors saying "And this is for Balder!"
    • Ultimatum: Thor started his attack on the legions of the undead crying "For Valkyrie!"
  • Anticlimax
    • Ultimate Spider-Man: Kraven the Hunter, although it comes immediately after a genuinely intense fight. Spider-Man has just beaten Doc Ock when Kraven arrives (after promising to kill Spidey on live television) and demands they fight. Spidey would rather Kraven helped him get someone out of a trashed car, has no idea what his deal is, and eventually gets fed up and one-shots him, declaring, "Huh. I thought he had super-powers or something. Showbiz phony." Kraven does gain super-powers later on. And is taken down, if anything, even swifter.
    • Ultimate FF: Sue's baby is born, Ben and Johnny are there with her... and a bizarre cyclops monster storms into the room.
    Johnny: Can't we have one major life event in this family without a villain-monster-whatever charging in to...?
  • Anyone Can Die: Unlike the mainstream universe, it's permanent. Notable examples include (Major Spoilers): Captain America, Magneto, Cyclops, Daredevil, Wolverine, Bishop, Juggernaut, Doctor Strange, Loki, The Punisher, most of Europe and all of Asgard. In an exception to the permanence of death this universe upholds Spider-Man and Doctor Doom have since returned to life.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: There is some magic and supernatural content in the Ultimate Marvel universe, but not in the ludicrous ammounts of the mainstream universe, and they are always met with skepticism.
  • Arc Words: "The next war will be a genetic one."
  • Are You Sure You Want to Do That?
    • Ultimate X-Men: The US government finally discovers the hidden base of Magneto and his terrorist group, the Brotherhood of Mutant Supremacy. All the NATO leaders agreed that it was the perfect chance to drop an army of Sentinels there. Xavier warned about Magneto's likely counter-attack and asked Bush, do you realize that by provoking Magneto this way you are endangering every man in the planet? Bush accepted that it was risky, but it was a chance that they couldn't let pass.
    • Ultimate Spider-Man: After realizing the effects of the Oz on Peter Parker, Norman ordered his scientists to go to the next phase, by repeating the accident in a controlled environment. One of them asked it in plain terms: "You, sir? You want to inject yourself with the Oz compound?" "Glad we understand each other".
  • Art Shift: There's a subtle style difference between Ultimate Marvel and other Marvel Comics. Back in 2002, Marvel ruled that comics should cease using all caps texts, and use sentence case instead. The rule was lifted two years later, but Ultimate Marvel kept it. The difference is exploited in crossovers, such as Secret Wars #1 or Spider-Men: scenes in the Ultimate Marvel universe have texts in sentence case, and scenes in other universes have all caps.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Infinity Gems eventually appeared in the lead-in to Cataclysm, though in the Ultimate Universe they're supposed to be a universal defence mechanism.
  • Asleep in Class
  • Avengers, Assemble!
  • Bald of Evil
    • Ultimate Spider-Man: Shawn, Norman Osbourne's hitman, is bald.
    • Ultimate Galactus Trilogy: Misty Knight is attacked by a mistery hitman that shot the man she was investigating. This woman had no distinctive features except for her bald head and her tatoos.
  • Big Bad: Before "Ultimatum", Magneto was the closest contender for this title, being a threat to both the X-Men and the Ultimates, and one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s highest priority target.
    • After "Ultimate Enemy", the Maker (Reed Richards) becomes the main Big Bad of Ultimate Marvel.
    • Norman Osborn is this for most of Ultimate Spider-Man.
  • Big Good: S.H.I.E.L.D. in general, Nick Fury in particular. S.H.I.E.L.D. is the Government Agency of Fiction, oversees all superhuman activities (heroes and villains alike), takes an active role in detaining superhuman criminals (they do not simply sit and wait while Holding Out for a Hero), and have effective Tailor-Made Prisons for superhuman criminals, which are almost never made of cardboard. In addition to that, Fury serves as a Parental Substitute for Parker, they paid the Hero Insurance of the X-Men for some time, they were indirectly the chiefs of the Fantastic Four (as they command the soldiers that command the Baxter Building), and the direct chiefs of the Ultimates. And, when S.H.I.E.L.D. was temporarily out of action during the civil war, Nick Fury served this role personally.
  • Blade Reflection
    • Ultimatum: Issue #5 starts with Wolverine ready to attack, and Magneto's face is reflected on his claws.
    • Ultimate Spider-Man: In the start of issue 7, both Spider-Man and the Green Goblin are reflected in the eyes of each other.
  • Blatant Lies
    • Ultimate X-Men: The X-Men help Wolverine to escape from the Weapon-X soldiers, but Xavier and Cyclops are surprised that he stayed with them for so long after that, so they asked for his reasons. Wolverine had a flashback of Magneto hiring him to infiltrate the X-Men and kill Xavier... and replies ""The scenery, bub. The scenery".
    • Ultimate Galactus Trilogy
      • Lawson says that he created the suit as a hobby, based on Iron Man's tech. The invisibility is SHIELD's "light sensitivity mode", which he does not have clearance for, but he got it with Hollywood Hacking. Danvers dosn't buy it for a second. Then he says he's an alien.
      • Before joining the Ultimates' meeting and explain who is Misty Knight, Tony was talking with some girl on the phone. "...I need to help out an old friend here. No, of course she's not female. He. He's not female. Gotta go. Call later. Love you".
  • Book-Ends: Hawkeye mentioned in the Ultimates that everything started with him and Fury trying to set things up to topple the Soviet Union, and how things growed so much since then. Some years later, the final incursion came... and who were there in the very last scenes before the light? Yup. Hawkeye and Nick Fury.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: Happened to the X-Men and Fantastic Four in Ultimatum due to the losses each suffered in that event. The remaining X-Men eventually regrouped, especially after Spider-Man died, but the Four were cemented as broken up forever when Reed turned evil as the Maker. Still, they got a last reunion in the last issue of FF, when Sue gave birth to her son with Ben Grimm.
  • Bullying a Dragon
    • Ultimate Spider-Man
      • Flash defies Parker to a fight, ignoring about his powers. Parker tries to elude him, catches his fist to stop his attack... and breaks his hand by accident.
      • Uncle Ben is a tragic example, as he joked to the thief, who got angered and shot him.
    • Ultimatum
      • Xavier is alone in the mansion, with Magneto. A crippled man against a man with powers that rocked the whole planet. Nobody will come to help him, as in the White House. Nobody is keeping Magneto powerless, as in the Triskelion's cell. And still, Xavier remains Defiant to the End. What happens next is no surprise.
      • Dr. Strange thought that he could defeat Dormammu all by himself (remember that Ultimate Dr. Strange is not the "Sorcerer Supreme", but just a TV celebrity who knows a pair of spells and that's it). Again, what happens next is no surprise.
    • Ultimate Daredevil & Elektra: Elektra told Trey to return the folder to the student he was bullying. He replied "Make me". We leave the rest to your imagination.
  • The Bus Came Back: The Ultimate universe was destroyed in 2015, during the Secret Wars crossover. It was restored in just 2 years, at the end of the Spider-Men II crossover.
  • The Cameo
    • Ultimate FF: It seems that, at some point, Ultimate Rick Jones crossed into the prime universe and met Captain Marvel.
    • Ultimate X-Men: George Bush and Condolezza Rice are briefly seen in the first arc.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
  • Canon Immigrant: So many examples that it has its own page
  • Cape Punk: One of the original goals of the Ultimate universe was to revitalize comic book continuity by updating it to the modern era. Much attention was given to the legal status, politics, popularity, and power limitations of superheroes. Furthermore, death was largely permanent as well as changes made to the status quo.
  • The Casanova
    • Ultimate Wolverine: Magneto gave Wolverine many missions of infiltration and killing in the past. He has an habit of holding the kill (and then escaping) when he meets a girl that he was wants to have sex with. Magneto got used to those "delays", and lets him be, because he was still the best hitman at his disposal.
    • Ultimate Tony Stark was even more than the original one (and still in the pre-MCU years). He gave it up temporarily when he got married with the Black Widow. She betrayed the team and tried to kill him, and died at the end of the adventure. Tony mourned her next to a window... and forgot it all when he saw a gorgeous blonde passing by.
  • Cassandra Truth
    • In Ultimate Spider-Man it is a running gag, that nobody believes Peter when he tells them he got his powers from a genetically modified spider.
    • Ultimate Origins: Magneto's mother tells him that he has a disease, and that they were working on a cure. He kills her. But it turns out that she wasn't saying it because of Fantastic Racism, being a mutant is an actual disease after all.
    • Ultimate Galactus Trilogy
      • Played for drama. Xavier agrees that the vision of the aliens dying (that he got in a dream, as well as Jean) was not a made-up montage, but thought that it was just a visual metaphor of loneliness and abuse from some new mutant. It turns out that the visions were completely what they appeared to be.
      • Mahr Vehl telling Danvers and Fury he's on their side isn't believed at first, which he's indignant about.
    Mahr: Are you people so far gone you can't tell when someone's trying to help?
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late
    • Ultimate X-Men: Jean asked the X-Men for help, because Wolverine was killing Cyclops in the garden. They couldn't get there before he killed both of them. Fortunately, it was just a Danger Room simulation.
    • Ultimatum: Sue Storm and the Thing show up to fight Dormammu, right after he killed Dr. Strange.
  • Celebrity Paradox
    • Kong mentioned that he saw The Dark Knight several times, and Spider-Man once mentioned Batman. Which means that the characters from DC Comics do exist, but as comic book characters (with film adaptations). But the regular Marvel universe exists somewhere in the multiverse, and they have met the DC characters as characters from an alternate dimension, so...
    • Hawkeye compared the Colonel's weapon with that of Darth Maul. So the Star Wars films, The Phantom Menace in particular, do exist. Hawkeye, who works for Nick Fury, must have flipped when he saw Mace Windu on screen.
  • Civil War
    • The destruction of New York led to a new American Civil War, complete with a Divided States of America scenario worse than in the times of the Confederacy.
    • The mutants have their own one, between those who want to wage war against humans (led by Magneto) and those who simply want peace and be accepted as equals (led by Charles Xavier). Not even the death of Magneto and Xavier in Ultimatum ended this mutant conflict.
  • Clueless Mystery: The Ultimate Enemy trilogy. Spider-Man, the Baxter Building, Nick Fury, and a few others are attacked by aliens or strange tentacle monsters. No clues or hints are given, and there's no foreshadowing of any kind as to who might be behind this, until the end of the second half of the story, where it's revealed to be Reed Richards.
  • Come with Me If You Want to Live
    • Occurs in The Ultimates 3 #4.
    • Jean Grey says this to Liz Allen in Ultimate X-Men after the latter's mutant powers awaken. Derek Morgan and Jimmy Hudson lightly mock her for it.
    • Also done in Ultimate Spider-Man during the "Ultimatum" event by Kitty Pryde.
    • Ultimate X-Men: The daughter of the president has been kidnapped by the Brotherhood. She is terrified. Then, a second group of mutants kidnaps her as well. She's still terrified.
  • Comic Book Death: Averted; when you die in this universe, you die (with very few exceptions)
    • The exceptions are Norman Osborn (it is hinted that this may actually be his super power), Peter Parker (same as Norman, but the full extent is unknown), Gwen Stacy, Psylocke (as a telepath, she can transport her consciousness into multiple hosts), Doctor Doom, (The Doom killed in ''Ultimatum'' was retconned to be an imposter), and Tony Stark (same deal as Psylocke, but could implant his consciousness into advanced technology. He then used the Infinity Gems to revive his body and implant his consciousness back in it). "Thunderbolt" Ross died in the second arc of X-Men and returned as a regular in Fantastic Four, his resurrection was simply handwaved as Waking Up at the Morgue off-panel.
  • Comic-Book Time
    • The Ultimate comics adopted comic book time from the beginning. To give an example all 200 issues of Ultimate Spider-Man pass before he dies a few days after his sixteenth birthday, which means that the entire Ultimate comics run including the appearance of the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the entire history of the Ultimates along with many crisis crossovers happen in a span of around 3 years or less.
    • Vision makes things even more complicated. First we had the Ultimate Galactus Trilogy, the Ultimates appear in it, with Thor and the Black Widow among them. Ultimate Vision takes place immediately afterwards. At the end of that story, the Vision is badly damaged, and self-repairs will take a month, so she stays with Sam during that time. By the time of The Ultimates Last Stand, she has finished those repairs and heads to the space once again. Which means that most of international conflict of The Ultimates 2 (if not the whole story), the robot doubles and the death of the twins in Ultimates 3, the Ultimatum wave, Reed Richards' descent to villainy, the death of Spider-Man, the new Spider-Man, the surge of New Tian, Richards' destruction of Europe, the Sentinel outbreak in the southern states, the blowing up of Washington DC and the new American Civil War, the Utopia mutan haven and its war with New Tian, and the thing with the infinity stones... all of that, took place within a single month. A. Single. Month.
  • Composite Character: Has its own page.
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • There are at least three different versions of Bolivar Trask, none of whom have anything in common with one another. One of them is a government funded scientist, and the creator of the Sentinels. Another is a corporate big-shot, with almost no actual operational knowledge of science, who is partially responsible for the origin of Venom, and the third is a scientist hired by the Fenris Twins to build Sentinels, before dying in an explosion.
    • The Silver Surfer first appears as a silent creature of the Gah-Lak-Tus swarm. A new one, closer to the original character, shows up in Ultimate Fantastic Four; Reed reasons that the swarm modeled its creatures after him. A third one, working as a herald and spokesman for the Watchers, does not seem to have a clear relation with either one.
    • It seems that Loeb forgot, in both Ultimates 3 and Ultimatum, that Dr. Doom had been lost in another dimension. This was fixed in Ultimate FF, where Loeb's guy was retconned as an imposter—which itself caused one as the imposter was revealed to be Mary Storm, whom "Doom" called for in Ultimatum and attended Franklin Storm's funeral after she was supposedly killed.
    • The Kree were initially depicted as definitively not Human Aliens and required cosmetic surgery to appear human. During the Hunger mini Kree are consistently portrayed as always looking like humans, even in situations that don't necessitate it.
  • Covers Always Lie
    • An issue of Ultimate Spider-Man shows Spidey alongside Captain America, Iron Man and Thor. Several members of The Ultimates do appear, but only for two pages, and Thor is not one of them. There is a major guest star, but it's Doctor Strange, who is not on the cover. Even though, again, it was drawn by the same guy who also penciled the comic itself. The cover was later used for the corresponding Ultimate Collection, without these characters appearing anywhere else in that volume.
    • Spider-Man Vol.2 #9 (the Miles Morales volume) has a pretty egregious one. As seen on this page, a cover may show a hero fighting a villain, only for the issue to only show the villain preparing to fight the hero and setting things up for a future issue, or for the issue to end right as they meet. As such, fans often expect this sort of thing, so if an actual fight doesn't occur in the issue between the hero and villain, they at least suspected it and aren't too disappointed. The cover to this issue? Miles desperately fighting Venom. Not only does Venom not appear in the issue at all (no fight, no setup for a future appearance, not even a single mention of him in the issue), but Spider-Man himself barely appears. It's an issue that focuses mostly on his supporting cast worrying about where he could be.
    • Ultimate Spider-Man 1 and 2 have Spider-Man swinging in the city, but Parker does not have the suit yet.
    • Ultimate Galactus Trilogy: Ultimate Extinction #2 features Wolverine, who isn't in the comic.
  • Crapsack World: Amazingly, the Ultimate Marvel Universe is even more of one than the mainstream universe; as noted above, it has a Darker and Edgier approach, and, unlike the mainstream, you can't rely on cosmic schemes to come back to life after suffering a horrible death. With the exceptions of Thor and Spider-Man...
    • It's so bad that Galactus himself declares this universe is broken.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Spider-Ham arrives to the Ultimate universe and explains that the difference between the universes that survive and those that do not, is that the ones that survive are those where Reed Richards and Sue Storm have a son. Accepting that the fate of the universe requires her to have a son with the infame Maker, Sue gets ready to forcibly extract seminal fluid from Richards and impregnate herself, but then she changes her mind and does that with her actual boyfriend, Ben Grimm. She thinks that this will work out just as fine. Well, there is no son of Storm and Richards in the Ultimate universe, the Secret Wars started, and the rest, as they say, is history.
  • Dark Action Girl: Elektra and Tigra.
  • Darker and Edgier: A lot of elements are this compared to the mainstream version of Marvel; most notable example include Hulk and Blob having cannibalistic tendencies, Ant-Man being a total jerk, Magneto being pure evil rather than a Well Intentioned Anti-Villain, several key characters dying (and unlike the mainstream, they are rarely, if ever, Back from the Dead)...
  • Death Is Cheap: Has its own page
  • Didn't Think This Through: Has its own page.
  • Divided States of America: The main plot of the "Divided we fall" comics.
  • Downer Ending: Secret Wars begins with what little is left of SHIELD and the Ultimates at that point (Iron Man and Hawkeye) trying to deal with an Incursion with Earth-616. Since they're vastly outnumbered and out-gunned, they loose badly. And then the Maker blows up both realities anyway. And that's the end of Ultimate Marvel.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: One of the early stories in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up and the second arc of Ultimate X-Men featured Nick Fury... clean-shaven and with hair. Looking like Samuel L. Jackson doesn't happen until the beginning of The Ultimates.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Brotherhood for the X-Men, the Liberators for the Ultimates, Venom for Spider-Man, and the zombie Fantastic Four for the Fantastic Four.
  • Fantastic Racism: Mankind still hates Mutants, with Ultimate X-Men beginning with Sentinels killing dozens of Mutants. The discrimination is arguably far worse than the prejudice shown in the mainstream universe, as mutants have been discriminated to the point they can be murdered without legal reprisal and their legal status has been rendered nonexistent unless they follow inhumanly strict rules in a society that wants them dead or blames them for the events of "Ultimatum".
  • First Law of Resurrection: Ultimate Marvel ended in 2015, with the destruction of the Ultimate universe in Secret Wars. However, Ultimate characters migrated to the Prime earth by the loads. And finally, in 2017 the Ultimate Universe was restored.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: Stated as such by Nick Fury at the end of Ultimate Six. Outside of the Asgardians and the aliens, just about every existing superhuman can be traced back to military experiments in some way. Yes, including the mutants.
  • George Jetson Job Security
    • Ultimate Spider-Man: Kingpin, who had been taped killing someone, manages to have the criminal charges dropped because of legal technicalities. J. Jonah Jameson insists with his "Spider-Man is a menace" rants, and Parker asked: why does he bother so much about Spider-Man, and does not attack the Kingpin with the same fervor? Jameson, who was not having a good day, fired him. He eventually re-hires him, after enduring a lot of "the kid has a point!" and "What the Hell, Hero?"
    • Ultimate Origins: The Watchers of the Universe show up at several locations. One of them is the Daily Bugle... and Jameson was firing his star reporter, Ben Urich, over a discussion.
  • Genre Savvy
    • In Ultimate Spider-Man, Bolivar Trask demonstrates this when he asks if the stasis field in the lab he's in can contain Venom. When he's told that it can, he says that he's seen King Kong, and so will be leaving.
    • Ultimate Wolverine: When wildchild finds Jimmy and Black Box, he realizes that they are "The Smart Guy" and the "Dumb Muscle", so he will take the smart one for interrogation and kill the muscle right there. And he's sure that Jimmy is dying to cry "over my dead body".
  • Godzilla Threshold
    • Hulk was used as such against the Chitauri, in the first arc of The Ultimates. Nick Fury liked the idea so much that he used him again in other crises, such as Ultimate Power, the attack of the Maker, the coming of Galactus, etc.
    • Ultimate X-Men: The US government agreed to cease using Sentinels, but gave them a last mission. Magneto's base was finally found, and that's too good an opportunity to pass up.
    • Ultimate Galactus Trilogy: Reed figured out a way to hurt Gah Lak Tus, perhaps even kill it, but it is a crime against nature. The idea is to open a portal to a universe having its Big Bang, let it get out like a death ray, and attack Gah Lak Tus with it.
  • Happily Adopted
    • Peter Parker's parents died years ago, so he was adopted by his Uncle Ben and Aunt May; and then just May when a burglar killed Ben. He is happy and fine with May. May is happy with Peter, too, but she is greatly troubled by the memory of all those people she has lost. So she also adopted Gwen Stacy (a teenager whose father was killed and her mother run away). And, after the worldwide disaster of "Ultimatum", she also allowed Johnny Storm and Bobby Drake to stay in the house. And add Mary Jane, who was not legally part of the family but spent a lot of time with Peter anyway, and you get a full house.
    • Jimmy Hudson was conceived by Wolverine and Magda, but Wolverine gave him to the Hudson family. He thought that if he took him, he could either be a victim of some villain, or turn out just like him. As seen in the Ultimate Wolverine miniseries, Jimmy thinks that Wolverine is his biological dad but his adjectiveless dad is James Hudson.
  • Heroic Sacrifice
    • Ultimate Spider-Man does this with style, taking a bullet to the stomach meant for Ultimate Captain America, then racing back to rescue his friends and family from the escaped Ultimate Sinister Six before he finally succumbs to his wounds.
    • Ultimate Captain America sacrifices himself by slamming an airplane into Galactus during Cataclysm: The Ultimates' Last Stand.
    • Ultimatum: Yellowjacket gathers the Madrox dupes suicide bombing the Triskellion and takes them out to sea to save the rest of the Ultimates.
  • Historical Domain Character
  • How We Got Here: Many comics start in the climax, and then jump back to some previous time, and narrate the story from that point on.
  • Humans Are Special: Nick Fury phrases it differently, but the point is the same. Humans can kick the crap out of anything.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Nearly every series follows the title format of "Ultimate _____" (or, for a stretch, "Ultimate Comics: _____"), with a few variations like "Ultimatum" or "The Ultimates".
  • I Just Want to Be Special: The Ultimate version of The Defenders is made up of non-powered versions of Valkyrie, Luke Cage, Son Of Satan and Whiz-Kid, as well as Hellcat and Nighthawk who were Badass Normal in the main universe, but not here. They claim to be experienced crimefighters, but are shown to just be this trope, and are thrilled when Hank Pym wants to join despite his pathetic fall from grace, just for the sake of having a member with actual powers. They're eventually given powers by Loki to help him steal Mjolnir.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Cannibalism is a surprisingly constant motif. Hulk is a cannibal and eats the Chitauri leader, Magneto makes offhand references to having once eaten humans and plans to keep humans as livestock in a Homo Superior World, and of course in Ultimatum, Blob eats the Wasp and in revenge, Giant Man bites off the Blob's head.
  • Irony: For all of the hatred and Fantastic Racism for mutants (though Magneto does his level best to justify that fear), it's absolutely ironic because Homo Superior is exactly what it was created to be... homegrown super soldiers. Almost every Ultimate Marvel book has its roots in the American Government trying to (re)discover the secrets of the Super Soldier serum used to create Captain America... yet a single rogue lab was able to leap ahead of OsCorp, Roxxon, and The Baxter Building by creating Homo Superior... the mutant race. True mutants did exist (like Wolverine or Apocalypse), but were exactly that - random genetic offshoots of humanity. When Wolverine was captured, his genetic code was promptly mapped and manipulated by Doctor Cornelius and used to create the X-Gene. When Nick Fury discovers the horrific laboratory, he orders all the scientists killed and their work erased so the word that Man created Mutant wouldn't spread. He was too late as Cornelius had already disseminated the X-Gene all over the world, creating the first mutant baby boom.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Nick Fury.
    Human Torch: So when you were running the whole world you just stole things off of anyone’s computer.
    Human Torch: You make me sick.
    Fury: And I was right.
  • Juxtaposed Halves Shot
    • An Ultimate Spider-Man picture shows a full-body picture of Spider-Man, except one half is Peter Parker's Spidey, and the other half is Miles Morales's.
    • Ultimate Wolverine: The recap page has one with Wolverine and Jimmy. There is another between Jimmy and Quicksilver later on.
  • Kick the Dog
    • Ultimate X-Men'
      • Wraith and the Weapon X guys enjoy to shoot Wolverine in his cell, because with his healing factor he always gets better. They had once doused him with gasoline and set him alight, and he was still combat ready for an operation two days later.
      • Magneto wants Cyclops to call him "father" when they are near Quicksilver.
    • Ultimate Wolverine: Zoe, that friend of Quicksilver that sells frozen yogurth. She had the Mothervine and he told her the trigger phrase, that gave her an uncontrollable and lethal mutation, just to show off the way Mothervine works.
  • Kid Hero: Both Spider-Men (Peter and Miles), the Fantastic Four and many (not all) of the X-Men. Also Jessica Drew, Cloak & Dagger and Bombshell. Those last ones, along with Miles and Kitty Pryde, became the All-New Ultimates when the original team broke up after the fight against Galactus.
  • Kill 'Em All: Very few heroes tend to stay alive.
  • Killed Off for Real: So many examples that they have their own page.
  • Kneel Before Zod
    • The Ultimates: 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 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'?"
    • Ultimate Daredevil & Elektra: An inverted case, as it is Elektra who captures and humilliates Trey, and forces him to kneel while he cries like a little girl.
    • Ultimate Spider-Man: Shocker does not want just to have the money of the security van. He wants the officer to crawl over and give it to him. Then, Spider-Man took him down.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler
    • "Ultimate Nightmare"'s ending revealed the coming of Galactus. It was a genuine surprise back then. Nowadays, it is sold alongside "Ultimate Secret" and "Ultimate Extinction" as the "Ultimate Galactus Trilogy", so there is no surprise at that point.
    • In Ultimatum the identity of the villain is not revealed until the end of the 1º issue. Nowadays, it is widely known that the villain is Magneto.
    • Similarily, the identity of the Ultimate Enemy is not revealed until the end of the second arc. Nowadays, people will get it precisely to read about Reed's descent into villainy.
  • Legacy Character
    • Peter Parker died fighting against the Green Goblin. Miles Morales became the new Spider-Man after that.
    • Rick Jones became the new Captain Marvel, when the original died fighting against Galactus.
  • Mercy Kill
    • In Ultimate X-Men, Wolverine does this for Jesse, a boy whose mutant power is to generate radiation that kills everyone around him. There are other factors at work, including the fact that the U.S. government had sent Wolverine to do this and how bad the truth would be for the mutant community, but it's presented as sparing a boy from a Fate Worse than Death.
    • Ultimate Wolverine: Zoe had to get one after her Mothervine mutation started.
  • Meta Origin: The Ultimate line simplifies many random elements by having many of the world's superheroes connected to Captain America's Super Serum in some form or another. The Hulk was accidentally created while Dr. Banner was trying to recreate the serum, Norman Osborn accidentally created Spider-Man while attempting the same thing, Weapon X and the entire mutant race were created as the Canadian response to the Serum, and so on.
  • Mission Control: Nick Fury plays this role during most of the Ultimate comics. In Ultimate FF, that role was played by Agent Coulson.
  • Monumental Damage:
    • New York is flooded at the beginning of "Ultimatum".
    • The X-Mansion is destroyed by Iceman after "Ulimatum".
    • The Baxter Building is utterly totalled at the beginning of Ultimate Enemy.
  • Motor Mouth
  • My God, What Have I Done?
    • In Ultimate Spider-Man, Norman Osborn accidentally kills his son while in his crazy goblin form. When he changes back he has one of these and asks a nearby SHIELD Agent to kill him.
    • Ultimate Origins: Hulk attacked Richard and Mary Parker, and saw the helpless Peter Parker baby. He reverted back to Banner in shame.
    • Ultimatum: When Magneto realized that mutants are not the result of evolution, that he's a human being with powers, but a human being nonetheless. He falls down in horror to the things he had done in his pro-mutant crusade, such as moving the earth's axis.
  • Myth Arc: The numerous attempts at recreating the Super Soldier Serum and how it relates to almost all the characters.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!
    • In Ultimate Fantastic Four, Reed Richards created the Cosmic Cube to defend Earth against Thanos... which is exactly what Thanos was manipulating him to do.
    • Ultimate FF: Ben Grimm though he had killed Dr. Doom. He had killed his mother-in-law, who was using the armor and was posing as Dr. Doom, instead.
    • Ultimate X-Men: Cyclops left the team and, with the Blackbird, joined the Brotherhood in the Savage Land. The US was tracking him, and did not understand why did he land near a rock formation in the middle of nowhere. Then they looked a bit closer and noticed that it was a complex hologram hiding Magneto's base.
    • Ultimate Spider-Man: Spider-Man's first attack to the enforcers. he did it completely unprepared and with no plan, but he also ruined the attempt of the feds to capture those criminals. With the mess he had done, and escaping from the crime scene, he gave them the perfect excuse to claim that they were the victims in there.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
    • In the first issue of Ultimate X-Men, Bobby uses his ice powers to save a large group of people from a falling sentinel. He gets a bottle thrown at his head for doing so, since it just outed him as a mutant. Hell, the entire premise of X-Men in general is that they fight to save a world that hates and fears them, resulting in basically this.
      • This expands on Iceman's origin in the mainstream comics. Here young Bobby Drake is out on a date with a girl called Judy Harmon, when a local bully attacks and tries to drag her away. Bobby saves her by encasing said bully in ice, which leads Judy to reject Bobby as a monster. Also, soon afterwards a group of locals forms a lynch mob and attack the Drakes' home.
    • During Ultimatum, a lot of the X-Men die to stop Magneto, and the ones who survived did just as much. Mutants were just as affected by the attacks as everyone else, and most tried to stop it. Afterwards, mutants are being openly hunted by the government, the level of abuse they get has increased, and even thought mutants like Kitty Pryde risked their lives to help the public during the attacks, her peers are all bullying her and even report her to the government which causes them to come looking for her.
    • Ultimate FF: By the time the team returns to earth, all the military is at the other side of the portal, aiming to them. They have to prove that they are themselves, and not dopplegangers from some alternate universe.
    • Ultimate Galactus Trilogy
      • Captain Mahr Vehl stops the Kree killbot and saves the prototype of the ASIS... and gets locked in an interrogation chamber as a result, with plastic explosives strapped to his neck just in case he tries something.
      • Misty Knight is attacked on her own office by a Silver Wing, who wants to kill her to keep his existence a secret. She blows a fire extinguisher on him, and the explosion brings Captain America and the Falcon to the scene. They drive him away, and try to detain her for the whole incident.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Like in the mainstream continuity, Abraham Erskine did not keep enough notes about the process that turned Steve Rogers into Captain America, was shot after the success, and no more super-soldiers could be created. The difference is that the trope is fully reconstructed, and there were countless projects and attempts to reconstruct the super soldier serum, which was in most origin stories and drove many of the actual stories (for example, the first arc of the Ultimates).
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The line's mission statement since Ultimatum, as opposed to mainstream Marvel's Status Quo Is God.
  • Oh, Crap!
    • In The Ultimates, Smug Snake Herr Kleiser seems to react this way every time he's caught flat-footed when something unexpected disrupts his plans. Which they do, spectacularly. Claiming to be the universal embodiment of order isn't always an advantage.
    • Magneto gets a really good one in Ultimate X-Men: while he's taunting Colossus about how vulnerable his metal body is to his magnetic powers, Colossus is slowly breaking free, and though his taunts continue on, he still has this look in his eyes...
    • Ultimate Fantastic Four: The Skrull leader gains his powers by copying the abilities of any other mutant/metahuman in the area. At the end of an alternate universe arc, he gloats to a powerless Ben Grimm that the last Earthling aside from himself just died and Ben is now the last man alive. Ben responds by slowly taking off his coat and cracking his knuckles. Then, the Skrull realizes how screwed he is.
    • Ultimate FF: When they first got into the alien dome. Tony had threw up inside his helmet.
    • At the end of Age of Ultron, the skies over Ultimate Marvel New York go wonky and Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales goes to check it out... and finds the main universe Galactus looming overhead
  • Planet Killer: Gah-Lak-Tus, which goes around killing planets filled with organic lifeforms out of Fantastic Racism.
  • Posthumous Character: Wolverine died in Ultimatum. He appears in Ultimate Wolverine, but only in flashbacks.
  • Professor Guinea Pig
    • Norman Osbourne tried to replicate on himself the accident that gave powers to Peter Parker. He became a monster instead, the Green Goblin.
    • Bruce Banner tried to recreate the super soldier serum that created Captain America some decades ago. He became another monster, the Hulk.
    • A scientist from Weapon X also experimented on himself, and turned into... something.
    • Tony Stark was a successful case. He has a fleet of nanobots in his bloodstream, invented by himself, which help him to use the armor.
  • Race Lift:
    • Samuel L. Jackson allowed the artists to use his likeness for the formerly white Nick Fury in exchange for getting to play Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
    • There are a lot of other examples. The Wasp was Asian-American, Ben Reilly and the Vision are black (though the former is not a clone of Spider-Man in this continuity), Hurricane was North Korean, Crimson Dynamo and the Abomination were Chinese, Abigail Brand is Ambiguously Brown.
  • Red Herring
    • Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk introduced the Ultimate Marvel version of She-Hulk in a Cliffhanger after having earlier introduced Jen Walters (She-Hulk's alter ego in the mainstream Marvel Universe) in a brief supporting role. This turned out to be as misdirect, as the Ultimate She-Hulk was later revealed to be Betty Ross.
    • Early on in The Ultimates 3, there's an ominous close-up of Hawkeye while he's talking about how something needs to be done about Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch before the media can find out about their incestuous relationship. This was obviously meant to imply that Scarlet Witch's killer was Hawkeye instead of Ultron.
    • Ultimate FF: The discussion between Coulson and Machine Man, about the man to send to help the team. If you thought they were talking about Reed Richards, you were wrong: they were talking about Victor Van Damme.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Both averted and played straight.note  In the case of Ultimate Fantastic Four, it is played straight, as the military refuses to let Richards release his revolutionary inventions to the market; his frustration turns him into The Maker, a Visionary Villain who thinks that Utopia Justifies the Means. On the other hand, part of Xavier's plans to make mutants accepted is based precisely on them using their powers to provide actual and tangible help, and not just fighting villains (Jean helps people with mental disorders, Storm brings rain to dry places, etc.)
    • Averted extremely hard in his second appearance as The Maker, where the story and art go to great pains to take Richards' powers to their logical conclusion. He is very rarely seen in regular humanoid form, instead being more of a stretchy vaguely-humanoid mess, using his elasticity and high intellect to form hundreds of hands, wrap entire objects in sheets of himself, or even create entire copies of himself from small still-connected parts. He points out to Sue that as a result of his powers he does not eat, breathe, or sleep, and is technically not even really alive, and as a result is pretty much impossible to permanently destroy. He also uses his intellect to essentially achieve world peace and a technological utopia within 24 hours of escaping from prison, even if he has to kill and oppress a bunch of people to do it. Richards' powers become scary when he goes insane and isn't afraid to use them to full potential.
  • Refusal of the Call
    • Ultimate Spider-Man has Peter Parker mimicking his mainstream counterpart and the results thereof. The second Spider-Man, Miles Morales, refused to do anything with his powers; when Peter died, Miles figured that if he'd embraced his powers earlier, he might have brought aid to New York's hero, since their powers were connected. He decides to make up for it by filling the gap Peter left.
    • Ultimate Origins: Nick Fury may have the super soldier serum in his veins, but he's not Captain America, and will never be. He thinks that Captain America is meant to be an icon, a symbol of the best American virtues, and he does not consider himself worthy of any of that.
    • Jimmy's blood has the traces of the original Mothervine, and may help to remake the mutant race. Jimmy wants nothing to do with that.
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: Ultimate Marvel was an imprint that took a serious, dark, more grounded and down-to-earth approach to the Marvel mythos. The Ultimates (the local version of The Avengers) fought against Hulk during a destructive rampage very similar to the 9/11, and then against an alien invasion of the Chitauri, aliens that used to work with the nazis. Peter Parker died fighting against the Green Goblin, and Miles Morales became the new Spider-Man. Reed Richards, who started as a hero with the Fantastic Four, becomes a villain who would establish his technocratic society by any means necessary, including the destruction of Berlin, the genocide of all the Asgardians, and the infinity gaunlets. Galactus comes from the prime reality, and almost destroyed the whole planet. But the imprint started to decrease in sales after almost a decade, and was closed during the Secret Wars crossover, were Dr. Doom saved the multiverse from destruction and remade in his image. In Ultimate FF #5, one of the last issues of the Ultimate Marvel before the closure, all the serious tone is thrown to the window, and we have a visit of Miles Morhames, the Ultimate Spider-Ham (an antropomorphic pig with Morales' Spider suit), who comes from an alternate universe "similar" to the ultimate one. The thing is so bizarre, that it goes beyond description. Let's hear Morhames own description of his home reality.
    Miles Morhames: From what we learned, your world and ours are the same. Mostly. We were invaded by the Chiuauatari, and defended by the Ultipets. Our Peter Porker died heroically, just as yours. Mooster Fantastic, Hulk-Bunny, Quacksilver, and your, Dr. Storm as Kangaroo the Conqueror tried to take over the world. And then him. Galactypus. He's the begining of the end. He's why I'm here. (talking to Sue Storm) I've seen what will happen a thousand times. Your relationship with Ben Grizzly will end, painfully, and then you will fall in love with him: Duck-tor Doom. As the rifts got worse, Doom hatched a plan, something that would remake the universe using his feeble powers. It was supposed to kill billions, but save millions. I thought Simian Storm just couldn't live with that. But love for Doom blinded her, and our universe paid the price
  • Revisiting the Roots: From time to time, an element that was changed for the adaption, suddenly tilts back to the way it was (or is) in the regular Marvel Universe. For example, the Avengers began as a group of super-powered agents of SHIELD, and stayed that way for the first two arcs... and at the end of the second, they are a group of super heroes working on their own, financed by the wealth of Tony Stark (precisely their usual status in the Marvel Universe, at least before the contemporary Civil War). The Scarlet Witch donned her classic suit, Thor is shown to actually be a god from Asgard and not just a lunatic, and some topics that were initially avoided for being too fantastic (such as aliens and time-travel) finally got their space.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge
    • The Ultimates: Hawkeye goes on an especially inspiring one after his wife and kids are murdered and he is taken captive by a black ops team sent by Black Widow. As part of his escape he kills his guards with the fingernails he's torn off his own fingertips via his effectively superhuman ability to use anything as a lethal projectile. After killing an additional squad sent to subdue him, he takes their guns, grins into the security camera, and tells the rest of the base, "Run."
    • Ultimate Marvel re-introduced the Ghost Rider, distilling his origin as he and his lover Roxanne were innocents killed as human sacrifices, so the perpetrators could bargain for power from Mephisto. As it turns out, Ultimate Johnny Blaze sold his soul to Mephisto, too. All so Roxanne could be spared the suffering, and Johnny could hunt and kill the monsters that did this to them. Just one problem: One of the sacrificers is now the U.S. vice-president.
    • All-New Ultimates: Bombshell got one after getting rid of Diamondback's control, as she killed her boyfriend.
  • Serial Escalation: The first half of the Ultimate universe introduces the characters, groups, locations, powers, context, etc. Everything slowly, taking the required time to explore the meaning and consequences of each one of those things. The team-ups also started small, just a couple of heroes at a time. But, by the second half, when everything has been set up, the real fun begins. Hickman's Ultimates and Spencer's X-Men are packed with non-stop action from begining to end.
  • The Smurfette Principle
    • The original line-up of The Ultimates is the same one of the Avengers, mentioned above. But she was not alone for long, as Black Widow and Scarlet Witch joined after the first arc.
    • Ultimate FF: Sue is the only woman of the team. At one point, when Tony and Sam are unconcious and she's the only one still standing, she thinks that she should have organized an Amazon Brigade instead.
  • Something Completely Different
    • Ultimate Spider-Man: Initially, the comic book was starred by Peter Parker, reimagined as a teenager. In one of the stories some years later, The Hero Dies. Miles Morales, another teenager with no previous relation with Parker, becomes the new Spider-Man. It wasn't just a change of main character, but a change of secondary characters as well, as Miles had his own cast.
    • Ultimate X-Men: Initially, the status quo was basically similar to the standard one: Charles Xavier has a mansion where he recruited and trains the X-Men, who go to superhero adventures, and Magneto has a villain team that opposes them. Things changed in ''Ultimatum: Most of the cast is killed off for good (including the four sacred cows, Xavier, Magneto, Wolverine and Cyclops), Storm and Collosus are jailed, and the X-Men break up and destroy the mansion in the aftermath. And it was also revealed that mutants are not the next step of human evolution, but common people with their DNA rewritten by nanobots. From then on, the comic became a Fugitive Arc.
    • The Ultimates were a reimagination of the Avengers, a government sponsored team of the most badass heroes around, that provides national security and got involved in international crises as a result. When they break up, the All-New Ultimates replace them. They are a street-level team of teenage superheroes, fighting against street gangs.
  • There Are No Global Consequences: Averted, and in spades. In fact, one of the greatest distinctive traits of Ultimate Marvel is that the existence of superheroes, supervillains, superhero fights and the like have a profound impact on domestic politics, international relations, social rights movements, military, science, and almost any field you care to consider.
  • This Cannot Be!
    • Ultimate Wolverine: Wolverine did not really expect to see Magda ever again.
    • Ultimate FF: Ben Grimm had killed Dr. Doom back in Ultimatum, as he was the villain that kickstarted it all. Now, he's back. He had been trapped in an alternate universe the whole time (as seen in the ending of an earlier adventure); the villain that was involved with the Ultimatum wave and that Grimm killed was someone posing as him during his absence. Ben Grimm simply does not accept that he unknowingly killed Mary Storm, the mother of his girlfriend.
  • Time Skip
    • Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 3 has a one-year time skip between #22 and #23 after Rio Morales dies.
    • Ultimate FF: Sue gets pregnant in Issue #5. Issue #6 takes place nine months later (no wonder why).
  • Toilet Humor: Two separate jokes are made, with ambiguous seriousness, that the Thing and the Blob are both capable of flatulence with earth shaking strength.
  • Trigger Phrase
    • Ultimate Spider-Man's Norman Osborn set up "Cellar Door" as an all-purpose trigger phrase for his son Harry.
    • Ultimate Wolverine: "Mother is calling her children home" activates the Mothervine subjects.
  • The Tooth Hurts
    • In Ultimate Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus pulls out one of Peter's teeth with his tentacle over four panels.
    • Ultimate FF: Back in the Zombieverse, zombie Luke Cage tried to bite Van Damme, whose skin is pure steel. He broke all his teeth by trying that.
  • Ultimate Universe: Trope Namer and one of the better-known examples.
  • Undefeatable Little Village: Seeking the supersoldier Frank Simpson, Captain America seeks the hidden village of Saloth, in Vietnam. He finds it, but there are no adult men: just children, women and elders. One of those elders told cap that he's not the first big and strong guy who shows up giving orders, but that they defeated all the previous ones and used them to feed the pigs. Cap ignored him as a senile folk... and then discovers the secret: the children, women and elders are all super soldiers.
  • The Unmasqued World: Unlike the Prime earth, that always had superhumans around, Captain America is the first superhuman evernote . All other superhumans are, one way or the other, a consequence of that breakthrough. Even mutants.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight
    • Ultimate Origins: Watchers begin popping up all over Earth. One lands right in front of Logan, and he doesn't even stop drinking his beer.
    • Ultimate FF: Rick Jones is the only one to be properly surprised of talking with a pig-man. All the others have Seen It All.
    • Ultimate Spider-Man: There was a huge explosion in Oscorp, and none of the high school students seems to even know about it. They had been there a pair of weeks ago, Harry could have died, but no.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame
    • Ultimate FF: When attacked by the Atlanteans, Iron Man proposes to alter some chemicals to make a dangerous gas. Doom said "You'll kill them all! Doom approves"
    • Ultimate X-Men: Jean saved Wraith from Wolverine, but he should not even think for a moment to say "thank you", or she'll fill his brain with nightmares.
  • Weird Historical War: World War II featured Super Soldiers, Frankenstein Monsters (later known as "mutants"), Alien invaders and other Aliens watching the whole thing.

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