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Ultimate Universe vs. DC alternate Universes

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Thread: Ultimate Universe vs. DC alternate Universes

  1. #1
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    Ultimate Universe vs. DC alternate Universes

    I thought it would be fun to compare the Ultimate Universe to some of the DC alternate universes, like All Stars and Earth One. How do you think the Ultimate Universe compares to these DC alternate Universes?

    I love Superman All Stars, but Batman All Stars was so bad that it sunk the whole line. Superman Earth One was pretty good, I have not read Batman Earth One yet, but I heard good things.

  2. #2
    My Boom-Boom's mostly gay Zombipanda's Avatar
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    Re: Ultimate Universe vs. DC alternate Universes

    What?
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    Re: Ultimate Universe vs. DC alternate Universes

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombipanda View Post
    What?
    This is not a complex concept for a thread.
    Last edited by The Overlord; 08-06-2012 at 01:53 PM.

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    Re: Ultimate Universe vs. DC alternate Universes

    Do any of the DC alternate universes have anywhere near the number of titles as the Ultimate Universe has had? Aren't most just a single-miniseries concept? Hell, the two All-Star titles don't even tie in together, if I recall.

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    Re: Ultimate Universe vs. DC alternate Universes

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeek View Post
    Do any of the DC alternate universes have anywhere near the number of titles as the Ultimate Universe has had? Aren't most just a single-miniseries concept? Hell, the two All-Star titles don't even tie in together, if I recall.
    No, but you have to start somewhere. The Ultimate Universe was somewhat small when it first started out. Also Earth One seems to be in the same universe. I think its valid to compare them. There is also a rumor that Grant Morrison may be writing a Flash Earth One title, so that series may be expanding. I don't see harm about making a thread about this anyway, it could be a fun discussion and this particular board doesn't have a lot of new threads.
    Last edited by The Overlord; 08-06-2012 at 06:45 PM.

  6. #6
    My Boom-Boom's mostly gay Zombipanda's Avatar
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    Re: Ultimate Universe vs. DC alternate Universes

    Okay, I'll treat this seriously.

    I think the Ultimate Universe vs. DC's All-Star and Elseworld imprints are a good indication of how the companies look at their properties.

    The UU was about invigorating their characters so that they felt like the socially relevant stories they were when Marvel first launched their heroes in the sixties, as well as providing a gateway to a new generation of readers. I think they failed at the former task, but it did succeed at rebranding their characters for a new audience, and the UU was a pretty substantial force in lining up the success of the Marvel Studios juggernaut. But the UU eventually fell into the same traps as the main universe. It became tangled up in its own increasingly tangled continuity and the central (and IMHO, incredibly strong) theme of superheroes/transhumanism as a 21st century arms/energy race grew fallow as the writers fell into their old patterns of static narrative. But, I think a lot of the main universe books picked up the slack for that, and the 616 books are stronger for the UU having existed.

    For DC, it was more about recognizing how iconic their characters were and relying on the existing brand recognition to tell new stories about the characters. Elseworld books wouldn't have worked if there wasn't a pretty ingrained public knowledge of who these characters were and what they represented (and it's no coincidence that the bulk of these books were Batman or Superman stories). The output was pretty mixed but all in all, it was a completely different beast than what was done with the Ultimate Universe. All-Stars was the same beast, but instead of sticking icons in new universes, it was taking hit creators and letting them tell a quintessential story about that character (and Supes/Bats turned out to present a pretty yang/yin polarity). Honestly, GM's Flash sounds more along the lines of the All-Star books rather than Earth-One.

    Earth-One seems to be a pretty apt comparison to the UU and while I think the format is a better fit to draw in new audiences (i.e. the periodic graphic novel format), I don't think the execution has been nearly as strong as the early UU issues.

    I wonder if we should be comparing the "New 52" to the UU. Hypothetically, it's the same idea, albeit a replacement rather than a parallel imprint.
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    Re: Ultimate Universe vs. DC alternate Universes

    All Star Superman is better than anything the UU could ever hope to be.

    I'm pretty sure that's the only alternate universe DC book I've read aside from All Star Batman.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Overlord

    No, but you have to start somewhere. The Ultimate Universe was somewhat small when it first started out. Also Earth One seems to be in the same universe. I think its valid to compare them. There is also a rumor that Grant Morrison may be writing a Flash Earth One title, so that series may be expanding. I don't see harm about making a thread about this anyway, it could be a fun discussion and this particular board doesn't have a lot of new threads.
    Agreed. The Earth One books are meant to all take place in the same world. And I've also heard mentions of a Wonder Woman Earth One book mentioned back when the line was first announced, but haven't heard anything since. A Morrison penned Flash EO book would be interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombipanda
    Okay, I'll treat this seriously.

    I think the Ultimate Universe vs. DC's All-Star and Elseworld imprints are a good indication of how the companies look at their properties.

    The UU was about invigorating their characters so that they felt like the socially relevant stories they were when Marvel first launched their heroes in the sixties, as well as providing a gateway to a new generation of readers. I think they failed at the former task, but it did succeed at rebranding their characters for a new audience, and the UU was a pretty substantial force in lining up the success of the Marvel Studios juggernaut. But the UU eventually fell into the same traps as the main universe. It became tangled up in its own increasingly tangled continuity and the central (and IMHO, incredibly strong) theme of superheroes/transhumanism as a 21st century arms/energy race grew fallow as the writers fell into their old patterns of static narrative. But, I think a lot of the main universe books picked up the slack for that, and the 616 books are stronger for the UU having existed.

    For DC, it was more about recognizing how iconic their characters were and relying on the existing brand recognition to tell new stories about the characters. Elseworld books wouldn't have worked if there wasn't a pretty ingrained public knowledge of who these characters were and what they represented (and it's no coincidence that the bulk of these books were Batman or Superman stories). The output was pretty mixed but all in all, it was a completely different beast than what was done with the Ultimate Universe. All-Stars was the same beast, but instead of sticking icons in new universes, it was taking hit creators and letting them tell a quintessential story about that character (and Supes/Bats turned out to present a pretty yang/yin polarity). Honestly, GM's Flash sounds more along the lines of the All-Star books rather than Earth-One.

    Earth-One seems to be a pretty apt comparison to the UU and while I think the format is a better fit to draw in new audiences (i.e. the periodic graphic novel format), I don't think the execution has been nearly as strong as the early UU issues.

    I wonder if we should be comparing the "New 52" to the UU. Hypothetically, it's the same idea, albeit a replacement rather than a parallel imprint.
    Well said.

    I'd have given up on the Ultimate line a long time ago were it not out of some misplaced loyalty to the damn timeline. That said, I'm enjoying the new Ult Spider-Man. It's not a deep or thoroughly intelligent book, but Bendis has done a good job of translating the legacy of Spidey to a completely new character, one quite charming, likable, and innocent. And let's be honest, that's not an easy thing to do. In that regard I'm glad I'm still reading them. I also liked the idea of Rees Richards gone bad--in concept he could've been a terrifying antagonist, but the execution was sorely lacking, as was the transition from good to "bad".

    AS Superman was a phenomenal experiment. Just a thoroughly enjoyable and intelligent read all around. AS Batman & the Pointlessly Descriptive Title was just... disappointing, though I can see it's place as a link between Miller's Year One and TDK Returns. Other than that it was pointless (well it was pointless all around, though the painting themselves yellow to offset GL's powers was cheeky, if not also pointless). So yeah, just to be clear, pointless other than a continuity glue for Miller's TDK universe.

    Superman Earth One was disappointing, as I'd have preferred a less cliched and stereotypical approach, especially from JMS. While a certain element of angst and alienation makes sense for the character, it was far too much and made him not only unrelatable, but hard to like or care about. And the alien Kiss make up villain was just... there aren't even words to express the disappointment there. I hope the next volume will show more character growth and selflessness on a deeper level for Clark, as well as him just lightening the hell up. You're not an early 90's grunge rocker, Supes.

    I haven't read Batman EO, but from what I've heard there are elements I like (him being green and amateurish in his endeavors and learning from his mistakes, not having all the cool gadgets yet, etc), and elements I don't think I'll like (Alfred as a gun toting bad ass). We'll see.

    I do like the shared universe idea of Earth One with limited amount of stories so as not to over-complicate and muck up the continuity (this concept was what drew me to the Ultimate books in the first place) and while eventually shared continuity can lead to limits on the storytelling and avenues the writers may want to explore, I'm a sucker for continuity, as long as it doesn't diminish the storytelling potential. When planned accordingly, it can sometimes enhance the plot (see the new Valiant books, uber awesome so far).

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