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"The Secret History of Ultimate Marvel"

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  1. #1
    Administrator E's Avatar
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    "The Secret History of Ultimate Marvel"

    This is a fascinating article from Vulture: The Secret History of Ultimate Marvel

    It's basically about how the Ultimate line rescued Marvel and the comic industry as a whole. It's got some pretty good quotes from Bendis and Bill Jemas. Mark Millar refused to answer questions for the article and Jeph Loeb had a hilarious caveat for participating:

    (I reached out to Loeb for an interview but was told he would only speak with me if we didnít discuss Ultimates 3 or Ultimatum.)


    The article credits Ultimate Spider-Man for modernizing stories, and Ultimates for changing how the characters were portrayed. It credits the whole line for what's being done in the movies, including Ultimate Fantastic 4.

    It makes me want to re-read Ultimates.

    It blamed Ultimatum for where things went wrong.

    I still can't believe I had to argue with you guys for how many months or years that the line was dead and we needed to change the focus of this site.
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  2. #2
    The poster formerly known as captaincanuck65 Captain Canuck's Avatar
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    Re: "The Secret History of Ultimate Marvel"

    Yeah, that was a good article. I really enjoy reading about the behind the scenes history of what was going on at Marvel when certain comics were being published.

    I wonder what Loeb was thinking when he agreed to do an interview if they didn't mention the only two major works he did for the Ultimate line. He should just own it. The Ultimate line was declining and he was brought in to revamp it, but he went completely the wrong direction and the line never recovered. Everyone knows it, it can only help him to admit it.

    I still think they could have saved the line if they just let Bendis write Ultimate Spider-Man and maybe a team-up book and use the characters however he wanted without other crappy books and editorial-mandated events bogging things down. Even if they had left Hickman on Ultimates instead of yanking him off for the Divided We Fall event. But whatever. I'm hoping the new universe will combine the best parts of both universes well. (And that Peter and MJ will be married).
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  3. #3
    The Timeline Guy DIrishB's Avatar
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    Re: "The Secret History of Ultimate Marvel"

    I read this yesterday on Facebook, meant to post the link but forgot.

    It really is a well written and fair account of the Ultimate universe's history, and while it outlines info most of us probably already know, it does a great job of laying out just how much of an influence the Ultimate universe's success was for Marvel:

    -they largely adopted the more realistic, cinematic approach of the Ultimates in the 616 universe

    -as E and the article said, the Ultimate like basically saved Marvel from bankruptcy and having to sell off their properties to different publishers (not only movie rights but the complete character rights).

    -and it basically laid the groundwork for every Marvel character movie since 2002's first Spider-Man film, and most especially the MCU films.

    It was a monumentally important line for Marvel, I just wished they'd remembered and respected that and let the universe end about 7 or 8 years ago (before Ultimatum) before the quality level dropped drastically (even USM had some shaky stories around that time). While USM came back and improved with the Death of Spider-Man and intro of Miles Morales, the rest of the line was still lacking, particularly Ultimate X-Men and Ultimates under Loeb and even Millar when he returned (New Ultimates, Ultimate Avengers, blech). I liked what Hickman did with Ultimates while he was on the title, and Reed as a villain was a great idea, it just could've been executed better. Still, other than the Miles' issues of USM, Hickman's Ultimates run was probably one of the higher points for the Ultimate line over the past five years.

  4. #4
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    Re: "The Secret History of Ultimate Marvel"

    Quote Originally Posted by DIrishB View Post
    It was a monumentally important line for Marvel, I just wished they'd remembered and respected that and let the universe end about 7 or 8 years ago (before Ultimatum) before the quality level dropped drastically (even USM had some shaky stories around that time).
    I wish the article went more in depth with what happened with that. It seemed like there was a conscious decision to shift directions and "cheapen" the line. They stopped putting A-list writers on the books and let guys like Mike Carey write it. Nothing against Mike Carey, buuuut...

    Specifically with Ultimatum it was like they purposely got away from the things that made the Ultimate books different. It was like that a little with Ultimates 3, but not nearly as forced. With U3 it was more like they let a crap writer write crap which just happened to fly in the opposite direction of the general tone of the rest of the books (mostly, anyway...I always felt like most of UXM was the same kind of "cheap" except for the Bendis and BKV stuff).

    I was hoping they would get into the purpose of Ultimatum in relation to the line as a whole. It was completely different. Even the whole thing with having the three writers was a kind of gimmick that the rest of the line never went for.
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    The poster formerly known as captaincanuck65 Captain Canuck's Avatar
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    Re: "The Secret History of Ultimate Marvel"

    Quote Originally Posted by E View Post
    I was hoping they would get into the purpose of Ultimatum in relation to the line as a whole. It was completely different. Even the whole thing with having the three writers was a kind of gimmick that the rest of the line never went for.
    You're getting Ultimate Power and Ultimatum mixed up. Ultimate Power had three writers (Bendis, JMS, and Loeb) and was really the beginning of when things got really bad. Ultimates 3 and Ultimatum were ALL Loeb.
    The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.
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  6. #6
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    Re: "The Secret History of Ultimate Marvel"

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Canuck View Post
    You're getting Ultimate Power and Ultimatum mixed up. Ultimate Power had three writers (Bendis, JMS, and Loeb) and was really the beginning of when things got really bad. Ultimates 3 and Ultimatum were ALL Loeb.
    Yep, you're right. It was all one big ball of suck.
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    The Timeline Guy DIrishB's Avatar
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    Re: "The Secret History of Ultimate Marvel"


  8. #8
    The poster formerly known as captaincanuck65 Captain Canuck's Avatar
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    Re: "The Secret History of Ultimate Marvel"

    Quote Originally Posted by DIrishB View Post
    Bendis: SPOILER! Killing Hawkeye since 2004.
    The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.
    1 Timothy 1:15

  9. #9
    The Timeline Guy DIrishB's Avatar
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    Re: "The Secret History of Ultimate Marvel"

    That and the overly talky nature of literally every conversation he writes. Overall I like what he did on USM, but at the same time his signature style can be tiresome.

  10. #10
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    Re: "The Secret History of Ultimate Marvel"

    Quote Originally Posted by DIrishB View Post
    That and the overly talky nature of literally every conversation he writes. Overall I like what he did on USM, but at the same time his signature style can be tiresome.
    Bagley's art isn't helping. An incredibly tense situation and everyone is just standing in a line, nonchalant. It looks idiotic.
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