The Ultimates

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All your favorite Marvel superheroes....only jerkier.

Marvel Comics reimagining of The Avengers as part of their new Ultimate Marvel continuity, courtesy of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch. The series focuses on the government and SHIELD developing a superhuman army in order to effectively combat the rise of super terrorism and other Persons of Mass Destruction. The Ultimates 3 was penned by Jeph Loeb and Joe Madureira.

The original run was made up of three miniseries

  • The Ultimates. 13 issues, from March, 2002 to April, 2004.
  • The Ultimates 2. 13 issues, from February, 2005 to February, 2007.
  • The Ultimates 3. 5 issues, from February to November, 2008.

After Ultimatum, 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 ultimate 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.


Tropes in the Ultimates/Ultimate Avengers series include:[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Aborted Arc: Apparently Tony Stark is dying. You'd never know it because they only mention it once and he never does.
    • It was a tumor and its back as of issue 10 of the latest Ultimates series.
  • Achilles in His Tent: Captain America after the events of Death of Spider-Man.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Anyone Can Die: Especially after the Creator Breakdown that led to Ultimatum.
  • Badass: Cap, Fury, Hawkeye, Black Widow. Others have their Badass moments (except Giant-Man-- the closest he gets is a nude-ass moment).
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Wanda in death.
  • Big Bad: Herr Kleiser in The Ultimates; Loki in The Ultimates 2; The Maker in the 2011 The Ultimates series.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Quicksilver is very protective of his sister.
  • Bishonen: Loki
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, going from implied to straight up stated. Caused major Squick reactions.
  • Butt Monkey: Hank Pym
  • Clock King: Herr Kleiser and Loki
  • Combat Pragmatist: Basically everyone except Giant-Man.
  • Canon Immigrant: Combined with Affirmative Action Legacy--the Ultimate Universe of Nick Fury was recently introduced into the classic Marvel Universe as the original Nick Fury's son.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Ultimate Thor is 21st Century Jesus, even moreso than his Hijacked by Jesus 616 counterpart.
  • Cult: Thor's followers
  • Darker and Edgier: Darker than The Avengers, Edgiest of Ultimate Marvel
  • Day of the Jackboot: The Liberators invade the U.S., for like an hour.
  • Decompressed Comic
  • Dead Baby Comedy: "Giant-Man vs. the Wasp" treats spousal abuse as an Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny.
  • Defictionalization: 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.
  • De-Power: 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. And the awesome.
  • Different As Night and Day: Gregory Stark and Tony Stark in Ultimate Comics: Avengers. Becomes a case of Cain and Abel.
  • 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 declares its 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/Power Man'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.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Wasp. So much.
  • Dysfunction Junction: How do they function? ... Well, at times, they don't.
  • Faked Rip Van Winkle: Cap suspects this upon his awakening, only discover that no, its a real Rip Van Winkle.
  • Fish Out of Temporal Water: Cap.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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...
  • Hypothetical Casting: At one point, they sit around while being transported via cargo plane 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.
  • In the Style Of: The Authority, another series that Millar and Hitch worked on.
  • Island Base: The Triskelion.
  • It Got 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.
  • Jerkass: 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 permanantly 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.
  • Legacy Character: Doctor Strange from the start, Wasp and Hulk as of Ultimate Comics Avengers.
    • Monica Chang aka the second Black Widow
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Ultimate Red Skull is Cap's illegitimate son.
  • 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.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Loki. Nick Fury, especially in the Ultimate Power miniseries.
  • Masquerade: The Chitauri, Captain Marvel Mahr Vehl.
  • The Messiah: Thor.
  • 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
  • The Movie: The Direct to DVD Ultimate Avengers and its sequel were based off this series. One snarky fan pointed out that there had been more Ultimates Movies put out in a year than actual issues of the series.
  • 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.

Hulk: HULK SMASH FREDDIE PRINZE JUNIOR!

  • Norse Mythology: Boy are they surprised when it turns out to be Real After All.
  • Oh Crap: A recurring motif.
  • Older Than They Look: Fury, Cap, Herr Kleiser. If Thor is who he believes, he's Really Seven Hundred Years Old, as is Loki.
  • Palette Swap: Tony's brother Gregory is a blonde version of Tony who prefers white suits.
  • 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.
  • Powered Armor: Iron Man
  • Pretty in Mink: Wanda wears a fur-lined coat just before she is tragically shot.
  • 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.
  • Real After All: Thor really IS the Norse God of Thunder.
  • Reality Warper: Loki
  • 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.
  • Relationship Reveal: Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.
  • Ridiculously-Human Robots: The Ultron units in Volume 3.
  • Rich Bitch: Natasha Romanov, after becoming engaged to Tony Stark.
  • Schedule Slip: It's had a few problems with this.
  • Shout-Out: Clark Kent and Jimmy Olsen appear, unnamed, as part of a 60 Minutes interview staff.
  • 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 it's 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.
  • Splash Panel
  • Super Soldier: The basic premise, and the origin of most, actually all--except Thor, superhumans.
    • You forgot the Fantastic Four, and Captain Mar-Vell, and Doctor Strange, and Blade, and Daredevil...
  • 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".
  • Too Happy to Live: Pietro and Wanda being incestuous wasn't a bad sign. It was being so joyful about it.
  • 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 stupid than their 616 counterpart.
    • 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.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Chitauri
  • 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.