Wayne’s Worlds: Once More Into the Ultimate Universe!

Marvel is rebooting the Ultimate Universe, and they kicked it off with Ultimate Universe #1 on June 21, 2023!


Marvel, Ultimate Universe, House of IdeasMarvel Comics is creating a new Ultimate Universe, this one made by writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Bryan Hitch.

Here are some of the important highlights from the press conference announcing this:

Hickman and Hitch’s new universe will revolutionize the world outside your window. Witness the spark that will light this new age in ULTIMATE INVASION. After the Maker’s desperate attempt to restore the Ultimate Universe unleashes massive, unintended consequences, a group of Marvel’s heroes are caught in a war between timelines. As universes collide, the foundation of a new line of ULTIMATE COMICS will be built.

This will all begin with a new one-shot:

This November, Marvel is proud to present ULTIMATE UNIVERSE #1—a one-shot written by Jonathan Hickman and drawn by Stefano Caselli with a cover by Bryan Hitch. The breathtaking epic will introduce readers to this new line that will be home to an array of brand-new hard-hitting series. A fresh start for a new generation, prepare to see your favorite characters redefined for today’s world. Stay tuned in the coming months for more information about this exciting new universe crafted by some of today’s greatest comic book visionaries.

In an accompanying press release, Hitch said that new readers will not need to go back and read the original Ultimate Universe that Marvel published a few years back. Apparently, this will be an entirely “new” reworking of familiar Marvel characters although they may have some costumes and elements previously seen there.


Marvel, Ultimate Universe, House of IdeasIf you already have a successful Marvel Universe, why make a second one with very similar characters?

Mostly, it’s an attempt to attract fans who find the current Marvel Universe somewhat daunting to get into. How many books do you need to read in order to “get” what’s happening? The Ultimate Universe, just like the previous version, is meant to appeal to people who would be happy to read about the Marvel heroes and villains without all that backstory.

I can give a personal example of why they are doing this. When Chip Zdarsky took over DC’s Batman, I knew he was also working on Marvel’s Daredevil. I asked my shop to also add that comic to my weekly pull list.

When I started reading Daredevil, I found it hard to grasp exactly what was happening there. I asked friends to help me understand, and they said I needed to read a few years prior in order to “get” it all.

I gave it a few months, but I finally had to abandon it because I just didn’t understand what was going on. This is the kind of thing I believe Marvel is attempting to prevent. They want a line of books readers can enjoy without needing all that back-up.

This is, after all (as I always like to say), show business! Even though they are the top-selling company, Marvel is looking to stay as the leader in comics sales by attracting even more people to buying their product!

I can’t fault that reasoning!


Marvel, Ultimate Universe, House of IdeasMarvel needs to watch out for the trap they fell into during their initial Ultimate Universe! What happened was, over the years, that Ultimate Universe was no longer a series you could just pick up and immediately understand. They had their own backstory you had to know after a while.

The trick is going to be, moving forward the House of Ideas needs to be keep those comics as accessible as possible!

That will take some doing! Granted, each book has their own set up—a basic framework in which the stories will be told—but the key will be to make the issues ones that new readers can pick up and enjoy.

Of course, that will buck the trend that most current comics employ. They are counting on fans picking up each and every issue, so they create them with that in mind. Some comics refer to storylines that occurred years ago, and if you aren’t familiar with them, well, you aren’t going to understand what’s happening!

I imagine the hope is that new readers who enjoy the Ultimate Universe will, eventually, want more from their reading, so they will explore the “regular” Marvel Universe. They are, on some levels, a “gateway” set of comics. You want more depth in your reading, you shift from the Ultimate Universe to the mainstream Marvel comics.

It’ll be intriguing to see how successful the Ultimate Universe is when it comes to making that happen!


It’s always interesting to me that some fans prefer a “unified” universe for their storytelling. Some companies—DC, for example—has a multiverse, and that’s too complex for some readers, they say.

This begs the question, of course—will the Ultimate Universe eventually crossover with the “regular” Marvel Universe? For some fans, that’s not an option. However, sales will always override such concerns! If “the fans demand it,” it will happen! We can have multiple Captain America’s from various “universes” team up to combat something that threatens them all!

Hey, the recent animated Spider-Man movies have made a boatload of money with that concept, so don’t laugh!

However, it’s very important to establish the Ultimate Universe as viable on its own before they do that. Otherwise, the lines will blur, and people will not know who is who.

I have to admit that I’m somewhat skeptical that Marvel can be successful with this alternate universe given what happened with the previous try. It’s just too easy to fall into the complex storylines that many comics utilize, meaning that eventually, the Ultimate Universe will become just “another” Marvel universe. They will turn into another DC, some fans say.

I’m also concerned about what was said here:

“What made the Ultimate Universe originally really interesting was that it was a reflection of the world outside your window, in the moment that you were living in. What does it look like in the world we’re living in now?” Hickman said during the Ultimate Invasion Virtual Conference. “It’s kind of shocking how much the world has changed in that period of time. The idea of what it would be like to see the genesis of super heroes in a brand-new world is a really fascinating exercise.”

If I could make some recommendations, I would ask that the Ultimate Universe avoid politics like the plague! I enjoy comics that focus on adventure, derring-do, “buckle that swash” kind of tales. Make stories that are fun to read, okay?

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