The Ultimate Universe's newest cross-over event is in full gear. The Divided We Fall story separates the United States after Reed Richards destroyed Washington D.C. This big event crosses over into ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES, ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN, and ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN.
We're already a couple issues into each book, but we got the chance to talk to writer Sam Huphries about his work on ULTIMATES current run and a bit on his run with Jonathon Hickman.
Comic Vine: Even though you were a part of the last story line, how does it feel jumping into this new one knowing that everything in America has been turned upside-down?
Sam Humphries: It's exhilarating. Hickman blew up Washington DC on the last page of his last solo issue, and I took it as a challenge -- "okay dude, let's see what you've REALLY got!" I like to think I can give as hard as I take.
CV: One thing I've always loved about the Ultimate Universe is that major events change the universe. There is no "normal" to go back to. Aside from this big decision to be revealed later, is there anything else big you have planned in this story that will effect the Ultimate Universe in a big way?
CV: In issue 14, the New Republic of Texas tries to wage war, but fails in doing so. Aside from the West Coast, what are the possibilities we'll see something like this again with the mid west or the southern states?
SH: Very strong. The map at the beginning of each issue of Divided We Fall has a lot of clues.
CV: What I loved most about this idea of the New Republic of Texas is that the idea exists in our world with the Texas Nationalist Movement and Texan history. How much of your writing do you take from events in the real world for the Ultimates book? Or did I just stumble onto a giant coincidence?
SH: Texas is the only state that used to be an independent nation, and it's got a strong identity. All those things make it a convincing choice for secession -- if the conditions are right.
In the real world, America is divided in a lot of ways, even if the union is strong. I wanted to project what divisionalism might look like if given the chance to go to extremes.
CV: Going back again to issue 14, it seems like there may be two distinct Avengers teams forming. What are the chances we'll see a West Coast Ultimates (Avengers) in future books?
SH: Oh hey, look out the window, is that a blue jay? *whistles, sneaks out of the room*
CV: What character, so far, have you enjoyed writing the most?
SH: I love them all, but the character who has surprised me the most is Monica. I haven't gotten a much of a chance to write her so far, but when I do, I have a blast. I'm looking forward to pushing her into the spotlight.
CV: Reed Richards was the perfect villain. He's now been taken care of, and it maybe incredibly early to ask, but are there future plans with this character and will he continue to be a villain in the Ultimate universe?
SH: If you had someone as dangerous as Reed in your custody, what would you do with him? Could you even put him on trial? Then what?
Reed is definitely on the table. Hickman did a lot of great work building up that character and it would be remiss to let him go to pasture.
CV: Without getting into too much detail, will this decision from Divided We Fall affect the overall Ultimate universe as much as Ultimatum or Two Cities Two Worlds?
SH: The answer is: yes. And that's about as much detail as I can give, haha.
In the Ultimate Universe we've made a commitment to show that epic events have significant consequences. And those consequences lead to more consequences. Two Cities Two Worlds begat Divided We Fall, and Divided We Fall will spark the next story.
CV: When are we going to see Ultimate Rocket Raccoon?
SH: The answer to this question can be found if you tweet it relentlessly at Brian Wood. (Just kidding.)