When writer Mark Millar and penciler Bryan Hitch got an offer to work on a serial which would be a re-imagining of The Avengers in The Ultimate Universe, they needed, as Hitch says, only three hours to assemble the group. The enthusiasm of Marvel editor Joe Quesada was surely contagious, because Millar and Hitch published some of their best work on the title. The Avengers, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the sixties, was a comic filled with the idealism and foolishness of its time. It had amazing energy, that only a team of the most powerful superheroes could have, and yet they would act like little babies if their ego was jeopardized. This combination of spectacular superhero action, naive idealism and childish soap opera still glows with the same shine as it had, almost fifty years ago. But Millar's and Hitch's cut was much deeper.
Recruiting The Team
Nick Fury was put in charge of creating a superhero team for the United States Government. Hank and Janet Pym were responsible for replicating the super soldier serum that was used on Captain America back in World War II. Bruce Banner had a similar task. Tony Stark agreed to use his Iron Man armor for the Ultimates, and Thor agreed to help out on the team. The team however didn't seem complete yet, but that was about to change.
After Captain America fell in battle during World War II, his body was never recovered. During an expedition through the Arctic Ocean, it was found, perfectly preserved. He was successfully revived, giving the Ultimates their new leader and the final member of their team.
The team was heavily criticized for the billion dollar budget on the Triskelion, the teams base located off the coast of Manhattan.
A lot of stress was placed on Banner because he was only invited to the team for his work on the super soldier serum, but he had been unable to deliver workable results while Hank Pym has had great strides forward on his own serum. Banner eventually breaks down, injecting a modified super soldier formula, turning into the the rage fueled monster known as the "Hulk".
The Hulk rampaged through Manhattan, killing 857 civilians before being subdued by his teammates. While Nick Fury worked furiously to conceal Banner's dual identity, the team received credit for taking down a rampaging monster. Banner remained in captivity, working for the team and drugged at all times in an attempt to keep the Hulk at bay.
The Ultimates went head to head against the X-Men and recruit Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Magneto is revealed to be alive, and the Ultimates face him with the knowledge that Xavier and Magneto were friends in the past. The X-Men defend themselves and go against each other in an epic battle. It is revealed that the Ultimates know the Wasp is a Mutant. The X-Men and the Ultimates end their battles on bad terms and S.H.I.E.L.D. captures the Xavier.
The Ultimates have captured the Green Goblin, Kraven the Hunter, Electro, Doctor Octopus, and Sandman. They have them in the S.H.I.E.L.D. jails but Osborn breaks them out. Once out Norman threatens Peter Parker aka Spider-Man that he will hurt his Aunt May unless he helps the bad guys. The six go and attack the White House including Spider-Man. S.H.I.E.L.D. takes May Parker, Peter's aunt, into protective custody and have Peter's girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson, looked out for. When the Ultimates arrive to defend the White House, they tell Peter that his Aunt is fine. Spidey turns sides against the now five. Nick Fury uses Harry Osborn as bait to make Osborn stop and while distracted they take down the five.
Nick Fury discovers that there are aliens living throughout the world known as the Chitauri, who wish to enslave the Universe. Their existence has been known since World War II, when they worked with the Nazis. Captain America fought hand to hand with their commander, " Herr Kleiser". To start the annihilation of the Chitauri, Nick Fury integrated two S.H.I.E.L.D. black operatives into the Ultimates, Clint Barton (code name Hawkeye), as well as Natasha Romanova (code name Black Widow). He also recruited the children of Magneto, Pietro Maximoff (code name Quicksilver), and Wanda Maximoff (code name Scarlet Witch). The four of them launch a strike on an office building consisting entirely of Chitauri operatives.
After the infiltration and destruction of the office building, the Ultimates learn of a possible full scale invasion, and send all Ultimates operatives, as well as one of the largest assembled armies for a single battle. They were planing on invading and destroying the Chitauri's base of operations located in Micronesia, but when they arrived, it was abandoned. A bomb was discovered in one of the buildings, but it seemed to be too late to evacuate because there were mere seconds before detonation. There was an explosion, and the Ultimates as well as the army assembled outside seemed to have been destroyed.
Meanwhile, the Chitauri had infiltrated the infrastructure of the Triskelion and taken over without a single fight. The Wasp escaped from her hospital room when she discovered that the Chitauri were going to kill her, but she tried to send a message to the Ultimates, only to discover that all communications in the room she had escaped to were shut down. And now she was trapped in the room with no way out. Kleiser entered the room and captured her, revealing his plans for the Universe.
Kleiser stated that the Universe was like an organism, and that freewill and thought were like cancer cells. The Chitauri act as the immune system or white blood cells, Correcting all problems.
The Ultimates were then revealed to have survived the explosion by using Iron Man's force fields, then using Thor's hammer (Mjolnir) to teleport to the true base of the Chitauri's operations which is in the Arizona Desert, 30 miles outside Phoenix.
The Ultimates do well against the Chitauri, but they had a backup plan ... destroy the solar system with a bomb planted in their base.
Wasp tries to disarm it, but the instructions are literally in another language. So she calls in Iron Man who drags the bomb outside, and tells Thor to transport it somewhere safe, so he takes it to a pocket dimension that is empty and allows it to detonate there, avoiding any potential loss of life.
After a crazy message of death and destruction is sent around the world, causing mass suicide, S.H.I.E.L.D. must take action, and after locating the source of the signal, Nick Fury, Captain America, and the Black Widow head to Russia, but little do they know that the X-Men are tracking the signal as well. After meeting up with Sam Wilson, the Ultimate version of the Falcon, the team make their way towards an old, abandoned Russian complex that is buried under the Russian jungle of Tunguska, and after making their way into the complex, they find what appears to be a man, who is actually a failed Russian super-soldier, and after defeating the super-soldier, the team continues their search through the complex.
After fighting through a few more failed super-soldiers, the team finds what appears to be the Ultimate version of the Red Guardian, who apparently has a grudge against Captain America. As Cap and the Red Guardian fight, Fury, Widow, and Sam locate the source of the signal, the Vision, who is run down and falling apart. Fury is then surprised to see that the X-Men have also found the Vision, and battle between the two groups erupts. Cap kills the Red Guardian, and makes his way back to his team, Sam is able to temporally blind Colossus, and Cap is able to knock out Wolverine with a grenade.
The X-Men escape with the help of Jean Grey however, but S.H.I.E.L.D. is able to retrieve the Vision, who warns them of their worlds coming destruction, a destruction that will come in the form of... Gah Lak Tus.
The Fantastic Four and the Ultimates join forces to face a new threat: the Kree. A S.H.I.E.L.D. agent is revealed to be an alien. He's from an alien race called the Kree and he's Captain Mar-Vehl. He tells the heroes that his people want to see how Gah Lak Tus destroys earth so that when he does they learn from their mistake. Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Hawkeye and Captain Mar-Vehl go into outer space opening a portal to another dimension so Nick Fury, Human Torch, Thing, Black Widow and Thor stay to defend earth from aliens coming out of the portal. The group that went to outer space destroyed the space ship and went back to earth waiting on the arrival of the World Devourer; Gah lak Tus.
The world is at its end and with the help of the Vision, Fantastic Four, X-Men and The Ultimates have to figure out how to save earth. Using some of Reed's plan they figure out how to injure Gah Lak Tus, and thus saving the Earth.
Thor Leaves The Ultimates
Thor left the Ultimates because he believed that they should not be used in international affairs. Thor was against the invasion of another country. He believes that they should only act in matters that put the entire world in danger (the Chitauri incident), or in protecting (Hulk incident).
Trial Of The Hulk
A "mole" has notified the press of the Hulk's identity, and that Banner is being held in the Triskelion supported by taxpayer's money. This immediately goes pubic, and the country is in outrage. Captain America immediately thinks that it was Thor, and confronts him in a night club. They don't end up fighting and Captain America realizes that Thor was not the mole.
Matthew Murdock ( Daredevil) is Bruce Banner's attorney, and does a good job defending Banner, but the D.A. compares Banner's formula to a drug no different that alcohol or marijuana. He states that people who murder while on drugs are still accountable for their actions. Banner is found guilty, but Fury lies to him, making him believe that he at least gets to live a little longer. But Fury drugs him, and leaves him unconscious on an aircraft carrier, and drops a nuclear bomb on it. But just before everything goes white, Banner opens his eyes, revealing that they are completely green, no white.
Fall Of Thor
Thor had a meeting with another god from Asgard, who told him that his brother Loki had escaped from the "Room with No Doors", and was plotting revenge against Asgard and all of its gods (mainly Thor and Odin). But then the god was gone, and a waiter came to tell Thor that he had been talking to himself for ten minutes, that there was never anyone in the seat across form him.
Iron Man has recently made a suit for the Black Widow, and immediately following he proposed to her. But while this was going on, people were protesting in Rome, Italy because of news of another super soldier (this time for their country). The police began attacking the protesters, and Thor intervened, attacking (and even killing) Italian police officers.
The Ultimates were called to a meeting with the European Defense Initiative (similar to a European version of the Ultimates). Gunner Golmen, the head of the Norwegian team for the past two years, is the brother of the man calling himself Thor (his real name is Thorlief). Golmen was unable to crack the super serum that gave birth to Captain America, so he instead decided to go for a biomechanical approach. He had done marker research and discovered that the best representative for his country would be Thor. Using Norse iconography, he designed a harness that imbue the wearer with flight, durability, and a level of strength unseen in even the mutant community. But even greater than the harness, was the hammer that they had created, for using it's four-dimensional engine could teleport the user anywhere. It could even ionize the environment and artificially manipulate the weather. The wearer of this Thor suit would have been the leader of the European Defense Initiative, had Thorlief not stolen it.
Somewhere in Norway, Thor's followers are throwing him a party with a large fire, but he is sitting out in the snow, away from everyone. He tells the all to leave because he knows that the Ultimates are coming from him. The Ultimates give them time to leave, then they begin the battle against Thor. Thor held his own on the battle field considering the numbers that he was up against. Captain America and Hawkeye used flamethrowers to set him on fire, burning the hair off of his head. But eventually, Quicksilver got close and fast enough to grab the belt from the harness, rendering him powerless.
The Ultimates locked Thor in Banner's cell, with nothing but a bed until the rest of his stuff arrived. Loki came to visit him, but because he controls reality, no one could see him. He taunted Thor, tried to tell him that he really was going insane. But Thor was not fooled, only depressed by his powerlessness.
Mystique framed Polaris for murder and S.H.I.E.L.D. takes her into custody. Students from the Academy of Tomorrow try to bust her out. The X-Men try to stop them but the Ultimates said that it's their problem so they would deal with it. This makes the X-Men have another feud with the Ultimates. In the end the X-Men arrive at the base where Polaris is being kept and she is proven innocent
Spider-Man is cloned and S.H.I.E.L.D. takes the problem into their own hands. Primary mission: Kill Spider-Man. When is decided to kill him or take away his powers Fury, Cap, Wasp, and Iron Man go to this, but MJ talks some sense into Nick Fury and it's decided not to do this mission. Mission not accomplished.
Grand Theft America
After several other countries decide that they are against America having a super team, the all ban together, creating their own super team called the Liberators to stand against the Ultimates, and take over America. They have their own operative within the Ultimates.
They start by killing the family of Hawkeye, and kidnapping Hawkeye himself. They then frame Captain America, making Nick Fury believe that he was the spy, and also not the real Captain (from World War II). Captain America was taken, and locked in a small room with all of his limbs bound to the walls.
With the Ultimates in ruins, the Liberators believed it to be the best time to begin their strike. So they invade America, and decimate what is left of the Ultimates, with Loki as their leader.
Iron Man was with the Black Widow while all of this was happening. She managed to convince him that the rest of The Ultimates would be able to handle whatever was going on, that they were not needed. When Tony tried to investigate the matter, she put a gun to his head as Jarvis walked in. She shot Jarvis, then was going to bring Iron man to the Liberators, so that the Ultimates, as well as many important government officials, could be executed on live television. She then revealed herself to be the traitor within the ranks of The Ultimates. Tony pushed the cork of the champagne (which was actually a button) and activated the nanites inside of Black Widow's system. When she tried to plead with him to let her go by offering information her tells her he already downloaded all the information need, before he smashed the bottle against her face.. He then proceeded to his Iron man armor, which he flew up to his space station. While there he would activate the "Iron man 6" armor. The Iron man 6 armor is a technologically-advanced aircraft with cannons and lasers attached to it..
The Wasp, in all of the confusion, managed to free Captain America from his cell before an agent from the Liberators called the Schzoid Man (a multiplier) would beat her. Hawkeye also managed to free himself from his captors, just before he was to be killed. Then all of the Ultimates (but Thor, who is M.I.A.) reversed the flow of the battle.
The Liberators incapacitated, Loki decided it would be a good time to begin using his power (which he hadn't been using for the fear that it would alert Odin of his position). The Scarlet Witch stood, and altered the probability that "someone would come to kick Loki's @$$". Just then, Thor appeared, ready to stop Loki and finish everything.
Loki attempted to trap Thor in an illusion, but Loki was to weak and Thor broke free and smashed him into the ground with his hammer. However Loki flew up into the air and began to summon creatures out of Norse mythology, such as Fenrir Wolves, trolls and a giant serpent very much like Jörmungandr. Thor was eaten by Jörmungandr, but soon flew through Jörmungandr to get his way out and then he and soon began to fight Loki. Loki was winning,he asked Thor if he really thought he could beat him alone, Thor replied with do really think I was alone. Soon a rainbow appeared and landed on the ground and an army of vikings appeared and the Ultimates and vikings fought Loki and his army. Loki pleaded with Thor, but Thor hit Loki with his hammer and released a massive amount of energy sending Loki and his army to Asgard for punishment. Captain America informed Nick Fury that they were going to be independent heroes and stop working with S.H.I.E.L.D.
They will be funded by Tony Stark who has began turning his building into a headquarters for the group. He admits to Pepper that Black Widow's betraying the team has really hurt him, but he soon gets over it when he sees a hot blond walking down the street. Hawkeye finds Black Widow in a hospital and pins her to the wall with his arrows and then shots her in the head. Hank Pym is currently being held in the same cell Banner was in and asks do they all have to spend time in there. The comic ends with a flash back to before Steve became Captain America and he was saying goodbye to Gail after she gave him a photo of herself.
The Ultimates, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and the X-Men face the Squadron Supreme because of an experiment of Mr. Fantastic. At first they go against each other then as punishment of what happened and all Nick Fury is taken to another dimension.
The Return of Thanos
When Thanos tries to get his revenge he takes over Earth for himself. The Ultimates see something is wrong when they go to Manhattan and it's not there. Then Thanos appears with two heralds: The Human Torch and The Invisible Woman. They try to fight them off but the team goes under the control of Thanos and Thor is made into a tree.
Thor mentions meeting with this wannabe god before. When Reed defeats Thanos The Ultimates and the world goes back into place.
Sex, Lies and DVD
A sex tape depicting Tony Stark and the Black Widow that has been leaked to the media and on the Internet causing a PR problem for the team and Tony has become an alcoholic as a result. The Wasp is now team leader. Thor has started a live-in relationship with Valkyrie. Venom attacks Stark's mansion, and demands to know where "she" is. Hawkeye is the first to rush into battle, shortly followed by Black Panther who was thrown ten blocks away. Later, Scarlet Witch is shot while she's with Quicksilver as they stroll pass by Radio City Music Hall. Despite attempts at CPR by a doctor, who then pronounced her dead.
Later Hawkeye is searching for Black Panther who was lost in the fight with Venom. He ran into Spider-man and attacked him thinking he had something to do with him. However he was called back by Captain America after he stunned Spider-man. The mansion was attacked by the Brotherhood of Mutant and with help from Quicksilver, left with Wanda's body. After the attack, Wolverine arrived at Stark's Mansion, telling the Ultimates they had bigger problems. After a skirmish with Hawkeye, Wolverine reveals that he had a short fling with Magda, Wanda's mother and may have been her true father. He also revealed that years later Magneto asked him to join the Brotherhood and kill Pietro for being weak and pathetic, but he was stopped by Wanda. As the Wasp decided to go to the Savage Lands to retrieve Wanda's body. Iron Man has discovered the bullet that killed Wanda was made only to kill her and built by Stark Enterprises, then he removed his faceplate to reveal he was a android. When he attempted to attack her, Captain America intervened however he was also an android. Hank Pym flies from Captain's ear and he starts to melt into a pool of goo, Hank tells Jan that there is a controversy and he might be to blame.
Meanwhile the Ultimates has teamed up with Ka-Zar, Shanna, and Zabu.
The team later begins to fight against the Brotherhood of Mutants, whom are defeated. Thor attempts to use Mjolnir on Magneto, but he takes the hammer by using his magnetic powers. Meanwhile back at the base, Wasp and Hank Pym discovered Ultron (dressed as Yellowjacket) is behind the robots replacing the Ultimates and even Wanda's death. Hank calls him their "son", Ultron states that killing Wanda was a crime of passion. Soon both the robots soon were en route to the Savage Lands, the Pyms freed Tony and they headed to the Savage Lands as well. The Ultimates fought the robots, the battle ended when Hank grew into a giant and ripped Ultron's head off which killed the other robots. Jan attempts to explain the situation to Magneto, but he stopped her and doubted Wanda would be responsible for her own death. Magneto left with Mjolnir and he promised vengeance. At the end of the issue, it is revealed that Dr. Doom was actually controlling Ultron.
It's Tuesday 4:12 PM. Tony Stark is drinking while Steve Rogers wants to get out and patrol the streets. Thor and Valkyrie are sword fighting. Janet Pym and Hank Pym are talking about Hank keeping Ultron's Yellowjacket's suit while Clint Barton watches.
It's Tuesday 4:13 PM. New York is underwater.
At Stark Mansion, Yellowjacket grows and he can't find Wasp. Iron Man saves Captain America out of the water
At Manhattan, Banner is underwater and Hulk rages out with a Watcher in front of him.
Then, telepathically Xavier tells all superheroes, that he knows who is responsible for this events, and that all of them have to unite against this threat, to stop Magneto.
At Asteroid M, Magneto sits on a throne with Thor's hammer besides him and says: "Yes, bring them Charles. Bring everyone. So I can tell them myself. For what they've done. They will pay the ultimate price!"
Iron Man flies Steve's body to S.H.I.E.L.D. telling them to help him. Yellowjacket goes in search of Janet and although they dislike each other Hawkeye comes along saying he has super sight and doesn't want Hank to experience the loss of the woman he loves. Thor flying on a Pegasus finds Valkyrie dead and in grief uses his powers to teleport in-front of Hela. He demands she give him back Valkyrie and she says he has to fight her undead warriors to get her and he agrees and out of no where Cap appears not knowing how he got there saying he'll figure that out later. Hank and Hawkeye walk through the ruined city and Hawkeye tells Yellowjacket to let him down as he lost his guns only to find Blob eating Wasp. Upon Finding The Wasp being eating by the Blob, Yellow Jacket(Hank Pym) in anger grabs Blob and bites off his head killing him, next Hank takes Jan's body back to The Triskelion and gives Jan's body to Tony and Hank tells Tony to activate The Jocasta Project, saying it mite be the only thing that can save Janet, Hank then takes a huge group of Multiple men away from the Triskelion out into the ocean killing the Multiple Men and Hank saving everyone on the Triskelion and dying a hero . Back in Valhalla Thor makes a deal with Hela, to let Valkyrie and Captain America go if he was to stay with Hela in Valhalla, she agrees and Cap wakes up back at the Triskelion with Iron Man, Valkyrie, and Hawkeye saying "We're Going To Find Every Available Hero, It's Time To Save The World".
After rounding up the remaining heroes, the surviving Ultimates, along with the X-Men and Hulk, attack Magneto's citadel, which was floating over the Arctic Circle. The X-Men, Angel makes the first move, attacking Magneto, only to be attack from behind by Sabretooth, Hawkeye then shoots Sabretooth in the eye with one of his arrows, as he is killing Angel. Magneto then tries to escape, but is stopped by Valkyrie, who demands the return of Thor's hammer, Magneto then attacks Valkyrie with the hammer, but Magneto is shocked when Valkyrie cuts off Magneto's arm, Magneto then uses his powers to take away Valkyries sword, then slashing her throat with it, but not killing her. Captain America then jumps into the fight, hitting Magneto from behind, but Magneto causes the roof to come down, allowing himself to escape once again.
Magneto is then stopped by Iron Man, Hawkeye, and the X-Men. Wolverine attacks Magneto, but Magneto takes control over Iron Man's metal armor and Cyclops' metal visor, making them attack Wolverine. Storm stops Iron Man, while Hawkeye shoots off Cyclops' visor. Magneto then rips the Adamantium off of Wolverine's bones, killing him. Nick Fury then shows up, and after he tells Magneto the truth about Mutants, Cyclops kills him and the group of heroes leave the citadel as it sinks into the arctic waters below. Back in what's left of New York City, Captain America and Iron Man begin to help the rescue workers look for any survivors. They discover that Spider-Man is alive, buried under some of the rubble. Captain America later meets with the X-Men, and pays his respects to the fallen X-Men who lost their lives during Magneto's attack.
New Ultimates: Thor Reborn
Eight months after Ultimatum, the Ultimates are now back under control of S.H.I.E.L.D., Iron Man finds Hawkeye on the roof of the Triskelion who begins to tell Tony that today is his son's birthday, Tony asks him if he would like a drink with him, which Clint declines and begins to tell Tony how screwed up the Ultimates are now that they now being run by S.H.I.E.L.D. once more. The two are then attacked by The Defenders, who mysteriously now have super-powers, Iron Man and Hawkeye do their best to fight off their attackers, but they are overwhelmed until Captain America, Zarda, and Valkyrie arrive to help, the two teams fight until Son of Satan steals Mjolnir from Valkyrie, the Defenders then escape.
In Valhalla, Thor remains trapped by Hela, he then asks if there is anything he could do to leave and return to Midgard, Hela then tells Thor that if he gives her a son, she will give him whatever he desires.
Back at the Triskelion, Tony and Carol Danvers, the current Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. begin to argue, Captain America and Zarda watch as the other two fight, Zarda comments on how Tony and Carol seem to be doing more the arguing with their free time, she then begins to make moves towards Steve, who simply walks away saying that Valkyrie knows more about the Defenders then she is letting on to.
Over in Central Park, Ka-Zar, Shanna, and Black Panther are roaming through the park, and as they do, Loki arrives, wielding his brother, Thor's hammer as well as with an army of Asgardian trolls and dragons. Tony Stark is then shown in bed with none other then Carol Danvers.
Cap interrogates Valkyrie, threatening to kick her off the team unless she starts telling the truth about the Defenders and how they got their new powers, but Valkyrie escapes.
Over by Central Park, Ka-Zar, Shanna, and Black Panther do their best to fight off Loki's Asgardian army.
Hawkeye goes to tell Tony about the attack and that he needs to suit up, only to be shocked when he finds Tony and Carol together. Hawkeye then tells Tony that after they defeat Loki, he's quitting the Ultimates.
Cap, Iron Man, and Hawkeye do their best to fight back Loki's army, but the three are over powered and defeated by Power Princess, Valkyrie, and Carol Danvers, who are being manipulated by Enchantress.
The Ultimates: Against All Enemies
Stark Industries has developed a technology to detect the alien Chitauri using on-the-spot DNA screening. The American defence department intends to make the technology widely available, but someone in the government puts a stop to it. Captain America sees the government's suppression of the Stark technology as evidence that the people making such decisions are themselves compromised. Using as his model Franklin D. Roosevelt's executive orders during World War II, he begins to gather power to himself and those Ultimates and government officials sympathetic to his authoritarian approach so that power can be concentrated in the hands of those capable of taking quick and decisive action. Hank Pym, who desperately wants back on the Ultimates team, has been feverishly working with his ants in the hopes of finding something that will help defeat the Chitauri. When his ants attack one of his research assistants, who turns out to be a Chitauri, Captain America resolves his differences with Pym and the new team begins work on what they call Operation High Hopes.
- Written By: Alex Irvine
- Publisher: Pocket Star (August, 2007)
- ISBN-10: 1416510710
- ISBN-13: 978-1416510710
The Ultimates: Tomorrow Men
- Written By: Michael Jan Friedman
- Publisher: Pocket Star (August, 2006)
- ISBN-10: 1416510656
- ISBN-13: 978-1416510659