If You Hit Reboot Enough Times, Eventually The System Crashes

I've made no secret about preferring Marvel's films to DC's. And, I hope, I've made no secret about preferring DC's books to Marvel's. Given the choice, I'd rather read about Zatanna or Martian Manhunter, or the Detective Chimp over The Defenders, X-Force or the Silver Surfer (OK, maybe those were all bad examples). Up until the New 52 happened, DC's books were simple more interesting to me, the characters more interesting and the mythology more fulfilling (since the New 52, the only book I can stand for more than a couple issues is Wonder Woman).

The exception to this was the Ultimate Universe. I liked the Ultimate Comics. Ultimate X-Men was intense, Ultimate Fantastic Four was weird, and Ultimate Spider-man was one of the best written books in the entire Marvel catalogue. Despite having a very simple and profit driven origin - make continuity-free books based on the success of the Spider-man and X-Men films - the ability to approach seasoned characters in new and non-longevity minded ways allowed for a freedom of storytelling. Eventually The Ultimates appeared and the imprint took it's place as one of the best examples of what the House of Ideas could achieve. It's no small expression of influence that the Ultimate books have helped shape nearly every Marvel movie to come out since they appeared, especially in the MCU films, right down to the Avengers lineup and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

Then things went bad. X-Men started retconning itself, Fantastic Four stopped making any kind of sense, and Jeph Loeb took over the Ultimates. Then Ultimatum happened, and everything when to shit. Mostly it was an excuse to kill off entire roasters of characters (and in the Ultimate universe, death is fairly permanent). The entire line relaunched, but quickly became a muddled mess of mini-series, character retcons and a continuity thicker than the standard universe, which had been going for fifty years. So, they relaunched again, killing off Peter Parker, taking the lines back to basics, and renaming everything Ultimate Comics (which resulted in Ultimate Comics: Ultimates, which is laughably bad and sad that it got past editorial). Again, quickly, it was a mess of miniseries (there was at one point two separate Ultimates books, and an Avengers title, none of which paid much respect to the others) and "major events," like President Captain America, that felt flat and obvious in their shamelessness.

Now they've announced that, once again, after Galactus is finished chewing on them, that Ultimate Comics will relaunch yet again. Part of me was hoping that the current cross over event would end with the entire line ending, and the few interesting characters left (that haven't either been killed or written into mediocrity) moving into the main Marvel line. Instead, the Ultimate line will once again reduce down to three titles: Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man from Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez; All-New Ultimates from Michel Fiffe and Amilcar Pinna; and Ultimate FF from Joshua Hale Fialkov and Mario Guevara. All-New will feature characters like Kitty Pryde, Cloak and Dagger, and "a new Black Widow" (something like the line's ninth). FF will concern the Future Foundation, which will be all of the universe's geniuses. This line-wide streamlining will last right up until there is another major cross over event, or there is a bevy of character specific mini-series to bog the backstory up in contradictions.

I'm all for change, and progression, and character evolution. But there is a breaking point, and I can't help but think that the Ultimate line reached it long ago.

Via ComicsAlliance.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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