Fans weren’t quite sure of what to expect from the second series of Brian Michael Bendis’ Spider-Men, which brought Peter Parker and Miles Morales – two Spider-Men from different universes – together for the first time. The sequel comes after Miles – who hails from the Ultimate Universe AKA Earth 1610 – has hopped Earth’s to the mainstream Marvel 616 Universe after the events of Secret Wars. What fans probably weren’t expecting from Spider-Men II #5 is the revelation that Miles’ original universe still exists!
Marvel’s Ultimate Universe launched in 2000 with Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate X-Men as the brainchild of then Marvel Comics’ Editor-in-Chief Bill Jemas. The Ultimate imprint would not be a reboot of the current Marvel lineup, but be fully independent with new origins and stories for familiar characters like Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four. Jemas wanted a way to introduce new readers to Marvel and felt the decades of complex stories behind most of the main titles was an impediment to that goal.
The Ultimate lineup, also known as Ultimate Marvel and Ultimate Universe, ran from 2000 to 2015. Other titles besides those above include Ultimate Iron Man, Ultimate Fantastic Four, and The Ultimates, which was the Ultimate Universe’s version of the Avengers. Characters from both comic book universes have crossed over and met – and fought – each other a few times over the years. The main Marvel Universe is referred to as Earth-616 and Ultimate’s reality as Earth-1610, though both realities were destroyed and reborn as one following the Secret Wars storyline.
Several Ultimate characters, namely Spider-Man Miles Morales, the evil Reed Richards (Maker), and Ultimate Wolverine’s son Jimmy Hudson, currently reside in the newly recreated Earth-616, with Earth-1610 seemingly wiped out after the events of Cataclysm and Ultimate End. But at the close of Spider-Men II #5, Miles walks through a portal and discovers that his former universe does still exist, with a few surprises.
The Ultimates have re-assembled, with their membership including Captain America, Giant Man and Thor. Also, Riri Williams, known as Ironheart in the main Marvel Universe, is also a member. But the biggest surprise is that Peter Parker is part of the team. As readers know, Parker died in Ultimate Spider-Man #160. His death led to Morales taking on the mantle of Spider-Man in the first place. How he – and the rest of Earth-1610 -returned and its ultimate impact on the main Marvel universe is definitely something that will be explored in future comics.
Were you a fan of the Ultimate Universe? And, if so, how do you feel that now it’s back? As always, leave your thoughts in the Comment section below.
Images: Marvel Comics