Less than a decade after it was seemingly destroyed as part of the 2015 event Secret Wars, Marvel is reviving the Ultimate Universe… and it’s doing it with two of the biggest creators who were ever involved with the Ultimate imprint: Jonathan Hickman and Bryan Hitch.
Launching in June 2023, the four-issue Ultimate Invasion will see the Maker (the evil Ultimate U version of Reed Richards) attempt to rebuild the universe in his image, with Miles Morales at the center of the storyline. The series by Hickman and Hitch was originally unveiled by Entertainment Weekly, with subsequent PR from Marvel emphasizing that the first issue will feature “new data pages by Jonathan Hickman - plus exclusive behind-the-scenes material on the world-building that has gone into this project.”
The series is certainly being teased as something big: in addition to the creative team, the tagline is the understated: “The transformation of the Marvel Universe begins.”
“[Revisiting the idea of Ultimate Comics] couldn’t be replicating or revisiting what Bryan did in the original Ultimates — creating a streamlined, modernized version that would eventually become the spine of the MCU, and it certainly couldn’t be what I did, which was a final chapter of a pre-existing universe,” Hickman told Entertainment Weekly. “We also thought the very idea of Ultimate Comics needed to be inverted from what the original universe was — we wanted this to be something that could really only exist in the comic space: a new way of thinking about, and enjoying, a new version of the Marvel Universe. I’m pretty happy to say that it feels like we’ve accomplished those things and we’re very excited for everyone to get to read it.”
“It’s been more than 20 years since I started work on The Ultimates, a project that would have a big impact on my own career and beyond, so when Marvel came to me with the idea of revisiting the Ultimate Universe with the man who so brilliantly and spectacularly destroyed the last one, I was both feet in!” Hitch added. “Jonathan is a terrific writer of big, sprawling epics, and we’ve talked about working together more than once so for this new Ultimate Universe adventure to unite us is very exciting. I get to bring two decades of new experience as an artist and storyteller to this. It’s new, different and familiar. It’s big budget, high-concept, widescreen storytelling. I feel right at home.”
The first issue of the series will be released on June 21, with a preview appearing in May’s Spider-Man/Venom Free Comic Book Day release. Check out a gallery of the teaser artwork for the project below.
Ultimate Invasion invades Marvel's comic book line
Ahead of the return of Marvel's Ultimate Universe, Marvel is taking a look back at the original Ultimate Unierse era with a swath of 'Ultimate Last Look' variant covers across its comic book line in June 2023.
Here's a look at the confirmed 'Ultimate Last Look' variant covers, along with when to get them, and who is drawing them:
- June 7: Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #13 variant cover by Bryan Hitch
- June 7: Daredevil #12 variant cover by Salvador Larroca
- June 7: Venom #20 variant cover by Francsco Manna
- June 14: Moon Knight #24 variant cover by Mark Bagley
- June 21: Ghost Rider #15 variant cover by Juann Cabal
- June 21: Guardians of the Galaxy #3 variant cover by Stonehouse
- June 21: Miles Morales: Spider-Man #7 variant cover by Sara Pichelli
- June 28: Captain America: Symbtol of Truth #14 variant cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli
- June 28: Storm #2 variant cover by Adam Kubert
- June 28: Thor #35 variant cover by Pepe Larraz
And here is a gallery of all the 'Ultimate Last Look variants released so far.
This series isn’t Jonathan Hickman’s much-teased “Sandman for Marvel” project, which means there’s even more Hickman to come at Marvel in 2023.