Tell me about Ultimate Marvel

First I have to admit I’m not much of a comic reader. I started buying trade paperbacks couple of years ago but I don’t buy individual issues since I’d rather wait for the story arcs to be collected. That said, I do like comics. So far I have only bought DC paperbacks, mostly about Batman but I want to start getting into Marvel. Right now I’m thinking of reading storylines in the Ultimte Marvel continuity but I have heard mixed opinions on UM. Is it too different from the official continuity or too convoluted? I’m thinking on starting with The Ultimates, Vol I; is that a good start to get into UM and Marvel in general?

If you like Michael Bay movies, you will like Ultimate Marvel. That is said without judgment either way.

I think that in general, the Ultimate Universe is a mixed bag, but are worth recommending overall.

Ultimate Spider-Man is fantastic. There have been a few missteps along the way, but Bendis has done a great job with this book.

Ultimate X-Men is all right. I picked it up from the beginning, but over it’s run, I’ve been on-again, off-again with it. They got a bit too convoluted for me for a while, although that’s nothing to the twists and turns of mainstream X-Men continuity.

The Ultimates Vol. 1 is a lot of fun, even if I can’t completely disagree with the Michael Bay comparison. Vol. 2 was possibly better than the first, but I am not a fan of Vol. 3.

Other Ultimate Universe titles are very hit and miss.

I’d definitely recommend The Ultimates Volumes 1 and 2, but I’ve heard bad things about Volume 3.

I was collecting Ultimate X-Men for a while, but eventually the bad bits outweighed the good bits.

I’ve only read a few issues of each, but Ultimate Spiderman and Ultimate Fantastic Four are both good, from what little I’ve seen.

Finally, the Ultimate Six mini-series will make you hate the “good guys”.

If you don’t mind reading series that have ended or taken a turn for the worse, I’d also recommend Cable & Deadpool or Runaways, both set in the mainstream continuity. Thunderbolts is another one, which was still good last time I read it.

Ultimate Spider-Man is worlds better than the regular Spider-Man series. The Ultimates used to be excellent, particularly volume 1.

Jeff Loeb is currently in the process of killing the Ultimate universe. He started by turning characters into their regular-universe equivalents for no apparent reason and with no explanation. Now he is just killing characters off more or less indiscriminately in Ultimatum (again, for no apparent reason other than shock value).

Ultimate Spiderman is the only book that remains entertaining now. It still has a chance to emerge unscathed from Loeb. Last I heard, most of the other Ultimate books are either being cancelled or rebooted.

I don’t like Jeff Loeb, in case you couldn’t figure that out.

I hate Jeff Loeb too. He even got fired for running Heroes into the ground. He was too bad of a superhero writer for network television, think about that.

Thanks for the replies, I think I’ll go through with UM for now. I was talking to a friend that also said Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men was great so I’ll give that a try too.

I’ve been collecting the trades for awhile, but I’m several months behind. What’s going on these days?

Loeb took over The Ultimates and did volume 3 (in which characters were mysteriously changed to be more like their regular-universe counterparts, and had an assortment of cameos from everyone in the Ultimate universe… even Venom for some reason.)

The X-Men are all hooked on mutant drugs or something. I stopped reading a while back. Maybe someone can fill in the blanks here.

The Fantastic Four are fighting future/alternate universe versions of themselves or something. I stopped reading this recently.

Spider-Man is still cool.

And on top of all of this is Loeb’s Ultimatum event which is canceling/ rebooting most of the Ultimate books. Basically, Magneto destroys NY and everybody dies.

Ultimate Marvel used to be so good. :frowning:

Hooked on drugs made of Wolverine’s blood, IIRC.

The only thing worth reading out of the Ult. X-Men line, IMO, is the Brian K. Vaughn run. Millar’s run was like every other Millar book, Austen is best not spoken of, and, though Kirkman did some stuff that I liked, I really can’t call his run good. The whole title has been pretty derivative, really; much more so than the other Ultimate books. It’s X-Men Fanfic 101 and you have to be familiar with the X-Men in the regular Marvel U to get why some of the reveals are supposed to be so important. Also, rehashing the Jean Grey/Phoenix plot for the thousandth time is fail, no matter which universe you’re in.

Ultimate Spiderman has some dark underpinnings, but it’s been consistently fun with good art and is well worth picking up.

I didn’t care for Ultimates, but I also think that Millar is a mediocre writer, albeit a very loud one, so take that rec with a grain of salt.

Ultimate Fantastic Four is…really pretty lame. I understand that the point of the Ultimate line was to reimagine the classic heroes into something more marketable…er…easily accessible, but making the whole team teenagers pretty much just made them one more generic teen superteam without anything of substance to replace the old FF dynamic.

Even aside from the fact that it’s in the process of being blown up, I don’t think the Ultimate MU has all that much to recommend it these days because recent events have made the regular Marvel Universe is just as dark and anti-heroic, and in some cases even more so. Buy the Ultimate Spidey trades and enjoy them, go with Ultimates 1 and 2 if you like over-the-top action books, but I’d give the rest of it a miss.

Ultimates 1 and 2 are genius.

Ultimates 3 was a train wreck. A train powered by living kittens tossed into the furnace. And the train was loaded with deadly Bio-weapons. And those it’s slaughtered arise hungry for the flesh of the living. Also it made the baby Jesus cry.

For the other Ultimates series do you live in a place where the libraries stock graphic novels? If so why not check if they have the early volumes and see if you like them