As you may already know the Marvel Universe has ended, you may have deduced this from countless videos on YouTube, posters all over your closest comic book store and from the tear stained faces of your local exquivilant of the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons. Marvel are taking all the multiple parallel universes and smashing them all together to generate a few interesting storylines, why? Because, they want to hit the reboot button. They want to take everything that’s worked in Marvel over the last decade and cut the rest. Fantastic Four? Cut. X-Men? Reduced to a single series. The Ultimate Universe? Well that’s quite hard to say.
In the year 2000 while we were all running around worrying Y2K (which actually might be a problem in the next few years) Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Miller crafted a new Marvel Universe set in modern times where heroes could die and storylines were more realistic and edgey. And boy did it take off! It got insane and eventually became the basis of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now in Secret Wars, the Ultimate Universe is going away, but Marvel are keeping the best bits and through ign them into the regular Marvel Universe.
This brings me nicely to Ultimate End #1 which promises to chronicle the last moments of a dying universe and doesn’t quite deliver. Bendis delivers fantastic and witty dialog throughout the piece but the structure is lacking, the issue is comprise of two scenes, a spiderman fight and a heated discussion between the Avengers of the Marvel Universe and the Utimates of the Ultimate universe. It sets up a lot of the status quo but it also feels weak, I expected a lot more action and a lot of flicking between characters than the novel delivered.
It’s still enjoyable but in more of a funny one-liner sort of way instead of an all-out end of the world way. Mark Bagley’s artwork and visual sensibilities make this a treat to look at. The entire issue is filled with detailed artwork that sells the craziness of the scenario. If you’ve read much of the ultimate universe before I would highly recommend checking it out when it’s released as a graphic novel. But if you don’t know or care who Miles Morales is, don’t bother.