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Prehistory

About more than 10,000 years ago, Atlantis and Lemuria existed as the most advanced civilizations known on ancient Earth and waged war against each other.

This war annihilated the two empires, leaving some survivors such as the criminal Namor. The Inhumans also existed at the time and remained hidden from human society in their city Attilan in the Himalayas until the present.

Dawn of the 20th Century

In the 20th century, the alien species known as the Chitauri, who had previously visited Earth in 1777, attempted their conquest of Earth. In 1904, an alien android known as the Vision landed on Earth to prepare the human race for the coming of the planet eater known as Gah Lak Tus. Due to a malfunction, the Vision's ship crashed landed in the Russian territory of Tunguska, creating the Tunguska Event, and was kept in a secret military bunker by the Soviet government. Years later in 1920, the Chitauri infiltrated German politics and set into motion events that eventually lead to World War Two. The Chitauri supplied Nazi Germany with advanced weapon technologies. The Allies became aware of this alien threat and were determined to stop it.

By this time, the United States government, under President Franklin Roosevelt, sought to create super-soldiers in the war effort. Two soldiers, Nicholas Fury and Canadian James Howlett were captured and experimented on for this project. Howlett was sent to and tested on in a remote facility that would later be known as the Weapon X facility while Fury was sent to New York to join other African-American test subjects for an experiment known as Project Rebirth.

Fury was the first successful super soldier that came out of Project Rebirth. Afterwards he used his inhuman strength to break out of the facility and free the other test subjects. At the Weapon X facility, while trying to create their own super soldier, the Canadian government accidentally created a new mutated genome. That genome would soon spread around the world and create a new species of super-humans known as Mutants.

With the success of Nicholas Fury, Project Rebirth finally chose a young and weak boy by the name of Steven Rogers, who became Captain America. By 1945, Captain America was part of an operation assaulting a Nazi missile complex in Iceland, which held a hydrogen-nuclear missile. Captain America sabotaged the missile, which was targeted at Washington, while it was taking off, and was sent into a 60-year coma in suspended animation after the destruction of the missile plunged him into the arctic sea.

Birth of Mutants

Years later, Erik Lensherr, the mutant child of two scientists that worked for Weapon X, freed Mutant Zero a.k.a. Wolverine (James Howlett), and killed his mother and other Weapon X agents for what they had done to mutants. Erik left and sought out another fellow mutant, Charles Xavier. Erik proposed that they start a brotherhood formed by mutants to protect their own kind and create new lives away from the reach of mankind. Charles was later convinced by Erik's plan and the two then left their human wives and began gathering other mutants from around the world. As they traveled across an unknown land, Charles, Erik, and his children Wanda and Pietro crash-landed in the Savage Land where they meet a clan of humans. Among them were the young Ka-Zar and Shanna. Charles and Erik found this strange land ideal to their purposes and the Brotherhood of Mutant Supremacy established a secret settlement in the Savage Land. Months later, Charles grew disillusioned with the settlement as Erik grew increasingly more radical and tyrannical, and after Charles failed to lead an uprising against Erik, he attempted to flee but was stabbed by him in the spine with a metal spike. This left Charles paralysed, but he still managed to escape the island. Weeks later, Ka-Zar and Shanna's tribes were slaughtered by Erik, now calling himself Magneto, in order to make the Savage Land a place for mutants only.

The mutants who survived the incursion are on the List of Living Mutants.

Superhuman War

After coming to terms with his past, Nick Fury returned to the United States military, without bothering to hide his name. Eventually Fury became a war hero. Soon, Fury was under the command of S.H.I.E.L.D., but when Weapon X deployed their super soldier, Howlett, Fury was assigned to guard his transport cell during a skirmish in the Middle East. When Howlett broke free and killed his guards, he recognised Fury but not before ripping out one of his eyes. Howlett brought Fury back to an American base. While recovering, Commander Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross learned that Fury was the first super soldier from Project Rebirth and informed him that the government was reactivating the super soldier program, in part motivated by the fact that mankind needed to be prepared for an inevitable genetic war with the growing mutant population. Fury was offered the chance to be in charge of it all. He agreed and assembled a team of top scientists including Franklin Storm, Richard Parker, Bruce Banner, and the teen prodigy Hank Pym to work on Project Rebirth 2, an attempt to recreate the super soldier serum that had created Captain America.

Fury gave his team his own blood sample to jump start the project, telling them to reverse engineer the traces of the super soldier formula inside it. Fury rejected the idea of recruiting Howard or Tony Stark for unknown reasons. The Baxter Building was trying to convince Franklin Storm to take command of their operations, while Richard Parker was working with Edward Brock to develop a symbiotic suit to heal diseases and injuries. Fortunately, Pym and Dr. Banner managed to have some success with Fury's blood sample. Because Fury banned any use of human test subjects, Banner tested the new formula on himself. The result was catastrophic however, as this version of the serum turned him into an uncontrollable monster that would come to be known as the Hulk. Hank Pym fled the scene before Banner fully transformed, but unfortunately Richard and his wife were seriously injured and almost killed in an explosion caused by the Hulk. But upon seeing a baby Peter Parker, the Hulk transformed back into Banner, shocked at what he had done.

Age of Heroes

By the 21st Century, Mutants were widely known and feared by the public due in part to the actions of Magneto and his Brotherhood's terrorist attacks on the human populace. This lead to the government commissioning the creation of the Sentinels, mutant hunting robots. Magneto's operations culminated in he and his Brotherhood attacking Washington, D.C, nearly destroying the city. This attack was foiled by Charles Xavier and his new team of X-Men, young mutants recruited by Xavier with the purpose of creating a super-hero team that would show humans and mutants alike that mutants could use their powers for the greater good of both species. Xavier seemingly killed Magneto, but secretly used his powers to wipe his memories, hoping to one day be able to reform Magneto.

The early 21st century also saw the rise of many new superheroes, often as a result of accidents grating them superpowers. Peter Parker was one of these individuals, receiving superpowers after being bitten by a genetically modified spider on a class trip to an Oscorp) facility. The spider itself had been created as part of Oscorps military contract to replicate the super soldier serum. The Fantastic Four were another example, formed after a scientific experiment attempting to map the N-Zone went awry, granting five individuals superhuman powers, four of whom formed the Fantastic Four.

Steven Rogers' comatose and preserved body was recovered from the Atlantic by Tony Stark, revived, and recruited into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s American superhero sponsored team the Ultimates, created as a response to Magneto and the Brotherhood's attack on Washington. The team's first public debut happened in subduing the rampaging Hulk. Shortly thereafter the Ultimates battled the Chitauri over Arizona, and thus decimating what was left of the alien threat, foiling their attempted invasion of Earth and saving the Solar System. Following the end of the Chitauri threat, the Ultimates were followed by the government-sponsored Reserves and eventually, motivated by the Ultimates' success, the United States began to field superhumans in international conflicts. This raised controversy within the international community, inflaming the already ongoing genetic arms race. Furthermore, the United Nations had previously enacted a restriction on using superhumans as weapons, much akin to nuclear limitation acts. Restrictions were put into place, such as a ban on non-governmental superhuman experimentation. However, certain corporations such as the Roxxon Corporation and Oscorp secretly made illegal experiments in creating superhumans, resulting in individuals such as Sandman, Electro, and even the Green Goblin. Most individuals created by these companies would turn to lives of crime. With the rise of superhuman proliferation and the Ultimates and its European EDI counterpart policing the world with their powerful superhumans, ultimately culminated in a confederation of nations to invade America with their own superhuman team, called the Liberators. The invasion failed however, and the American superhumans managed to repel the invasion. As a result however, the Ultimates and other heroes in the U.S started to disassociate themselves from government matters in order to prevent similar events as the Liberators invasion.


The Coming of Gah Lak Tus

In 1908, the robot entity known as Vision crash landed in Russia. It had come to warn the Earth of the coming threat of Gah Lak Tus. The Vision was damaged however, and captured by Russian scientists who during the Cold War era experimented on the Vision in order to fuel their own super soldier programs. The Vision was eventually abandoned however, and began repairing itself until it was finally able to send out a signal across the world. In response to this signal the Ultimates and the X-Men were both sent separately to Russia to investigate. Upon finding the robot, and helping to complete it's repairs, it was finally able to fulfill it's purpose; to warn the people of the Earth about the coming of Gah Lak Tus, a swarm of intergalactic drones unified by a singular consciousness which travels from planet to planet feeding off of it's thermal core.

In preparation for it's arrival, Gah Lak Tus sent a hoard of Heralds to Earth to act as cult leaders who promoted mass suicides in order to lessen the human threat. In response to the coming threat, Reed Richards created the Ultimate Nullifier as Earth's main line of defence against the massive swarm of drones. In the final hours before Gah Lak Tus arrived to Earth, Charles Xavier managed to make psychic contact. This distracted Gah Lak Tus long enough for Reed to launch an explosive through the Nullifier into a new Universe and, using the Big Bang that resulted, managed to direct the destructive energy into outer space. Nearly 20% of Gah Lak Tus' mass was destroyed. This, combined with the "infection" of having linked minds with the people of Earth via Charles Xavier, caused Gah Lak Tus to flee. The Vision then followed it with the objective of warning the next world and supplying them with information needed to ward off the threat.

March on Ultimatum

In the secret Project Pegasus warehouse in Wyoming, the Earth-1610 Watcher known as Uatu reactivated itself and told the Fantastic Four and others present of a prophesied cataclysmic event following the age of Marvel and a disaster that will come before in the event known as the "Ultimatum".

Ultimatum

Main article: Ultimatum

Due to the actions of Fantastic Four villain Dr. Doom (who manipulated the deaths of the Scarlet Witch, and the conflict between the Brotherhood of Mutants and the Ultimates), Magneto vengefully executed his plan in exterminating humanity through shifting the poles of the Earth, causing global natural disasters upon the world, leaving only he and his followers to survive. In the wake of Magneto's fury, millions of people died including many of Earth's superhuman heroes and villains alike. Anti-Mutant sentiment was exacerbated in America and with the majority of their members dead, the X-Men disbanded after their leader Cyclops was killed in an assassination orchestrated by the Brotherhood, now lead by Magneto's son Quicksilver. Mutants began to be arrested and shipped off to internment camps.

Post-Ultimatum

In the aftermath of Ultimatum, mutations and special abilities were deemed illegal. Three weeks later the terrorist organisation AIM raided the Baxter Building in search of the schematics of the cosmic cube (made by Reed Richards himself); they were successful in obtaining it with the help of a failed SHIELD super-soldier known as the Red Skull. After this incident and finding out that the Red Skull is in fact his son, Captain America goes rogue and S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Carol Danvers assigns Nick Fury in charge of the newly resurrected Avengers-project, a black ops squad designed to tackle threats before they reach the public.

Funded by Gregory Stark Fury's team successfully accomplished their goals. Meanwhile a mysterious figure known as Mysterio kills the Kingpin of crime and launches a bid to take over the criminal underground of New York. Tony Stark finds out that someone is stealing his tech and selling it on the black market which is then bought by foreign governments. Tony finds out that the man behind it all is his grandfather who wanted to take over Stark industries for himself; Tony then killed him in self defence.

Ultimate Enemy

Some sort of extra-dimensional alien creatures begin attacking important strategic locations in the Ultimate universe, like the Baxter building and the Triskellion. Before Reed Richards figures it out he is killed and the remaining heroes investigate on their own. It is then revealed that the attack was coordinated by Richards himself, as he deemed Earth incapable of taking care of itself and attempted to take over the world and rule it with an iron-fist to ensure its survival with his extra-dimensional alien army. Fury leads an army of superhumans to deal with Richards, who was hiding in a secret base inside the N-zone. After his defeat, Richards disappeared and the attack stopped. However, unknown to them at the time Richards survived.

New Ultimates and the Vampire War

Loki arrived at Central Park and summoned trolls to take over earth. The New Ultimates tried to stop him but to no avail until Valkyrie sacrificed her life to resurrect Thor who eventually defeats Loki. When super-humans start disappearing, Fury's black ops team discovered it to be the work of a blood-sucking humanoid species known as the vampires. Their goal was to turn the superhuman population into vampires to take over the world and their main objective is the Triskellion due to the large number of superhumans and detained illegal superhuman experiments present there. The vampires then invade the Triskellion and S.H.I.E.L.D. attempts to fight back proved useless. But Captain America uses Perun's hammer to teleport the Triskellion and its battlefield to the Middle East where it was daytime, successfully killing the vampires. The event was captured in live television and created a huge media fuss.

Revelations and Death of Spider-Man

Main article: Death of Spider-Man

Fury and his black ops team learned that Carol Danvers is a S.H.I.E.L.D. mole and is selling top-secret American information to China. After the revelation Fury proceeded to create a black ops army to take down Danvers permanently. Danvers and her New Ultimates team meanwhile came to believe that it was Fury that had gone rogue and the super-team proceeded to apprehend him. Meanwhile the Triskellion had another breakout caused by Norman Osborn who freed Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Kraven, Electro, and Vulture to accomplish the one goal they have in common: killing Spider-Man. They arrived at his home in Queens and a huge battle ensued. In the end, Norman Osborn and Otto Octavius were killed and the rest of the six were incarcerated, but unfortunately, Peter Parker succumbed to his wounds and died as well. [1]

With both Danvers and Fury deemed unreliable, Gregory Stark was named new head of SHIELD. It was now revealed that Stark had engineered the entire conflict, setting both Fury and Danvers up in order to take over SHIELD. He began engineering coups in various unfriendly nations in order to install friendlier regimes, supplying dissident groups with superhumans. North Korea and Iran were his first targets. The insurrection in North Korea failed and Gregory was killed by the Ultimates when his treachery was revealed, but the insurrection in Iran succeeded leading to the establishment of a pro-American government. Fury was once again re-instated as head of SHIELD during a time of expansion for them, as more and more of the world agreed to be policed by SHIELD.

New Spider-Man & Mutant Secret Exposed

Shortly after the funeral of Peter Parker, a new Spider-Man, by the name of Miles Morales, had surfaced, causing confusion among the citizens of New York as to how Spider-Man is alive when word of his demise was all over the news.[2]

Miles fights Electro, paralyzing him long enough for Nick Fury to shoot and kill him. [3] He then received Fury's blessing in taking up Peter Parker's mantle, and was given his own Spider-Man suit.

A new model of Sentinels, called Nimrod Model Sentinels, were deployed to hunt and capture, or kill, mutants who refused to turn themselves in. News hit the media that mutants were in fact the result of Super-Soldier testing funded by the American Government in Canada, and not the result of evolution. This caused riots to break out.[4]

Tomorrow's Children, The Fall of Asgard and the emergence of Tian

Having found a way to escape from the N-Zone, Reed Richards returned to Earth. Bringing together a group of highly intelligent individuals, he began his experiment. Creating the Dome, a research facility in its own time-bubble, Reed and his Children of Tomorrow began their experiments, seeking to push the limits of science.

In the S.E.A.R., scientists managed to uncover a way to create the next generation of superhumans. Releasing a virus that prevented mutants from being born in the outside world in an attempt to cripple the rest of the world's superhuman population, the SEAR began creating superhumans termed only The People en masse.

SHIELD would now be faced with disaster on three fronts. Tensions between Argentina and Uruguay escalated to the point of all out war, and the Argentines used Stark technology supplied to them by the Kratos Club to destroy the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo in a nuclear blast. At the same time, the People, the new superhumans of the SEAR revolted against their government, who requested SHIELD aid. The government was toppled extremely rapidly, and SHIELD failed to respond. Furthermore, they lost their mutant operatives lead by Karen Grant to the new nation of Tian, which offered safe haven to mutants and superpowers to any who desired them. At the same time, Reed Richards' Children of Tomorrow took their experiment to the next stage. Inside their Dome, one thousand years had now passed, leaving them enormously technologically superior to the rest of the world. They expanded to the next level, creating "The City", a supercity covering much of Central Europe, resulting in the destruction of the nations and humans already living there. SHIELD and the EDI both failed to stop this, resulting in the destruction of Asgard, leaving Thor mortal once again.

The USA was faced with conflict within as well, as mutants revolted in their internment camps, and anti-mutant militias such as the one lead by William Stryker gained increased power. After being killed by Kitty Pryde, Stryker's consciousness possessed the American Nimrod Sentinel fleet, and began outright slaughtering mutants. The fleet took over the Southwestern states of the USA, and the President was forced to abandon them, leaving them to Sentinel control. With threats on all fronts, the President launched the entire nuclear arsenal onto the City, but managed only to destroy 20% of it. In response, Reed Richards, now calling himself the Maker, launched an attack on Washington DC, destroying it and assassinating the President. Nick Fury and SHIELD sought an alliance with Tian against the City, and after the Maker killed one of the People, Tian launched an attack. The City was defeated from within however, as the Children of Tomorrow renounced the Maker, and turned him over to US custody.

The collapse of the US continued however. With central control waning and the Southwest lost, Texas and the West Coast also seceded from the union. Nick Fury was also once again dismissed from SHIELD and continued to operate on his own.

United We Stand, Divided We Fall

A mysterious individual known as Mr. Morez began sowing discord across the collapsing US, supporting secession movements and weakening the country.

The nation began to pull together however. Texas was invaded, disarmed and forced to return to the union. After a controversial immigration policy resulted in the deaths of countless civilians at the hands of out of control border maintaining robots, the California Republic quickly agreed to rejoin the union. Under the tutelage of Nick Fury, Katherine Pryde lead a mutant uprising against Stryker's militias and sentinels in the Southwest, freeing the states to rejoin the union once more. Mr. Morez' final bid was Hydra, a patchwork anti-government militia across the country. Using the Mind Gem, Morez brain washed individuals intro joining his army. They launched an attack against the US, Morez was revealed to be the son of Thor. In a climactic final battle, Morez was killed and Hydra was defeated and driven underground once more. As a result of his heroic actions in trying to keep the country united, Captain America was elected president of the United States. One of his first actions was presenting the mutant population with a cure to their abilities, and authorizing the creation of a new mutant nation in a part of Utah for those that refused the cure.

Cataclysm

The cosmic entity known as Gah Lak Tus returned to Earth, but now it had been merged with its counterpart from another universe, and was even more powerful than before. The heroes couldn't do anything to stop it when it first appeared, and Galactus decimated New Jersey.

While Galactus built a machine with which he would consume Earth, the heroes discovered he came from another reality, Earth-616, and sent Spider-Man along with Reed Richards there in order to gather any information about how to stop it. They managed to retrieve the data necessary and returned to their universe.

Time Runs Out

At some point, the Maker became aware of the incursions, a phenomena in which parallel universes would collide with each other, with each universe's Earth as the point of impact. Unless one of the Earths was destroyed, both universes would be destroyed. The Maker began destroying other Earths in secret, and during one such incursion encountered the Cabal, a group with a similar aim from Earth-616.[5] The Maker allied with the Cabal, and began preparing for the final incursion, which would take place between his own Earth-1610 and the Cabal's Earth-616.

The Maker informed Nick Fury of the incursions, and introduced him to Thanos of the Cabal, who told him to prepare his forces, as Earth-616 was full of heroes who would try to save their own world from the final incursion. Knowing he was being manipulated by the Maker and the Cabal, Nick Fury nevertheless set out about preparing S.H.I.E.L.D. for the final incursion. Meanwhile, the Cabal were hard at work on a "life-raft" that would allow them to survive the final death of the multiverse after the final incursion.[6]

Destruction and Legacy

Earth-1610 was destroyed in the final Incursion.[7] Luckily, The Maker managed to get away with The Cabal on a life raft, with Miles Morales stowing away.[8] On the multiversal Battleworld created by Earth-616's Doctor Doom, Miles met up with Molecule Man and fed him.[9] As an act of thanks, during the rebirth of Earth-616, Molecule Man let several survivors of Earth-1610's destruction inhabit the reborn universe.[10] Additionally, Earth-616's Black Panther formed a new version of the Ultimates as a cosmic sub-division of the Avengers.[11] A Mjolnir of this universe landed on Asgard of Earth-616; after the Thor of that Earth, who became unworthy, learned about the existence of that hammer in his universe, he tried to reach it. After fighting off the forces of both the Collector and Thanos, Thor decided not to claim it as it wasn't his own hammer.[12] Eventually, Thor's long-time friend Volstagg claim the hammer.[13]

Main article: Earth-1610/Residents

  • Ultimate Marvel is an imprint of comic books published by Marvel Comics, featuring re-imagined and updated versions of the company's most popular superhero characters, including Spider-Man, Wolverine, the Hulk, Thor, Daredevil, the X-Men, the Avengers, and the Fantastic Four. The characters have new origins, freeing them from the sometimes convoluted back-histories of the original versions which were thought to turn off new readers unfamiliar with their extensive histories. Note an alternate universe special issue of Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe in 2005 designated "Ultimate Marvel Universe" as Earth-1610.
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 20 Textless

Cover to the Official Handbook of the Ultimate Marvel Universe: The Ultimates & X-Men 2005. Art by Mark Bagley.

  • The imprint was launched in 2000 with the publication of Ultimate Spider-Man, followed by Ultimate X-Men and The Ultimates in 2001. Prior to the launch, the imprint was under the working title of Ground Zero. While some of the series (including Ultimate Spider-Man) were seemingly aimed at younger readers than most Marvel titles, others (such as Ultimates) seem written for an older audience. Nevertheless, the Ultimate imprint as a whole was intended to attract and serve new readers beyond the existing Marvel fan base, although long-time fans have generally embraced the line.
  • In the early days of the imprint, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada mentioned that Marvel had already published one series set in the Ultimate Universe prior to the imprint's launch. In his typically playful way, Quesada neglected to specify the series in question, although speculation favored Grant Morrison's Marvel Boy, released in 2000.
  • The stories and characters of Ultimate Marvel have been adapted to reflect the differences between the present and past continuities, most of which were created in the 1960's and 1970's. For example, Ultimate Spider-Man gains his superpowers from a genetically-engineered spider rather than a radioactive spider, and his alter ego, Peter Parker, originally a photographer for the Daily Bugle newspaper, now has a part-time job as the paper's webmaster. Another noteworthy aspect of the Ultimate Marvel universe is that many of the characters are more youthful than their regular-continuity counterparts. In some cases, this is simply a result of taking the characters back to their origins - Spider-Man, The Human Torch, and the X-Men were teenagers at the beginning of their respective series - but other cases involve more striking changes. In particular, the back-story of the Ultimate Fantastic Four has been compressed so that they gain their powers when Reed Richards, the eldest, is only twenty-one years old.
  • The Ultimate titles have displayed a shift away from a sprawling universe of magic, alternate dimensions, and continuity changes. Although these elements are present to a certain degree, Marvel characters with fantastic origins are often re-imagined to fit a more plausible (by comic-book standards) framework. For example, Mojo is an ordinary human as opposed to his Earth-616 counterpart, an extradimensional alien. Also, almost every character is somehow connected to Captain America and Nick Fury's attempt to recreate the Super-Soldier. Even mutants were recently revealed to be creations of the U.S government and Thor although his powers are godly, they come also from a special suit. Also, the phenomenon known as comic book death is rare in the Ultimate universe; the death of a character is treated as permanent and often has lasting consequences. However, due to the relative youth of the imprint, future writers and editors may choose to revive characters killed by earlier creative teams.
  • The imprint as a whole attempts to link the various and diverse titles to a few common themes or events in order to avoid sprawling storylines that do not intersect. The most important elements that overlap with many of the Ultimate titles are the super-soldier project and a genetic arms race that is escalating world-wide. One of the most important factors was the discovery of the frozen body of Captain America, the original super-soldier and the only person whose DNA was fully able to accept the serum. This was a crucial factor in the formation of Nick Fury's super-team, The Ultimates. The Ultimates' first public mission was to take down the Hulk, the result of Bruce Banner's attempt to recreate the super-soldier serum with his own genes. In Ultimate Spider-Man, the genetically modified spider that bit Peter Parker was part of Norman Osborn's efforts to win the military bid for the super-soldier project. Furthermore, Osborn's super-soldier experiments turned him into the Green Goblin, his son Harry into the Hobgoblin and grafted Otto Octavius' metal arms onto his body. Competing efforts to make super-soldiers led to genetic mutations such as Electro, Sandman, and the creation of Colonel, who notably was the first person to react well to the super-soldier since Steve Rogers.
  • Several storylines across the Ultimate titles have involved the genetic arms race and the commonly held belief that the next world war will be fought with genetically altered soldiers. There was an international test-ban treaty concerning development of super-soldiers, but many countries still maintain undercover genetic projects, such as the abandoned Russian super-soldier project seen in Ultimate Nightmare, the Weapon X Project utilizing brainwashed Mutants, and the U.S. development of a replacement for Captain America seen in Ultimates Annual #1. This treaty has apparently been amended or done away with entirely (or ignored) as of Ultimates Vol. 2, as the European Union is shown in that series developing and publicly testing superhuman "Captains" for their individual nations; the United States too has made public use of supplemental teams of "Giant Men" and other super-powered or mechanically enhanced operatives aside from the Ultimates.
  • Nick Fury has been authorized by the President of the United States to create and enforce laws that regulate genetic modification, the most notable of which is that it is illegal to deliberately alter a human being's genetic makeup without government sanction (Presumably this extends to superhumans sanctioned in allied nations, as opposed to, say, Kraven the Hunter, who left the country to gain superhuman powers, but was arrested upon returning to the U.S.). The mutants in Ultimate X-Men are frequently drawn into the escalating conflict due to their involuntary but highly public status as genetic anomalies.
  • The characters in this line exist outside of the regular Earth-616 continuity of the Marvel Universe and therefore do not interact with their original version counterparts. Marvel once hinted that a crossover was planned between the two worlds. This crossover was to have occurred in Ultimate Fantastic Four #21 (July 2005), although it turned out that this was a bit of sly misdirection on Marvel's part, as the continuity that they crossed over into in the issue was not that of Earth-616, but a similar one taken over by zombies. Since then, Joe Quesada has reiterated his earlier claim that the two universes will not cross over as that would signify that Marvel had "officially run out of ideas". However, the Spider-Men arc-story shows an official cross-over. Although, no characters met his direct counterpart. The Hunger storyline, by comparison, is the first crossover between the universes in which a counterpart meets another, with Galactus-616 meeting Gah Lak Tus from Earth-1610.
  • In the Ultimate imprint's first few years of existence, some readers speculated that its great popularity might prompt Marvel to declare the Ultimate universe the "official" Marvel universe, replacing the traditional continuity. However, the strength of this rumor has diminished over time, as Marvel has shown no sign of canceling either continuity. However, in December 2005, Marvel began publishing a print ad campaign in titles across their company that showed all Ultimate titles and had the slogan, Ultimate Marvel: The Gold Standard.
  • Writers noted for their work in the line include Brian Michael Bendis, Brian K. Vaughan, and Mark Millar. Former president Bill Jemas and Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada were also deeply involved in the creation of the line. Grant Morrison was involved in the conception of the imprint, but did not write any titles for it; he seemed to have been most involved in the creation of Ultimate Fantastic Four and was at one point set to write the series, but his departure from Marvel and exclusive contract with DC Comics made this impossible.
  • With the fact that Ultimate Spider-Man writer Brian Michael Bendis has kept it aware that since Ultimate Spider-Man started, it has been only an estimated year and a half since it started, placing the timeline from 2001-2002. However, the timeline is looking disarrayed with New Ultimates appearing 8 months after Ultimatum, Ultimate Avengers appearing 3 weeks after Ultimatum, and Ultimate Comics Spider-Man takes place six months after Ultimatum. The timeline is looking even more disarrayed now in Ultimate Enemy, with several problems: Johnny Storm has black hair in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, Bobby Drake has his head shaved, and Peter Parker cut his hair. Ultimate Enemy features Johnny Storm with blonde hair, Bobby Drake with blonde hair, and Peter with his full length of hair he previously had. Plus, there is a hint that refers to the New Ultimates mission against Loki and the Asgardian Trolls, which takes place 8 months after Ultimatum. This means that the New Ultimates mission has been foretold two months in advance, or the continuity is just completely disarrayed.
  • One of the problems the popularity of this universe has brought is the confusion of new readers or people who aren't knowledgeable about comics who confuse events in the Earth-616 universe with Earth-1610 and vice versa, such as the Death of Spider-Man storyline. Because it was widely reported by the media, many people believed that it was Peter Parker of Earth-616 who died, instead of the Peter Parker from Earth-1610, or people writing in a mainstream Marvel character's page on Wikipedia a story about his or hers Ultimate counterpart as it was theirs, like what happened to Cyclops.
  • The concept of Superman exists in this universe.[3]
  • The Ultimate Universe has served as inspiration for numerous character designs and backstories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.