These Tuesday “leaks” of Marvel’s are starting to get a little tiresome; but hey – they get people talking and maybe get some of them to set foot in the mildew-festooned cave that is their local comic shop (I kid – mildew would destroy a comic entrepreneur’s stock. What you’re smelling is Taco Bell farts.)
I was going to pass this one by when I realized I actually had an opinion about it. Y’see, Ultimates is what got me back into comics. Years before DC decided to completely cock up their main lines and abandon all history, Marvel thought to do the same thing. Except, they went the sane route and launched a sister universe alongside their Earth 616 titles. The Ultimate-verse was fantastic. The stories were fresh, the characters wonderfully non-anachronistic, the pages of historical explanation where we find out that Wolverine fathered everyone in the entire Marvel universe, including himself, were non-existent. And the fans loved it. So much so that Marvel used it to base one of their biggest movies to date. Maybe you’ve heard of it?
The kicker for the Ultimate-verse is that death is permanent. Peter Parker bit the dust a few months after I stopped following the titles (where they rebooted the reboot…it wasn’t nearly as clean as the launch had been). Apparently this (and the taking up of the Spider-Man mantel by someone new) sparked a civil war within the Ultimate-verse that’s left a large part of the U.S. government a (literal) smoking crater. All of this has spurred Steve Rogers on to take the job of President. This ‘verse’s Cap was thawed out of the ice and became a phenomenal dick (but in an awesome, “I’m going to punch you until your jaw comes off,” sort of way) to compensate for being completely out of sync with modern America. He’s decisive and violent and slightly unhinged in a way that 616 Cap rarely achieves. That the American people are shellshocked enough to elect him tells me that, for once, the writers are actually thinking about how the general populace would react if super-powered heroes showed up one day and remade the world.
And, besides, haven’t you always wanted to see the POTUS finish up a speech and hop into his personal jet fighter?