‘Ultimate Invasion’ sets the stage for a new Ultimate Universe

Jonathan Hickman and Bryan Hitch are setting the table for a superhero universe that’s a ‘reflection of the world outside your window.’

Marvel’s upcoming Ultimate Invasion miniseries won’t just revisit the previous incarnation of the Ultimate Universe — it will also set up a new Ultimate Universe, according to creators Jonathan Hickman and Bryan Hitch.

“What made the Ultimate Universe originally really interesting was that it was a reflection of the world outside your window, in the moment that you were living in. What does it look like in the world we’re living in now?” Hickman said during a call with retailers yesterday. “It’s kind of shocking how much the world has changed in that period of time. The idea of what it would be like to see the genesis of super heroes in a brand-new world is a really fascinating exercise.”

The Ultimate Invasion miniseries, which kicks off June 21, will run through September. Then in November, Marvel will release a one-shot, Ultimate Universe #1 by Hickman and Stefano Caselli:

Here’s the description from Marvel.com:

This November, Marvel is proud to present ULTIMATE UNIVERSE #1—a one-shot written by Jonathan Hickman and drawn by Stefano Caselli with a cover by Bryan Hitch. The breathtaking epic will introduce readers to this new line that will be home to an array of brand-new hard-hitting series. A fresh start for a new generation, prepare to see your favorite characters redefined for today’s world. Stay tuned in the coming months for more information about this exciting new universe crafted by some of today’s greatest comic book visionaries.

Here’s a look at the covers for all four issues of Ultimate Invasion by Hitch:

“You don’t ever have to have read any of the Ultimate Universe to enjoy this,” Hitch todl retailers. “There’s some great comics in there, but this doesn’t need you to be familiar with that stuff. You just need to get in on page one and enjoy this because the story takes you where you need to go.”

Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, also known as the Ultimate Marvel, was launched in 2000. It was a modern re-imagining of the Marvel Universe, providing a fresh starting point for new readers while also offering a contemporary take on classic characters. The Ultimate Universe introduced a parallel world where Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four had updated origins, designs and storylines.

The imprint aimed to attract a younger audience by presenting more grounded and accessible versions of the characters, often incorporating elements of modern technology and youth culture. It offered a streamlined continuity, free from the decades-long history of the main Marvel Universe, allowing for bold and sometimes controversial story developments. While the Ultimate Universe eventually concluded in 2015 with the Secret Wars event, it had a significant impact on the Marvel landscape, influencing subsequent adaptations in film, television and other media formats, from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the mega-popular film Across the Spider-Verse.

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