They meddled in God’s domain


I love how Marvel introduced the Watchers into the Ultimate Universe.  Throughout the five issue run of Ultimate Origins, they have been the silent central characters who bare witness to all the key moments in this universe’s history.  And now that this prequel to Ultimatum is over, it suddenly clicks.  Beware! Major Spoilers of Ultimate Origins #5 ahead!

ultimateorigins5cover.jpgIt started in the first issue when it was revealed that everyone is connected.  For four issues we have been lead to believe that every mutant is some how related to to some central source – be it a super soldier serum, a weapons X project, or some weird lab experiment gone awry.  But as we reach the end of this series, it suddenly becomes apparent that those words were not meant for mutants alone.  It’s been sitting in front of our faces the entire time – Homo Superior is not the result of a natural genetic mutation, but instead are created by humans – an experiment carried out on a mass scale.  After the final revelation, it suddenly makes you realize that Erik has good reason to be a grumpy goose.

Ultimate Origins promised to reveal the origins of the Ultimate Universe, and to a large extent it does; we get to see how Nick Fury came to be, where most of the major players picked up their powers, and as just mentioned, it’s all connected.  I love the moment when the readers discovers how Charles Xavier ended up in a wheelchair, and the true love/hate relationship he and Magneto have with one another.  The proclamation that Earth’s devastation is coming, is one that sends a chill down your spine as you begin to wonder if the lone Magneto poster Marvel has been sending around could be quite literal in its meaning.  Will Magneto go wacky-in-the-wikky-woo and blow it up?  Will the imprint take a totally different direction featuring Ultimate Charlton Heston living in a world of damn dirty UltimApes?

To help in the transition into a new world order, the Watchers have chosen a herald.  And the last page reveal of Rick Jones as that herald is a real shocker.  We’ve never seen the side kick at all in any Ultimate titles, and suddenly he is thrust before us naked and glowing, as we wonder what is going to happen next.

The cliff-hanger ending may have a few upset that this mini-series wasn’t wrapped up with a nice little bow, and that’s okay.  Ultimatum is still a ways off, and in order to understand what is to come, this first chapter delivers a lot of important stuff that will no doubt be important later on.  Or I could be totally off, only Bendis knows what Bendis will deliver.

The art by Butch Guice is good.  I like how he is able to cram a slew of Ultimate characters into a page and a quarter spread.  Whoever lands this original art is going to have a nice history of what Marvel has accomplished over the last eight years.

Is this truly the beginning of the end of the Ultimate Universe?  It only takes a quick look at the January 2009 solicitations to see only one Ultimate title on the list – Spider-man, the first Ultimate title Marvel released.  The good news is the Ultimate Universe is not going away, I just hope they don’t pull a One More Day type swerve to reset everything for a new batch of readers to jump on board.

I like the Ultimate Universe.  It’s about the only Marvel titles I read on a regular basis with Ultimate Spider-Man appearing on my monthly pull list for the last six years.  I enjoyed Ultimate Origins, as it had plenty of “Oh Snap!” moments that made for an enjoyable read.  This issue is a great closing chapter, and I love the big reveal, however I wish there were about four more pages to give us a hint of things to come.  This is a good issue, but not a perfect one.  I’m giving Ultimate Origins #5 4 out of 5 Stars.




About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. “The art by Butch Guice is good.”

    Way beyond “good”. Jackson always had “good” design/layout sense, but the way he’s blended heavy Joe Kubert and John Buscema influences with that sense has shot him into the stratosphere. I find myself picking up this mini repeatedly just to enjoy the nuances of the artwork. If only the story — serviceable, but hardly mind-blowing — was anywhere near as “good”.

  2. “Spider-man, the first Ultimate title Marvel released.”

    Man I hate to be such a comic book nerd, I was flipping through my old comic pile a week or so a go, and came across my copy of Ultimate Spidey numero uno, and it was presented in magazine format, had a couple articles, the first adventure of the Ultimate spider as well as an Ultimate X-Men adventure as well……..of course I’m sitting here at work unable to confirm this, so i will beg forgiveness if i am “Wrong Sir, WRONG”.

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