The clash we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. The 616 and Ultimate Universe collide all thanks to events of Secret Wars. What does it mean for the two biggest Marvel Universes colliding during Secret Wars? Let’s find out with Ultimate End #1.
Writer: Brian Bendis
Artist: Mark Bagley
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
There is no creative pair I would rather want to write a story that involves the 616 and Ultimate Universe colliding than Brian Bendis and Mark Bagley. Not only have these two been long-time Marvel names but together they crafted arguably the best run in Marvel’s modern history with Ultimate Spider-Man. With their work being so key in crafting what the Ultimate Universe was it just felt right to see them back together writing and drawing Ultimate End.
What made Ultimate End #1 in particular stand-out from the rest of the Secret Wars tie-ins that were released this week was the fact that it felt like it had the most direct consequence to what’s happening in Secret Wars. This is where we are getting the characters that we know interacting with one another and trying to figure out a way to overcome what is going on in Secret Wars. That immediate recognition of these characters and the world they are in made the dialogue have greater a importance.
During the course of this meeting between the Avengers and Ultimates at the Triskelion we were able to get a better idea of what caused the clash between the 616 and Marvel Universes in Secret Wars #1. This context was vital in painting a better visual idea of why there is so much tension between the Avengers and Ultimates in this conglomeration of both universes New York City. It also gives an added layer to the conflict we are seeing play out in Secret Wars since we now have at least one location in Battleworld where the heroes are aware of their previous lives. By establishing this in the first issue Bendis was able to give Ultimate End something that separates itself from all the other tie-ins.
Helping this issue’s story was seeing how this first meeting, at least that we see, between the Avengers and Ultimates played out. While Ultimate Nick Fury called the meeting Bendis was able to place the two Tony Starks at the center of the meeting. Seeing how the two interacted with each other gave a good idea of where both universes where before the events Secret Wars. It also helped to establish how the 616 Universe is an older universe as 616-Tony sounded like the reasonable adult trying to get his younger self to own up to his role in the universal tear. 616-Tony adding in the dig of Ultimate Tony taking a drink to calm down was a perfect way to play into where the universes are in their respective superhero age.
The other thing that stood out in Ultimate End #1 was how Bendis did not waste time in establishing that the Ultimate Universe knows Peter Parker is the classic Spider-Man. Seeing Spider-Man’s reaction to this revelation was priceless, especially since it caused him to reveal his identity to his Avengers teammates. This small touch adds a sense of history for those who haven’t read the Ultimate Universe comic books. The only thing I wished we would have seen is Miles Morales’ Ultimate Spider-Man involved in the scene between Spider-Man and the All-New Ultimates. But I guess that is a meeting for another time in Ultimate End.
Seeing Mark Bagley return to draw the Ultimate Universe characters and the regular Spider-Man was fantastic. Bagley does a lot of the little things right to keep the countless conversations featured in Ultimate End #1. The interaction between the two versions of Tony Stark was a great example of this as he gave them each their own hairstyles. It’s a simple decision that goes a long way in helping the reader keep track of who is talking throughout the meeting. I also loved how Bagley drew the Hulk with his Mohawk and sweet beard. It’s a great character design that gave more weight whenever Hulk talked in this issue
Overall: Ultimate End #1 knocked it out of the park when it came to delivering on a crossover we’ve been waiting for since the Ultimate Universes inception. Brian Bendis and Mark Bagley proved that they are the right creative team to work on this mini-series with how much they understand both universes. Not only was it great to see the 616 and Ultimate Universes colliding but having this series be directly tied into the events of Secret Wars gave this added value to those reading the Marvel event. Establishing that these Marvel heroes still remember everything before Battleworld’s formation is an important factor in separating Ultimate End from all the other tie-ins. This fact alone makes what goes on in this series feel like a must read for everyone following Secret Wars.