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File:Ultimate x-men 4764.jpg


A reboot of the X-Men franchise in the Ultimate Marvel line of comics, it can be seen as one of the most radical reimaginings, with Alternate Character Interpretations of the mainstream 616 characters being taken as canon while other characters are given completely different backstories and characterizations. It was far less popular than its sister series Ultimate Spider-Man, due to a constant rotation of artists and writers, churning out story lines that went from good, to bad, to just plain weird. It was eventually canceled after a few bad story lines that culminated in the universally reviled Ultimatum event.

The series lasted for 100 issues, from February, 2001 to April, 2009. After Ultimatum, the series was replaced with Ultimate X, where mutants that survived the tragedy were scattered, hunted, and leaderless. This new series only lasted 5 issues, from April, 2010 to August, 2011. However, the series was relaunched as Ultimate Comics: X-Men with the mutants starting to band together again after the events of Ultimate Origins revealed the secret origin of the mutant species. The new series written by Nick Spencer (Morning Glories), dealing with the fallout of this origin being revealed to the public along with the events of the Ultimate Hawkeye series. As of issue 13, Brian Wood (DMZ) takes over writing duties on the title.


This series provide examples of:

  • Ascended Fanboy / Heroic Wannabe: Pyro.
  • Aborted Arc: After a few issues, Bishop states that in the future he and Psylocke will be married. He's killed an issue and a half later and these claims are never elaborated upon.
  • Betty and Veronica: Wolverine (Veronica, duh) and Cyclops (Betty) to Jean. In the end they're both killed off.
    • She falls for Wolverine and has sex with him first, then later on dates Cyclops.
  • Big Bad: Magneto. Ultimatum reveals that he was being manipulated by Victor Von Doom.
    • Pietro/Quicksilver is becoming this in Ultimate X, with the support of Mystique and Sabertooth.
  • Bounty Hunter: Arcade and Deadpool.
  • The Brute: Juggernaut.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Quicksilver to Magneto. He gets a bullet in the shins for his trouble.
  • Captain Ersatz: Given his backstory in this incarnation, Doug Ramsey is a younger version of Ken Jennings.
    • Derek Morgan is basically Archangel as a different character, instead of Angel under the influence of Apocalypse.
  • Coattail-Riding Relative: Initially, the Beast's parents disown him for being a mutant. Later, when the X-Men have achieved fame and (temporary) renown, they return and claim they always loved him...after they've made millions writing a book about how they lovingly raised such a wonderful young mutant.
  • Composite Character: A few "Ultimate" versions of 616-X-Men are revealed as new versions of existing Ultimate characters. Specifically,
    • Firestar is Liz Allan (from Spider-Man)
    • Cable is Future Wolverine
    • Sasquatch is Wolfsbane on a Super Serum.
    • Banshee is Professor Moira MacTaggert using the Banshee serum.
    • Ultimate Proteus (David Xavier) is a composite of 616-Proteus (Kevin MacTaggert) and Legion (David Haller). Though his powers are based on 616-Proteus, his personality is more in line with Legion, and his parentage is based on a combination of the two.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Fenris Corporation.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Cyclops vs Wolverine. Wolverine is actually the one who gets curbstomped.
    • This is actually a rematch from a previous fight that went the other way.
  • Debut Queue: in Ultimate X
  • Dirty Old Man: Wolverine and Professor Xavier.
    • Wolverine, at least, can look like he's only slightly older than the rest of the X-Men, making this not as obvious at times, but most of the series Wolverine looks to be in the mid 30's to 40's range while hitting on teenaged girls. What makes this worse is that he's older than Xavier. Much, much older, and yet no one seems to call him out on this. This could be because noone thinks of him as being older, or it could be an example of Darker and Edgier.
    • He alludes to it when rejecting Storm, and when she points out that he had sex with Jean, he refers to that as a mistake. It's possible it was simply a convenient excuse, though.
    • It's a much more obvious, and in many ways bigger, issue with Xavier, having had at least two relationships in the past with students; Mystique and Emma Frost, and just before the end of the series admitted to being in love with Jean Grey.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Pyro's treatment in "Ultimates 3". Nearly everyone killed off in "Ultimatum" may be considered this trope as well, particularly the number of major characters killed in the big flood, Beast and Nightcrawler especially.
    • Although a minor character, the worst offender in Ultimatum is probably Toad: his death is never shown nor mentioned, we never see the body and the girl he took to safety (Liz Allen, Firestar) is still alive. The only indication we have that he died is the casualty list at the end of Ultimatum #5.
    • Psylocke was killed in the storyline involving Xavier's son (whose powers involve possessing people and manipulating reality, but the bodies he inhabits are destroyed from the inside out because of his power), but it turned out that she survived by projecting her consciousness into another body.
    • Beast was killed in a Sentinel attack. This was a ruse; Fury borrowed him to conduct experiments on the mutant genome. He was Killed Off for Real in the Ultimatum storyline.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Even more so then the mainstream X-Men, which is saying something.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Mister Sinister, with a side order of insanity.
  • Gayngst: A mild application with Colossus.
  • Gentleman Thief: Gambit as usual, with Rogue along for the ride.
  • Genius Bruiser: Henry McCoy as usual.
  • GIRL: In the lead-up to Ultimate War, Beast spends a lot of time corresponding with a girl on a mutant chatroom. It's actually the Blob, and it doesn't end well for anyone.
  • Groin Attack: A particularly vicious one during the Weapon X arc, when Sabretooth and Wolverine are fighting. Sabretooth is holding Wolverine's head under water (realizing that even if Wolverine heals from drowning, he'll still have suffered brain damage), but Wolverine's fist is very strategically placed. The ensuing snikt accompanies a great reaction shot from Sabretooth... right before Wolverine tackles him off a waterfall.
  • Heel Face Turn: Toad and Rogue eventually defect to the X-Men.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Xavier and Magneto were this. And how. Xavier left his wife for Magneto, which was a contributing factor to David's rampage. It would be hard not to infer that they were in a gay relationship, but Xavier says their bond was "stronger than love," which seem to rule that out.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Ultimate Liz Allen is the daughter of her human mother and the Blob.
  • Idiot Ball: Held in Ultimate Nightmare, where a small team goes out to find the source of a psychic signal, assumed to be a mutant in need. Wolverine is angry (well, more than usual) that they were too stupid to turn on the news and check what was going on before running off half-cocked and getting roughed up by the Ultimates for their trouble.
    • Liz Allen doesn't even attempt to talk her brother Teddy out of joining Pietro's new Brotherhood.
  • Intro Dump: Every. Single. Character. Each and every one of them are continually referring to each other by name! Every. One.
  • Karma Houdini: Just about every member commits terrible acts over the course of the series and save for Wolverine never faces any repercussions. For example:
    • Cyclops defects to the Brotherhood and takes part bombings of the British Parliament and M16.
    • Professor X and Jean frequently abuse their powers to their own ends.
    • Storm even crippled someone and electrocuted a sandbox full of children (off panel.)
    • Averted with Wolverine in that he not only faces retribution for the things he does but he is even held accountable for things he didn't do. For example Jean threatens him, and actually follows though with it, f he ever things of her in a sexual way again. Despite the fact that she was fully complacent in their affair.
  • Kill'Em All: Of all the Ultimate titles, X-Men got hit the hardest in Ultimatum. The casualty list - which includes Xavier, Cyclops, and Wolverine - is probably longer than the list of surviving mutants.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Not usually, but in issue #54, where they're taking on Mojo and his reality show, there are a few instances. Apart from in-universe examples of Breaking the Fourth Wall on Mojo's show, there is Dazzler staring straight forward out of the page and declaring the concept to be a "rip-off of The Running Man".
  • Love Triangle: Jean, Scott, Wolverine as well as Kitty, Bobby, Rogue.
  • The Mafiya: Colossus is first shown as muscle in the employ of the Russian Mob.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Charles Xavier.
  • Meta Origin: Notably different from the mainstream version: the mutant gene isn't evolution at work, it was artificially created in a lab. Only Wolverine's X-gene is natural.
  • Mind Rape: Xavier erases Magneto's mind after the first arc and has him living his life as a peaceful civilian. When it gets reverse, Magneto was very, very angry at the revelation.
  • Not So Different: Both Charles and Magneto are both manipulative and petty in their own special way, and just as uncompromising in their beliefs.
  • Non-Action Guy: Doug Ramsay is the only non-mutant at his school, he's just really smart.
    • He wasn't the only non-human, Emma Frost was very proud of the fact that it was human-integrated. He was just the only important one.
  • Omniscient Morality License: Xavier thinks he has one.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Syndicate just wants to make a quick buck. Luckily, Xavier gives them the benefit of the doubt.
  • Race Lift: This did introduce Ultimate Nick Fury and made him African-American before he got his Samuel L. Jackson-inspired look. Snowbird was also made Native-American and strangely, John Wraith went from an African-American mutant to a Caucasian human. While not quite the same thing, Doug Ramsey was made from a mutant to a human.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Colossus eventually reveals that he doesn't have them - he can turn to metal, but doesn't have the strength to move in this state. He's been taking a Super Serum to compensate.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Juggernaut.
  • Significant Monogram: Jimmy Hudson in Ultimate X is pointed out to have one, as his dad is James Howlett aka Wolverine.
  • Super Serum: The final pre-Ultimatum storyline dealt with Banshee, a superpower granting/enhancing steroid.
  • Super Speed: Northstar and Quicksilver.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: As of Ultimate X; Derek Morgan for Angel, Jimmy Hudson for Wolverine, and Theodore "Teddy" Allen for the Blob.
    • Generation Xerox: Jimmy and Teddy are both the biological sons of the characters they replace.
  • Staircase Tumble: Mister Sinister vs. Professor X. The stairs win.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Nightcrawler to Dazzler.
  • Straight Gay: Colossus and Northstar.
  • Stylistic Suck: Storm's play, 'The Shadow King'.
  • Take Up My Sword: Although Jean does not seem to want to do this for Xavier and the X-Men, it seems like she will do so, as Quicksilver is apparently starting a new Brotherhood of Mutants, and has at least successfully recruited Theodore, Liz's brother.
  • Technical Pacifist: Xavier. Notably, members of the X-Men regularly question his policy on this point.
  • There Are No Therapists: You'd think the Xavier institute would have one permanently on remand considering the students that go there.
    • This winds up really bad, in the case of Nightcrawler. Apparently being held captive by Weapon X left him more screwed up than everyone thought, so when he snaps and kidnaps Dazzler, everyone is shocked.
  • Transplant: Firestar, aka Liz Allan from Ultimate Spider-Man. Before that, Shadowcat went the other way and joined Spider-Man's cast, as did Iceman after Ultimate X-Men was canceled. Peter's death is prompting Shadowcat and Iceman to return and bring a friend: the Human Torch, who was in Fantastic Four before moving to Spider-Man.
  • UST: The series chokes on it.
    • This is even commented on by Cyclops, on how the team members go from hating each other to "making out in the attic".
  • What Could Have Been: The original pitch by Brian K. Vaughan was very different from the final product by Mark Millar.
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