Running from 2000 to 2015, the “Ultimate Marvel” line featured a reimagined Marvel Universe for the modern world. At first, it served as a way for creators to tell updated origins for classic Marvel heroes and villains. Later in the line’s life, however, it became a place where comic book creators could tell stories that took huge risks and do things they could never get away with in the main comic book line.
The Ultimate Marvel Universe was noteworthy for its often gritty tone. It also commonly tried to take a more realistic approach to superheroes, by showing their effect on world politics. Stories tended to be more violent with graphic imagery, leading to some truly shocking moments. In fact, it often surprised its readers by re-imagining a drastically different take on a character or situation. With that in mind, here are the most controversial moments from the Ultimate Marvel universe.
16. ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS HULK
The opening scene of “Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk” (2005) by Damon Lindelof and Leinil Francis Yu shows Wolverine with the lower half of his body missing. It’s revealed that the Hulk had ripped Wolverine in half during a brutal fight, tearing apart the tendons between his adamantium covered bones. This was a shocking scene, especially because Wolverine had to crawl back to the scene of the fight and get his original legs back. As you might imagine, the image of Hulk ripping Wolverine in half was one of the main selling points of this series.
That opening scene would have been enough for this series to make this list, but it was also plagued by massive delays. The first issue was released in December 2005, with the second issue being released in April of that year. Due to more delays, the sixth and final issue wasn’t released until May 2009. The worst part of the delays was that, after the opening scene in the first issue, the series flashed back to set up the titular fight, which didn’t occur until the third issue. Fans had to wait over three years just to see the scene that Marvel had promised from the very first issue.
Many of the Ultimate Universe characters were very similar to their mainstream Marvel Universe characters, just updated to fit in the modern world. Some characters, however, were completely altered and barely resembled the originals in any way at all. Deadpool, first appearing in “Ultimate Spider-Man” #91 (2006) by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley, is one of the oddest examples of this. Sergeant Wilson, a veteran of the Wakandan Wars, was an anti-mutant bigot who appears to be a cyborg with superhuman strength, a healing factor, the ability to shapeshift and a horrifically disfigured face.
He’s the leader of the Reavers, a group of fellow anti-mutant cyborgs. They kidnap the X-Men, along with Spider-Man, and take them to an island where they’re hunted down for sport as part of a sick reality show. While this Deadpool is still insane, he’s missing the classic Deadpool’s sense of humor. Ultimate Deadpool didn’t appear again until he was killed by the mainstream Deadpool in “Deadpool Kills Deadpool” #4 (2013) by Cullen Bunn and Salva Espin.