We continue down the road to Ultimate Fallout during a week of conversations with the creative teams behind the renovation of Marvel's Ultimate universe. Today we took part in a conference call with writer Nick Spencer.
Spencer will be taking charge of Ultimate Comics: X-Men. Paco Medina has art duties. We're looking at a Days of Future Past scenario. The stakes are higher than they've ever been before.
"The number of mutants we would recognize has dwindled since Ultimatum," Spencer explains. "Many are in hiding. They're feared and hated. As a result of Magneto's actions in Ultimatum, the government has issued a kill on sight notice for mutants."
Anyone who read that aforementioned event will know that Spencer doesn't have as many mutants to play with as he might have otherwise. Wolverine and Cyclops and many more are off the table. But the roster he's set up is a classic young mutant team operating in the shadow of fallen giants.
The main cast includes: Kitty Pryde, Bobby Drake, Johnny Storm, and Jimmy Hudson.
"In terms of the dynamic, they've been through so much," says Spencer. "They're a close knit group who care about each other very deeply. It's not about a mission statement. This is about saving each other. They're going to stick together. The closest friends you'll ever see."
Other mutants like Liz Allen, Karen Grant (the artist formerly known as Jean Grey), Derick Morgan, Storm, and Colossus will also feature. Asked about the "leadership vacuum" Spencer says many will try to fill the mentor role in the absence of Chuck and Logan and Scott. Some may even try to be Magneto.
The threats? Well, the government for one. It's hunting season. The means of hunting has become significantly more affective (Sentinels?). Pretenders to Magneto's throne will be legion. A major adversary will rise up on the other side of the globe as the series' major Big Bad.
The big distinction between the Ultimate U and the traditional Marvel U, explains Spencer, is that the mutants here are not the next step in evolution. They're lab experiments gone right or wrong depending on politics. And the secret of the government's involvement will be a pivot point.
We will see many new characters. Spencer says he has been dying to write Kitty and Rogue and those two will be the central figures.
The cover to Ultimate Fallout #2 appears at right. Hopefully we'll be seeing some Ultimate Comics: X-Men art from Paco Medina soon.
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #1 launches in September.