Ultimate Comics Universe Reborn: Day Two with Nick Spencer of Ultimate Comics X-Men

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. 


  1. Cautiously optimistic about this. I havnt read any of spencer’s previous work so not sure about his quality however anything has got to be better than jeph loeb.

  2. Nice to see Nick Spencer writing a book for a change.

  3. Same as Thompsonlive, I’m also not familar with much of Spencer’s work, but I do like Paco.

  4. Hickman and Spencer? This is boding well. It’s almost as if they’re revisiting the idea of new creators taking the reigns of the Ult Universe just like when Millar and Bendis arrived at Marvel.

  5. I wonder what, if anything, this means for Ultimate X

  6. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    It sounds to me like a good opportunity to tell interesting Ultimate X stories. No Chuck. No Logan. No Scott. No Magneto. Back to basics with a team of kids. Threats on all sides in a scenario very different from the 616 mutants. And a really solid creative team behind it. Worth a shot, yeah?

  7. Awww shit Nick, les do it again homie! *highfive!*

  8. Ultimate line is no longer what it was (new spin on old stories)
    Now it is a whole marvel universe of “anything goes” in which the stories and characters themselves to not have to keep spinning around to the status que.
    Now that this universe is truly getting some fresh blood I am offically VERY excited to check these books out (though Spencer and Hickman BOTH read much better in trade in my opinion!!) 
    Also, Ultimate Spider-Man is and has always been truly the most consistantly awesome superhero book on the stands! 

  9. @PaulMontgomery – Agreed. I can’t tell you how sick I am of those four dudes being the focal point of every damn X-Book on the market. Some old school, on the run mutant fun is just what the doctor ordered, and while I’m not the biggest Morning Glories fan, it’s shown me that Spencer has some decent character chops. So hell yeah, I’m in.

    PS: Johnny Storm inclusion is very interesting. Since mutants are just science experiments in the Ultimate U, does that make the FF mutants, technically?

  10. It sounds kind of similar to what was happening in Age of X but more fleshed out. I can’t wait.

  11. I came to rag on the idea, but this actually sounds interesting!

  12. These last two Ultimates announcements make a LOT of sense to me. Spencer and Hickman are both very forward-thinking writers. If the goal of the Ultimate universe is to make things different and dangerous, I think the recent series have done a decent job of “slaughtering” the sacred cows and clearing the decks.

    This is now a universe that has variations on certain characters and ideas without the need to be a slave to convention or status quo. That’s a great place to drop in Hickman and Spencer and let them go wild. I’m not always the biggest fan of either writer, but I think this is a very good playground for them.

  13. If the new line doesn’t involve Loeb, I can see this thing working out. The moment his name appears… yech.

  14. Hickman and Spencer seems like a great start for a reset on the Ultimate Universe. I’m a big Spencer guy, and I love my x-men so this book is an instabuy. I’m cautiously optomistic on Hickman, and I’ll take a wait and see approach.

  15. I love that we’re beyond doing “Ultimate version of ___________” in these books. I mean yes, Spencer name droped Days Of Future Past, but that’s more of a broad general comparison. It’s certainly been a good time to read Ultimate books, as most of them have been great.

    All we need is an Ultimate Captain America ongoing by Aaron. His mini was utterly flawless. 

  16. You took me out of this the moment I saw the words: ‘Days of Future’s Past scenario’. (That and Nick Spencer, but more so on this)

    i’m sorry but I am tired of them going back to this well. No matter what universe or continuity we are in. We get it, ‘Days of Future’s Past’ was a big story. Let’s stop going back to that well or making new twists/versions on it and tell original stories. Far to many times I see writers go to this or the Apocolypse well because they can’t think of any other stories for the X-Men. Joss Whedon and Grant Morrison didn’t need to go to those wells when they were writing their classic run.

    So until someone can come up with new ideas for the X-Men (No matter what version) I will continue not to buy any of their books.

  17. Ok fine you got me.

    I think Paco Medina draws the X-Men well. I really enjoyed his work on the X-Men book before he mysteriously vanished, obviously to do this! Kind of a Humberto Ramon / Dodson hybrid.

    Now we just need Garth Ennis and Frank Quitely on Ultimate Comics: Iron Man.

  18. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @TheNextChampion  It’s just an easy way to explain “Mutants being hunted.” That’s the only real comparison. 

  19. @Paul: Well in general I think X-stories are too similar in general. Even if he’s not going to be doing the ‘Ultimate’ version of that story it’s still the same crap we’ve been getting for years now.

    I know the point of the X-Men is that they’re a comparison to the racial injustice many minorities had when they were inventing and they still work to this day. (Just replace the Civil Rights movement with the Muslim community for today) But I think we can tell new stories without resulting in ‘oh no everyone is out to get us including the military’. Hell that was a good chunk of the early Ultimate X-Men stories when Millar was writing it.

  20. So are we assuming the Jeph Loeb Art Adams “Ultimate X” is done? I don’t want no snark about Loeb, I don’t care I thought that 4 issues we got with that book were awesome. 

  21. Awesome

  22. I was just thinking how awesome it would be if they restarted Ultimate X-Men. I’m still not 100% on Spencer as a super-hero writer, but he has potential

  23. @TheNextChampion  the “racial injustice” or however you describe it is what makes the x-men the x-men. That’s like saying Spider-man is all about web-fluid, and all he ever uses is web-fluid so this story sucks.

    Why NOT make stories centered around one of the THE defining characteristics of the characters?

  24. @RocketRacoon: (Weird to think I’m debating with a Raccoon….) But Spider-Man has changed radically over the years, for better or worse. The same characteristic for the X-Men has damaged them over the years in my opinion.

    Again it’s why I love Morrison and Whedon’s run. Cause they tried to do things outside of the box and not resort to the same old villains or storylines everyone goes to. 

  25. The biggest challenge of the Ultimate line has been presenting something wholly different than the 616 books. Millar’s Ultimates did that. Bendis Spider-Man still does. The problem with the FF and X-Men in the Ultimate line is that they ended up (After the initial creative teams left) being like rebrandings of the same problems inherent to the “main universe” versions of those books. However, I might keep a cautious eye on this reboot/reborn/re-whatever despite the two names being attached (neither of whom I much care for.). I will say, Spencer’s X-Men sounds interesting to me. So I may be in.

  26. Sounds interesting, I really like the relationship between the Parker House kids, so a book about them trying to survive in this post Ultimatium world, possibly on the run? or at least in constant danger sounds interesting. I wonder if they’ll try and revive Logan or Cyclops, I mean there is Jimmy, but we’ve only seen him in a few issues of that Ultimate X run, and I really hope Karen goes back to Jean.

  27. Kitty Pryde leading? Days of Future Past theme? I’m freaking in!

  28. My shop has a standing pull order on just a few writers: Hickman, Spencer, Gillan.  Everyone else hits and misses, for me, but those three know what I love every single time.  Knowing that two of them are rebooting the Ultimate universe, which I dumped five years ago out of boredom, is exciting for me.  The only thing that could make this better would be Gillen getting tapped to write Ultimate (whatever), but since he’s apparently been handed the keys to the 616 X-Men, I can’t have everything.  Still, as Meatloaf said: two out of three ain’t bad.

  29. Marvel is really doing a good job in making the Ultimate universe seem relevent again, bravo. Hopefully, these books are actually good.

  30. so whats the over under on peter being dead now 12 months

  31. I must chime in to agree with the ‘No on Days of Future-Past’ faction. Because, even before we get to its overuse, the set-up is just plain nonsensical and stupid. And if used without the writers pretending that the rest of the Marvel Universe doesn’t exist; would go down something like this….

    “Congratulations humanity. You’ve wiped out or broken ever powered being on earth. Good for you. Oh, you’re asking about those massive shining lights in the distance and those deafening mechanical engines your hearing? Say hello to the rebuilt Skrull battle fleet. And here comes another ‘insert evil alien menace here’ fleet. Oh hey, and Galactus is touching down too. Looks like your choices for the future are simple. Slavery. Food for an alien being. Or Slavery. And thats before the various alternate dimensional armies and supernatural threats show up to fight over your collective carcass.”