iFanboy Video Podcast

iFanboy – Episode #5: “Ultimate”

Show Notes

iFanboy takes a look at the Ultimate line of books from Marvel Comics. Has it really been seven years? Somehow Ron made it all of that time without having a heart attack. They examine the highs points, the low points and everything in-between. Well, not everything. This show isn’t six hours long.


Running Time: 00:22:22
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What do you think of the Ultimate line? Success? Failure? Indifference?

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Comments

  1. import says:

    ha, great opening.

    2 cameras? was the second camera hand held?

    LOL – “lets just sit here and read, viewers will love that.”

    this episode is really good. not just funny but the discussion is really good.

  2. import says:

    good show guys

  3. import says:

    Awesome show. But where was Gordon the Intern?

    Thanks for the synopsis on the Ultimate universe. I returned to comics in 2004 and was initially confused as hell between the regular Marvel universe and the Ultimate one. It was helpful to hear you tell the history of how the Ultimate came to be. I’m not bothered by the differences, but enjoy them. Recently, I read Ultimate Spider-Man from beginning to the current issue. It’s a wonderful read. I found myself wondering how certain story plots, like the death of Gwen Stacy, happened in the regular universe. Missed the Gwen story the first time through. So reading Ultimates titles actually makes me more interested in the regular titles.

    One question – why is the regular universe called Marvel 616?

  4. import says:

    One other thing, since you guys were critical of the current story in Amazing Spiderman, what do you think needs to be done to make the title/character work again?

  5. import says:

    But where was Gordon the Intern?

    Picking up the dry cleaning.

  6. import says:

    I’m pretty sure he takes his fathers formula for a glue to make his webbing in Ultimate Spider-man. I remember being happy they didn’t go organic.

    I read a bunch of the Ultimate Spider-man books back when they were free on the internet (on Marvel’s site, in their little player) but I haven’t read any since. I’d like to get back into it.

  7. import says:

    Another great show…and I don’t read Ultimate books, so that’s saying something.

    Conor: Any chance we will ever see this far away land where you keep your comics?

  8. import says:

    Great show guys.

    I wouldn’t set the Ultimates on the downside of the Ultimate line, but the point you make about it not being released consistantly is a fair one. Personally, I think the end product (the collected trades/hardcovers) makes up for the fact that you have to wait so long for the floppies (is that what we are calling them now?). Again, great show.

  9. import says:

    I’m thinking about dropping the Ultimates and reading it only in trade.

  10. import says:

    I think Ultimates is a title that Marvel should release only in trade, but I don’t know what would need to align before that could happen. Also if people (like me) are buying the single issues and the Hardcover too, why would they pass on that income? Anyway.

  11. import says:

    Josh-

    Longshot is very important!

  12. import says:

    I think Ultimates is a title that Marvel should release only in trade, but I don’t know what would need to align before that could happen.

    I would definitely be down with that. Hell, the single issues are on a trade schedule at this point, anway.

    Hmmm… now you’ve got me thinking about dropping the single issues of The Ultimates in favor of the trades.

  13. import says:

    I’m thinking about dropping the Ultimates and reading it only in trade.

    Uhm, but there’s only one issue left.

    I think Ultimates is a title that Marvel should release only in trade, but I don’t know what would need to align before that could happen. Also if people (like me) are buying the single issues and the Hardcover too, why would they pass on that income? Anyway.

    Because they know most people will buy the single issues AND the collected edition. Why, then, would they only sell collected editions?

    What I’ve always heard is that it’s not financially viable to do OGNs. When you produce a series, you make money from the single issues + trades. If you do only OGNs, you lose revenue from single issue sales. Not to mention the fact that trade paperback sales are high because the single issues serve as an advertisement for the trade. The conventional wisdom is that (single issue $ + TPB $ > OGN $).

    This is why even something that would do well in OGN like Dark Tower is being published in single issues first. You don’t want to pay someone for 7 issues worth of material before you see dime one. It’s better to pay-as-you-go.

  14. import says:

    Uhm, but there’s only one issue left.

    Of season two. Season three with Jeph Loeb/Ed McGuinness/Joe Madueria (that’s not spelled right) is on the way.

    What I’ve always heard is that it’s not financially viable to do OGNs. When you produce a series, you make money from the single issues + trades. If you do only OGNs, you lose revenue from single issue sales. Not to mention the fact that trade paperback sales are high because the single issues serve as an advertisement for the trade. The conventional wisdom is that (single issue $ + TPB $ > OGN $).

    Yeah, single issues are definitely loss-leaders for trades.

    I feel strongly, though, that if they switched to an all trade system the revenue would not be all that different, in the long term.

  15. import says:

    “Uhm, but there’s only one issue left.”

    I’m assuming that there will be a series 3, 4 and so on. Maybe I’m being too optimistic.

  16. import says:

    Yeah? Where’s that longshot solo series everyone’s clamoring for? He died with his mullet. ;-)

    I read the first 2 Ultimates trades recently, and while I dropped the issues, they were great like that. Definitely some of Millar’s best work.

    it’s “Madureira.” Pronounced “Mad-der-rare-uh”

  17. import says:

    I feel strongly, thuogh, that if they switched to an all trade system the revenue would not be all that different, in the long term.

    DC is the only company that could probably afford to take that risk, the market being as it is an only getting smaller. I worry what will happen when the Hollywood gravy train dries up.

  18. import says:

    I’m assuming that there will be a series 3, 4 and so on. Maybe I’m being too optimistic.

    Three is Loeb/Madureira and four is Loeb, McGuinness if I recall…

  19. import says:

    I got an idea! How about them being released in floppies, and collect a few issues in trade, then whomever likes trades, get the trades, and whomever likes floppies gets the floppies and the trades only if they wish to…. frigging brilliant!!!

    oh, wait… damn, that’s what they got now. Shiite, I hate it when my evil genius formula runs out.

    Meh…

    great show (even thou I’m still downloading it now, I know its good !)

    p.s. I’m having problems registering in rev3… & haven’t bothered to contact the admin guy.

  20. import says:

    Carlos, send us (contact@ifanboy.com) your username and email, and we’ll sort you out.

  21. import says:

    Great show guys, sparked me to start a little discussion about his Ultimate Spidey run, and long runs like his in general on the Bendis board.

    And just to clarify, 616 Spider-Man (please forgive me for actually typing “616″) DOES have organic shooters, he got them in the Spectacular Spider-Man tie-in issues of Avengers Disassembled (after he was reborn from a spider…yeah), while Ultimate Spider-Man is still using the mechanical ones he built.

  22. import says:

    Another great episode guys.

    I had pretty much dismissed the Ultimate books as they had no bearing on the 616 continuity. But now I may start getting the trades as a nice change of pace.

    Also, I wished that the camera had been on Conor for his entire tumble at the end. That would have been a good laugh. Any chance Camera 2 caught it???

  23. import says:

    had pretty much dismissed the Ultimate books as they had no bearing on the 616 continuity. But now I may start getting the trades as a nice change of pace.

    Do yourself a favor: pick up all of Ultimate Spider-Man and The Ultimates. They’re not only better than their 616 counterparts, they’re possibly the best books Marvel publishes (excepting possibly Astonishing X-Men, Daredevil, and Powers). The other Ultimate titles are superfluous, if you ask me.

  24. import says:

    I really dig the Ultimate line, I know it got a number of my friends back into comics. Ultimate Spider-man did it for most of them, and they all get the trades.

    Ultimate X-men is my book in the line. I really enjoy it, and am glad Kirkman is having a fuller run, because for a while there it felt like and was all really just filler until Singer was coming on, but it feels like that book is finally picking up again which is great. It matter again, as ROn said “STuff happens”.

  25. import says:

    I’m looking forward to Ultimates 3, I was out of comics when Joe Mad did X-men and upon coming back everyone was screaming about how friggin great he was, then he dissapeared. (or battle chasers happened THEN he was gone, not sure what was first).

    Someday I’ll actually judge his work.

    Of course that all hinges on Ultimates 2 finishing.

  26. import says:

    I want to know if anyone is going to punch Millar, he said people could at a CON if Ultimates 2 wasn’t finished, so I want to see if that appears on Newsarama “MILLAR HIT!”

  27. import says:

    Oh and did i see a solicit for ultimate silver surfer?

    Is he gonna be all terminator 2 blobby?

  28. import says:

    Does Silver Sufer still have wings, I didn’t read the Ga Luk Tus story line.

  29. import says:

    There were a bunch of “heralds” including the one with wings. But the most surfer-y one sort of resembled what the FF 2 (movie) version will look like.

    All Terminator 2 blobby.

  30. import says:

    Gotta love that blobby

  31. import says:

    I have only one thing to add to the discussion of all things Ultimate, though it probably shouldn’t count:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_Adventures

    I had forgotten how much I loved Ultimate Team Up. There’s a hardcover out there with the entire series in it; I ought to grab that.

    I wish I had stuck to my guns about not reading Ultimates in issues. Either time. As far as dropping it, though, you can only drop a book if it’s available to buy every once in a while.

  32. import says:

    I’ll always be a fan of the Ultimate line since it’s really Ultimate Spider-Man that got me into comics. My friend let me borrow the first few Spider-Man trades; I read them all in one sitting and immediately went out to the book store to find more. And from there… well, I now have a $20-30 weekly habit.

    So, yeah, I suppose their marketing strategy worked on me.

  33. import says:

    Another good show… but, what’s with the two camera shoot? The right equipment isn’t there to pull it off correctly. It kinda cheapens the production. If you want to use that technique I suggest using a filter on camera 2 and make it completely different from camera 1. Better yet go B&W on C2.

  34. import says:

    this was sooooooooooo much better than the canada debacle. On a side note you ALL talk with your hands.

  35. import says:

    Another great show, guys. I agree with Franco on making cam2 B&W. I didn’t feel any need for the shift to it, although I dig the Ant Man-izing of you guys to feature the comics and their creative teams.

    Josh, since you brought up pronunciation with “Mad-der-rare-uh”, I must take issue with you on your pronunciation of Mark Millar’s last name. I’ve heard both Conor and Ron pronounce it with the emphasis on the second syllable, yet you seem to be staunchly in the first syllable camp. I recently left a voice mail about this after watching the extras on the “Ultimate Avengers” DVD wherein Joe Quesada pronounces Millar mil-LAR. Are you privy to some info that would trump that? Also in that e-mail I mentioned that I heard Kurt Busiek himself pronounce his name BYOO-sik.

    Wow, didn’t mean to get all ranty there. Love you guys. Please don’t cry.

  36. import says:

    I think I got the Millar (Miller) pronunciation from Rich Johnston when he was on FbR a while back. He gave them shit for saying MilLAR. So I’ve said it like then ever since. Until I hear it from Millar himself, I’m still saying it’s up in the air. HOWEVER, keep in mind that Millar is scottish, so with that accent, it’s possible that the Miller, as in Frank Miller for example, is pronounced more like milLAR. So basically, American’s don’t say it right, but if he was american, he’d probably just say Miller.

    That was too long.

  37. import says:

    Another great show. This was particularly appealing to me since I just finished the third trade of USM. It’s really good! I’ve been tempted to go out and buy the rest of them and lock myself in a room for days and read them all. I’ve only read the first two trades of Ultimate X-Men and it was surprisingly good as well.

    Question: Was one of the tenets of the ultimate line that there was only going to be one book per character?

  38. import says:

    Let’s not forget Ultimate War, I thought that was excellent.

  39. import says:

    Okay, I just listened to a Marvel podcast featuring Mark Millar talking about Civil War, and he said he doesn’t care which way his name is pronounced. I guess if he doesn’t care, I shouldn’t either.

  40. import says:

    I guess my big comment would be that the Ultimates line brought me back, an older reader, in the same way a younger reader would come on board comics. In that, a younger, newer reader and an older reader who’s dropped out of comics just can’t be bothered with all that 90s super hype continuity twist and turns and big sensational changes, and there was lots and lots of that in the 90s especially. So no, Longshot seemed just fine to me. As long as they didn’t screw up too bad with the major players, I was just fine with Ultimate X-Men (until I dropped out at about…69? Can’t remember, but that was for other reasons). Same goes with The Ultimates, it brought be back.

    That said, the publishing schedule of The Ultimates is just too screwy. I agree of course that single issue $+TPB$ is more than just trades, but with the Ultimates, Marvel just needs to make a realistic schedule, figure out how they are going to put it out, keep to that promise, and move forward. I dropped out of The Ultimates purely because of the weird way it was coming out, then not, then was… whatever.

    Funny though, I know how Ron feels about the Ultimates versions of characters, there are quite a few new versions of old favourites in Ultimate FF (supporting players and villains) that got screwed with and done (in my opinion) wrong, but if a younger reader without my baggage likes it, great.

    That still ain’t Namor, though, not with that hair… (That’s for all 4 of the Namor fans, Josh, there are more than you think).

  41. import says:

    Ultimate FF is one of the titles I look forward to the most every month. I’ve only read Ultimates in TPB form and really like it. I too had the initial confusion of how it related to the “616″ (ugh) universe, but now I don’t care. I just hope they don’t go too crazy Ultimatizing everything and make the continuity just as confusing as the other one.

  42. import says:

    you ifanboys are HOT

  43. import says:

    hey guys-

    I am just starting to watch these video podcasts–they are awesome. Perfect length, very entertaining…connor, you get anywhere with that girl who liked Batman? I laughed out loud when I watched that scene…so funny!

    later–see you in SF
    mike

  44. import says:

    Hey guys, great show! On the Ultimate line: I’ve never really bought many of the issues. I read Ultimate Spider-Man for awhile during the Venom storyline, but stopped picking it up after it ended. I enjoyed it, but I kind of got all the Spider-man I could handle when I was 10 and bought all four of his books every month for like 7 years.

    As for the Ultimates, I am saving up to buy the amazing hardcover that Marvel has of the first “season.” Bryan Hitch could impregnate me and I think I would be fine with it…his art is just so amazing. I have also been enjoying his work on The Authority, which rocks.

    As for the Ultimate X-Men, I never really got into it, only for the simple fact that X-Men books confuse the shit out of me. They change the team so much in all the books that I have no idea what’s going on. The only X book I read is Astonishing but that is because of Joss Whedon.

    Anyways…

  45. import says:

    Great show guys, you’re my new (pleasantly short) replacement for Geekdrome, and I love it.

    I’ve always been a Spider-man guy, I read random comics all throughout various continuity as a youngin (horrible comics based on the fox SAT-AM series, even) and consistently read through the clone saga, but stopped a while after.

    In the past year I found myself kind of crushed by work and classes, needing a little escape, so I finally gave Ultimate Spidey a shot. It only took me about a month to read up through 90-some issues and become an absurd fan. Even my girlfriend digs this book, and she doesn’t read comics.

    Anyway, awesome discussion, fantastic show!

  46. import says:

    “Bryan Hitch could impregnate me and I think I would be fine with it…his art is just so amazing.”

    Hitch’s art really is fantastic, and not just because Hitch can illustrate a character “realistically;” he has a great way of laying out the pages, and his figures and layouts still convey a considerable degree of “dynamism” and movement that other “realistic” artists don’t always capture.

    You would have a very finely rendered baby, Neb….

  47. import says:

    Great show guys, you’re my new (pleasantly short) replacement for Geekdrome, and I love it.

    You know about geekscape, right?

  48. import says:

    Grant it took me like forever to download it. I got it to work. :) Another great video guys.. I used to get Ultimate Fantastic Four but I offically got rid of it..

  49. import says:

    You would have a very finely rendered baby, Neb….

    And really, that’s all any man can really ask for, isn’t it? :)

  50. import says:

    You would have a very finely rendered baby, Neb….

    3 years later

  51. import says:

    Ha!

    Hmm…that might only be if Mark Millar was somehow added to the gene pool.

  52. import says:

    that would be reason enough to punch him in the stomach

  53. import says:

    loving the extra show, guys. and i’m glad you did something on the ultimate line, since it’s nice that someone is going back and exploring it.

    my question on the whole idea of ultimatizing comics is doesn’t it just create a whole new problem for marvel? i love the fact that there’s the 616 spidey, and bendis adds a whole new spin to him in the ultimate universe. but what happens about 15 years down the line when ulti-spidey has created his own continuity baggage? you ultimatize him again? then how many spidey books might there be? and then, how bout a few crossovers a la ultimate power? sounds like a similar problem dc had 20 years back…

    in the humble beginnings of comics, no one really cared about continuity and characters could remain exactly the same. now we all want an ongoing story, but still hold on to our iconic characters and keep them the same year after year. updating them only holds things back for so long. couldn’t marvel find a better solution? or maybe it’s good for them since it keeps us buying a whole new line of books, so the better question is couldn’t there be a better solution for us, the readers?

  54. import says:

    Great Video Guys!!!!

    Keep up the great work.

    b.t.w.

    The Ultimate Marvel team-up wasn’t cancelled by low sales.

    During the time bendis was writting it, he became producer/writter of MTV’s Spider-man, and had to drop one of his book and team-up was it.

    Since Bendis was the one who created it, Joe Quesada gave him the option to give it to someone else or cancel it.

    Bendis has said that Canceling Ult. Team-up was one of the worst decisions he has ever done.

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