From Comic Book Resources.
The Ultimate Universe has been through some major ups and downs — including surviving a “Cataclysm” — but now, if the newest Marvel Comics teaser image by Mark Bagley is any indication, “The End” of the Ultimate U might be near. Well, maybe not — the teaser is clearly a part of the series of mystery teasers that continuously reference past events from Marvel history — with the most recent “Inhumans: Attilan Rising” teaser combining the Inhumans and “Atlantis Rising”. “The End” referred to a number of miniseries that began in 2003 and spanned through to 2007 — all of which dealt with possible endings for various aspects of the Marvel Universe.
The teaser image by Bagley — labeled with a Summer 2015 release date, just like the rest of the many Marvel mystery images — features the full cast of the Ultimate U, ranging from Miles Morales all the way through to Ultimate Nick Fury, the Ultimate Future Foundation and many more. As a special bonus, the image is also reminiscent of Marvel’s “Contest of Champions” three-issue limited series from 1982. It’s very likely that the teaser is some reference to the “Secret Wars” event by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic.
Skitch Commentary: One thing that immediately jumps at me in this teaser is that it uses “The End” title and trade dress. Marvel’s “The End” stories typically are set in the future and feature creative teams well associated with a particular character or team giving their idea of how that character or team would come to an end. So it is very possible that this project could be something along those lines.
The much more likely answer, of course, is that Marvel is finally mercy killing their Ultimate Universe. The line has pretty much all but died the last few years anyway. I actually think they should have ended it with Ultimatum or Cataclysm. At this point, the entire line consists of Ultimate Spider-Man (which has been great) and All-New Ultimates which is just dragging a pretty lifeless corpse til its final issue.
The smart money right now is that this is tied into Marvel’s big Secret Wars announcements. Ultimate FF hinted at incursions and the multiverse, and to me, it seems like Marvel is planning one massive house cleaning Crisis next summer, and the broken remains of the Ultimate Universe is headed for the dust bin.
I do think that Mile Morales will be sticking around in some capacity though. He really has been the only thing relevant about the Ultimate Universe the last few years, and it is rare to see a new character be able to maintain that kind of following.
Tags: Brian Michael Bendis, Cataclysm, Esad Ribic, Jonathan Hickman, Mark Bagley, Miles Morales, Secret Wars, Spider-Verse, Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate Universe, Ultimatum