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Old 06-16-2007, 07:26 AM   #1
MattBrady
 
HEROES CON/WW PHILLY '07: BRIAN BENDIS ON ULTIMATE ORIGIN

Think of it as a payoff that’s been about six years in the making.

Way back in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #3, Peter Parker was warned by a de-Hulked Bruce Banner that there were layers upon layers in the world, and that he had no clue as to how everything - everything was connected.

When asked about Banner’s comments in later years, Bendis, as well as Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada hinted and teased that the “origin” of the Ultimate Marvel Universe was rather different than that of the regular Marvel Universe, and that there were, as Banner had hinted, connections dating back years, decades, and more, and sometime, that story would be told.

“Sometime” is now later this year as Brian Bendis will write the Ultimate Origin miniseries, with art by Jackson Guice.

We spoke with the writer about the project.

Newsarama: So – to set the stage for this, the seeds for Ultimate Origin’s own origin were planted back in the start of Ultimate Marvel Team-Up, correct?

Brian Bendis: Right. I first laid the ground work back in Ultimate Team-Up #3 with the Hulk…

NRAMA: That was Bruce Banner telling Peter that he just didn’t know what all the connections were in the world before getting hauled off by Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D.…

BB: Right – and that page will be in the first issue of Ultimate Origin, to give context to what we’re talking about. What happened was that, over the course of the first year that we were developing Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate X-Men, all of us who were involved, Bill [Jemas], Joe [Quesada], Mark [Millar], me – we’d devised a lose timeline and tapestry of events that built to where we are. Things have been hinted at in all the books, and never exposed.

NRAMA: So how did this get rolling?

BB: A few months ago, they asked if I would write all the Ultimate Annuals to develop some new stuff, and I had a lot of new stuff I wanted to put in. But when we were at the retreat, I said, “You know, we’ve been holding on to this story, the big, ‘deliver the goods story’ for so long.” I asked if I could do that first.

NRAMA: And this was the first time it was really approached, after what, six years? That’s a pretty serious back-burner…

BB: Yeah, well… At one time, Mark was going to do a part of it – the Cap part, and I was going to do a different part, but it all never really coalesced in time. So I said this was the story to do. I’d mentioned it at the retreat before this one, and I saw Dan [Buckley] light up a little, but it didn’t stick to the wall with him, and then, when we got to the Ultimate stuff the next time, I brought it up again. Jeph Loeb has a story coming up that is very reliant on this information being unveiled, publicly, so we came up with a plan where I would unveil the origin of the Ultimate Universe, which includes information you’ve never seen about nick Fury, Captain America, the mutant population, Wolverine, Charles Xavier, Magneto – every major player – the connections between Reed Richards and Peter Parker’s parents, connections between Captain America’s origin, and the other origins that involved the Super Soldier Serum, not to mention where the Super Soldier Serum came from…all of these things will be revealed in this miniseries. Not hinted at, not in that X-Files way where they promise that things will be revealed when they never have any intent to reveal anything – they’re really being revealed here.

I handed in the first issue last month. I was really excited because Loeb, who’s by no means an ass-kisser, and certainly doesn’t kiss my ass, said it was the best thing he’s ever read from me.

NRAMA: With revealing the plot, it seems as if with a story like this you could end up walking a fine line between having things appear so contrived in that everything last little thing is related versus having the Ultimate Universe’s origin be too close to that of the regular Marvel Universe. Is that the case?

BB: Not entirely. While things are related, the reveals show why these things in the Ultimate Universe aren’t close to the Marvel Universe…

NRAMA: Always, and especially as we’ve seen in comics, there’s a fear about revealing secrets, that is, once you do it, what’s left?

BB: With this, revealing what we’re revealing, and there’s a lot – unveils storylines that Jeph is doing, that I’ll be touching in Ultimate Spider-Man – all of which will be very exciting for people who are just joining us, or who have been hanging in there since the beginning. And there are quite a lot of people who’ve been hanging in there, and I feel that they’re more than earned the goods.

NRAMA: And Guice is on art…

BB: Oh yeah - wait until you see his Iron Man stuff he’s doing with Christos Gage – unbelievable. They offered him to me, and I’ve been a fan of his for years and years, and when I saw what he was doing in Iron Man…I had to have him. And it will have covers by Simone Bianchi. It’s a very handsome package, and there’s a “whaaaat?” on every page.

NRAMA: Overall, do you see this as an endcap to one age of the Ultimate Universe, and a starting point for a “second age”?

BB: Yeah, to me, it’s an endcap in the sense that we won’t be tickling readers’ asses any longer with this stuff. But – that said, it’s absolutely spring boarding us to a new level of what’s special about the Ultimate Universe. And with Stuart [Immonen] coming on Ultimate Spider-Man, and all the other plans coming up, it’s going to be a fun fall/winter time to be reading.

Even if you were casually interested in these books, this still makes for a great read – people just like origin stories. I love a good origin story, so you get like two or three every issue.

NRAMA: Back to the larger story behind it – how much of it was set at start of the Ultimate Universe as you said earlier, versus material that you’re adding in now as the story’s being written?

BB: Most of it was planned and noted early on – years ago. A little bit more has come from organically expressing it and working with pieces of the puzzle of it in the books, rather than just having it in note form, and letting the characters take over a little bit, but the most of this was planned, outlined, everyone signed off on it, and here we go. This has been cooking for a long time.

And even though I’m writing it, quite a few people contributed, because it involves all the Ultimate books.

NRAMA: Who’s reveal is the most shocking for you?

BB: Nick Fury’s is the most fun.

NRAMA: So it’s finally going to explain his change from white to black? [laughs]

BB: [laughs] He was never white. He was black in Ultimate Team-Up. It was colored so blueish, there may have been question, but in the script, he was African American with a half-fro, and then Bryan Hitch gave him the shave off. So, if anything, he was balding versus Sam Jackson cool.

But it will definitely show how Nick Fury got to his place in the Ultimate Universe, which has not been revealed. It’s been hinted and tickled at through little vignettes here and there, but he’s got quite a whopper of a story.

I think Wolverine will be the one that will have the most posts of “All right mister, let’s see what you do next issue, because that’s going to be my last issue unless you clear this up…” Yeah, it’s going to raise some eyebrows.

And the final bit on Ultimate Origin – it will lead right into Jeph Loeb’s project which is coming up later in the year. So there’s a big plan afoot that I’m thrilled to be a part of. If you’re looking for a hop on, hop on.



Newsarama's coverage of the 2007 Heroes Con & Wizardworld: Philadelphia is brought to you by GameAlmighty.com - "Truth, Justice, and Videogames by the only website run by superheroes"...
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:03 AM   #2
ElijahSnowFan
 
i freely admit that i don't dabble much in the Ultimate Universe -- a little Ultimates, now i'm reading Ultimate Power, but i'm doing that for Squadron Supreme, to be honest.

but i'll say this: Ultimate Nick Fury is just bad-ass. i think the 616's Nick Fury kicks ass too, but Ultimate Nick Fury gets more screen time, and he just kicks ass.

added: what the holy hell?!?!?! FIRST POST! (sorry -- it never gets old!)
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:07 AM   #3
VitoDGK
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElijahSnowFan
i freely admit that i don't dabble much in the Ultimate Universe -- a little Ultimates, now i'm reading Ultimate Power, but i'm doing that for Squadron Supreme, to be honest.

but i'll say this: Ultimate Nick Fury is just bad-ass. i think the 616's Nick Fury kicks ass too, but Ultimate Nick Fury gets more screen time, and he just kicks ass.

added: what the holy hell?!?!?! FIRST POST! (sorry -- it never gets old!)
because he's samuel l. jackson.
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:07 AM   #4
immortus
 
They lost me at 'Loeb'.
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:07 AM   #5
rwsmith
 
Sounds awesome! I've always loved how interconnected all of the superhuman activity was in the Ultimate Universe. Makes it seem more believable to me.

I do wonder what the big reveal about Wolverine is that will have everyone talking. I mean, could it possibly be more shocking than finding out that the guy was a sickly little child born to a wealthy family around the end of the 19th Century?

And I assume that the "project" Jeph Loeb has coming out later in the year is the already announced Ultimate Wolverine mini, so I wonder why he didn't just come out and say that? Pehaps Loeb also has another mini coming out later in the year?

Last edited by rwsmith : 06-16-2007 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:19 AM   #6
Thephanboy
 
Interesting.....should be a good mini-series. over all im still pleased with the Ultimate universe...even though sometime Ultimate FF can get a little drown out and boring....but that just my opinion.
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:19 AM   #7
magik2381
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by immortus
They lost me at 'Loeb'.

Except Loeb has no input on the actual story...

THIS LOOKS AMAZING. Jackson "Butch" Guice is just an amazing talent and I love love LOVE Bendis so I cannot wait for this.
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:21 AM   #8
immortus
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by magik2381
Except Loeb has no input on the actual story...

THIS LOOKS AMAZING. Jackson "Butch" Guice is just an amazing talent and I love love LOVE Bendis so I cannot wait for this.

"it will lead right into Jeph Loeb’s project which is coming up later in the year"

Anything leading into Loeb, running parallel to Loeb, being associated with Loeb in some manner is not something I want to buy.
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:22 AM   #9
P33KAJ3W
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by immortus
They lost me at 'Loeb'.

They had me at J. Loeb.
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:23 AM   #10
Jeremy Williams
 
Great to have Guice back. It would have been something seeing somebody of the magnitude of BWS draw this, though.
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:42 AM   #11
aceatkins
 
Couple thoughts:

I'm growing increasingly dubious of Bendis' "This has all been planned for years! It's all my master plan! Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!" stuff lately. I mean, I think it's much more likely that he's being truthful in this case: there's no way they created the Ultimate U without some kind of bible, and he certainly would be one of its chief architects. But seriously, this is the second project in the last three days where I'm supposed to believe that Marvel gave the green light on it like five years ago and it's only now coming to fruition. I just find it hard to believe, is all. (The Skrull thing much more than this.)

I will certainly pick up the first issue, but if it's not slammin' I'm gone. I have grown very, very tired of Ultimate U mini-series sucking the proverbial hole and never amounting to diddle. LOTS and LOTS of hype for these and almost never any payoff. I soldiered through almost all of them up until the current lot, and I've finally decided that I'm not compelled to buy them if I'm not enjoying them. And I haven't enjoyed hardly any of the Ultimate minis (War, Six, the Galactus trilogy, I'm sure I'm missing some --- although the DD/Elektra ones weren't bad, just kind of pointless). I dropped Vision due to pointlessness/lateness and I dropped Ultimate Power due to pointlessness/boringness. And I'm not even going to address Hulk/Wolverine.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that Bendis has a real uphill battle here as far as I'm concerned. The Ultimate line in general is in need of a massive tune-up (Spidey seems to be flying out of control, and the tone of the book is kind of all over the place; FF has good ideas but the execution sometimes takes too long; X-Men is a disaster right now; Ultimates is a joke to me at this point). If this is handled right it could provide a spark. But I'd much rather they concentrate on making the Ultimate books more interesting in the present right now. Hopefully they can do both, and everybody wins.
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:43 AM   #12
Tom Daylight
 
I think it would be really cool if they would relaunch the Ultimate universe - ditch the less relevant titles like X-Men and Fantastic Four, and replace them with new ones like Hulk or Iron Man or Ant-Man or Captain America, to tie in with their movies in ways the regular Marvel titles can't. There are plenty of TPBs available of both X-Men and FF at this point that the ongoing titles don't need to be there any more (and it looks to me like they're not selling as well as they used to). The best thing about it is, those books could go out in a blaze of glory wherein - unlike their original counterparts - all bets are off, and Marvel can do all kinds of crazy ____ that would normally make the characters unusable (eg permanently dismantle the teams or kill characters or turn Thing blue, oh wait), but in this case that concern wouldn't matter so much and readers would get a fantastic send-off.
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:00 PM   #13
Clem
 
I know they're trying to make it sound long in the making, but it kinda feels like "oh sh*t, they've stopped paying attention, lets pull an epic out of our collective asses..."
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:04 PM   #14
gypsynuke
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by P33KAJ3W
They had me at J. Loeb.
He doesn't have anything to do with the story though. He just said he liked it. Have they now lost you?
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:08 PM   #15
Bevbos
 
This is cool. I know very little about the Ultimate Universe outside of The Ultimates, but this looks like the sort of thing that is right up my alley. Will be picking it up if the art is cool.
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:17 PM   #16
cyborgspider
 
Ben..Bendis...overload...can't keep...ship steady... not to pile on the guy, but with the Skrull thing, the Avengers teams, Spider-Man, etc... its a lot on one's plate

Oy. at least its the Ultiverse. You can do whatever you want there, no one's gonna notice.

And i can't wait to see Guice's artwork
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:25 PM   #17
Pcm979
 
Written by Bendis and it's supposed to be 5 issues long and answer all our questions!? I'll believe it when I see it.
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:29 PM   #18
Dallas Bar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by immortus
"it will lead right into Jeph Loeb’s project which is coming up later in the year"

Anything leading into Loeb, running parallel to Loeb, being associated with Loeb in some manner is not something I want to buy.

Well, immortus, if that is your way of thinking, fine... But it does come over as biased and overly stupid.
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:31 PM   #19
Hypestyle
 
What are they going to do with Ultimate Fury now that he's lost an arm? I mean, if they give him a cyborg arm like Ultimate Misty Knight, I guess that's the next step..
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:31 PM   #20
Salieri
 
That. Will. Rock.

Hope to see it soon...
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:32 PM   #21
Prometheus3
 
More conspiracies and secrets. Bendis really likes those doesnt he? Well I hope whoever buys this enjoys it but the project isn't for me.
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:32 PM   #22
rdrsfn82
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by immortus
"it will lead right into Jeph Loeb’s project which is coming up later in the year"

Anything leading into Loeb, running parallel to Loeb, being associated with Loeb in some manner is not something I want to buy.

So you don't read anything put out by Marvel at this point? I mean he is involved in major things in the main universe and is about to do big things in the Ultimate universe so there isn't really anything that isn't related in some way.

I might try out this even though I don't really read the Ultimate books. If it's good enough I may have to start reading the trades that already exist.
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:33 PM   #23
InsaneGenis
 
What did I just read?

I've tried to understand what this series is going to be about, but it makes no sense to me. Reading the Ultimate Universe, I dont have any unanswered questions about the past origins to this universe. Nor have I read anything in the books that has made me wonder what the origin of such and such is. How did Nick Fury become director of Shield? Uh...... he worked his way up?

Am I missing something?
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:47 PM   #24
eelnats
 
i hope they dont make it like thr DC universe where there are different earths/worlds that are easily transversed be either people in the other demensions or whatever they wind up calling it.
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Old 06-16-2007, 01:09 PM   #25
JLAJRC
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneGenis
What did I just read?

I've tried to understand what this series is going to be about, but it makes no sense to me. Reading the Ultimate Universe, I dont have any unanswered questions about the past origins to this universe. Nor have I read anything in the books that has made me wonder what the origin of such and such is. How did Nick Fury become director of Shield? Uh...... he worked his way up?

Am I missing something?

I'm just like you. I honestly don't have any unanswered questions. If I did, it was so long ago (Ultimate Teamup was a few years ago) that I've forgotten them and don't really care anymore. I'm not one of those guys whose studies every comic page looking for clues to future stories/mysteries.

That being said, I would love a Ultimate Nick Fury mini. He rocks.
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