Having now seen both Iron Man and The Hulk this summer, I find myself missing comic books as a whole. A long time ago I had stopped reading them altogether, mostly for budget reasons and the lack of a good comic book store nearby. I had skipped months at a time and, like all serial story arches be it movie, TV or literature, once you fall behind, catching up is nearly impossible. It’s the same reason I don’t watch Lost or Heroes. So I gave the habit up.
Now, after seeing those two, I find myself wondering what exactly happened to the stories and characters I loved as a kid and a teenager.
I was also confused as hell when (spoiler) at the end of Iron Man, Nick Fury was black and (spoiler again) at the end of The Hulk, Tony Stark pops in and wants to start a super team.
Apparently I had missed the whole “Marvel Ultimates” universe and it’s becoming blatantly obvious the more I read about the comics in that series, that this is the direction Marvel is taking and drawing from for their movies. It’s also pretty obvious that we can expect either a Capt. America movie in the very near future or they’ll go all out and to an “Ultimates” movie of some sort. Apparently it’s not cool to call them “The Avengers” any more either. Found that out the hard way.
So, long story short, I feel like if this is where all the new comic book movies are coming from, I may as well catch myself up. I started digging around on “Things from another world” or TFAW.com, which I remembered being a website Nagle had ordered comics from back in college, and quickly realized that in a few short years I had not missed just a mini-series of a title or two but that Marvel created and entire other universe and filled it with dozens of titles. I don’t know where to being. I think I might pick up the TPBs of “The Ultimates” and “Ultimate X-men”, at least the first ones.
From the sounds of it, the entire universe revolves around S.H.I.E.L.D and the super-solider program. It’s the basis for nearly everything in that universe, minus the mutants of course, but only kinda.
This brings me to my next point in that TFAW is having 50% off on their “Nick and Dent” TPBs. I figure, for $30 I can catch up on years of comics. Just thought I’d pass that little tid bit along in case anyone else is needing to catch up too.
So, has anyone read any of this stuff? Is it worth trying to catch up?
Marvel is actually making both a Captain America and an Avengers movie, as well as a sequel to Iron Man (Naturally)…
I recently bought the hardcover versions of “The Ultimates” 1 & 2. I had read all of Ultimates 1 a few years back, and the first few issues of Ultimates 2 before, for whatever reason, dropping it (and all comics, for that matter, aside from Bone).
It was right when the Iron Man blitz was beginning that I picked them up, and I couldn’t recommend them more. I’m just now back at the point where I left off in Ultimates 2, and was psyched to hear that they are currently pumping out Ultimates 3, which looks to have some sweet art.
The Ultimate Universe was meant to update the most popular franchises in the Marvel universe; making them so the characters were relatable to today’s audiences and so that new readers wouldn’t have to wade through more than 60 years of back-stories to catch references or understand motivations. The Spider-man flicks lean on this universe, and so did the F4 flicks.
I’ve read the Ultimate Spider-man stuff and found it too skewed to younger audiences. I’ve read Ultimate X-Men and found it to be too much like a soap-opera.
So, my recommendation for you would be to pick up Ultimates 1 and then move on from there. It’s a self-contained story about how the team forms and its first big battle, so you don’t have to worry about references outside the book. Spring for the hardcover if you can…it’s a pretty sweet package, including sketches, covers and commentary. Amazon’s got it for $19.79. If you do read it, let me know what you think. (My opinion is that if they make an Avengers movie…and DON’T base the script on Ultimates 1…they’re idiots.)