Ultraverse Thor on Secret Wars #2 Cover

Further Ultraverse characters have been spotted in modern Marvel comics! This time out a couple of Ultraverse-related Thor incarnations will appear on the cover to Secret Wars #2, hitting shelves in May! Both incarnations come from the Ultraforce/Avengers #1 crossover. Check out the image below! To find the Ultraverse Thors, look under the “W” in “Wars”, and the top character on the far right.

Secret Wars #2 Thor cover

My thanks to the folks at the Ultraverse Facebook group for bringing this to our attention! Also, thanks to BradSerum for taking the time to develop this handy guide!

First Spider-Prime in Spider-Verse, now Ultraforce Thor in Secret Wars! What’s next?!?!

Ultraverse Podcast: Prime of Your Life, Episode 07 – Trading Cards Series 1

Ultraverse Podcast: Prime of Your LifeIt’s the seventh episode of ULTRAVERSE PODCAST: PRIME OF YOUR LIFE!

This episode The Irredeemable Shag and David discuss the 1993 SkyBox Ultraverse Comic Trading Cards (Series 1 Premiere Edition)!  We tackle each trading card, including the chase cards! We wrap up with your Listener Feedback!

Thanks for listening!

SkyBox Master Series: Ultraverse Edition Trading Cards – Ads from Previews

Back in 1994, the Ultraverse launched their third trading card series entitled, SkyBox Master Series: Ultraverse Edition. This was a 90 card set with a handful of chase cards. What distinguished this series from other trading cards on the market was all the artwork was painted by the amazingly talented Dave Dorman!

The cards are beautifully painted and very representative of the 1990s. If you wanted comic book painted artwork in the early 90’s, Dave Dorman was the guy to get (I still love his Dark Horse Comics Indiana Jones covers). Not all the Ultraverse likenesses were captured perfectly in this trading card series, but the trade off is gorgeously painted artwork you wouldn’t normally find for these characters. I’ve seen many of the cards on the web (you may view most of them by clicking here), and have an unopened box I ordered last summer. I’m waiting for the right occasion to rip open the box and revel in the 90’s goodness! You’ll find a complete checklist by clicking here.

Friend of the Ultraverse Network, Michael Bailey, recently sent me the following pages he scanned from an old 1994 Diamond Comics’ Previews catalog. The first two pages were printed on glossy cardstock as an insert into the catalog, while the third page was the “Gem of the Month” featured advertising. I find the selection of characters in the ad somewhat puzzling. Solitaire was a solid choice, but Book, Tyrannosaur, and Heater?!?! That’s representative of the Ultraverse? Really? Not Ultraforce, Night Man, Prime, or even Lord Pumpkin? Odd.

SkyBox Master Series: Ultraverse Edition Trading Cards advertisement Diamond Previews

SkyBox Master Series: Ultraverse Edition Trading Cards advertisement Diamond Previews

SkyBox Master Series: Ultraverse Edition Trading Cards advertisement Diamond Previews

Being a marketing guy myself, I love seeing old advertising. Our thanks to Michael Bailey for sharing this snapshot of 1990’s merchandising!

Altered Reality: The Ultraverse Before and After Black September

Welcome Ultra-fans to the Super-Blog Team-Up! Today the Ultraverse Network is part of a crossover banding together several different blogs under the banner of Parallel Worlds and Alternate Realities! Each blog in this crossover will focus on alternate versions of their favorite characters and niches.

Super-Blog Team Up

Here at the ULTRAVERSE NETWORK, we’ll explore how the Black September crossover altered the continuity of the Ultraverse.

When Malibu Comics was purchased by Marvel, the entire Ultraverse line was cancelled and restarted. Only a few of the more popular series were rebooted and relaunched, with some being radically altered. The history and continuity of the Ultraverse was retroactively changed in numerous ways, and a number of characters simply ceased to exist (or in the new continuity, ceased to have ever existed). The story covering this reality-altering event was labeled “Countdown to Black September”, which ran through Ultraforce vol I #8-10, Ultraforce/Avengers Prelude, Avengers/Ultraforce, & Ultraforce/Avengers. Each of the rebooted and relaunched Ultraverse books started with a special “∞”-numbered issue identified as part of Black September.

Ultraverse Black September Infinity

Confession time, I’m not an expert on the post-Black September Ultraverse. I was a big Ultraverse reader when Malibu launched the line, but after the Marvel buy-out I drifted away. For this post, most of what I’m sharing has come from research or information shared by other Ultra-fans. In the coming weeks and months I will update this post if we uncover any further continuity changes. Additionally, I strongly encourage you readers to contribute any missed continuity changes in the comments.

In this post we won’t be recapping the Black September event itself (read it or Google it if you are curious). Instead we’ll be focusing on the retroactive continuity changes (retcons) that resulted from Black September; not to be confused with story-driven character changes. For example, while the changes to Mantra after Black September were dramatic, they were progressions of the story, not retcons. In the post-Black September continuity, Lukasz still inhabited the body of Eden Blake, and then the Mantra power was transferred to Lauren Sherwood. Therefore no retcon occurred. Night Man was another character who experienced dramatic changes from progression of his story as opposed to retcons.

Ultraverse Black September - New World Order

Below is a list of continuity changes (retcons) found in the post-Black September Ultraverse:

  • Prototype – One of the biggest retcons was the elimination of Jimmy Ruiz from the history of Prototype. When Malibu first launched the Ultraverse, Jimmy Ruiz was a teenager working for UltraTech piloting the new Prototype armor. Ruiz replaced the former pilot of the Prototype armor, Bob Campbell. Campbell was forcibly retired after losing his arm on the job. While Ruiz struggled in his role as Prototype, he proved himself on many occasions and was a valued member of the Ultraforce. In the post-Black September continuity, Ruiz was written out of continuity and Bob Campbell was retconned as the only Prototype to have ever existed. Campbell was a member of the Ultraforce and had never suffered the loss of his arm. As far as we know, Campbell was retconned to replace Ruiz in all of his adventures.
  • Hardcase – Hardcase (alter ego Tom Hawke) was one of the premier Ultraverse heroes when Malibu launched the line. In the post-Black September continuity, Tom Hawke existed but never became Hardcase. Since he never became Hardcase, it seems likely that his team called “The Squad” also never existed.
    Here is where it gets a little confusing. A little more than a year after the Black September reboot, Hardcase made an appearance (even though he’d been retconned out of existence). Hardcase returned wearing his original uniform and informed the Ultraforce that he knew about the alterations to the history of the universe. When Black September occurred, he was apparently shunted into a limbo dimension. According to Mark Bourne, a former editor of the Ultraverse titles, Hardcase’s appearance occurred because the creative team wanted to return the stories to the original Ultraverse continuity. Marvel Comics filed for bankruptcy before that story could unfold and the Ultraverse line was canceled. The final Ultraverse story, Future Shock, addressed some of these altered reality plot threads.
  • Choice – Choice was a supporting character in the Hardcase title. Her origin was deeply-rooted in the history of “The Squad”. She never appeared in the post-Black September Ultraverse, and we can assume she was written out of continuity due to her ties to “The Squad”.
  • Contrary – Contrary was a mysterious character, tied into the origin of the Freex (or most likely tied into), and founder of the Ultraforce. She organized the Ultraforce team and provided their technology. She was also known for manipulating people to further her own agenda. In the post-Black September continuity, she was written out of continuity and ceased to have ever existed. Personally, I think Marvel got rid of her because they thought she was robbing Emma Frost’s M.O. and wardrobe.
  • Rune – Rune’s origin was altered slightly in the post-Black September continuity. In the original Ultraverse, Rune began as a barbarian on an alien world who ate the flesh of a dragon to gain it’s strength. In the post-Black September continuity, Rune began in Africa and consuming the dragon was removed from his history.
  • Solitaire – Solitaire escaped Black September relatively unscathed. The only real post-Black September alteration is the mystery of what inspired Solitaire to begin his quest in becoming a hero. In the original Ultraverse continuity, he was inspired after he witnessed a battle between Hardcase and Headknocker which most likely didn’t happen in the post-Black September continuity.
  • Ultraverse history – Another minor retcon in the post-Black September continuity was that Marvel’s Infinity Gems were woven into the origins of the Ultraverse itself. In the post-Black September continuity, the entity on the Moon who triggered the Jumpstart effects was apparently awoken by the disruption of the space/time continuum caused by the Infinity Gems.

Some folks question the status of other characters from the original Ultraverse who didn’t appear in the post-Black September continuity. Such as:

  • Freex – It’s not specified if these characters existed in the post-Black September continuity. Since Contrary was erased from existence (it was strongly hinted Contrary was involved with the creation of the Freex), it’s possible the Freex were as well.  Freex member Cayman did appear in the post-Black September continuity in Ultraforce and the All-New Exiles, but he never made any mention of the Freex.
  • The Strangers – I’m a little blurry on this one. While The Strangers did not appear as a team in the post-Black September continuity, member Zip-Zap is reported to have appeared in a later Prime issue. Unfortunately, I’m not able to verify that appearance. Does anyone else know of it?

While the post-Black September Ultraverse was a very different place for our favorite heroes, all other changes were story-driven rather than retcons. Again, I’ll happily update this post if any further continuity changes are identified. My thanks to the following Ultra-fans for their assistance with research on this post: Mark Bourne, Derek Crabbe, Ryan Carpenter, Neil Robertson, Bruce Reville and Sean Koury! Thanks guys, stay Ultra!

Super-Blog Team-Up Links

As mentioned, several different blogs have teamed-up today to cover Parallel Worlds and Alternate Realities! While we’re featuring the Ultraverse here, you should visit these other comic blogs to see how they spotlight their own favorite characters and niches today. Visit them now, visit them later, and visit them often!

Our thanks to the Super-Blog Team-Up for inviting us to participate in this fantastic crossover!

BREAKING NEWS! Spider-Prime Cameo in Spider-Verse #2!

I’m stunned. When we started the Ultraverse Network, I never suspected we’d be posting Ultraverse-related content from a brand new comic! The anthology series Spider-Verse #2 hit the stands yesterday from Marvel Comics, written by Dan Slott, Kathryn Immonen, Jed McKay, and others; with art by Mark Brooks, David Lafuente, Sheldon Vella, and others; and a cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli.

You may find this hard to believe, but the long-lost fan-favorite character Spider-Prime has a cameo appearance in this book!! Check out the page below (click to enlarge)!

Spider-Verse #2 - Spider-Prime Cameo

Did you see him? No? I didn’t the first time either. How about if we zoom in and circle it for you…

Spider-Verse #2 - Spider-Prime Cameo

Yup, that’s Spider-Prime! Admittedly, it’s a really brief cameo. Heck, it’s like one-eighth of a cameo, but they managed to sneak him in!

Now, let’s think about this for a minute. It’s been nearly 18 years since we’ve seen our favorite Ultraverse characters in print. We started this Network just about three months ago, and now we’re suddenly seeing the return of an Ultraverse character?!??! Coincidence? I THINK NOT!! … okay … it’s totally a coincidence, but it’s still fun to claim it was our influence. :)

If you are an Ultraverse completest (and I know there are a bunch of you out there), be sure to pick up Spider-Verse #2, in stores now! You’ll find the cover below.

Spider-Verse #2 cover

My thanks to Steven Boyd of the Facebook Ultraverse Group for the image and the heads-up!

 

Ultraverse Podcast: Prime of Your Life, Episode 06 – Freex CD-Romix

Ultraverse Podcast: Prime of Your LifeIt’s the sixth episode of ULTRAVERSE PODCAST: PRIME OF YOUR LIFE!

In this very special episode, we share an audio adaptation of Freex #1 from the CD-Romix! Happy New Year!

Thanks for listening!

Happy New Year from the Ultraverse Network!

Happy New Year from all of us Ultra-Fans! To celebrate, we’re presenting the cover to Ultraverse Year Two! Enjoy!

Okay, sharing this cover is a bit of a cheat.  The Ultraverse Network is technically starting it’s second calendar  year, but we’ve really only been around a few months.

Regardless, have a very Happy and Ultra New Year!

Ultraverse Year 2

Ultraverse Podcast: Prime of Your Life, Episode 05 – Hardcase CD-Romix

Ultraverse Podcast: Prime of Your LifeIt’s the fifth episode of ULTRAVERSE PODCAST: PRIME OF YOUR LIFE!

In this very special episode, we share an audio adaptation of Hardcase #1 from the CD-Romix! Happy Holidays!

Thanks for listening!

Next week: The CD-Romix adaptation of FREEX!

Keep Norm Breyfogle & James Hudnall in your thoughts

It’s been a tough holiday season for some of our favorite Ultraverse creators. Both Norm Breyfogle (co-creator and artist on Prime) and James Hudnall (co-creator and writer of Hardcase and The Solution) are having serious health issues right now.

Over on Norm Breyfogle’s Facebook page the following was posted:

Norm Breyfogle“This is Barb I’m norm’s ex from California. Norm won’t be answering any txt’s from you friends out there. Norm just had a stroke and is in the hospital. Please keep him in your thoughts and your prayers. At this point norm is expecting a full recovery but time will tell.”

Over on the Ultraverse Facebook group, Michael Novotny posted this message about James Hudnall:

James HudnallA few weeks back, James was on his way to begin a new job in Texas when he developed a diabetic tumor on his leg — some really serious stuff, which ultimately resulted in his having his foot amputated. As if that is not bad enough, James is a long way from his home near San Diego, no friends or family around, they apparently would not hold the job for him, and lately, he has developed a serious staff infection and will require additional surgery — and it’s Christmas.

Michael also made a very thoughtful suggestion that all Ultraverse fans send James Hudnall a Christmas card! For details and an address, visit his post on the Ultraverse Facebook Group.

The Ultraverse Network wishes both Norm and James a speedy recovery! Please keep both these great guys in your thoughts during this holiday season. You may reach each of these creators via Facebook — Norm Breyfogle on Facebook; James Hudnall on Facebook.

Ultraverse Podcast: Prime of Your Life, Episode 04 – Break-Thru

Ultraverse Podcast: Prime of Your LifeIt’s the fourth episode of ULTRAVERSE PODCAST: PRIME OF YOUR LIFE!

The Ultraverse Network’s coverage of Break-Thru continues! This episode The Irredeemable Shag and David cover Break-Thru #1 & #2, as well as Prime #7 and The Solution #4! We wrap up with your Listener Feedback!

Thanks for listening!

Next week: The third episode of THE NIGHT MAN PODCAST!