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  1. #1
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    Default Why did Ultimate X-Men (vol 1) fail?

    I just recently found my Ultimate collection versions of Ultimate x-men issues 1-45. The series seemed really good. I recall reading up until issue 54 when Magneto and Longshot ended up in the Savage Land but hand to drop the title due to monetary constraints. I know that Ultimatum changed the landscape of X-men vastly, but i ask, what happened that caused this change to occur? Why was the first volume cancelled?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik B View Post
    I just recently found my Ultimate collection versions of Ultimate x-men issues 1-45. The series seemed really good. I recall reading up until issue 54 when Magneto and Longshot ended up in the Savage Land but hand to drop the title due to monetary constraints. I know that Ultimatum changed the landscape of X-men vastly, but i ask, what happened that caused this change to occur? Why was the first volume cancelled?
    The reason it was cancelled after Ultimatum mostly had to do with the reshaping of the Ultimate Universe. Since the UU was declining in popularity, Marvel decided to cut back on the size, in terms of ongoing books. The UU became simply Ultimate Spider-man, New Ultimates (or Ultimates 4, in theory), Ultimate Avengers, and Ultimate X. New Ultimates and Ultimate X were miniseries that were SUPPOSED to be bimonthly, alternating months, which would have made 3 books per month. There were also the Ultimate Doomsday trilogy and Ultimate Armor Wars minis.

    Unfortunately, New Ultimates and Ultimate X were both delayed like crazy. Both of them were supposed to be ongoing, in a sense, but they never ended up that way. Loeb often referred to his work on Ultimate X as "the first arc" of the book, and it stands to reason that New Ultimates would have been followed by another Ultimates mini. So while Ultimate X-Men was supposed to be followed by the "ongoing" Ultimate X, it ended up that Loeb and Adams only put out 5 books, leaving the status quo of the Ultimate X-Men to remain largely untouched for about three years.

    Now, as to why the book started to fail, there's several reasons. Many around here will blame Robert Kirkman for that, because his stories (along with the art that accompanied them) were nowhere near the quality that Millar, Bendis, and BKV had put out. And there's definitely some truth to that. They weren't bad, for the most part, but they weren't exciting like they once had been.

    There's also the fact that Marvel started to shift focus away from the Ultimate Universe, especially after Bendis started writing New Avengers. 616's yearly events became the big thing for Marvel to push, so the satellite UU titles - Fantastic Four and X-Men - started to receive less focus.

    There's a lot of info there... hopefully it's somewhat coherent and answers your question.
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  3. #3
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    Personally I think it was a mix of Kirkman's writing and the push for 616 titles. I'm not saying Kirkmans writing was bad but it was getting to similar to the 616. Then they have to ask themselves why have something so similar but not in continuity with the main series. But that still doesn't mean it was kirkmans fault because I think with any writer they would have done the same thing either way.

  4. #4
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    Although kirkmans run wasnt the best, it wasnt terrible. The main reason for me was the lack of attention UU was getting from Marvel (and has been getting since). It's quite amazing how fast the focus and quality went down from ultimatum onwards
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  5. #5

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    I think the growth of popularity and quality in 616 is what affected Ultimate the most. It's easy to forget that Ultimate began at a time when 616 was a mixed bag of sorts. It had its moments, but it also had some really lousy books that were easily forgettable. 616 improved and now it is far more dominant than it was back in the early 2000s. For Marvel, I think it was a business decision. 616 had more sales potential, so they put more energy into 616 books and left Ultimate to whither.
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  6. #6
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    Ultimates were revolutionary when they were first created but over the years what worked in the ultimate universe was incorporated into the original universe, leaving it very redundant. It was also becoming convuluted with alot of back story, which is what it was created to avoid. After that it turned into a lower selling version of the real comics. So they wisely decided to use it to do stories they could never get away with in the real universe: flooding newyork, cannibal supervillians, killing off major characters to see who would fill their space. I never really got into the rest of the ultimate universe, just spider-man. I have the early Ultimates and Xmen trades but they seemed to descend into the also-ran territory after awhile, and i stopped buying them.

    Interestingly enough I was against Ultimatium and the Death of Spider-Man at the time, but have since come to really enjoy them and their changes.

  7. #7
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    It failed because Ultimatum killed off all the major characters. Pre-Ultimatum the Ult X-Men weren't selling any worse than what the book is currently doing, so if that is considered failing than UCXM is currently still failing.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarvelMaster616 View Post
    I think the growth of popularity and quality in 616 is what affected Ultimate the most. It's easy to forget that Ultimate began at a time when 616 was a mixed bag of sorts. It had its moments, but it also had some really lousy books that were easily forgettable. 616 improved and now it is far more dominant than it was back in the early 2000s. For Marvel, I think it was a business decision. 616 had more sales potential, so they put more energy into 616 books and left Ultimate to whither.
    On the other hand, a lot of the ideas within the Ultimate books made their way into not only the main Marvel line, but the Marvel movies as well. Consider how much of the Avengers movie is basically an Ultimates movie with the more political (and thus, more interesting) themes removed.

    And the early Mark Millar issues of Ultimate X-Men remain some of my favorite comics of all time. The stories felt timely in a way no other superhero comic matched, the reinterpretation of the X-Men as a mix of New Age cult and superhero team was brilliant, and the art by Adam Kubert was superb (albeit plagued with fill-ins). Even now the stories Millar wrote there have parallels in current Marvel books, but when you compare, say, Ultimate War to AvX, the latter looks like an overly bloated and inconsistent variant on that older story.

  9. #9
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    Personally i i believe that it just runned it's circle. If it was a failure then Marvel wouldn't bringing it back

  10. #10
    Junior Member Fizicks's Avatar
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    And the greatest irony of all is that the worst writer gets the longest run.

    On a side note, wasn't Bryan Singer supposed to have a run on UXM? What happened to that?
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  11. #11
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    He couldn't do it, hence why Kirkman stayed. he was only meant to be a temp and only had a few arcs planned. And then the deal fell through and he was stuck trying to make something he never planned on doing. So basically Kirkman had to make it up as he went along.

    What he decided on doing was have about a dozen mini arcs all happening at once, with slow progression of each simultaneously. That means for month to month it felt slow, but if you read it all at once, you see the subtle hints and foreshadow sprinkled throughout.

    All in all I thought his run was good. Not as good as Vaugn, but good. Supposedly Marvel wanted Kirkman to stay on board post Ultimatum with UXM but Kirkman as sick of it.

    But I do find it funny that in the "better post Ultimatum" era of UXM according to so many, it's selling worse than Kirkman.
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  12. #12
    Junior Member toddx77's Avatar
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    While the early Ultimate Stories written by Millar and Bendis were great I always loved Ultimate X-Mens writing back during the golden age (pre ultimatum). I think the reason it was not re launched for the post ultimatum era was that many of the c-men were dead. I loved Ultimate X and to me that was a transition series setting up for the second volume of Ultimate X-Men. Ultimate X did a great job of showing just how hard it was for mutants and what they were all going through. The current Ultimate X-Men I thought started out weak but it is not supposed to be like the original.

  13. #13
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    Other than Ultimate Spider-Man, I get the feeling that Marvel doesn't make the Ultimate Universe as much of a priority. It was pretty awesome to see Marvel using Bendis and Pichelli on USM and Hickman and Ribic on Ultimates, but it felt like Hickman leaving the Ultimates kind of killed the ultimate books momentum.

    I think the Ultimate U. could really benefit from a more limited series inspired take of the Marvel characters. I'd love to try Humphries' Ultimates, but I do not like any of the artists he gets on the book.
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