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Ultimate End #3: Review

Jul 2015
Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Ultimate End #3 Review by (July 12, 2015)
There's a line in Secret Wars #4 which may shed light on my problem with some of the Marvel characters being in this series. Some of them don't match their latest Earth-616 incarnations Marvel. And Marvel Spider-Man and Marvel Cyclops (with the Phoenix Force he doesn't have here) have only just appeared in SW#3 after being trapped with others (presumably in suspended animation) in the Earth-616 escape craft. But in SW#4 Dr Strange tells Marvel Black Panther that some of 616 Wakanda is preserved as the Isle of Agamotto, and tells Ultimate Spider-Man that *his* Manhattan has been saved. This suggests that the other half of Manhattan *isn't* Manhattan-616, but from another alternate timeline - explaining the duplications and differences. This alternate timeline may have been split off during the dimensional rift mentioned in #1 that was previously shown in All-New X-Men #31. In the version in #1 Marvel Tony Stark was transported to the Ultimate Universe, which didn't happen in ANXM#31. This was published before Axis and we can assume it happened before that. So maybe in the alternate Axis Iron Man didn't stay Superior, which explains why he isn't Superior here. This may also explain how the post-SW Iron Man we've been told about doesn't seem to be Superior, but has Marvel Tony Stark's memories, eg of brother Arno and unknown biological parents. Maybe it's *this* Iron Man that makes it through Secret Wars. But on the other hand that doesn't explain how there's a bigger Marvel Earth that survives, complete with parents to search for. So we still have to wait to see what really happens.

The heroes from #1 are re-assembled here minus Marvel's Hawkeye who got killed by Thors last issue, and Ultimate Hawkeye who's possibly tactfully stayed away. But their numbers have swelled. The Marvel side has gained Captain America (Sam Wilson), Magik, Nightcrawler, Quicksilver, Rogue, Vision and War Machine, while the smaller Ultimate ranks have increased by Captain America (Steve Rogers), Human Torch and Invisible Woman. The text suggests that what I describe in the confrontation of Banners was what happened, but the art suggests something different. It shows a green Hulk versus a Hulk who's more purple than grey. And confusingly the purple Hulk seems to have Doc Green's hairstyle (but admittedly no beard) rather than Grey Hulk's hair. And purple guy complains about his lab being wrecked ("MY WORK!!") - in Marvel capitals rather than Ultimate mixed-text (but he could just be shouting). I've reconsidered the opening of #1 with Ultimate Punisher aiming his rifle at the clashing heroes from both universes. I think now it doesn't represent the end of the 2 universes from SW#1. Instead it is the 'now' of which the rest of the issue is '3 weeks ago'. It is the future to which this series is heading. There seems to be some confusion about what problem Tony Stark and allies are trying to fix. Sometimes they talk as though they're trying to split (back) into 2 Battleworld zones. Sometimes into 2 parallel realities. But they still seem to think the dimensional rift caused their situation, not knowing about the end of the multiverse.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Ultimate End #3 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue opens '2 weeks ago'. #1 was mostly dated '3 weeks ago' and #2 followed on immediately. So this is presumably set 1 week later, but the events of #2 could be spread over that week so the Hulk-fight at the end could have just finished.

Marvel Bruce Banner is a captive in the Ultimate SHIELD HQ Triskelion, held immobile by a forcefield. Heroes from both Earths are present as Ultimate Nick Fury asks Banner why he threw Ultimate Hulk into Ryker's Island prison, freeing loads of supervillains.

Bruce tells them how as Doc Green he was working on separating Marvel Manhattan and Ultimate Manhattan when he was visited by Ultimate Bruce who told him to stop trying to help, because whenever a Bruce Banner tries to do good it always goes disastrously wrong involving lots of Hulk smashing. Doc G said he'd got all that under control, and just asked his alternate to help.

They both got angry. BB-1610 turned into Ultimate Grey Hulk. Doc Green transformed into an old-style green Hulk-616 (so that's who followed Grey Hulk to Ryker's last issue) due possibly to the extra gamma radiation coming from Grey Hulk. Green Hulk threw Grey Hulk out to sea, accidentally hitting the prison.

Grey Hulk is still missing, but Fury won't let Banner help find him. He foresees mass conflict between all the super-characters squashed into Manhattan, and Marvel Hulk is 1 player he can keep out of the mix. Marvel Tony Stark isn't happy about this but agrees for now.

Ultimate Punisher was 1 of those who escaped from Ryker's. He reaches 1 of his safehouses, costumes up and grabs some weapons. But he's interrupted by Marvel Punisher - this place was 1 of his safehouses too. Both think the other is a Skrull, but Punisher-1610 manages to kill Marvel Punisher with a knife to the chest.

Bombshell of the Young Ultimates is fighting the Earth-616 villains the Wrecking Crew. Suddenly Punisher kills the 4 villains, and then takes aim at Bombshell.

SHIELD techs are checking that Bruce Banner is still secure, when the power goes off. When it returns Banner is gone. He's being flown to safety within a remote-controlled Iron Man suit. Tony Stark-616 wants his help in undoing whatever merged the 2 Manhattans together.

Mark Bagley
Scott Hanna
Justin Ponsor
Mark Bagley (Cover Penciler)
Andrew Hennessy (Cover Inker)
Frank D'Armata (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Wrecking Crew.

> Ultimate End: Book info and issue index

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