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Ultimate End #5: Review

Dec 2015
Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Ultimate End #5 Review by (December 19, 2015)
I've dropped the score a bit for this issue as the questions of this series don't so much get answered as ignored. We get extra confirmation that the Ultimate heroes here are the real deal from Earth-1610 because they know Miles Morales but they haven't seen him for a while. The answer presumably is that Miles had already gone in the Cabal's life-raft before Doom rescued these Ultimate survivors. The Marvel Spider-Man knows Miles because they met on Earth-1610 in the Spider-Men limited series. He may also remember when Superior Spider-Man met Miles during the Spider-Verse event. However there's a problem with all of the above. It is stated specifically here that the heroes don't have memories of their pre-Secret Wars worlds and they're shocked when they learn about them. However we've had other instances of pre-SW memories. Eg in #1 610 Spidey had a conversation with 1610 Spider-Woman about how they met (during Spider-Verse) when she knew his secret id because she was a clone of 1610 Peter Parker. And a major plot point of this series is that the heroes *do* know they used to be on 2 separate Earths and have been trying to reverse the process they think merged them. They definitely learn about the existence of other Battleworld zones here. This may be a contradiction with previous issues, where I think they only knew about Dr Doom and his Thors police. We're still left with the question of whether the 'Marvel' heroes are really from Earth-616. The main problem being the presence of Cyclops (not the young version) and Spider-Man, when those 2 were on Reed Richards' life-raft. Marvel Wiki recognises this because it lists the other heroes as the real ones but has Cyke and Spidey as Battleworld specials.

An extra wrinkle on this question arises when we see the people who don't pick up the 3 messages. We see Miles' father Jefferson Davis and Miles' best friend Ganke Lee from Earth-1610. But strangely the Aunt May we see is also the Ultimate version, along with the Ultimate Gwen Stacy clone. This may be a mistake. But if the 'Marvel' heroes, especially Spider-Man, aren't from Earth-616 maybe whatever Earth they *are* from is in this respect like the Ultimate 1. Pepper Potts is just too busy to appear here, or answer her phone. It would make sense that the non-Ultimate heroes aren't the 616 versions. After all this series is Ultimate End not Ultimate & Marvel End. Wolverine is dead in both realities. In the Marvel Universe we had the whole recent Death of Wolverine story arc, and this time it stuck. In the Ultimate U he was killed by Magneto in the Ultimatum limited series. And we have the same problem of how the heroes remembered these facts (and without ever realising that they were contradictory). The only absolutely recognisable Thor here is Beta Ray/Stormbreaker, but he's definitely supposed to have been killed in Thors. the Thors here all seem to be on Doom's side, but in Thors #4 and Secret Wars #7 they have been split into 2 opposing factions - and the winning side is anti-Doom. The Manhattan heroes haven't actually appeared in the big battle so far in SW#7-8. Maybe they'll show up in #9. You can tell Miles has awoken in the (new) 616 Earth because everyone speaks in capitals. 1 of Miles' friends at the end is Ganke Lee. The girl may be Katie Bishop who was his ex-girlfriend in 1610 Earth. I don't know enough about USpidey to guess who the 3rd character is. We don't yet know how SW ends, so we don't know what kind of wish-fulfilment brought Miles mother back from the dead. (She died in a shoot-out against Venom in (Ultimate Spider-man (2011) #22.)


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Ultimate End #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In Battleworld Manhattan the assembled Ultimate and Marvel heroes are at war, watched by Ultimate Punisher. But Ultimate Spider-Man has appeared to tell them to stop fighting - there's a bigger problem that needs their attention.

Some of Miles Morales' associates greet him and ask where he's been for a long while. Meanwhile Marvel Spider-Man vouches for him to the other side.

Miles struggles to find the words to explain what he knows. But the X-psychics read the truth in his mind, and Emma Frost shows everyone else what they've seen:-  This isn't the real New York, and Dr Doom isn't god. He used cosmic power to create a patchwork Battleworld from the remains of destroyed alternate Earths, and he dumped these heroes here without memory of their real pasts deliberately in order that they would fight each other.

The crowd go through a speeded-up version of the 5 stages of grief until they're ready to listen to USpidey's plan. He explains that he got here with other survivors who are ready to move against Doom. But some of the heroes are still coming to grips with the idea of multiple alternate versions of themselves, and question whether they themselves are real.

Ultimate Hulk in particular doesn't want to accept any of it. But UPunisher reveals his presence to distract him with bullets. And Old Man Logan steps out of the shadows to threaten him with the claws. Logan confirms part of Spidey's story because he himself has been travelling across the domains. (All the X-Men are shocked to see him because Wolverine's dead in both realities.)

At this point a bunch of Thors arrive to deal with the problem. But Magik whisks the heroes away to safety. Leaving Punisher to blast the Thors with a bazooka, until he's killed by their return fire.

The heroes wonder if they can win against Doom. And whether such a battle will be worth the collateral damage to the civilians of Battleworld. But they decide that such tyranny must be opposed. However they will take some time to leave goodbye messages for loved ones. We hear the messages from Miles Morales, Peter Parker and  Marvel Tony Stark to his father, Aunt May and Pepper Potts respectively.

As the messages play on we see the heroes join the battle for Doomstadt. We see Thors and Galactus at the scene. We don't actually see the fighting - just repeats of the 'stages of grief' pages full of the head-shot images. The heads gradually disappear, with Miles, Peter and Tony being the last to go.

After a double-page blank sheet Miles Morales awakens in his bedroom to find that his dead mother Rio is alive! 3 of his friends want him to go into the city with them. But he gets there via spider-web.

Mark Bagley
Scott Hanna
Justin Ponsor
Mark Bagley (Cover Penciler)
Andrew Hennessy (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Peter Parker)

(James Howlett)

> Ultimate End: Book info and issue index

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