This week, Marvel has been announcing the new line-up for its Ultimate titles to be launching in the Fall, following the events of the Death of Spider-Man story arc, currently playing out in Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates, and the subsequent miniseries Ultimate Fallout.  The final announcement came today, as Brian Michael Bendis revealed he would be continuing the saga of Ultimate Spider-Man with a new #1 and Sara Pichelli as the regular artist.  More info after the break.

This has been an exciting week for Ultimate Marvel fans as each afternoon, a liveblog session at marvel.com revealed new titles and new creative teams.  A summary of all new title information is below, but the final announcement was that Ultimate Spider-Man would relaunch with a new #1 issue this Fall.  Brian Michael Bendis will be writing a new series featuring a new Spider-Man in a new costume with new powers.  New powers? Yes, new powers.  Bendis said he has been doing research on spiders.

Why a new Number One issue? After all, the entire Ultimate line was relaunched only two years ago following the events of Ultimatum.  However, almost every title has experienced delays since then, with Ultimate New Ultimates being the most significant at eight months between issues.  It’s possible Marvel is trying to regain some readership with popular creators like Jonathan Hickman, Paco Median, and Rafa Sandoval becoming regular contributors.  However, Bendis points out that the story merits it in this case.  “This needs to be a new #1 issue even by the most cynical fanboy qualifications.”

What can readers expect from the story?  A promo image of Sara Pichelli’s new costume design was revealed in recent weeks with the news that someone besides Peter Parker would be filling the spider-suit after the current storylines wrap up at the end of the summer.  “There are some elements of Spider-Man even more important than Peter Parker, and those will continue into the new series” said Bendis. “I hope people will tune in, because we’re doing something that has never been done before.”  He went on to point out that he “is actually more nervous about this launch than the first Ultimate launch with the risks they are taking.”  Old characters will return, new characters will be introduced to meet them, though Bendis refused to touch any Gwen Stacy questions for the time being.  Jessica Drew will be on the new Ultimates team.  Iceman and Johnny Storm will be moved over to the new Ultimate X-Men title, but threats introduced there will come to torment Spider-Man as well.  Mysterio’s story will continue, and Bendis will be doing an Ultimate version of a classic villain he can’t believe he hasn’t done yet.   “People will see from the very first page that this is very different from what we’ve seen before. Not for shock value or cheap theatrics, but for new characters and a new landscape to explore Marvel,” said Bendis.

The art chores will be handled by Sara Pichelli, and Brian sang her praises at the liveblog. “I’m just trying to tell a story worth her time.” Pichelli’s recent work can be seen in recent issues of Ultimate Spider-Man as well as an acclaimed arc on Runaways in 2009, and many other places.

The Ultimate universe as a whole will be more closely knit, with events in one book having an impact on the others, yet each series is intended to stand fully on its own, so readers can choose what they want to read without pressure to buy multiple titles.  Bendis has been working together with Jonathan Hickman (Ultimates) and Nick Spencer (Ultimate X-Men) to plan this integration.  Early in the history of the Ultimate line, The Ultimates was on a different production schedule to Ultimate Spider-Man, so integration was more difficult.  But Bendis is excited to work on a “tight, cohesive universe” with the other Ultimate writers.  “Captain America will have a big emotional connection to the story,” he said.

Where should interested fans jump in to follow the story? Obviously, the idea of a new #1 is to make that a good starting point, but if previous fans who have left the title want to get a feel for where things are being left in the Ultimate Spider-Man universe they knew, it is recommended to read the Death of Ultimate Spider-Man arc and Ultimate Fallout.  Those questions will be addressed.  Ultimate Fallout will follow directly on the themes and events of Ultimate Spider-Man #160. Readers can expect to get “a taste of every character in the Ultimate Spider-Man universe and their reaction to events.”  Bendis said, “Death of Spider-Man is about one moment connecting two books. The new books will be more like the early days of the original Marvel Universe where little things like Thor flying by in a Spider-Man book was really cool.”

The following is a summary of the other titles and creative teams announced for this fall.

-Ultimate Comics Ultimates will be a new series spinning out of Death of spider-Man and Ultimate Fallout by Jonathan Hickman & Esad Ribic, starring Nick fury, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Spider-Woman and more, but NOT Captain America.

-Ultimate Comics X-Men, written by Nick Spencer with art by Paco Medina. The main cast to start will be Kitty Pryde, Iceman, Johnny Strom & Jimmy Hudson. Ultimate Comics X was the reaction to Ultimatum. This is the next step.

-Ultimate Comics Hawkeye will be a four-issue mini by Jonathan Hickman and Rafa Sandoval. It will run concurrently with the first four issues of Ultimate Comics Ultimates, and the stories will be interwoven to an extent, but you should be able to read each series separately if you want.

And don’t forget Ultimate Comics Spider-Man with Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli.  “They will have to pry this book from my cold dead hands. I joke, but seriously.”


35 Responses to “Ultimate Spider-Man #1, coming this Fall”

  1. #1 Spider says:

    I dig the new costume.

  2. #2 Alex says:

    Another relaunch.

    Are you freaking serious?

  3. #3 Jon M Wilson says:

    My thought is the post-Ultimatum relaunch crashed and burned for the entire line, and the new creative teams are an attempt to recover readership.

  4. #4 Alex says:

    Yeah, I get it, I just think it’s stupid. They relaunch Ultimate Spider-Man to #1, take it back to #150 and put it back to #1 again. Marvel really screwed up with Ultimatum or we wouldn’t be in this mess. I just hope that every couple of years we’re not going to get another shock story with a death (or deaths), only for the titles to relaunch every time it does so.

  5. #5 Two-Bit Specialist says:

    inb4 “Bendis should quit all books”

  6. #6 Jon M Wilson says:

    Oops, I forgot that I wrote that in the article, Alex. Sorry to repeat myself. :)

  7. #7 Johnny Freiberg says:

    im kind of exited for this because most of the ultimate books havnt been good latley and there putting very good writers on the upcoming books. However it does bother me that they are going back to a new number 1 so quickly.

  8. #8 Javi Trujillo says:

    I like the new suit and I understand the new #1 frustration, but it seems pretty warranted in this case. I’ll pick up the first issue!

  9. #9 herbiepopnecker says:

    In “Second Coming” type:
    I Don’t Care

  10. #10 Bertone says:

    This thing was relaunched less than two years ago (or exactly two years I think).

    2009 – Volume 1 is out.

    2011 – Volume 3 is out.

    That isn’t right.

  11. #11 Two-Bit Specialist says:

    Like Javi said, I think it’s warranted. There are so many changes taking place in this line.

  12. #12 Nick MB says:

    If they really are ditching Peter and bringing in a new Spidey, then that’s at least a decent excuse for a #1 issue. And maybe the approach with the numbering on the last volume is so that USM #1 – 160 would be the complete story of Peter Parker? It all rather depends on what happens at the climax of Death Of. But Bendis’s USM stories are usually reliable fun, so I’m glad he’s carrying on here. If he did want to drop some books, I kinda hope the Avengers ones go first.

  13. #13 Jon M Wilson says:

    I think this #1 is more justified than the one after Ultimatum.

  14. #14 butters911 says:

    Aw bendis said no gwen related questions. They are gonna kill her I bet :( Im glad to see Nick spencer on a title. After reading Infinite vacation and Morning Glories, that makes me petty excited for the new xmen title

  15. #15 Hobo-Goblin says:

    I remain convinced that Peter Parker will not die, but simply kill off the “Peter Parker” identity and work solely for SHIELD now as a covert agent.

  16. #16 Steerpike says:

    …. I’m gonna pretend the whole Ultimate line ended after Ultimatum.

    And why does Sabertooth have Wolverine claws?

  17. #17 Two-Bit Specialist says:

    See, that’s thing. People keep clamoring for the Ultimate line to die because of Ultimatum. Why? Should the 616 Universe die because of Siege? No. You just do better stories. Get better talent. Sounds like Marvel is serious about salvaging the Ultimate books.

  18. #18 Jon M. Wilson says:

    Sabretooth has had Wolverine claws for years.

  19. #19 Will says:

    Two-Bit Specialist: I would probably be a little more interested if they at least made the books more inviting price wise. As much as I like the talent on these books, they’ve all gone up to $3.99 and I honestly don’t think they’re worth that price especially when I spend so much on the main Marvel stuff.

    Although trades/hardcovers might be another story.

  20. #20 Brian Bradley says:

    Awesome write up. I forgot they were doing a live blog thing today, work has been unkind. Should be an interesting shakeup.

  21. #21 Jason H. says:

    Didn’t we just get a new #1 two years ago?

  22. #22 Spider-Dad says:

    I have been enjoying the current Ultimate line, so I am disappointed that it will end soon. However, this could be good. I like the new costume design and coupled with a new concept deserves at least a look. For Marvel’s sake, (and the industry at large) I hope it gains some new readers and holds on.

  23. #23 dr warren says:

    alright, i’ll continue reading this because it’s ultimate spiderman, any other book and i’d be done but USM is my favorite series ever

    wonder how long it will take for “volume 3″ to get back to the original numbering :D

  24. #24 Epidot says:

    I’ll wait until I see what the book is really about, before I call for it’s death.

  25. #25 fantasyfreak says:

    ´”A promo image of Sara Pichelli’s new costume design was revealed in recent weeks with the news that someone besides Peter Parker would be filling the spider-suit after the current storylines wrap up at the end of the summer. ”There are some elements of Spider-Man even more important than Peter Parker, and those will continue into the new series” said Bendis. “I hope people will tune in, because we’re doing something that has never been done before.”

    Spidey 2099 anyone? I know it´s not the exact same thing, but it isn´t the first time someone else not named Peter Parker is called Spider-Man. Otherwise this sounds fun. It was just that little part that bugged me.

  26. #26 Nick MB says:

    He said he’s doing something that’s never been done before. It might not necessarily be the presence of a non-Peter Parker Spider-Man that he’s talking about.

    And also, Peter Parker dying and being directly succeeded by a new guy has never been done before in an ongoing Spidey series (including 2099), so technically he’s probably still right anyway.

  27. #27 Dexter Fletcher says:

    FINALLY, somebody says it “There are some elements more important than Peter Parker” I’ve always said Spider-Man’s best asset to staying fresh was as a legacy mantle…look at all the great characters that have been written under the Spider-Mantle. Miguel, Mayday etc.

    Peter Parker is irrelevant in this day and age, his story has been completly told and all Marvel can do is cheat to keep telling it, calcifying their flagship hero in the process. Time for something new

  28. #28 Brian Bradley says:

    I disagree Dexter… Peter Parker and Spider-Man are one and the same. Who else has worn the mantle of Spider-Man…. Ben Reilly? Miguel shouldn’t oount cause that wasn’t the real Spider-Man. Peter Parker and his supporting family/cast is as core to Spider-Man as the mask or powers. When you turn the story into just a different person wearing the costume you begin to lose the focus on the humanity of the character. This isn’t just a generic hero whose name you should give to Joe Schmo, it’s a specific person with a specific purpose and responsibility. What made Spider-Man great was the fact that Peter Parker is the normal every day kid/loser/geek that so many could relate to. I’d rather not see some random person running around as Spider-Man just for the sake of shaking things up. You lose half of what makes Spidey great if you get rid of Peter. This is a ballsy risk they’re taking and I hope it pays off and we don’t just see Spider-Man become some hired goon in a suit working for SHIELD or something.

  29. #29 Jon M Wilson says:

    AOL also wrote up the news, including some details I didn’t, especially on the other Ultimate titles. http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/05/06/ultimate-marvel-rebirths-ultimates-ultimate-x-men-ultimate-spider-man/

  30. #30 Jason H. says:

    I’m afraid at this point I’ve lost all onterest with the Ultimate Universe.

  31. #31 A says:

    So, Ultimate Spider-man doesn’t come back to life in a cocoon?

    Yeah, that would be terrible.

  32. #32 Pete Wiggins says:

    The new suit is sweet. I just hope that’s not Ultimate Mattie Frankin under that mask…

  33. #33 Pete Wiggins says:

    The new suit is pretty sweet, although I gotta say the black with red motif puts me in mind of Batman Beyond. I just hope that’s not Ultimate Mattie Frankin under that mask…

  34. #34 A-to-the-J. says:

    Will pick it up if I don’t need to learn a whole heap of the ultimate universe. #1 should mean fresh start!! So I’m hopping for a completely new character to take the mantel, with a new origin… but I’m doubtful.

  35. #35 AbdulAziz says:

    I hope the identity of this guy doesn’t get revealed as much as the original guy
    It’s nice to see a character with his story all wrapped up in comic books