The Ultimates 1: Super-Human

ultimates volume 1 super human cover trade paperback
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Influential, self-destructive team

Dated due to format overuse

Comic Info

Comic Name:  The Ultimates

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Mark Millar

Artist:  Brian Hitch

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2005


The Ultimates #3

Reprints The Ultimates #1-6 (March 2002-August 2002).  Superheroes are on the rise and after Magneto’s big attack, a defense is needed for the world.  Tony Stark sees the future and is assembling a team called the Ultimates.  When the World War II hero Captain America is found frozen in ice, super-soldiers could be the wave of the future and the Ultimates are leading the way…if they don’t destroy themselves.

Written by Mark Millar with illustrations by Brian Hitch, The Ultimates Volume 1:  Super-Human collects the first six issues of the first series of The Ultimates.  The comic was well received by fans and the issues have also been collected in The Ultimates:  Ultimate Collection along with the second volume of the original series.

Marvel’s Ultimate line was great when it kicked off.  Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate X-Men were real powerhouses that both managed simplify the Marvel Universe and make it more realistic.  The Ultimates are the Ultimate Universe equivalent of the Avengers and also kicked off the fun.

It is interesting to go back and read The Ultimates to see how much this comic (and the Ultimate Universe) shaped the Marvel movies universe and is continuing to shape the Marvel Universe.  The tone and reading style of the comic is very much in line with The Avengers and Iron Man movies…though I love, loved this volume when it first came out, I find it a little tired since so many other writers emulated this “real world” style of superhero team after the Ultimates including other Marvel books.


The Ultimates #6

This volume does start to introduce what I do think is interesting about the Ultimates.  You have characters that are more screwed up than any villain they are fighting.  You got a Bruce Banner who murders and kills people to prove a point, an all-out fight physical between Hank and his wife Betty (which far beats the original comic’s slap that has shaped Hank since it happened), and a Thor who is more interested in being a hippy.  The other aspect I think is interesting is the development of Captain America as a soldier for America vs. the Marvel Universe’s Captain America who is a voice of the people.

Hitch’s art is great did distinguish itself from the art of the standard Marvel books.  Once again, this has changed since the release of the Ultimate line and The Ultimates is now very similar to the standard Marvel art now.  Still Hitch really adds a cinematic feel to the comic…something that also distinguished the Ultimates line.

The Ultimates 1:  Super-Human is a fun read but a little dated after over a decade.  The comic world has adapted the Ultimate line’s writing style and characterization so it doesn’t seem as special as it did when it was released.  I still recommend picking it up and checking out the evolution of a flawed super-team…which continued to be great until the third volume.  The Ultimates 1:  Super-Human is followed by The Ultimates 2:  Homeland Security.

Related Links:

The Ultimates 2:  Homeland Security

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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