Comic Deep Dive: Malibu’s Ultraverse

Comic Deep Dive

Hey, folks! Welcome to Comic Deep Dive! During these COVID-related comics dark times, I’ve taken the opportunity to do some strange and exciting comic book reading to fill the time. This week, I’m talking all about Malibu’s Ultraverse! Here’s the run-down:

The Story

  • Marvel and DC were controlling most of the market shares
  • Malibu decided they wanted their own shared universe
  • Ran from 1993 to 1996 (with an epilogue in 1997)
  • Acquired by Marvel and all-but forgotten about… until now

The Titles

  • Eliminator
  • Elven
  • Exiles, The All-New Exiles
  • Firearm, Codename: Firearm
  • Foxfire
  • Freex
  • Hardcase
  • Mantra, Necro Mantra, Mantra: Spear of Destiny, Mantra Vol. 2
  • The Night Man, The Night Man Vol. 2
  • Prime, Power of Prime, Prime Vol. 2
  • Prototype
  • Rune, Rune: The Spin, Rune: Awakenings, Rune: Hearts of Darkness, Curse of Rune, Rune Vol. 2
  • Siren
  • Sludge
  • Solitaire
  • The Solution
  • The Strangers
  • Ultraforce, Ultraforce Vol. 2
  • Ultraverse Premiere
  • Warstrike
  • Wrath

The Events

  • Break-Thru
  • Godwheel
  • Black September
  • The Phoenix Resurrection

The Crossovers

  • Exiles / X-Men
  • The Night Man / Gambit
  • The Night Man / Wolverine
  • Prime / Captain America
  • Prime / Hulk
  • Rune / Conan
  • Rune / Silver Surfer
  • Rune / Venom
  • Ultraforce / Avengers
  • Ultraforce / Spider-Man

The Good Stuff

  • Several unique characters
  • Robinson’s “rooftop issue” of Firearm is ahead of its time
  • Quite a few well-done official Marvel crossovers
  • Several fun Marvel cameo appearances (Loki, Thor, Sersi, Green Goblin, Punisher, Taskmaster, and Diamondback)
  • A few D-list Marvel characters actually joined the Ultraverse (Juggernaut, Black Knight, Sienna Blaze, and Reaper)
  • Revolutionized the coloring of comics in the industry

The Bad Parts

  • Pre-Ultraverse Malibu was pretty much unreadable
  • Now defunct with no possibility of a return
  • Too many titles too fast
  • Not a very cohesive universe
  • Gerard Jones’ legacy taints half of the creations

The Creators of Note

  • James Robinson
  • Mike W. Barr
  • Warren Ellis
  • George Perez
  • Terry Dodson
  • (and some early work from Mike Wieringo, Humberto Ramos, and Dan Abnett)

Characters Off the Page

  • Ultraforce animated series
  • Line of action figures
  • Trading cards
  • Live-action The Night Man show

Overall Thoughts

  • Fun deep dive
  • I read it all, definitely worth the time
  • I plan on keeping stories featuring Firearm, Rune, Night Man, Exiles, Ultraforce, Mantra, and the crossovers in my collection
  • My final grade: C

See you next week for another comic deep dive! In the meantime, share your thoughts on Malibu’s Ultraverse with us on social media. We’d love to hear from you.

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