|Publication date||1993 – 1997|
The Ultraverse is a defunct comic book imprint published by the American company Malibu Comics which is currently owned by Marvel Comics. The Ultraverse is a shared universe in which a variety of characters—known within the comics as "ultras"—acquired super-human abilities.
The Ultraverse line was launched by Malibu Comics during the "comics boom" of the early 1990s. The new imprint debuted in June of 1993 with the characters Prime (comics), Hardcase and The Strangers. The Ultraverse was created a group of writers like Mike W Ward, Steve Englehart,Steve Gerber, James D. Hudnall, Gerard Jones, James Robinson, Len Strazewski and Larry Niven. The new imprint emphasized tight continuity between the various series in their line; Malibu made extensive use of crossovers, in which a story that began in one series would be continued in the next-shipping issue of another series. Various promotions for special editions or limited-print stories also encouraged readers to sample issues of the entire line. The Ultraverse line came to dominate Malibu's catalog. Several characters from the series Ultraforce were featured in a short-lived animated series by the same name in 1994-1995.
As American comics sales declined in the mid-1990s, Malibu canceled lower-selling series. The company was purchased by Marvel Comics in November of 1994. Reportedly Marvel made the purchase to acquire Malibu's then-groundbreaking in-house coloring studio. Other versions say that Marvel purchased the line to prevent DC Comics from buying Malibu, in order to increase DC's market share. With the new order, editorial interference lead to uneven quality, and a serie of crossovers with Marvel characters began (Like Rune/Silver Surfer). However the sales of the imprint dropped.
In September of 1995, Marvel canceled the entire Ultraverse line, but (during the controversial Black September event) re-launched a handful of the more popular titles as well as a new wave of crossovers with Marvel characters. The initial move was foreseen with popular franchises and characters from the Avengers guest-starring in their books. The "volume 2" series each started with "#∞" (infinity) issues and the Ultraverse characters were exposed to drastic new status quos.
The Black September event consisted in a crossover between the Ultraverse an Marvel Universe, when the hero teams Ultraforce and the Avengers (comics) meet and fought Loki (comics) and the entity Nemesis for the possession of the Infinity Gems. The result was a reality change event where the history and continuity of the Ultraverse was retconned, in numerous ways, and a number of characters (like Hardcase, Prototype's Jimmy Ruiz and Contrary) simply ceased to exist (or in the new continuity, to have ever existed). 
The event itself began with 5 issues that were part of the Countdown to Black September — Ultraforce vol.1 #8-10, Ultraforce/Avengers Prelude, Avengers/Ultraforce, Ultraverse/Avengers — and next continued with a one shot called Black September #∞.After which seven Ultraverse titles (Prime,Mantra, Night Man, Ultraforce, Rune, Siren, The New Exiles) restarted with a special "∞"-numbered issue.
The now-modified Ultraverse lasted less than a year and a half before the changes proved unpopular and various series were cancelled again a short time later in 1996. The last books: Prime,Rune: Hearts of Darkness and Ultraforce lasted until December of 1996, when they also were cancelled. The last comic produced in the Ultraverse line was Ultraverse Future Shock(February 1997), a one-shot that attempted to wrap the plot lines of the Ultraverse.
In 2003, Steve Englehart was commissioned by Marvel to relaunch the Ultraverse with the most recognizable characters, but the editorial decided finally not to resurrect the imprint. In June 2005, when asked by Newsarama whether Marvel had any plans to revive the Ultraverse , Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada replied that:
Let's just say that I wanted to bring these characters back in a very big way, but the way that the deal was initially structured, it's next to impossible to go back and publish these books.
There are rumors out there that it has to do with a certain percentage of sales that has to be doled out to the creative teams. While this is a logistical nightmare because of the way the initial deal was structured, it's not the reason why we have chosen not to go near these characters, there is a bigger one, but I really don't feel like it’s my place to make that dirty laundry public.
Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort has stated in the past that the reason Marvel cannot discuss the Ultraverse properties is because of non disclosure agreements in place with certain parties, which has been speculated to pertain to Scott Mitchell Rosenberg's contractual position as "ongoing producer deal for all Malibu Comics properties".
|Title||Issues||Initial cover date||Final cover date||Notes|
|Angels of Destruction||1||1996||one-shot|
|Avengers/Ultraforce||1||1995||Crossover published by Marvel Comics|
|Battlezones: Dream Team²||1||1996||One panel drawings featuring characters from Marvel and Malibu.|
|Black September||∞||1995||one-shot. It follows the reality-changes effects of the crossover with the Marvel Universe.|
|Break-Thru||1 – 2||1993||1994||mini-series. First Crossover of the Ultraverse, following the chief heroes to the moon.|
|Codename: Firearm||#0 – 5||1995||1995||Six-issue limited series by Malibu Comics for its Ultraverse line. It was written by David Quinn and Marv Wolfman, with art by Gabriel Gecko and Klebs Junior. The series was about an English sleeper agent for the Lodge named James Hitch, who was given a second personality, Peter Cordova, to aid in his cover. Alec Swan, the original Firearm, appeared as a backup story.|
|Conan vs Rune||1||1995||Crossover published by Marvel Comics|
|Curse of Rune||1– 4||1995||1995||mini-series|
|Eliminator||#0 – 3||1995||1995||mini-series that follows Rick Pearson, an ex-agent of the Aladdin organization, rebuilt like a cyborg.|
|Elven||#1 – 4||1994||1995||Four issue comic book mini-series written by Len Strazewski and drawn by Aaron Lopresti. It was about a character with abilities similar to those of Prime, save that instead of being a fan of comic superheroes such as Superman, Elven was a fan of Elfquest and similar fantasy depictions of elves. Her Ultra form and abilities reflected this, with the liquid substance produced by her body shaping itself into an Elf-like appearance (albeit with a very non-elfin female bodybuilder physique in her initial appearances), and her powers subconsciously channelled into magic-like applications.|
|Exiles||#1 – 4||1993||1993||Written by Steve Gerber and illustrated by Paul Pelletier, with plot contributions from Tom Mason, Dave Olbrich, and Chris Ulm. It is known for the creators' deliberate decision (as explained in the afterword to the last issue) to flout the accepted comic-book trope that a group of random people, who were plucked from their ordinary lives and told that they must join together to fight evil and prevent disaster, would become an effective team. Instead, key strategic mistakes led to the team's newest recruit, Amber Hunt, triggering a catastrophic explosion that killed or maimed everyone else on the team and destroyed their headquarters. This occurred at the end of issue #4, although issue #5 had been falsely solicited months in advance in order to preserve the shock value of the team's unexpected death and the comic's abrupt cancellation; retailers who had been misled into ordering Exiles #5 were subsequently reimbursed.|
|Firearm||#0 - 18||1993||1995||Comic book series created by writer James Robinson and artists Howard Chaykin and Cully Hamner, which lasted 18 issues, with an additional 0 issue. The 0 issue included a 35-minute Firearm short film, on VHS. The series was about Alec Swan, a private investigator who, against his own wishes, becomes embroiled in cases involving the strange and the ultra-human.|
|Flood Relief||1||1993||one-shot. The story is a charity-driven comic about the deluges in 1994.|
|Foxfire||1 – 4||1996||1996||After Black September, it follows Rose Autumn, a half-human hybrid from the future.|
|Freex||1 – 18||1993||1995||Short-lived comic book series from created By Gerard Jones and Ben Herrera. It concerned a team of teenage superheroes. The group that would come to call themselves the Freex were apparently created when a group of newborn infants were injected with a substance called "wetware", a mix of mutated DNA and nanotechnology that had been created by the advanced but isolated underground society called the Fire People. The nurse who injected these children would later go on to become the superhero Contrary, who utilized other Fire People technology to assist and organize Ultraforce. Also had a special: Giant Size Freex.|
|Godwheel||0 – 3||1995||1995||4 issue mini-series. It included a 'preview' book. The ultra-heroes and villains are transported to the Godwheel by the God Argus. They ended finding the Asgardian God Thor.|
|Hardcase||1 – 26||1993||1995||Also had a special : Hardcase Premiere Edition|
|Lord Pumpkin / Necromantra||1 – 4||1995||1995||mini-series: countained two flipbooks, Lord Pumkin and Necromantra.|
|Mantra||1 – 24||1993||1995||Follows an immortal warrior named Lukasz that inhabits the corpses of different people throughout time. After a battle with his enemy Boneyard, Lukasz was left in the corpse of the woman Eden Blake and forced to become a sorceress. The series had a special :Giant size Mantra.|
|Mantra vol. 2||∞ – 7||1995||1996|
|Mantra - Spear of Destiny||1 – 2||1995||1995||mini-series|
|Mutants Vs. Ultras: First Encounters||1||1996||1996||One Shot, reprinting crossover between Marvel and Malibu Characters|
|Power of Prime||1 – 4||1995||1995||mini-series|
|Prime||1 – 26||1993||1995||Ongoing series. Had the specials: Prime: Gross and Disgusting and Prime #½|
|Prime vol. 2||∞ – 15||1995||1996|
|Prime / Captain America||1||1996||one-shot|
|Prime vs. the Incredible Hulk||1||1996||one-shot|
|Prototype||0 – 18||1993||1995||A series about a superhero owned by a company. Ultratech build the armor Prototype for mechandise proposites. The series follow the second Prototype Jimmy Ruiz and his predecessor in the armor Bob Campbell. Also had a special: Giant Size Prototype.|
|Rune||0 – 9||1994||1995||It had a special :Giant SIze Rune|
|Rune vol. 2||∞ – 7||1995||1996|
|Rune: Hearts of Darkness||1 – 3||1996||1996||mini-series|
|Rune/Silver Surfer||1||1995||one-shot. Crossover that narrated the travel of Rune to the Marvel Universe and his obtaining of the Infinity Gems from the Infinty watch.|
|Rune vs Venom||1||1996||one-shot|
|Siren||∞ – 3||1995||1995||Mini-series that follows Jennifer Pearson, daughter of Eliminator and thief of profession, in his travel in the Marvel Universe.|
|Sludge||1 – 12||1993||1994||It had a special :Sludge: Red X-Mas|
|Solitaire||1 - 12||November 1993||September 1994||Superhero comic book created by Gerard Jones and Jeff Johnson in 1993 for Malibu Comics. It was published consistently from November 1993 until September 1994, when the series was, with the eighth issue, turned into a mini-series to be cancelled at the twelfth issue. Solitaire is a crime-fighting superhero. He uses detective skills and a network of street-level informants to wage a one-man war on crime a la DC's Batman. He is not, however, without superpowers, as Batman is. Solitaire has a rapid healing ability (like Marvel's Wolverine) which allows him to recover from stab wounds, gougings, and even gunshots.|
|The Night Man||1 – 23||1993||1995||Series that follow the adventures of the jazz musician Johnny Domingo. He gained ability to hear the thoughts of evil people in the same way that the Strangers. The series also had an annual: The Night Man: The Pilgrim Conundrum Saga #1|
|The Night Man vol. 2||∞ – 4||1995||1995|
|The Night Man vs Wolverine||1||1995||1995||One-shot|
|The Night Man/ Gambit||1 – 3||1996||1996||mini-series|
|The All-New Exiles||∞ – 11||1995||1996||At one point, Marvel bought the publication rights for the Ultraverse comics. In the "Godwheel" event it was established that the Ultraverse is part of the Marvel Multiverse, meaning that travel between the main Marvel Universe and the Ultraverse is possible albeit difficult. One of the consequences was that a new team of Exiles was formed and included among them characters from the main Marvel Universe.|
|The All-New Exiles vs X-Men||0||1996||1996||One-shot|
|The Phoenix Resurrection||#0||1996||One-shot. Crossover between the Ultra-heroes and the X-men.|
|The Phoenix Resurrection: Aftermath||#1||1996||one-shot|
|The Phoenix Resurrection: Genesis||#1||1996||one-shot|
|The Phoenix Resurrection: Revelations||#1||1996||one-shot|
|The Solution||0 – 17||1993||1995||Follows a team of four ultra-mercenaries: Dropkick, Outrage, Shadowmage, and Tech, in his fights against other mercenaries.|
|The Strangers||1 – 24||1993||1995||A series about six people that were traveling in a train when it were struck by a lightning, gaining superpowers. The series also had an annual: The Strangers : The Pilgrim Conundrum Saga #1|
|Ultra Monthly||#1-6||1993||1993||In-Universe Magazine about Ultra-heroes.|
|UltraForce||0 – 10||1994||1995||Follows the foundation of the Main team of Ultra-heroes: Hardcase, Prime, Prototype, Topaz, Ghoul and Contrary. The Marvel's superhero Black Knight joins in the later issues.|
|UltraForce vol. 2||∞ – 15||1995||1996||After Black September, Ultraforce had a new rooster, with the Black Knight as team leader.|
|UltraForce / Avengers Prelude||1||1995||one-shot. The Ultraforce meet Sersi of the eternals.|
|UltraForce / Avengers||1||1995||one-shot. Crossover between the two teams, follows Avengers/Ultraforce, and leads to the Black September.|
|UltraForce / Spider-Man||1||1996||one-shot|
|Ultraverse Double Feature: Prime and Solitaire||1||1994||one-shot|
|Ultraverse Future Shock||1||1997||one-shot|
|Ultraverse Origins||1||1994||one-shot. Origin pieces originally released as back-up material in various comics.|
|Ultraverse Premiere||#0||1993||one-shot - Also a Miniseries in flipbooks of other books. Issues 1-11|
|Ultraverse Unlimited||1 – 2||1996||1996||mini-series|
|Ultraverse Year Zero: the Death of the Squad||1-4||1995||1995||Miniseries that told the adventures of the first team of Ultra-heros: The Squad.|
|Ultraverse Year One||1||1994||One shot that summarizes the first year of Ultraverse.|
|Ultraverse Year Two||1||1995||One shot that summarizes the second year of Ultraverse.|
|Warstrike||1 – 7||1994||1994||The series followed Brandon Tark, a mercenary with precognitive powers that activated when h was near death. It had a special :Giant SIze Warstrike|
|Wrath||1 – 9||1994||1994||The series followed an Aladdin agent. It had a special :Giant SIze Wrath|
Crossovers with Marvel Comics
- Rune/Silver Surfer
- Spine (Lord Pumpkin #1, Hardcase #23, Ultraforce vol.1 #8, Curse of Rune #2, Mantra vol.1 #22, Eliminator #3, Lord Pumkin #4, The Nigthman #22 )
- Black September (comics)
- Prime vs. the Incredible Hulk
- Nightman vs. Wolverine
- The All-New Exiles vs. X-Men
- The Phoenix Resurrection
- Conan vs. Rune (Also Conan #4 and Conan the Barbarian #4)
- Prime/Captain America
- Rune vs. Venom
- Ultraverse Unlimited #1-2
- Ultraverse Future Shock
- In 1995, a 13-episodes cartoon featured the characters of Ultraforce was produced by DIC Productions, L.P. and Bohbot Entertainment. The series also featured Sludge (comics), the NIght Man, and The Strangers.
- A live action series featuring the NIght Man aired in syndication from September 15, 1997 to May 17, 1999. The series had a crossover with another television series Manimal.
- The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book Icons and Hollywood Heroes, Gina Misiroglu (2012), p. 377.
- McLelland, Ryan (August 25, 2005). "Ultraverse Ten Years Later". Sequart. Sequart Organization. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
- Straub, L. D. (1994-11-04). "Comic Book Giant Marvel Buys Upstart Rival Malibu". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
- Reynolds, Eric. "The Rumors are True: Marvel Buys Malibu," The Comics Journal #173 (December 1994), pp. 29-33.
- "Comics Publishers Suffer Tough Summer: Body Count Rises in Market Shakedown," The Comics Journal #172 (Nov. 1994), pp. 13-18.
- "News!" Indy magazine #8 (1994), p. 7.
- Cronin, Brian (December 16, 2016). "Comic Legends: Why Did Marvel REALLY Buy the Ultraverse?". CBR.com.
- Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes Vol 4 #17 (2005)
- Black September' #∞ (1995) Malibu Comics
- Ultraverse Future Shock #1 (1997) Malibu Comics
- Cronin, Brian (April 15, 2017). "Comic Legends: Was There Almost an Ultraverse Reboot at Marvel?". CBR. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
- Englehart, Steve. "The Strangers (Marvel)". Retrieved 23 August 2020.
- "Joe Fridays - Week 9". Newsarama. Archived from the original on 25 October 2005.
- De Blieck, Augie Jr. (December 17, 2013). "Miracleman, Malibu's Coloring Department & More!" CBR.com.
- Wickstrom, Andy (4 August 1994). "Tale On Tape Concludes In Comic Book". articles.philly.com. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
- Misiroglu, Gina (2012). "Ultraverse Heroes". The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book Icons and Hollywood Heroes. Visible Ink Press. pp. 377–379. ISBN 9781578593972.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Keith Dallas, Jason Sacks (2018). "1991". American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1990s. TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 99–100. ISBN 9781605490847.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)