About 15 years ago, Mark Bagley took us on a voyage to a universe in Marvel where anything could happen. It was meant to bring in younger readers and take us on the origin of Marvel from a new standpoint. It was also meant as a way for readers to see that in this universe, anything could happen and nobody was really safe. We saw the birth of Spider-man, the creation of the FF, a world where Wolverine was originally a member of the Brotherhood, and a universe where the Ultimates were the real Avengers. But then, in 2008 everything changed. Jeph Loeb took over and took us on a dark path that the Ultimate universe never revived from. Heroes were killed for the sake of being killed. Soon after, Peter Parker was killed off, and shortly after that, Galactus arrived and removed a few more heroes.The end of the Ultimate universe was in full swing, and by the end, only 1 comic remained. Now, it's all but over.
Part of the problem with this issue is that it takes away from much of what Hickman had done in Secret Wars and "Time Runs Out". In a way it doesn't even make sense. The Tony Stark from the 616 universe had created a time/universe distortion that allowed the Ultimate universe to enter the world. Much of the next few pages was dedicated to Spidey discussing how he hated the notion that everyone knows his secret identity in that universe. But, Spidey was already in that universe before and knows all this. He knows Miles Morales(who doesn't even appear in this issue), but, he seems to know nobody at all. In addition, during "Time Runs Out", it showed that the universes were destroyed and all that remained was Battleworld. So, what is this pocket that Tony found? The bar for Secret War tie-ins is pretty high because the event is extremely good. Ultimate End isnt the greatest start to a series, but there is a ton of room to grow. I do have faith that Bendis will find a way to fix this comic set and allow the universe he created to go out with a bang. But, as the issue begins we see the Punisher looking through his scope and eyeing the Ultimate universe saying he is going to do what should have been done years ago. In a way, we as readers feel the same way. I give this issue a 4 out of 10 and hope that it does improve so we can have a saving grace on a once-fantastic universe.