Welcome, greetings and possibly even salutations; for you are entering the world of my mind and comics in what I’m in no way affectionately calling Ultimate Back Issue! Why Ultimate Back Issue for the name on my weekly series on my reading of the Ultimate Marvel Universe? Well because it’s the Ultimate Universe, hence the Ultimate word in the title. Plus I’m rereading from the beginning; hence that whole back issue part. Geez, it’s not like it is rocket surgery or something.

A couple of weeks back after our rewatching the movies leading up to The Avengers, as well as our third viewing of The Avengers itself, my wife informed me that she wanted to start reading Marvel comics with me. “Holy shit, Garrus does hear my prayers!” was all I could think in that moment for this is something I had hoped and dreamed about for nearly 8 years. I had already watched every single one of my favorite shows through and through, as well as most movies. At this point reading comics with her had been at the top of my list, but it never seemed like the right time to approach the topic. Finally the opportunity was there and I offered her my entire collection of Ultimate Marvel comics as the playground for us to explore.

Where to begin became the overriding question, when suddenly it occurred to me that at this point, 12 years since the Ultimate Universe began, there must be some accepted reading order for someone wanting to take a continuity-ridden stroll through decade-plus worth of comics. That’s when I found this! What you see there is the best example of a proper reading order for the Ultimate Marvel Universe that I have found at this time. Through research I have made a few small tweaks, which I will post in next weeks issue since I don’t have access to it at this time. For now if you’re interested in catching up and reading along, or simply seeing where we are, you can use the previous guide.

As it has been a little over two weeks since we began this adventure, we are a decent way into the list, but still fairly early on. For instance, I have only just finished the Return to Weapon X storyline from Ultimate X-Men, while Charnell is just beginning Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #14. See, only a few dozen or so issues to read and you can easily catch up to us. Doesn’t that sound fun!

For our initial issue I’m going to cover each title that we’ve started in broader strokes in an effort to get the set-up and basics out of the way. Starting next week I plan to go more in-depth with what we’ve read up to this point. Even though Ultimate Daredevil & Elektra and Ultimate Elektra are featured fairly early on, I’m still going to hold them off for next week or maybe even the following week so I can go into more detail on them. This week we will be covering the first two trades of Ultimate Spider-Man. I’m actually much further along in the list, but in an effort to get this article out only two days late I’m going to focus simply on our favorite friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Next week we’ll tackle the first couple of books of Ultimate X-Men and probably Ultimate Marvel Team-Up also.

This week I won’t be able to give you the planned, lengthy heavily researched look into where the Ultimate Universe came from and exactly why Marvel started it, so stay tuned for that next Wednesday. (Yes, next Wednesday Ultimate Back Issue will be featured on the proper day, ye of little faith.) Until then, let’s jump into some comic-y goodness.

Ultimate Spider-Man

Ultimate Spider-Man #1

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