When the Ultimate line was launched in 2000, it was considering the beginning of a new era for Marvel’s heroes. And now it looks that may all come crashing down. In the upcoming event Cataclysm, Galactus makes his arrival into the Ultimate universe – and boy does he have an appetite.
It all starts with next month’s Cataclysm #0.1, where writer Joshua Hale Fialkov takes the seeds planted in the current Hunger series and opens the doors on what could be the last stand for Marvel’s Ultimate heroes. In addition to writing this special Point One issue, Fialkov will be writing both Cataclysm: Ultimate X-Men and Cataclysm: Ultimates miniseries picking up from the conclusion, whether temporary or not - Marvel's not saying - of those regular series in October.
For more on this, Newsarama talked with Fialkov concerning Galactus’ impending arrival, the heroes’ response, and their potential savior. He brought along answers, and som Mico Suayan art from inside the point one issue.
Newsarama: The Ultimate line is going through some big changes, and it all begins with October’s Cataclysm #0.1 – which was just revealed as you writing. What can you say about the Cataclysm event, and this issue in particular?
Joshua Hale Fialkov: It's going to be huge. Which, I suppose is a cliché, but, honestly, the story Brian and I are telling across these four books is going to be like nothing you've ever seen in the Ultimate line before. It runs the whole gamut from the small and intimate to the epic, blockbuster style storytelling the Ultimate Universe is known for. We're going to be tying up a lot of loose ends, and building on the stories that these books have been telling for over a decade now.
Nrama: The Ultimate characters are the main players in this, but they’re all overshadowed – literally and visually – by the incoming Galactus. Can you tell us about this entreat Galactus is making into the Ultimate universe?
Fialkov: Well, he's like nothing the ultimate universe has ever seen before. They've had their share of global threats, but, this is something so far out of their understanding of the universe, that they're sort of doomed. Luckily, there's another nearby universe that might be able to help. If, y'know, the two meeting again doesn't cause all of reality to break apart.
Nrama: And running beside you in this is Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley doing Cataclysm: The Ultimates’ Last Stand. Can you describe the working relationship with you, Bendis and Marvel editorial on this event?
Fialkov: I mean, it's a dream come true. The work on Ultimate Spider-Man that Brian and Mark did was a lot of what made me want to write mainstream comics. When they were doing their stories that were just filled with action and adventure, but, more importantly, dripping with character, it was a high water mark not just for the Ultimate Universe but for all of comics. Working even in the same ball park as them is a true honor.
Nrama: Leading up to this you’re doing the final issues of Ultimate Comics Ultimates, which transitions into the 3-issue mini Cataclysm: Ultimates. Without spoiling the final two issues of the main series, what can you say about Cataclysm: Ultimates?
Fialkov: The events of Ultimate Comics Ultimates #30 spill directly into Cataclysm in a very concrete way. The damage and disaster that Reed and his team have cause is going to present a wounded animal up to Galactus to feed on, which, y'know, doesn't bode well. In the shadow of this global catastrophe, Galactus arrives, and let's just say, it's not just the Ultimates or S.H.I.E.L.D. that are waiting for him to arrive.
Nrama: You’re also shepherding the X-Men through this Ultimate event with Cataclysm: Ultimate X-Men. Without spoiling the end of the main series’ “World War X” arc, what’s going on in this mini?
Fialkov: Well, after Brian Wood graphicly and concretely murders everyone in that last issue, I get a chance to start fresh. So, go me! It's a lot of fun playing with these characters and concepts, particularly as Brian has reinvisioned them during his run. We'll also see the return of a fan favorite character. Hint: Ultimate Geldof.
Nrama: Hey now… stepping around that mindfield, can you say who’s in the X-Men team as it stands when this mini opens?
Fialkov: Not without Brian Wood kicking me in the crotch, and, that dude works out, so I'm going to have to pass.
Nrama:Understood, but speaking of working out – Wood has really revitalized that team in his run there since last year. How are you working to make the transition from you to him seamless?
Fialkov: We talked a lot about what his story needed, and what his story left open for me to tell my story. I'm very much dedicated to honoring all of the brilliant work he did, right up until he murdered everybody. Seriously, what a monster!
Nrama: Although your career at the Big Two is just coming into full bloom, you’ve been in and around comics for going over a decade now. With all of that, what makes this Cataclysm event special for you and in terms of event comics?
Fialkov: Well, it's certainly one of the biggest things I've ever worked on, and, getting to do it with one of my favorite writers and nicest people in comics at the helm in Brian Bendis just makes it even better. It's going to be awesome.