ULTIMATE FF: Fialkov Charts Future of Marvel's Ultimate Universe

Ultimate FF #1 McKone Cover
Credit: Marvel Comics

Sue Storm is stepping up and taking charge.

After seeing her friends fall, her family die, and her ex-boyfriend go evil, the super-powered biochemistry brainiac is following in her father’s footsteps and building a team of super geniuses to fix the world called the Future Foundation. In this spring’s Ultimate FF. Storm leads a team of surprising recruits – Tony Stark, Phil Coulson, Sam Wilson, Danny Ketch (and one big surprise!) – to mend the damage Cataclysm wrought and prevent similar events from happening again. Series writer Joshua Hale Fialkov compares the approach of the Ultimate FF to the Ultimates’ style as a finely-tuned screwdriver to that of a blunt hammer.

Joined by newly recruited artist Mario Guevara (Solomon Kane), Fialkov’s Ultimate FF shows the Invisible Woman looking to right what went wrong with that universe’s Fantastic Four and use the world’s brightest minds to keep their world from going dark. Newsarama spoke with Fialkov about this exciting new series, discussing the establishment of the Future Foundation in the Ultimate Universe, the surprising roster Sue recruits, and the specter of her original team.

Ultimate FF #1 McKone Cover
Ultimate FF #1 McKone Cover
Credit: Marvel Comics

Newsarama: What a surprise this new Ultimate FF series is, Joshua. You've been in the thick of Ultimate U planning for a while – can you tell us how it came to be?

Joshua Hale Fialkov: Well, if anyone has read my Ultimates issues, you can tell that I'm a pretty big fan of the Fantastic Four corner of the Ultimate Universe, and almost right away I was pitching stories that were Sue, Ben, Johnny, and Reed focused. Reed's been such a big part of the universe, that having the rest of the team be heavily involved only made sense for me.

Nrama: But this isn’t the Fantastic Four, right?

Fialkov: Right. At the same time, the powers that be wanted to explore a different take on the team, this being the Ultimate Universe and all, so we came to the idea that the world's four smartest people will team up to try and save the universe. Which, y'know, has a nice ring to it.

Nrama: Indeed. Enough inside baseball talk -- let's talk about itself. What's it about, who's in it, and what's at stake?

Fialkov: The very fabric of reality of the Ultimate Universe is breaking apart, and fast. Sue Storm realizes that the idea behind the Baxter Building group was the right one, but Reed wound up screwing the whole thing up. So this time, she's going to build her own team of geniuses, and they're going to do nothing but try to fix the universe. She recruits Tony Stark, Sam Wilson, Danny Ketch, and a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent named Phil Coulson, and goes about trying to stop dimensional rifts from swallowing the universe. Oh, And, there's one more primary team member. Someone so despicable and reviled that I couldn't believe they'd let me use him (let alone that Sue would let him on her team after everything he's done to her...)

Nrama: H.E.R.B.I.E.? Hmm.. maybe not.

People think they know the Future Foundation, but this isn't the 616. This is created to help fill the void left by the dismantling of S.H.I.E.L.D. So just what is the Future Foundation intended to do and be?

Fialkov: What we've seen in the past year of the Ultimate Universe is that things are unspooling fast. We're getting closer and closer to an extinction event, and the traditional methods of stopping them are becoming increasingly less and less effective. The Future Foundation is going to be like a fine screwdriver to the hammer that was the Ultimates.

Nrama: It's been rare for Sue Storm to have a chance to stand on her own, but here she's leading a team of her own. What's her mindset like here?

Fialkov: She's definitely guilty over the past few years of life... Reed turned rotten on her watch, and she let the Infinity Gems get out of control, and, through it all, she's gotten angrier and angrier. She sees this as not just the last hope for the world, but, the last hope she has for not turning into the twisted future version of herself that we met in Ultimates.

Nrama: Danny Ketch is a part of the team -- but he's not the Ketch casual fans would know. What's going on with Danny?

Fialkov: People'll are going to have to read Cataclysm: The Ultimates #3 to find out. We've brought over one of my all-time favorite characters and mashed him up with Danny, who's become one of my favorite characters to write. All credit goes to editor Mark Paniccia on that one though. It's super, super cool.

Nrama: You mention the initials FF and people ask about Sue's former companions -- Reed, Johnny and Ben. Will they play a role in this at all, considering what's happened to them in the Ultimate Universe?

Fialkov: Oh, absolutely. The relationships and baggage that Sue carries is what excites me most about the book, and it's something I've been focused on extensively since getting into the Ultimate universe. I love these characters so much, I just can't wait for people to see what we have in store...

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