After a hiatus following “The Death of Spider-Man,” Ultimate Captain America is back. But the news doesn’t stop there.
The super soldier’s return is leading to "Divided We Fall," the first Ultimate Comics line-wide event following last year’s relaunch. Announced Sunday during Marvel’s Ultimate Comics panel at the C2E2 convention in Chicago, the story starts in July’s Ultimate Comics Ultimates #13 and Ultimate Comics X-Men #14, continuing into August’s Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #13 and through September.
Focusing on three central characters — Kitty Pryde, Captain America and Miles Morales — “Divided We Fall” is anchored by writers Brian Wood (Ultimate Comics X-Men), Sam Humphries (Ultimate Comics Ultimates) and Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Comics Spider-Man) and sees the rise of a new villain who plunges the Ultimate Universe into chaos, as The Ultimates are pitted against S.H.I.E.L.D. On top of that, Marvel is promoting that Cap will make a fateful “decision” during the course of the story; one that has never been done in a superhero comic. (Feel free to speculate wildly as to what that could be.)
Marvel stresses that “Divided We Fall” isn’t a typical crossover, but rather a concurrent event that affects each of the Ultimate Comics line’s three books in different and powerful ways. Newsarama talked to Humphries and Ultimate Comics line editors Sana Amanat and Mark Paniccia about the story.
Newsarama: Mark, Sana, "Divided We Fall" looks to be the first line-wide Ultimate Comics event since Ultimatum. Why is now the right time?
Sana Amanat: Well, we’ve always said we’d be doing an event like this since the beginning of the relaunch. Everything [Jonathan] Hickman, Bendis and [Nick] Spencer have laid out was leading to this point, so when you finally read the first chapters of each story for DWF, it’ll be clear that the events that happen were simply inevitable.
Mark Paniccia: We’d been working hard to establish the cohesion of the universe, see the characters cross-pollinate and reflect recent events throughout the titles. No better way to show a shared universe than with a story this big.
Nrama: The Ultimate titles have seen some changes recently, with Brian Wood coming on board Ultimate Comics X-Men, and Sam Humphries on Ultimate Comics Ultimates. Did "Divided We Fall" start to develop once they were both in place?
Amanat: Though the groundwork was there, Sam and Brian really masterminded this operation because it was their story to tell. This is their interpretation of the Ultimate Universe and the ramifications of recent events.
Paniccia: The two of them have been hard at work planning their respective characters paths and how they’ll cross—and laying the foundation for future stories.Nrama: Sam, Ultimates is your first Marvel superhero series, and just a couple months into it you're working on your first "event." How have you been enjoying the experience?
Sam Humphries: It's been awesome! I mean really, how could it not be? I've got the biggest heroes on a huge stage where anything goes. I've got a great editorial team and awesome writers like Wood, Bendis, and Hickman making sure I don't break anything. And some great talent drawing the books. Event can be such a dirty word, but for me, it's been a magic carpet ride.
Nrama: A "mysterious new villain" is at the center of the story — is it completely new character, or an Ultimate version of a villain from the classic Marvel Universe?
Sana: Completely new! But still old! Can’t say anymore, but you’re in for a fun and maniacal surprise!
Paniccia: And don’t think we’re letting you off easy with just one villain. There will be some heavy hitters in this story.
Nrama: At this point, the Ultimate Universe is known as the place where anything can happen. To what what extent is this event poised to shake things up even further?
Amanat: The name of the event says a lot about how things are going to be shaken up — or shaken down in this case since you can infer some destruction will be involved. But we’ll finally be dealing with a lot of unresolved problems — the cancers of society that run itself amok will be confronted. These are things the Ultimate Universe has been facing for awhile — the mutant issue, the unchecked power of the super rich and the super human. It’s no telling what the fallout will be because there’s so much at stake, and because the problems themselves are so relatable in the real world as well.
Nrama: Sam, with Captain America's return and S.H.I.E.L.D. playing a major role in the story, is it fair to say that the whole thing kind of spin out from Ultimates? How major of an impact does this story have on your series as a whole?
Humphries: The concept of "Divided We Fall" — the idea to have an event at all — grew very naturally out of the stories that have been happening in the Ultimate universe, and the stories we started planning for the summer.
"Divided We Fall" will have a huge impact on the Ultimates. It's going to take over the lives of Cap, Tony, Thor, Nick, and the whole crew. Not unlike an Angry Birds addiction.Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!