Cataclysm is underway in Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, with the original Galactus stepping through dimensional rift to feast on that universe’s Earth. But many of the heroes who have fended him off in the 616 are gone or horribly subverted to other paths, leaving the remaining heroes of the Ultimate Universe ill-prepared to stop him. But that doesn’t stop him from trying.
After the searing conclusion to the “World War X,” the mutants of the Ultimate Universe are split into two camps and stranded in the far corners of the world. Joshua Hale Fialkov and Alvaro Martinez are taking on one of the group’s story in the three-part Cataclysm: Utlimate X-Men miniseries. His team is a rescue team sent to save the injured Pixie while still dealing with their own trauma from “World War X,” but along the way they learn about the arrival of Galactus and happen upon a secret weapon that might be able to stop him. Fialkov brings this up in an interview with Newsarama about Cataclysm: Ultimate X-Men which launces on November 27, poising the question of the Ultimate Nullifier – what if in the Ultimate Universe it’s not a what, but a who.
Newsarama: Fresh out of Ultimate X-Men’s “World War X,” and you’re taking the remaining crew into Cataclysm. What can readers look forward to in Cataclysm: Ultimate X-Men #1?
Joshua Hale Fialkov: I'm picking up right where Brian Wood left off. The team has been torn apart by this gigantic war between the rival factions, and are now rebuilding. We start with the team searching for Pixie who got hurt and then trapped on Tian. A team is sent to find her, each of them dealing with their own PTSD. I think one of the things that the Ultimate universe does so right is the feeling of consequences that weigh down on these characters. They've seen so much death and destruction, that when they get a breather, a lot of emotion comes pouring out. Luckily, that breather is interrupted by a giant purple man in the sky.
Nrama: As I mentioned earlier, “World War X” really decimated the mutant race for the Ultimate Universe. What kind of shape will they be in to even hope to stand up to Galactus in Cataclysm?
Fialkov: This event is about the entirety of the universe, and about all of these characters banding together, so, we'll get to see a bunch of X-Men in the main series, but, over here, these guys are stranded half way around the world, and are completely helpless against Galactus. To make matters worse, they find a very damaged Pixie who, well, let's say, sends them on an unexpected journey.
Nrama: Who's in the team going to rescue Pixie on Tian?
Fialkov: We've got Storm, Rogue, Blackheath, Jimmy Hudson, Iceman, and Mach 2. But, they very quickly come up against the Tianese, a few of which you might recognize from the main Marvel universe.
Nrama: How would you describe the state of mutantkind as you take over this series?
Fialkov: Defeated, to some degree. I think that they've lost so much that they can never really be what they once were. They're fighters and they won't give up, but so much of who they are and what they stand for has been lost, that, we now stand on the brink of either destruction or rebirth.
Nrama: In the solicits there’s talk of a secret weapon mutants may have that could stop Galactus. Any hints? Is it bigger than a breadbox?
Fialkov: Oh solicits, you rapscallions you. Well, first they have to GET to him, and that proves to be pretty challenging. Oh, and that weapon isn't a what, it's a who.
Nrama: Last time we spoke, you mentioned the return of a fan-favorite character from Ultimate lore. You said Ultimate Geldof at the time – joking… or not?
Fialkov: Joking? [laughs]