Bleeding Cool, which specializes in funnybook scuttlebutt, is positing that next year's big Marvel event might actually pit the Avengers vs. the Ultimates in a big multiversal crossover. That would be significant enough, but they're also suggesting that the end result of that event would be the end of the Ultimate Comics universe – in publishing, if not in the actual destruction of their dimension.
Ultimate Comics began as a pretty big deal – a fresh new universe where anything could happen without the constraints of having to maintain a franchise, and thus you couldn't really have all that many lasting effects that take characters too far away from their iconic status quos. Anything could happen, and we've seen that – Peter Parker died, Captain America became president, Reed Richards is a crazy villain, the Hulk was a cannibalistic rapist… and so on.
But these days, the whole allure of the Ultimate universe, at least conceptually, has somewhat evaporated, as it's over 10 years in and quite a bit has happened, and it's no longer the fresh, young take on classic Marvel characters. It's just another alternate reality. President Cap and the new Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales may be interesting developments, but if this rumor is true, those stunts weren't enough to reignite interest, and thus, Ultimate Comics may be facing its own ultimatum.
Or, it could just be scuttlebutt and turn out to be a half-truth or a complete falsehood. But there's always that old quote from Joe Quesada, suggesting that if the Ultimate universe ever crosses over with the mainstream 616, it would mean they were out of ideas – and that watershed moment has already passed with last year's Spider-Men. So take that under advisement as well. Maybe they just don't know what to do with it anymore – or maybe it'll wind up being a page-one rewrite, establishing it as a universe that restarts fresh every decade or so. That wouldn't be too bad a concept, telling stories with a beginning, middle and end, but with enough time to really flesh it all out.
What do you think? Will you miss the Ultimate universe if it's gone? Do you want to see Our Steve Rogers vs. A-Is-Not-For-France Steve Rogers? Where do your loyalties lie?