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Ultimate Marvel Team-Up

Ultimate Marvel Team-Up is a comic book series, published by Marvel Comics which ran for 16 issues, including a concluding Ultimate Spider-Man Super Special. It is set in one of Marvel's shared universes, the Ultimate Universe. The whole series starred Spider-Man teaming up with another superhero each issue. The series was written by Brian Michael Bendis, with each arc drawn by a different artist.

Issues, artists and characters

Issue 1

Sabretooth's First Appearance in Ultimate Marvel

Issues #2-3

Hulk's First Appearance in Ultimate Marvel

Issues #4-5

Iron Man's First Appearance in Ultimate Marvel

Issues #6-8

Daredevil & Punisher's First Appearance in Ultimate Marvel. It shows that Punisher's family was killed by dirty cops and is hunting them down one by one. One of these cops is a client of Matt/Daredevil and is killed in his office while explaining the situation, so Daredevil and Spider-Man stop him from killing the last of the cops. In the end the Punisher and the last cop end up sharing a cell together and one cop telling him that he still has friends.

Issue #9

Issue #10

The Lizard and Man-Thing's first appearance in Ultimate-Marvel

Issue #11

Issues #12-13

  • Spider-Man and Doctor Strange
  • Penciled and inked by Ted McKeever

Issue #14

Black Widow's First Appearance in Ultimate Marvel

Issues #15-16

Shang-Chi's First Appearance in Ultimate Marvel

Ultimate Spider-Man Super Special

Blade and Elektra's First Appearance in Ultimate Marvel

Continuity

Some of the issues have problems with the Ultimate Marvel canon. Brian Michael Bendis has stated that the Fantastic Four issue (#9) was intentionally written to be non-canonical - after all, it features Spider-Man and some Skrulls going on a rampage through the Marvel offices. So this can be discounted straight away.

The appearance of the Hulk (issues #2-3) seems fairly inconsistent with later appearances, in terms of the Hulk's strength and his skin colour (later he is grey). One plausible explanation is that the addition of a sample of Captain America's blood to the Hulk serum brought about this change. Unfortunately, the reaction by S.H.I.E.L.D. to the Hulk's being loose in Manhattan suggests that he has always been as fearsome as he is in that issue. However, in Ultimates #2, Banner and Fury sit at a restaurant watching the pier he destroyed, so Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #2-#3 should be regarded as canonical. Most recently, in the Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk mini-series, it was revealed that the Hulk's color changes from time to time. This was confirmed by the Hulk being green in Ultimate Origins.

With the Iron Man story (issues #4-5), Peter explains the history of Tony Stark - a history which has since been proven false by the Ultimate Iron Man mini-series. However, this has since been explained by editors at Marvel as being a false story put out by Stark Industries to conceal Iron Man's true background. Also, Iron Man's armor looks nearly identical to the Earth-616 (main Marvel continuity) version rather than the more bulky, gray, red, and yellow armor he would wear in latter appearances in the Ultimate universe. However, in both volumes of The Ultimates, it is stated that Tony has more than one suit of armor, with him wearing an older armor at the end of the 'Grand Theft America' arc of Ultimates 2. Also, his armor in "Ultimates 3" is almost identical to the Iron Man armor from the mainstream continuity.

In Nick Fury's appearances in the series (#5 and #14) he has hair - something his 616 counterpart does, but the Ultimate character does not. He also has hair in his appearances in the Weapon X arc of Ultimate X-Men (issues 7-12). As the eye-patch dominates Fury's appearance, and as the hairstyle in UXM is a low-profile 'jar-head' style, it is conceivable that Fury changed his hair-style, opting to shave.

However, other problems are more complex, and revolve around appearances of the Fantastic Four, Doctor Doom and Latveria. The current position by Marvel is that Latveria (which is mentioned a lot through the series) does exist, is a dictatorship, but has nothing to do with Doctor Doom. In fact Latveria has been mentioned since, in the Ultimate Spider-Man video game, where the Beetle comes from Latveria. In Ultimate Spider-Man the character Geldoff is from Latveria and was subject to genetic experiments when he was in his mother's womb by Latverian scientists. Also, a recent arc of Fantastic Four reveals Latveria, as a country that has just recently been taken over by Doctor Doom.

So the only continuity issues are with the pictures of Doctor Doom up on the walls of the Latverian Embassy in issue #14, and with the appearance of an older Fantastic Four in the Super Special. In fact this older Fantastic Four is also mentioned in Ultimate Spider-Man #33, and the "Reed Richards Science Center" is mentioned both later in that arc and in the Ultimate Spider-Man video game, while the Science Center could not be named after Reed Richards as he is only a teenager. These misappearances clearly clash with the current iteration of the Ultimate Fantastic Four, but Joe Quesada, Bendis and other editors at Marvel have said that they plan to address these issues in a future Ultimate Fantastic Four arc, rumored to involve Doctor Doom and time travel.

Another issue concerning the Fantastic Four is raised in the Super Special; Spider-Man contacts the team and asks to join (similar to an early plot point in The Amazing Spider-Man). The team refuses him, explaining they are not willing to expand, but during the meeting the F4 discover Spider-Man's real identity. Yet in the normal USM series, the Fantastic Four discover his identity in the Ultimate Clone Saga.

Collections

Collection Title Format Number of Issues ISBN
Ultimate Marvel Team-Up Vol. 1 Trade Paperback #1-5 ISBN 0-7851-0807-6
Ultimate Marvel Team-Up Vol. 2 Trade Paperback #9-13 ISBN 0-7851-1299-5
Ultimate Marvel Team-Up Vol. 3 Trade Paperback #14-16 & Ultimate Spider-man Special ISBN 0-7851-1300-2
Ultimate Marvel Team-Up Ultimate Collection Trade Paperback #1-16 & Ultimate Spider-man Special ISBN 0-7851-2361-X
Ultimate Marvel Team-Up Hardcover #1-16 & Ultimate Spider-man Special ISBN

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