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Finally finished reading volume 1 recently, holy shit that was cool. Vol 2 is already up & going....those that didnt read issue #1 need to check it out beofre it gets spoiled for em.

 

Mile High Comics is showing an even more massive preview than what I had in the previews thread, along with an intereivew with arist extraordinaire, Bryan Hitch...here's the link if the pics dont work.

 

Who leaked the most terrible secret the Ultimates keep, and what does it have to do with Banner? Captain America takes matters into his own hands and confronts ex-Ultimates member Mighty Thor! Plus - a bizarre session between Bruce Banner and the most powerful telepath on Earth - Charles Xavier!

 

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Along with those pretty pictures is an interview we ran with Bryan Hitch about this project.

 

BY JENNIFER M. CONTINO

"I love what I'm doing and can't wait to get in and start drawing," said Ultimates' artist Bryan Hitch. The first issue of volume two hits shelves in November and he and writer Mark Millar are already several issues ahead. They want the run on this volume to be smooth - hopefully without delays. Hitch hopes to be on issue seven when issue one hits the stands. He took a little time out of his schedule to answer some

 

 

THE PULSE: Ultimates Vol. 2 has the first story arc listed as five parts. How much of the five parts will be done when the first issue hits the stores?

 

BRYAN HITCH: On issue five right now so I would guess that I'll be lost somewhere in issue seven by the time it ships in December. Anyway the full run isn't really split into such well defined arcs, it's one long story with smaller sections and the first section would be more like three issues followed by two and one. It's a big story overall.

 

THE PULSE: What are some of the toughest parts to working on a series like The Ultimates where you've basically recreated - at least art wise - iconic characters that almost everyone has an idea of what they should or shouldn't be like?

 

HITCH: The toughest part of any series is always to make believable the story at hand and the characters in it. You invest a lot of time in what you're doing and hope that conviction comes through to the people reading it. Mark and I are always hard on ourselves and each other, always pushing to get the best we can do. Even though Mark is writing issue six and I'm on issue five we are still tweaking issues one and two. I'm doing some patches, adding further backgrounds making some adjustments. We've even trimmed a scene from issue two we thought ended up being superfluous and are putting in some new material in its place. It's great to be far enough ahead that we can actually edit ourselves in 'post-production' to get the best we can in the time available.

 

Design-wise, I was never too concerned about the apparent iconic status of these characters because we have the luxury of being outside their past. We effectively started again with a clean slate but with the bonus of the original material still continuing over in Avengers and the MU so that anybody who might prefer it could continue there and leave our book alone without missing anything. It's the best all round solution really. Like having your cake and eating it with a glass of diet and[/i] classic Coke.

 

THE PULSE: Whose new costume design or update was the hardest for you to create? What about this costume was a challenge?

 

HITCH: Definitely Iron-Man. Trying to make that seem functionally real and capture the solidity of his original sixties armour but being utterly modern was problematic. I've had discussions about this with Kevin Feige and the animation folks doing the Ultimate Avengers DVD's and getting the bloody legs to work was a bitch. The armour continues to evolve and only yesterday (as I write this) I worked out something I'm pleased with for the next big stage in his evolution.

 

THE PULSE: Why do you think it was important to have so much of the story done before it was solicited and released?

 

HITCH: To counteract any possible delays. We should have had a big lead time on Ultimates 1, too but that didn't happen. This way if Mark or I need a holiday or get sick, have children, experience a metal or emotional breakdown we have the issues in the can to get it done. Right now we are in the sort of shape where we could produce an issue every two months and still ship the entire run on a monthly schedule.

 

THE PULSE: That's fantastic. Speaking of a schedule, why did you and Mark want to start this story a year later?

 

HITCH: Because it's more like a movie sequel or season two. Things have moved on, it will have been six months since the last issue of Ultimates 1 shipped and this way in Ultimates 2 there's a new status quo to upset rather than just a continuation.

 

THE PULSE: In terms of your artwork how have the heroes and others featured in this story changed since last we saw them? Who's been updated?

 

HITCH: Everyone's been tweaked to some degree or other. More and evolutionary thing than an overall redesign. You find after you draw your designs day after day that some things work better than others and I've adapted accordingly. It's not that you'll see a major redesign of all the characters on the opening pages as the basic ideas were okay. I've just remodeled where I felt it wasn't quite working and will continue to do so throughout the remainder of this volume. The one who gets the most substantial makeover is Iron-man who gets a modified suit debuted in issue two and a major re-model around the midway mark for story reasons that become obvious in the later issue.

 

THE PULSE: Your art is always so detailed and so well defined. How long has it been taking you to draw each page?

 

HITCH: Oh, the art isn't that detailed, I just draw backgrounds. Dense might be a better word, it's certainly one Paul and Laura use a lot. Right now I'm comfortably doing a page a day without much trouble. Some pages take longer to draw than others, of course. I like to work in large batches of related scenes but the weekly average is good and increasing.

 

THE PULSE: How tough is it for you to just get up every day and start working - especially when its sunny outside or your friends want to go do something. How tough is it to keep on task?

 

HITCH: Not tough at all. I love what I'm doing and can't wait to get in and start drawing. Neither Mark or I have any friends so our distractions are minimal anyway.

 

THE PULSE: What are some of the intimidation factors you're faced with when looking at that blank page?

 

HITCH: The biggest is the need to get it done.

 

THE PULSE: Why did you pick the particular style and technique you're using to illustrate this series?

 

HITCH: I didn't pick any style, it's my approach to visual storytelling that's been evolving since my time was ending on Stormwatch six years ago. My knowledge continues to grow with my experience as every page is a learning curve of some kind in a project this challenging and as my knowledge grows then my drawing style continues to evolve. I can see very noticeable differences across Ultimates 1 and the new Ultimates 2; you always adapt whatever your approach may be to the material at hand, however. Mark and I wanted this to feel very real world so it involved more reference than I would normally use as we had such specific location challenges. We were determined that New York would feel as much like New York as we could manage as would all the other places the Ultimates uses. The best analogy would still be that it is sometimes more like making a movie than a comic. I daresay our next project would be as different to this as Ultimates was to JLA and JLA was to Authority.

 

THE PULSE: What time of the day are you feeling the most creative?

 

HITCH: When I'm trying to get to sleep.

 

THE PULSE: [laughs] I have that same problem. Who are some of the guest stars in the first issue?

 

HITCH: Rom: Space Knight plays a major part.

 

THE PULSE: Which did you enjoy Ultimatizing the most? Why?

 

HITCH: That's an odd question as I don't really look upon any of this as an"Ultimatization". When we were asked to create this book what seems like centuries ago we just went about it the best would could in a very natural process. "Ultimatizing" suggests a formula to the group of books which doesn't seem right and we weren't really paying any attention to any of the others in the line as we did it.

 

I'm rambling.

 

Captain America is the coolest. How's that?

 

THE PULSE: Why do you think so many people were vocal about the sketch variant?

 

HITCH: People are vocal about everything, especially the fans. Remember the word "Fan" is a shortened version of Fanatic and they are the greater population of the boards. What was more important in this case was that an initial misjudgement about how a marketing ideas would have an impact on the sales (from the retailers perspectives) was brought to Marvel's attention by the retailers and the situation was adjusted to everybody's advantage.

 

THE PULSE: How many parts is Volume 2?

 

HITCH: Ultimates 2 is twelve or thirteen issues as Ultimates 1 was. Then that's it for us.

 

THE PULSE: How is the collaboration process with Millar and Martin going?

 

HITCH: Oh, working with Mighty Mark is as energetic and interesting as it always was. We have so much planned together beyond Ultimates and we are usually on the same wavelength it's like we were separated at birth. Not physically, of course; that would be awful as I'm a tall strapping and good looking chap, whereas Mark is less fortunate in those areas and in possession of bright ginger hair. Still, he is very talented and our collaboration is the best of my career. What can add about Laura? She's one of the best colourists in the business and it's great to have the old Authority art team back together again. I would use the hoary old cliché of comfortable shoes but Laura is nobody's footwear. The colours on the first issues are just fabulous.

 

THE PULSE: What other projects are you working on?

 

HITCH: I keep my toes in the waters of the advertising world now and again. I designed the characters for Universal's new Hulk game which was a hoot, knocked out a few trading cards for the new Upper Deck Marvel Knights set and continue to act as a design consultant on the BBC's new Doctor Who show. All of which has kept me fresh and excited and done wonders for my productivity. Some very interesting stuff coming up soon as Mark and I plan our simply huge Marvel Universe follow up to Ultimates. We've had early chats about some creator owned material we'd like to find a home for; I've also had some very early talks with the just sickeningly talented Joss Whedon about Something Wonderful and if I'm able to maintain this schedule on Ultimates then I would like next year to do a contained run on Hulk. I would love to give that book the sort of visceral and big scale visuals a character like that needs. Stay Tuned!

 

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Nah, few more weeks or so...right now all we gots is the preview.

Ultimate Captain Britain....? And after Ultimate Nightmare, Ellis says he's working on "Ulitmate Secret", which is supposed to debut Captain Marvel, a la all the Kree stuff....i mean, ive got faith after these years that Ultimate usually means quality stuff, but...with Ultimat e X-Men debuting Longshot & Arcade next week...eh.

 

$5 says Ultimate Fing Fang Foom by '06.

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  • 2 months later...

WOOOO-Doggy! Just bought Ultimates Vol. 1 Hardcover edition. Very pretty pretty indeed. I can't think of another book I've loved as much(except for maybe my leather-bound copy of War & Peace I used to smack myself in the head with periodically. The one that now has a cracked cover & blood all over it).

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  • 2 months later...

Yeah, i love that im still left guessin on that...i want to believe Thor so bad.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Coming in August..

 

ULTIMATES ANNUAL #1

Written by MARK MILLAR

Penciled by STEVE DILLON

Cover by BRYAN HITCH

"THE RESERVES"

If you thought The Ultimates were the only team S.H.I.E.L.D. was creating—you were wrong! Get ready for the next wave of super-soldiers designed to protect America’s vital interests. But is this all that Director Nick Fury is up to—or is there much more to this ultra-clandestine program? And can even S.H.I.E.L.D. keep all these super-people under control?

48 PGS./PARENTAL ADVISORY …$3.99

 

I really wanna see what Dillon can pull out of his hat. Yeah, he is one of hell of a storyteller but can his art do anything for the big screen epic style that you need on the Ultimates..? I hope so..

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Newsarama: 2 pages of Ultimates # 6!

 

ULTIMATES 2 #6

Marvel has provided Newsarama with two interior pages from Ultimates #6, on sale this week.

 

The issue, as shown in the pages, features Hank Pym meeting the “Ultimate” version of the Defenders. As for the issue itself, Millar said on his messageboard:

 

“The Defenders issue is not what you're expecting. Be prepared to be talking about this issue for some time… It's mainly about Pym and The Defenders, though we see Pym interacting with some of the team.”

 

And, as MIllar explained in an interview with Newsarama: "The Ultimates are a federally funded bunch of people who cost billions of dollars every year. It struck me as interesting that the flip-side of this must exist and I wanted little groups to start popping up all over the place, wannabes who just want in on the action and who are rehearsing in their bedrooms, putting ads in papers for their teams and so on. Instead of aircraft carriers in the sky, they're maybe getting cabs to their adventures and all bitching about each other. They just appear in issue six and relate quite strongly to The Ultimates, but I can't explain why just yet without a major spoiler for the first three issues. It's a lot of fun, though. I'd love to write a spin-off book like this. I had an idea of how it could be utilized in another title, but I don't have time to write any more books at present."

 

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Shit mate, when'd you post this? I just picked up ish six, and yeah. The ante has definitely been upped on this 'who betrayed the team?' thingy. Some fuckin' classic moments though, like The Defenders 1st gig, and Wanda & Pietro Maximoff meeting Pym's androids- "Wanda, were you just flirting with that robot?!"

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  • 5 months later...

This month's Ultimates # 9 is supposed to finally reveal the traitor, according to Newsarama, for those who didnt buy the red herring put out last month (which should be all of you)...

 

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From Marvel

 

The Traitor’s Master Plan Unfolds In Ultimates 2 #9

 

The Ultimates have a traitor in their midst, the team has been systematically pulled apart, and now the traitor is readying to bring the hammer down in Ultimates 2 #9.

 

“The master plan of the traitor deep within the heart of the Ultimates comes to startling fruition!” says editor Ralph Macchio. “The Triskelion is under massive attack and this may be the defining moment for Nick Fury’s superhuman defense initiative! Don’t miss it!”

 

Even after the revelation of the traitor last issue, Tony “Iron Man” Stark and Natasha “Black Widow” Romanov are still hearing wedding bells. Will they manage to sneak in a little matrimony before engaging in the fight of their lives?

 

As Ultimates 2 makes its way towards its conclusion, the title continues to garner praise from fans and critics alike.

 

Hilary Goldstein of IGN.com says, “Had I the time, I'd individually praise every single page of this excellent book. Consistently one of the best Marvel books.”

 

David Wallace of SilverBulletComicBooks.com says, “The Ultimates 2 is truly the Marvel book which has everything, and is - in my opinion, of course - the strongest of Marvel’s Ultimate line: gripping action, thought-provoking writing, and a fantastic modern take on classic characters make this a must-read.”

 

If you’re looking for your action fix for the month, look no further than Ultimates 2 #9. The world’s mightiest heroes have arrived at their darkest hour and you cannot afford to miss out as “Grand Theft America” continues.

 

ULTIMATES 2 #9 (SEP051900)

Written by MARK MILLAR

Pencils & Cover by BRYAN HITCH

32 PGS./PARENTAL ADVISORY ...$2.99

FOC - 11/3, On Sale - 11/23/2005

 

Preview!

 

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  • 1 month later...

holy fuck! did anyone else read Ultimates # 9!? all the treachery & questions of the 2nd volume, answered....the traitor(s?) revealed, too! Shit really came together...i swear, im enjoyin USM & UXM still, but even Ultiamte Nightmare looks small compared to the shit this book's got goin on.

Loeb's got his work cut out for him next year.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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