Marvel is bringing fans a new Spider-Man as part of its relaunched Ultimate Universe, and there’s a chance they tie into the wider lore established by Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. In the movie, Miles Morales learns that he’s an anomaly – someone who was never ‘meant’ to gain Spider-Powers, and whose presence is adversely affecting the structure of the multiverse.
At Marvel’s ‘Next Big Thing’ panel at New York Comic Con 2023, the publisher announced that Jonathan Hickman and writer Marco Checchetto will helm a new Ultimate Spider-Man series, coming 2024. Very little is known about the series so far, however a video shared by Marvel Entertainment depicts the hero quickly morphing between different appearances (beginning at 1:12).
The video shows Spider-Man switching from his traditional red and blue costume, to his black symbiote suit, to Ben Reilly’s spider-suit, then to Spider-Man 2099. Notably, these aren’t just alternate costumes – two of them are different individuals altogether (and arguably so is the symbiote.) The effect is similar to the ‘glitching’ shown in the Spider-Verse movies, and this makes sense, since the new Spider-Man is the result of a broken canon event.
Marvel’s New Ultimate Universe Began with a Broken Canon Event
In Across the Spider-Verse lore, canon events are key narrative beats within any spider-hero’s life that must remain the same. These include the hero being bitten by a spider, the death of a police captain, and the emergence of Venom. When Miles Morales prevents a canon event on Earth-50101, he accidentally destabilizes that entire reality. He later learns that due to the events of the first Spider-Verse movie, he is the original anomaly, and responsible for causing the rest. Now, however, it seems he has company, with evidence that the new Spider-Man of the Ultimate Universe is also an anomaly.
In Ultimate Invasion #1, readers saw the origin of the new Ultimate Universe, as the supervillain known as the Maker (an evil version of Reed Richards) traveled through time, rewriting the history of Earth-1610 in order to make it easier for him to control. His first act was to visit that reality’s Peter Parker on the day he’d be bitten by a spider and prevent his superhero origin, taking the spider into his own possession. By the rules of the Spider-Verse movies, the Maker therefore broke a canon event in that reality – something that makes sense as being within his capabilities, given he’s originally from a different timeline. However, the Maker has a lot of experience messing with other realities, so it’s possible that like the movie’s Spider Society, he has a way to buttress reality and stop it collapsing despite his actions.
Ultimate Spider-Man’s Creators Have Referenced Into the Spider-Verse
The animated Spider-Verse movies also showed canon events from the original Marvel Comics, suggesting that Marvel’s comic realities are connected to the same web (and thus subject to its rules), and there’s evidence that the movie inspired the upcoming Ultimate Spider-Man, with Hickman stating that the title is “a bit of a Peter B. Parker situation” at Marvel’s ‘Next Big Thing’ panel at New York Comic Con (this character, played by Jake Johnson, is a breakout character from the films.) The creators are therefore very much aware of the ‘rules’ of the cinematic Spider-Verse, and the consequences the Maker should have caused by interfering.
Fans know that the Maker broke one of the Ultimate Universe Spider-Man’s canon events, and now Marvel has depicted him glitching between appearances – not just costumes, but different heroes within the Spider-Verse. It therefore makes sense that the new Ultimate Spider-Man will be some kind of anomaly – a consequence of the Maker breaking reality and reshaping it to his whims. It’s exactly the kind of big, bold idea the Ultimate Universe exists to tell, however fans will only know if this is the case when Ultimate Spider-Man #1 hits shelves January 2024.
Source: Marvel Entertainment