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  1. #1

    Default How would you do an "Ultimate" DC Universe?

    With the recently (seemingly debunked) rumor that another reboot could be coming, a number of people have expressed interest IN DC doing a "Marvel Ultimate" style alternate universe, where they can experiment with characters without upsetting main continuity. The "Earth One" graphic novels sort of do this already, but for the sake of this topic, let's say you're in charge of a hypothetical "Ultimate Earth". How would you do the series of some of your favorite characters?

    My personal ideas:

    Superman: Personally, I'm a huge fan of Grant Morrison's Action Comics run, and Action Comics #1 is one of my favorite single issues. I love the idea of a more pro-active, bold Superman with golden-age power levels. Well out of everyone else's league, but something like a bullet train can stun him. So the Superman book would follow that formula for as long as possible.

    Blue Beetle: Because whats a major line launch or relaunch without yet another attempt at a Blue Beetle solo? This would follow the often overlooked Dan Garret, action archeologist. Itd be a globe-trotting, mystical adventure, with an emphasis on ancient civilizations and history. Like Brendan Fraser's Mummy meets Legends of the Hidden Temple.

    Batman: Gloss over his origin, start his ultimate continuity with the introduction of Dick Grayson's Robin. Bring back the original Dynamic Duo, with a focus on how they grow each other and their father/son-esque relationship, and the differences in their outlook on life as orphans. Keep Dick Grayson Robin for at least 10 years before upgrading him to Nightwing. Really want to mjlk this team.

  2. #2

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    Love these ideas. I’d really love to see Dick grow as Robin over time, without rushing him to adulthood the way the New 52 handled it. An Ultimate line is exactly what I’d want for that reason. I’ve been kicking the idea around for Dick as Robin to come up again in something like an Ultimate line so I have lots ideas, lol.

    Yeah, a tremendous focus on the Dynamic Duo just being themselves sounds perfect. No more edgy Batman, none of Dick feeling he’s inferior, just the ultimate father-and-son team of crime fighters and detectives. Would love Two-Face’s rivalry with Dick to come back in full force, plus Nightwing villains like Raptor and the Judge. And lots of Morrison era villains can get focus now too. It’d be like the Golden Age and Silver Age in 2018, something I feel the Batman franchise could benefit from.

  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Well, I suppose it would really depend on what the main continuity was doing, since an Ultimates style line would have to offer something viably different to make it worthwhile.

    Since we have no idea what DC's prime line is going to look like when all the missing decade/Manhattan stuff is resolved all I can do is guess.

    But if I had to throw a pitch right now, I'd pitch a DCU that has been active since 1938 and takes inspiration from the actual publishing history, the Bombshells universe, and then things like New Frontier and Grant Morrison's first Action Comics run (the t-shirt and jeans Golden Age revival), and certain attitudes and approaches from Robinson's early Earth-2 title, Kingdom Come, and Batman Beyond.

    And then plot out the history as if eighty years of superhumanity had come and gone and see what the world looks like by the modern day. It wouldn't be post-Crisis, where all the Golden Age characters existed (except the Trinity). It wouldn't be a straight continuation of pre-Crisis earth-2. It'd be something completely different, but hopefully still recognizable as "a" version of the DCU.

    So Superman is a hundred years old now (but long lived so he's still in shape), and all the people he knew at the Daily Star have passed on. Kara, who's as long-lived as Clark, would be Superwoman and Clark himself would leave the day-to-day superheroics to the newer kids, focusing his efforts on the sciences and social policy. Bruce has been dead for decades and Grayson is an old, old man. Diana has returned to Paradise Island to rule as queen, with her daughter Fury (taking the name, and little else from the Infinity character) carrying on as the current Wonder Woman.

    Completely new status quo's for a lot of characters, and a ton of legacies and brand new faces in established mantles. I'd make sure that most every character introduced since the 1960's doesn't exist on this earth, to ensure that there isn't too much repetition between the Ultimate DC and the mainstream one. So no Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, etc. A handful of exceptions would be fine, but only with lesser known Z-list characters like the terribly under-used Amazing Man.
    Higher, Faster, Further....More.

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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Well, I suppose it would really depend on what the main continuity was doing, since an Ultimates style line would have to offer something viably different to make it worthwhile.

    Since we have no idea what DC's prime line is going to look like when all the missing decade/Manhattan stuff is resolved all I can do is guess.

    But if I had to throw a pitch right now, I'd pitch a DCU that has been active since 1938 and takes inspiration from the actual publishing history, the Bombshells universe, and then things like New Frontier and Grant Morrison's first Action Comics run (the t-shirt and jeans Golden Age revival), and certain attitudes and approaches from Robinson's early Earth-2 title, Kingdom Come, and Batman Beyond.

    And then plot out the history as if eighty years of superhumanity had come and gone and see what the world looks like by the modern day. It wouldn't be post-Crisis, where all the Golden Age characters existed (except the Trinity). It wouldn't be a straight continuation of pre-Crisis earth-2. It'd be something completely different, but hopefully still recognizable as "a" version of the DCU.

    So Superman is a hundred years old now (but long lived so he's still in shape), and all the people he knew at the Daily Star have passed on. Kara, who's as long-lived as Clark, would be Superwoman and Clark himself would leave the day-to-day superheroics to the newer kids, focusing his efforts on the sciences and social policy. Bruce has been dead for decades and Grayson is an old, old man. Diana has returned to Paradise Island to rule as queen, with her daughter Fury (taking the name, and little else from the Infinity character) carrying on as the current Wonder Woman.

    Completely new status quo's for a lot of characters, and a ton of legacies and brand new faces in established mantles. I'd make sure that most every character introduced since the 1960's doesn't exist on this earth, to ensure that there isn't too much repetition between the Ultimate DC and the mainstream one. So no Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, etc. A handful of exceptions would be fine, but only with lesser known Z-list characters like the terribly under-used Amazing Man.
    Okay wow, this all sounds pretty amazing. What do you imagine would happen with characters who’ve traditionally have legacies, i.e. the Flashes except with no Barry there’s no one for Jay to pass the mantle onto, and with none of the later Robins there’s no one for Bruce or Dick to pass on either of the mantles of Batman and Robin to, etc.

  5. #5
    Mighty Member Minerboh's Avatar
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    Τhey tried something similar with the All Star line with mixed results. The stellar All Star Superman and the highly controversial All Star Batman and Robin. There were plans for a All Star WW as well but they went down to the brink.

  6. #6
    Extraordinary Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    First, I would definitely do a slow build. But not a snail's pace, either.

    One thing that modern comics misses out on is that era where super-heroes (and super-villains) aren't around every corner.
    But going too slow can also be bad, as readers may not be interested in the few heroes offered.

    So, I would start with an anthology: DC2 Legends
    It would have at least two featured characters per issue. With the first several issues including the first appearances of the marquee heroes (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Green Arrow, Hawkman...) paired with a second feature starring a less known name (or totally new) character, before launching them into their own ongoing.

    And I would impose a few limitations-
    No more than three heroes per city. After a year, this may be increased at one more per year, provided they don't overpopulate the city.
    At least one non-costumed/non-powered villain should be seen each year.
    Every featured hero (the star of the title) must have at least three non-costumed (and non-powered) supporting characters.
    Each featured hero needs to be seen at least once per story outside of their costume and interacting with the world they live in.
    Currently reading: Legion of Super-Heroes ('80s), New Teen Titans ('80s)

  7. #7
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    I thought the New52 was an "Ultimate" DC Universe?

  8. #8
    Chosen One Carabas's Avatar
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    Yeah... The chance to do this has come and gone.
    "One may be intelligent, and a Nazi. Then one is not decent. One may be decent and a Nazi. Then one is not intelligent. And one may be intelligent and decent. Then one is not a Nazi"
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  9. #9
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    My idea revolves around the technologically advanced Earth with a Golden Age aesthetic. The divergent point being WWII in which the Amazons reveal themselves via their ambassador Princess Diana, and helps the Allies defeat the Axis without the use of nuclear weapons. Man's World is gifted with advanced tech from Paradise Island in the era that follows, leading to a static aesthetic style mixed with tech (like Fallout). This presents a visual unto itself, mixing futuristic with the original era of comic book superheroes. I haven't really thought much about the history between then and the present day but that would be part of the fun, working that stuff out. Meanwhile Diana goes back home and there are no supernatural or otherwise elements to the world whatsoever until the Kal-El debuts as Superman. This debut begins a wave, a partly inspiring a Gotham vigilante to go public, a physically handicapped forensics expert in Central City to try and do his part, and the news of an extraterrestrial on Earth spurs Wonder Woman back out into Man's World to investigate. Among others. But it starts small with a core. There is no "legacy" whatsoever. This starts at the beginning and stays there (in the sense of no quick time jumps). The only exception would be, in terms of a rather early addition, a young Dick Grayson.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carabas View Post
    Yeah... The chance to do this has come and gone.
    I actually think the idea is more viable now than its ever been before. Not only with fandom, but maybe more importantly within DC's offices itself.
    Last edited by Sacred Knight; 05-13-2018 at 11:05 AM.
    "They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you. My only son." - Jor-El

    "Now why don't we step up here and everybody get stepped up, and let's get some stepped up personal space up in this place." - Phillip Jacobs

  10. #10
    Extraordinary Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MajorHoy View Post
    I thought the New52 was an "Ultimate" DC Universe?
    I'm sure somewhere in the later hours of planning, the thought did cross their mind for a minute.
    Currently reading: Legion of Super-Heroes ('80s), New Teen Titans ('80s)

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minerboh View Post
    Τhey tried something similar with the All Star line with mixed results. The stellar All Star Superman and the highly controversial All Star Batman and Robin. There were plans for a All Star WW as well but they went down to the brink.
    I do remember the All-Star line. But were those ever intended to be long running? Or were they intended to just be 12-issues? The primary appeal, to me anyway, would be seeing the long-term destinations of these alternate universes. All Stars seemed a lot more limited in scope. (Which isn't bad. Just not exactly what I was thinking of.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Well, I suppose it would really depend on what the main continuity was doing, since an Ultimates style line would have to offer something viably different to make it worthwhile.

    Since we have no idea what DC's prime line is going to look like when all the missing decade/Manhattan stuff is resolved all I can do is guess.

    But if I had to throw a pitch right now, I'd pitch a DCU that has been active since 1938 and takes inspiration from the actual publishing history, the Bombshells universe, and then things like New Frontier and Grant Morrison's first Action Comics run (the t-shirt and jeans Golden Age revival), and certain attitudes and approaches from Robinson's early Earth-2 title, Kingdom Come, and Batman Beyond.

    And then plot out the history as if eighty years of superhumanity had come and gone and see what the world looks like by the modern day. It wouldn't be post-Crisis, where all the Golden Age characters existed (except the Trinity). It wouldn't be a straight continuation of pre-Crisis earth-2. It'd be something completely different, but hopefully still recognizable as "a" version of the DCU.

    So Superman is a hundred years old now (but long lived so he's still in shape), and all the people he knew at the Daily Star have passed on. Kara, who's as long-lived as Clark, would be Superwoman and Clark himself would leave the day-to-day superheroics to the newer kids, focusing his efforts on the sciences and social policy. Bruce has been dead for decades and Grayson is an old, old man. Diana has returned to Paradise Island to rule as queen, with her daughter Fury (taking the name, and little else from the Infinity character) carrying on as the current Wonder Woman.

    Completely new status quo's for a lot of characters, and a ton of legacies and brand new faces in established mantles. I'd make sure that most every character introduced since the 1960's doesn't exist on this earth, to ensure that there isn't too much repetition between the Ultimate DC and the mainstream one. So no Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, etc. A handful of exceptions would be fine, but only with lesser known Z-list characters like the terribly under-used Amazing Man.

    This is really cool, actually. Explore the concept of DC's "legacy" in a way they can't really do otherwise. I especially like the idea of the hundred year-old Superman. Having that kind of experience in the modern superhero world would make him a very interesting character whenever he shows up.


    Quote Originally Posted by MajorHoy View Post
    I thought the New52 was an "Ultimate" DC Universe?
    It could have been if it didn't override the post-crisis continuity. ^_^;

  12. #12
    Extraordinary Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayson - The Dark Heir View Post
    Okay wow, this all sounds pretty amazing. What do you imagine would happen with characters who’ve traditionally have legacies, i.e. the Flashes except with no Barry there’s no one for Jay to pass the mantle onto, and with none of the later Robins there’s no one for Bruce or Dick to pass on either of the mantles of Batman and Robin to, etc.
    Just invent new faces with new backgrounds, just like they did in the late 50's with Barry and Hal. Instead of Barry Allen, maybe the current Flash is an aspiring comic book writer (since the Flash is supposed to be an Everyman might as well tie him to the hobby right?) who uses his adventures as inspiration for his writing. Maybe the new Green Lantern is a female paranormal investigator who hunts down ghosts and vampires with the power of the Starheart. After 80 years of superhumanity you'd imagine that sort of thing wouldn't be so far fetched anymore right?

    And you can create children/grandchildren for a lot of the characters too. Perhaps with Arthur Curry gone, Atlantis is ruled by his daughter and her son (Arthur's grandson) serves as the ambassador to the surface world and is the new Aquaman.

    Or maybe some heroic identities have turned into entire institutions. Maybe there's not just one Green Arrow, but an entire mercenary squad of stealth snipers who take on peacekeeping jobs too difficult for regular military forces. I mean, let's keep in mind that Ollie wasn't always a knee-jerk liberal; back in the Golden Age he was just a Batman rip-off, so a organization like this might've grown out of that early version of the character. Who knows? I myself haven't given it much thought but this is the sort of stuff you *could* do.
    Higher, Faster, Further....More.

    Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow!

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  13. #13
    Extraordinary Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerulean Scarab View Post
    This is really cool, actually. Explore the concept of DC's "legacy" in a way they can't really do otherwise. I especially like the idea of the hundred year-old Superman. Having that kind of experience in the modern superhero world would make him a very interesting character whenever he shows up.
    A Superman like this would be a plot device character. He'd be too powerful, too experienced, to be anything less. He'd basically be like the Spectre is now; when he shows up reality itself shudders, and any cosmic threat worth its salt would have to go to great lengths to remove Clark from the board before even beginning to move against anything else.
    Higher, Faster, Further....More.

    Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow!

    Bridge Four!

  14. #14
    Chosen One Carabas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred Knight View Post
    I actually think the idea is more viable now than its ever been before. Not only with fandom, but maybe more importantly within DC's offices itself.
    They did Ultimate-ish DC with the All Star books.
    Then they did Ultimate-ish DC with the Earth One OGNs
    Then they did Ultimate-ish DC again with the New 52.

    And now they time is right for really Ultimate DC, we're totally serious this time? I'm not buying it. Literally and figuratively.
    "One may be intelligent, and a Nazi. Then one is not decent. One may be decent and a Nazi. Then one is not intelligent. And one may be intelligent and decent. Then one is not a Nazi"
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  15. #15
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    I actually kinda forgot about the actual All-Star imprint. Yeah, that failed. I'd argue they put minimal effort into it though. I don't count the others. The Earth One OGN design pretty much dismissed any opportunity at a connected ongoing continuity, with the sporadic nature of its publication. New 52 would have been perfect, but it was meant as a total replacement.

    So they tried it, barely, once. Doesn't come even close to meaning that the idea by any means past usage, in my mind. That the New 52 did have some successful concepts that had a fanbase I think shows its still a very viable idea. The only mistake of that initiative, outside of the slapdash planning of the start up, was designing it as a replacement. Fair enough to those who disagree of course. Those are just my reasons.

    In any case I digress, this was for ideas for the hypothetical, not asking whether it should or should not be done, so apologies.
    Last edited by Sacred Knight; 05-13-2018 at 01:38 PM.
    "They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you. My only son." - Jor-El

    "Now why don't we step up here and everybody get stepped up, and let's get some stepped up personal space up in this place." - Phillip Jacobs

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