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– by Nick Doll

One of the most influential comics on the look and feel of Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially Joss Whedon’s genre defining The Avengers, was a comic series called The Ultimates by Mark Millar (Old Man Logan, Civil War, Kick-Ass).

The Ultimates were the Avengers, made of of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Giant Man, Wasp, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch. The Ultimates comic though, existed outside of regular continuity, instead in the Ultimate Universe, a sort of film-esque reboot, started by Brian Michael Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man around the time of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies. The X-Men, and Fantastic Four also shared the Ultimate Universe. But when it came time to assemble the roster of the Avengers, Marvel didn’t think the brand was worth a bucket of warm spit.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Millar explained why he decided to bring the Avengers into the Ultimate Universe, and why Marvel was so intent not to use the team’s classic name:

“Brian and I pretty much ran the Ultimate line ourselves. He did Spider-Man and Fantastic Four, I did X-Men and Ultimates. It’s funny to look back on now, but I had been begging them to relaunch the Avengers. Marvel had no interest in bringing the Avengers into the Ultimate line; they said those characters are dead and no studio was interested in them. I was always a really big Avengers fan. I got some credibility from doing Ultimate X-Men; that was the No. 1 book when it launched. So they said, would you want to do Ultimate Wolverine? I said no, no, I’d love to do Avengers. They won’t even let me call it the “Avengers” because they thought Avengers was such a dead franchise that I had to call it “Ultimates” instead. It’s crazy to think now that Avengers was such a diminished name in the industry, and Marvel had no faith in at all. But what was great was they let me do whatever I wanted because they expected nothing from it.”

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Can you image that here, in 2018, with Avengers: Infinity War about to set all sorts of records in theaters? “Avengers was such a dead franchise?” I hope that whoever said that is enjoying all the crow he is eating.

Can you believe Marvel’s hesitance to use the Avengers brand, or would you rather the films be called The Ultimates too, due to their inspiration? Let us know in the comment section below.

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SOURCE: Entertainment Weekly