SPOILER WARNING: The following story contains major spoilers for X-Men Blue #4, by Cullen Bunn and Julian Lopez, on sale now.
A few months ago, in X-Men Blue #1, it was revealed that the Wolverine of the Ultimate Universe, Jimmy Hudson, had somehow survived the multiversal collapse of Secret Wars and was living a feral life in the mountains of Canada.
That was then, and this is now — in the series’ latest issue, #4, the time-displaced team of original X-Men crossed paths with the dimensionally-displaced hero, only to discover that he wasn’t the only refugee from Earth 1610.
Who Is Jimmy Hudson?
Jimmy Hudson was originally created by Jeff Loeb and Art Adams in the miniseries Ultimate Comics: X, which took place after the catastrophic Ultimatum event. In Ultimatum, Magneto flooded New York and killed thousands and many heroes of the Ultimate Universe lost their lives, including most of the known X-Men such as Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Beast, Professor X and Wolverine. Ultimate X followed up on those events with a world that hated and feared mutants more than ever, while the mutant community themselves struggled with being among the hardest hit by Mangeto’s attack.
Ultimate X introduced Jimmy as Wolverine’s son, raised by the Hudsons to not know about his true parentage. But with things in the Ultimate U’s America getting riskier and riskier for mutants, he found himself drafted into a new team of X-Men by Jean Grey, alongside a winged hero named Derek Morgan and Spider-Man’s friend Liz Allen, aka Ultimate Universe’s Firestar. Hudson, like his father, has the mutant abilities of a healing factor and bone claws, but unlike the original Wolverine, Jimmy Hudson can coat the claws with an organic metal similar to how Colossus’ powers work.
Jimmy and the new team of X-Men eventually settled in their own Utopia in the pages of Ultimate Comics: X-Men, living a reservation of land granted to them by the US government, far away from any population centers. While there, he formed a relationship with the X-Men’s new leader Kitty Pryde and helped lead the mutants of Utopia against the mutants of Tian in an all-out war.
Have We Met Before?
Following the end of Ultimate Comics: X-Men, the characters appeared in Brian Michael Bendis and Mahmud Asrar’s All-New X-Men, which starred the same time-displaced mutants as X-Men Blue (in this specific instance, minus Cyclops, but plus X-23). The team encountered a new mutant named Carmen Cruise, who developed some sort of interdimensional teleportation power and in a panicked state accidentally sent the young X-Men to Earth 1610.
The Son of Wolverine crossed paths with The Clone of Wolverine, as the two X-Men teams fought side-by-side to take out the Ultimate Universe’s version of Doctor Doom, who had been holding Beast hostage. Afterward, the teams located Carmen Cruise, and the two Jeans Grey worked together to direct her powers towards the dimension they needed to return to, bidding farewell to each other’s counterparts.
The character resurfaced again briefly in Secret Wars, as the domain of Manhattan was actually an amalgam of Earth-616’s New York and Earth-1610’s New York, with characters from both universes living side-by-side. While Bendis and Mark Bagley’s Ultimate End was the big swan song for the universe, Jimmy himself got more time in Bendis and Andrea Sorrentino’s Old Man Logan miniseries, which featured a brief meeting between a Wolverine that lost his children and a Wolverine that never got the chance to meet his father.
Then, Secret Wars ended and the Ultimate Universe was thought lost forever. The Molecule Man helped put Earth-616 back together as the Prime Marvel Universe, and the Future Foundation started work on rebuilding the Multiverse. Meanwhile, several characters from what was the Ultimate Universe have appeared in the Prime Marvel Universe, including Miles Morales, Jimmy Hudson, Reed Richards and as of this week in X-Men Blue, the New Marauders.
Wait, New Marauders?
According to the final page of X-Men Blue, the New Marauders are Mach-II, The Guardian, Quicksilver and Armor from the Ultimate Universe, all of whom were members of the Ultimate X-Men at one time or another, alongside Jimmy. What’s especially interesting is that while Mach-II and Guardian (Jimmy’s friend Derek from Ultimate X) are characters created specifically for the Ultimate Universe, the Marvel Universe already has an Armor and a Quicksilver. The former is currently attending the Xavier Institute For Mutant Education And Outreach, while the latter is a card-carrying member of the Uncanny Avengers.
While the Ultimate Universe seems to be creeping into the Prime Marvel Universe bit-by-bit since the end of Secret Wars, this is the first case of characters arriving who already have a counterpart going around doing their own thing. There is a Reed Richards running around, but the Prime Reed Richards is currently off fixing the Multiverse, so The Maker still gets to be the only one for now, but the arrival of the New Marauders changes things drastically.
Then there’s the name, the New Marauders. While most of these characters were heroes in their home dimension (Quicksilver switched between Heel and Face more times than the WWE’s Big Show), the name Marauders comes with inherently villainous connotations. In the Marvel Universe, they’re most often used as Mister Sinister’s lackeys, but in the Ultimate Universe, where these characters are from, the Marauders were white supremacists. It’s unclear what their motives are in X-Men Blue, but it’s certainly strange for a team that features two Asian women, a Black man and a Romani man to name themselves after what they know to be a racist organization.
What Happened To The Ultimate Universe?
It’s obvious there’s a much larger story at play regarding the fate of the Ultimate Universe, one that has yet to be explored. Miles Morales and most of his supporting cast made the jump to the Prime Marvel U, yet only Miles knows that this isn’t his home dimension. It’s not an aspect of his story that has been explored yet, but Brian Michael Bendis confirmed it to be the case, and it’s likely to be a big part of the upcoming Spider-Men II which will revolve around the mystery of “The Other Miles Morales”
Furthermore, Marvel’s solicitations for August includes The Ultimates #100, which sees the team of heavy-hitters and world-beaters teaming up with the original Ultimates of Earth-1610. Meanwhile, The Maker is still running around in Infamous Iron Man, Ultimate Thor’s hammer is about to get a new owner and let’s not forget that a second Steve Rogers just showed up in the pages of Secret Empire.
The two universes merged during Secret Wars, but who’s to say that it was a fully successful and seamless process? Perhaps this is the inciting incident that finally brings back the Future Foundation, possibly in the upcoming Marvel Legacy #1? There’s still a lot of questions regarding the fate of the Ultimate Universe, but the one thing’s for sure is that all of this is happening for a reason and readers should likely expect more Ultimate shenanigans in the months to come.