Announced today at New York Comic Con was “Ultimate X-Men: Requiem,” a follow up to the Ultimate Universe line wide event, “Ultimatum.” The one shot special features art by Ben Olivier and written by none other then “Heroes” writer/producer Aron Coleite. Loyal CBR readers will of course know Coleite as half of the dynamic duo behind CBR’s own “BEHIND THE ECLIPSE.” This isn’t Coleite’s first foray into the Ultimate Universe’ as the scribe had previously penned the tale of Ultimatized band of merry mutants when the series came to a close with issue #100. CBR News caught up with Coleite to find out more about the one shot and what’s in store for for the Ultimate Universe.
The roots of the story actually stemmed from Coleite’s original time on the title. “The truth is that the story I had for Requiem was originally going to be ‘Ultimate X-Men’ #100,” Coleite said. “For me it’s really the end of the that series and a table setting of what’s to come for the ultimate universe. So, [issue] 100 gave me the opportunity to dig further into ‘Ultimatum’ and help set the stage for Requiem.”
While the ramifications of Ultimatum will be felt throughout the book, Ultimatum isn’t required reading. “They [the readers] will certainly be better informed after reading Ultimate X-Men and Ultimatum,” Coleite said, “but it’s never necessary. For anyone who’s ever lost a loved one. For anyone who’s ever grieved. This is an issue for them. I took the title requiem very seriously.”
â€¨”Ultimate X-Men: Requiem” picks up right after the climactic finale to “Ultimatum.” “There’s a lot of people who’ve met their proverbial maker after ‘Ultimatum’ is over,” Coleite said. “So the ugly question remains — what do you do with the bodies. This is a story about a graveyard.”
The story hits an emotional tone as the characters deal with the loss that has befallen them. “It’s about what you do next,” Coleite said. Â “It’s about how you say goodbye. Â And about how you move on.”
Coleite was tight lipped about which mutants will take center stage on the title as fans have seen several mutants fall already in “Ultimatum.” “The ones that survived,” Coleite said, “Those are the ones that have the toughest task; Carrying on the legacy and the pain.”
Work is just starting between Coleite and Olivier, but the writer has found himself blessed with the artists he has worked with while working at Marvel. “We’re just getting into it,” Coleite said, “but I’ve had an awesome time with Mark Brooks, Brandon Peterson, Dan Panosian, and Clay Mann. They’ve made my run a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to seeing Ben’s stuff. We introduce a new character, kind of, and I’m psyched to see what he does with it.”
â€¨The stories serves both as an epilogue for what has come before, as well as a jumping on point for new readers to see what is to come. “It wraps up one part of the Ultimate Universe,” Coleite explained, “and very much sets the stage for the stories yet to come. This isn’t an ending.”
Over his tenure on the title, Coleite had grown fond of a few of the characters like Collosus, Cyclops, and Rogue. Â “I like the particularly damaged characters,” Coleite said. “I’m a particularly damaged human being. Â So I gravitate to them. Â I write a lot of Sylar on ‘Heroes,’ so — when did this become my therapy session?”
While Coleite has worked only within Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, he would love to take a crack at the mainstream Marvel Universe someday. “Any day,” Coleite said emphatically. “There’s a little book called ‘Uncanny’ that I salivate over. Fraction is doing an awesome, job but if they ever need a break from writing I’d be happy to lend a hand.”
â€¨Coleite has worked with “Ultimatum” scribe Jeph Loeb before on the TV show “Heroes,” but there is a slight difference in their relationship when it comes to comics. “In the writers room I can tell Jeph to shut up and disagree with him as adamantly as I can,” Coleite said.Â “In comics, I listen to everything he says — I mean, show some respect — he’s Jeph Loeb.”
Looking into his crystal ball Coleite forsees a reinvigoration of the Ultimate line after “Ultimatum” and the Requiem titles finish. “I think ‘Ultimatum’ is going to make the Ultimate Universe relevant again,” Coleite said. “When Millar and Bendis launched the Ultimate U it felt vibrant and a modern imagining of the classic stories. Â But, somewhere down the road, it kind of became something else — making new takes on old stories… I think what Loeb, Bendis and Millar have planned for the Ultimate Universe brings it back to that modern sensibility. Â Telling stories that reflect what’s going on in our world. It’s gonna be awesome.”
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