Marvel Announces 'Ultimate Invasion' Crossover Event Preview for 2023

By Pierre Chanliau Posted:
Marvel Ultimate Invasion

Marvel Comics announces a major upcoming comic book event called Ultimate Invasion, with a preview coming in the near future.

Fans of Marvel Comics have learned to accept its habit of integrating some synergy with the MCU. Not only has it revisited previous comic events like Secret Invasion and Planet Hulk, but it's even included characters straight from the MCU, like Phil Coulson, Darcy Lewis, and even most recently May Calamawy's Layla El-Faouly.

However, that doesn't mean everything that Marvel Comics does is indicative of Marvel Studios' plans for the MCU. But it's fun to speculate nonetheless, especially when it involves the hot-button topic of the Multiverse.

Marvel Comics is preparing for one multiversal invasion from a wayward universe.

A Marvel Universe Invasion!

In February, Marvel Comics announced a four-issue saga called Ultimate Invasion, headed by writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Bryan Hitch, who were the primary architects of the original Ultimate Universe. 

Launched over 20 years ago to attract new readers, the Ultimate Universe provided a fresh take on classic Marvel characters. But this universe met its cataclysmic end in Jonathan Hickman's Secret Wars comic event in 2015.

The Direct Image

However, this new event will see the superheroes of Earth-616 clash with one of the few survivors of the Ultimate Universe once again. The Maker, an evil and twisted Reed Richards, believes his former universe will make a grand return, forcing the Illuminati to reform to stop his plans, which involve another former Ultimate Universe denizen—Miles Morales.

The Direct Image

Hickman explained how this event "couldn't be replicating or revisiting what Bryan did in the original Ultimates" or what he did, "which was a final chapter of a pre-existing universe:"

"[Revisiting the idea of Ultimate Comics] couldn’t be replicating or revisiting what Bryan did in the original ULTIMATES—creating a streamlined, modernized version that would eventually become the spine of the MCU, and it certainly couldn’t be what I did, which was a final chapter of a pre-existing universe."

He explained that the idea was for the Ultimate Comics line "to be inverted from what the original universe was" and that for this upcoming event "to be something that could really only exist in the comic space:"

"We also thought the very idea of Ultimate Comics needed to be inverted from what the original universe was—we wanted this to be something that could really only exist in the comic space: a new way of thinking about, and enjoying, a new version of the Marvel Universe. I’m pretty happy to say that it feels like we’ve accomplished those things and we’re very excited for everyone to get to read it."

Hitch, meanwhile, expressed his excitement at revisiting the universe he helped start alongside "the man who so brilliantly and spectacularly destroyed" it:

"It’s been more than 20 years since I started work on THE ULTIMATES, a project that would have a big impact on my own career and beyond, so when Marvel came to me with the idea of revisiting the Ultimate Universe with the man who so brilliantly and spectacularly destroyed the last one, I was both feet in!"

He described how Hickman as "a terrific writer of big, sprawling epics" and that he will now bring "two decades of new experience as an artist and storyteller" to this upcoming event:

"Jonathan is a terrific writer of big, sprawling epics, and we’ve talked about working together more than once so for this new Ultimate Universe adventure to unite us is very exciting. I get to bring two decades of new experience as an artist and storyteller to this. It’s new, different and familiar. It’s big budget, high-concept, widescreen storytelling. I feel right at home."

But now, another announcement has given fans new details about this upcoming event and how it involves Brooklyn's Spider-Man.

Preview at Ultimate Invasion Event

For this upcoming Free Comic Book Day, Marvel will be releasing Spider-Man/Venom #1, giving fans a glimpse of a "dramatic scene" from the forthcoming first issue of Ultimate Invasion

Spider-Man, Venom
Marvel Comics

In it, the Maker offers Miles Morales something "he may not be able to refuse" as the reunited Illuminati attempts to stop the Maker's plans to reshape the Marvel Universe.

Ultimate Invasion
Marvel Comics

It's unknown what the Maker could even give Miles, considering he has everything he'd want on Earth-616: his mother, father, and best friend, Ganke. In fact, his mother was killed in the Ultimate Universe, so the Maker's offer would have to be something special.

Should MCU's Earth-616 Expect an Invasion?

In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, audiences were introduced to Earth-838, where Wanda Maximoff slaughtered nearly all of its Illuminati members, leaving only Mordo and another unknown member. That universe would have more than enough motive to hate Earth-616 after one of its own killed some of its greatest heroes and leaders.

Hickman's Secret Wars, which will be at least partially adapted by Marvel Studios with Avengers: Secret Wars, began with an Incursion that pitted Earth-616 against the Ultimate Universe, Earth-1610. So it could be that when the final Incursion happens in the MCU, it'll be Earth-616 and Earth-838 as the last two universes standing.

Avengers: Secret Wars is expected to release in theaters on May 1, 2026.

- In This Article: Invasion (Season 2)
Release Date
August 23, 2023
Golshifteh Farahani
Shamier Anderson
- About The Author: Pierre Chanliau
Pierre Chanliau began as a news & feature writer for The Direct at the site's launch in 2020. As a longtime reader of superhero comic books, Pierre's knowledge of Marvel and DC is extensive, informing his reporting and editorial pieces regarding the MCU and DCU.