By Marc Strom
The universe-altering event begun in ULTIMATE COMICS ENEMY moves into its second act this July with ULTIMATE COMICS MYSTERY from writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Rafa Sandoval. But as to just what type of threat our heroes will face in this new four-issue series, well, that remains more than a bit of a mystery.
"This is a very difficult book to promote because there is an Ultimate Mystery, and with [that] comes the stuff I don't want to ruin," says Bendis. "I feel the same pains that Warren Ellis must have felt while his Ultimate Galactus trilogy was coming out. This is very much in the same vein, where this is a big mystery and you don't want to blow the reveal."
While the threat that has targeted some of the biggest names in the Ultimate Universe remains in the shadows, those same heroes will have to ferret their enemies out if they want to survive.
"What's happened is there has been a systematic, very powerful attack on the Ultimate Universe that could only be done by someone that has certain information," explains Bendis. "The big heroes are under attack [and] very special landmarks in the Ultimate Universe are under attack by a very alien, very advanced civilization and power. That is what is happening in ULTIMATE COMICS ENEMY, which includes the shocking death of some people. And with that, people will want to know, hopefully, what the Ultimate Mystery is. Who is this person, or [who are these] people, that has done this? That will be revealed in ULTIMATE COMICS MYSTERY."
The series will help move the Ultimate Universe to even greater and more dangerous heights as the true threat reveals itself in this second book.
"This is a really big chapter [in the Ultimate Universe]," promises Bendis. "I think what I'm most excited about is that it's not an Ultimate version of a story we've already seen. It's a completely different kind of story filled with all kinds of new reveals for the heroes. [This is a] big, big chapter for
|ULTIMATE COMICS MYSTERY teaser art by J. Scott Campbell|
While much of the cast of ENEMY-at least those who survive-will carry over into MYSTERY, Bendis will also bring some new characters to the table.
"The biggest addition that I can talk about is Captain Marvel, the Ultimate Captain Marvel [who] made his debut in the Ultimate Galactus trilogy," he reveals. "[We'll also see] the return of Project Pegasus, which I'm a big fan of, this mountain filled with all the unexplained elements of the universe. And [we'll have] Spider-Woman and Spider-Man team-up for the first time to try and solve the mystery, because it's a mystery that has to be solved or Peter Parker can't come home."
Bendis will reunite with his artistic collaborator on ENEMY, Rafa Sandoval, for the second and third parts of this trilogy. While the original plan called for a different artist to step in for each four-issue series, this changed for one very simple reason.
"Honestly, if it ain't broke, don't fix it," insists Bendis. "Every time you hook up with a new artist-and I take this very, very seriously-you don't know how it's going to go. It's kind of like dating. I've been kind of hungry to shine [the] spotlight on some of the new guys that I really think are awesome, but at the same time I don't know them very well. It's hard to know who to back up and who not to. Like with David Lafuente on ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN, I'm immensely proud of that relationship and of what he's accomplished, and I feel the same way with Rafa. The pages were coming in, and every page is better than the last and he's taking it insanely seriously, [with these] intense backgrounds; [it's] really great stuff. And he was happy to do [the whole trilogy], which I was thrilled about too, because sometimes I'm having a blast but I'm torturing people and I don't realize I'm doing it with 85 panels on a page or something. He's enjoying it, so we're good to go. We're going to do the whole trilogy together. I think when it's done, people are going to take a look at the whole piece and really be clamoring to work with the guy. He's the real deal."
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