If you’re looking for the comic book inspiration for 2012’s Avengers movie (and subsequently, everything that’s happened since) you need look no further than The Ultimates. The plotlines of the various entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe pull their influences from all over comics, but there’s no denying the impact that the 2002 series by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch had on the overall aesthetic of the big screen heroes.
The Ultimates was part of Marvel’s Ultimate line of comics: set in a brand new universe, divested of the decades of continuity that bogged down the regular universe (known as the 616), creators were able to reimagine fan favorite characters for a new audience. The Ultimates, therefore, was The Avengers for a new generation, and it’s this modern, more accessible take on the World’s Greatest Heroes that Marvel Studios looked to when crafting the super team for the movies. The Ultimates has its faults, however, and fandom is still debating to this day whether the early ‘00s reboot got The Avengers down to a tee, or if it was (ahem) ultimately out of touch.
19. RIGHT: CINEMATIC SCOPE
It’s easy to see just by looking at a book like The Ultimates that the transition from page to screen would be an easy one, and that’s thanks solely to the creative team. Writer Mark Millar is no stranger to big screen adaptations. Over the last few years, his work has seen more cinematic interpretations than any other modern comic book creator: Kick Ass, Wanted, Kingsman, Logan and even Captain America: Civil War are all based on his original comic books.
Then there’s artist Bryan Hitch, someone whose style is almost unmatched when it comes to creating a widescreen cinematic appeal. In an era where comics where striving to become more accepted by a grander audience, Hitch’s grand drama and photo realism made you feel like you were watching a movie already, making it extremely influential.