Ultimo (Marvel Comics)

Ultimo (/ˈʌltɪm/) is a fictional giant robot appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It was once controlled by the Mandarin and has fought against Iron Man several times.

Ultimo
Ultimo (robot).jpg
Ultimo
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceCameo:
Tales of Suspense #76 (April 1966)
Full:
Tales of Suspense #77 (May 1966)
Created byStan Lee (writer)
Gene Colan (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoUltimo
SpeciesRobot
Team affiliationsMandarin's Minions
Notable aliasesThe Living Holocaust, Doomsday Machine
AbilitiesSuperhuman strength, speed and durability
Heat absorption
Concussive force or disintegration beam projection via eyes
Size manipulation
Self-repair
Ability to adapt his defenses

Publication historyEdit

Ultimo made a cameo appearance in Tales of Suspense #76 (April 1966) and its first full appearance was in Tales of Suspense #77 (May 1966), and was created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan.[1]

Fictional character biographyEdit

OriginEdit

A gigantic android that is thousands of years old, Ultimo was constructed by an alien species that has since been destroyed by their own creation, which they called "The doomsday device", apparently a combat instrument and a weapon of mutual assured destruction. Ultimo confirmed that his "masters" have not contacted him in "thousands of years".

The first time (chronologically speaking) he is depicted in print, Ultimo is already traveling through space, and has attacked the planet Rajak, ultimately killing all its people. The only survivors, a group of merchants who were off-planet at the time, attempted to destroy him, but had to flee before his might. In the end, they managed to lure him into an asteroid belt, where both he and the ship were battered by space rocks until they were driven off-course and separately crash-landed on an unknown planet — Earth. This happened around the 1840s.[2]

First appearanceEdit

The Mandarin first reveals Ultimo as his "greatest creation"; later issues suggest that the Mandarin found Ultimo in a long-dormant volcano in the vicinity of the "Palace of the Star Dragon" in the "Valley of the Spirits", somewhere in Communist China, and then reprogrammed him as a servant.[volume & issue needed] The Mandarin charged it with geothermal energy inside a volcano and gave him its current name. The giant robot vanquishes a force of Chinese soldiers sent to dispatch the Mandarin and nearly destroys Iron Man, but is drawn back into the volcano. The volcano has been destabilized by his activity and erupts, swallowing the robot whole in a conflagration of red-hot lava.[3] This proved not to be enough to destroy him, however.

Ultimo is then sent by the Mandarin to assist the Living Laser who was attacking Africa, and battled Thor and Hawkeye after emerging from a volcano. He was able to separate Thor from Mjolnir, briefly causing the Asgardian to be Donald Blake, but Hawkeye distracted him long enough for Blake to transform back to Thor, after which Ultimo was knocked into the volcano, which Thor closed.[4] Ultimo was then sent by the Mandarin to attack the Yellow Claw and Loc Do, and battled Iron Man and Sunfire.[5] Ultimo was next sent by the Mandarin to attack Washington, D.C. Ultimo fights both Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers, even on the Capitol Mall, before finally being dumped in yet another volcano.[6] He is not heard from for years after that, until he's revealed to be the cause for a series of earth tremors in California. Over the years, he has drifted across the entire length of the continental plate, soaking up gigantic amounts of geothermal energy, and is thus "for the first time in centuries, fully charged". The then-current version of Iron Man (the remote-controlled NTU-150) proves no match for Ultimo, and is torn to pieces — and the cybernetic backlash to the nervous system renders Tony Stark comatose.[7]

Ultimo versus Iron LegionEdit

Ultimo battled the "Iron Legion" which was led by War Machine (Jim Rhodes) and furthermore comprised Happy Hogan, Eddie March (in Iron Man's gray, original suit), Bethany Cabe, Mike O'Brien (in Iron Man's Silver Centurion suit) and Carl Walker (in Iron Man's "classic" armor); Tony was down and Rhodes had Abe Zimmer take Iron Man's old armors out of storage to be nominally functional again. Since Iron Man's armors would not function anywhere near capacity (having been stored for sentimental reasons only with the idea of never being used again), Rhodes decided on a change of plan against Ultimo. While Happy gets Carl and Eddie to the hospital, and Bethany and Mike head to the town of Futura to start evacuations, Bethany convinced Rhodes to allow to buy time against Ultimo together. At this point, Tony came out of a coma and donned the new Modular Iron Man suit. He headed out to aid in the fight against Ultimo with a Full-Spectrum Scanalyzer and Railgun Launcher. Iron Man successfully took out Ultimo single-handedly, by causing a lightning bolt to strike the robot's "central nervous system". Iron Man's scans indicated that Ultimo is several thousand years old, and has the robot hauled off for study.[8]

Ultimate DevastationEdit

Years later, the robot is the property of Stark-Fujikawa which had bought the Stark company when Tony was believed dead (after the events of "the Crossing"). Having performed extensive research of the hulking, inert robot, Stark-Fujikawa's engineers managed to access its control programs, and now the company intends to use the enormous energy reserves stored inside Ultimo to provide cheap electricity to the entire Western USA.[9]

The ship built on top of the dormant doomsday device is attacked by Goldenblade and Sapper — ironically, representatives of the doomed Rajaki race, seeking to steal energy to resurrect those Rajaki that still survive as data patterns aboard the crashed vessel - who accidentally wake up Ultimo, and the robot immediately sets out to destroy the ship. Unfortunately, the city of Spokane is on his route, and will be destroyed unless he's stopped. Goldenblade, Sapper, the superheroine Warbird, S.H.I.E.L.D. and the US army all work together with Iron Man to slow the giant down, while Iron Man attempts to use what data Stark-Fujikawa's engineers managed to obtain to break into Ultimo's core programming once more. Moments before the city is reached, Tony manages to convince the giant killer robot of being one of his "Masters" and orders him to shut down.[volume & issue needed] Afterward, Ultimo is dismantled and his systems "fried" by the transfer of his energy stores to the Rajaki vessel.[10]

InitiativeEdit

Ultimo reappeared, apparently fully restored, facing the Mighty Avengers - just long enough to be deactivated by a single shot of the Tactigon, a weapon of unknowable power (at the time) in the hands of a girl called Armory.[11]

Ultimo virusEdit

Ultimo gets converted into an "Ultimo virus" capable of bestowing enhanced strength, speed, regeneration and optic blast abilities to its victims, which included Dr. Glenda Sandoval (Rhodey's former love interest) and Ares.[12] It is revealed that the virus was engineered from Ultimo himself by the Human Engineering Life Laboratories, which was acting on the commission of the Stark Solutions corporation, which had been contracted by H.A.M.M.E.R. to study Ultimo's potential as a weapon. Having destroyed Ultimo's body, War Machine sets out to destroy Ultimo's brain, which had been split up into three discrete units stored at separate locations. Two of the units are destroyed by War Machine's allies, but the third is ingested (in the form of a crystalline liquid) by Stark Solutions' CEO Morgan Stark who is transformed into a giant, humanoid (quicksilver-like) Ultimo and possessed of the Doomsday Machine's programming to destroy all life, fighting War Machine. However, Ultimo's third component is destroyed when War Machine uses Ultimo's own weapons technology - which were obtained when the robot's body was destroyed - against the robot. Morgan then self-destructs, scattering Ultimo's liquid body all over the landscape and merging with the plant life.[13] Ultimo/Morgan planned to convert all of the vegetation on Earth into metal which would suffocate all life within two weeks. War Machine renders Ultimo docile by forcing Norman Osborn into showing memories of respective happiest moments. However, Osborn then took advantage of this to take Ultimo for himself.[14] Ultimo (having had his core programming erased) turned into a giant, floating ball of liquid metal that was essentially awaiting instructions. Before Osborn could take possession of the robot, War Machine interfered and then requested Cybermancer Suzi Endo to take Ultimo to "raise" the blank slate it now is, hopefully instilling other values into the artificial intelligence besides universal genocide.[15] But on War Machine's request, drops of Ultimo infected the nefarious "Bainesville Ten" group to see recordings of every person who was raped, tortured or killed from their own orders.[16]

During the "Iron Man 2020" event, Ultimo is revealed to be the giant that is attacking the island of Lingares. His attack brings him into conflict with Force Works and the local Deathloks.[17] It was revealed that MODOK Superior was responsible for Ultimo's rampage and the creation of the Deathloks of Lingares, and manipulated Force Works into taking out Ultimo's head so that he can take control of its body and become Ulti-MODOK. After the bearded Deathlok was beheaded by U.S. Agent, War Machine temporarily turned into a Deathlok to control the remaining Deathloks into fighting Ulti-MODOK. When Quake briefly opened a lava-filled chasm, Ulti-MODOK fell in with the Deathloks following him down.[18]

Powers and abilitiesEdit

As a gigantic artificial construction, Ultimo is incredibly strong and nearly indestructible. Despite his bulk, he is very fast, being able to walk at about 100 miles per hour (160 km/h). He can absorb and store immense amounts of heat energy. He can fire beams of concussive force or beams capable of disintegrating matter from his eyes, the power of which varies with his own energy level (but at full power can easily vaporize several dozen tons of rock in a single blast). He can, over time, significantly increase his size (and presumably strength and durability): when he first appeared, he was 25 feet (7.6 m) tall, but after his years-long lava bath underneath the Earth's crust, he had grown to 60 feet (18 m). After Stark-Fujikawa's engineers accessed his systems, he is made to grow to "over a hundred feet" (he stretched along the entire length of the hull of a medium-sized research vessel).[volume & issue needed]

Ultimo has also shown he can adapt his defenses. While he once was deactivated by a lightning bolt,[volume & issue needed] this later proved ineffective.[volume & issue needed]

Finally, he seems capable of repairing himself even when deactivated and completely disassembled.

Ultimo has no capacity for self-motivated activity, and is dependent on programming or the commands of its programmer. Ultimo has a standing order for the combat use of its superhuman powers or, as it was rather graphically put: "If it moves, it dies. If it resists, it dies first."[19]

Other versionsEdit

In other mediaEdit

TelevisionEdit

  • Ultimo appears in the "Iron Man" segment of The Marvel Super Heroes animated series.[citation needed]
  • Ultimo appears in the 1994 Iron Man animated series, voiced by Ed Gilbert.[citation needed] Introduced in the episode "Rejoice! I Am Ultimo, Thy Deliverer", the Mandarin and MODOK bring the titular android to life after discovering it in an inactive volcano and attach a control device to it so they can use it to attack Iron Man. Ultimo defeats him in the subsequent fight until War Machine destroys the control device, allowing him, Iron Man, and their allies in Force Works to defeat it before it could drain energy from the Earth's core. In the episode "Iron Man, On the Inside", Ultimo falls under the Hacker's control so he could take revenge on Stark Industries for continuously denying his job applications. When Ultimo attacked Iron Man and Julia Carpenter, Hawkeye intervened, but was severely injured, forcing Iron Man to use his molecular expander's reverse function to shrink down and save him. While the Hacker used the same machine to shrink Ultimo, Iron Man is able to temporarily shut down the android so he can heal Hawkeye before he and Ultimo are both returned to their normal sizes. Ultimo came back online, but is defeated by Carpenter and Hawkeye.
  • Ultimo makes a cameo appearance in the 1990s Fantastic Four animated series, as part of a show-within-the-show.[citation needed]
  • Ultimo appears in the Iron Man: Armored Adventures animated series.[citation needed] This version is a Makluan Guardian created by the original Mandarin to guard one of his Makluan Rings and test his potential successors' courage. It also uses power and force to fuel itself and can increase its size whenever someone attacks it. In the episode "Hide and Seek", Gene Khan and Tony Stark claim the ring, but activate Ultimo, who attacks them as part of its test. Though they attack it, Tony eventually realizes what the test means and passes by relinquishing his weapons and suit, deactivating the android. In the two-part series finale, "The Makluan Invasion", the Makluan Overlord sends an upgraded version of Ultimo to attack Iron Man, War Machine, Rescue, Nick Fury, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. During the fight, the Gray Hulk arrives to help the heroes fight it off before Iron Man destroys Ultimo from the inside.
  • Ultimo makes a cameo appearance in the The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes animated series episode "Iron Man is Born".[citation needed]
  • Ultimo appears in the Avengers: Ultron Revolution animated series episode, "Building the Perfect Weapon".[21] The Leader sends Ultimo to confront the Avengers and Red Hulk while he escapes. Despite the latter's recklessness, the heroes manage to defeat Ultimo.

Video gamesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ DeFalco, Tom; Sanderson, Peter; Brevoort, Tom; Teitelbaum, Michael; Wallace, Daniel; Darling, Andrew; Forbeck, Matt; Cowsill, Alan; Bray, Adam (2019). The Marvel Encyclopedia. DK Publishing. p. 387. ISBN 978-1-4654-7890-0.
  2. ^ Iron Man vol. 3 #24
  3. ^ Tales of Suspense #76-78
  4. ^ Avengers Annual #1
  5. ^ Iron Man vol. 1 #69-70
  6. ^ Iron Man vol. 1 #95-96
  7. ^ Iron Man vol. 1 #298-299
  8. ^ Iron Man vol. 1 #300
  9. ^ Iron Man vol. 3 #23
  10. ^ Iron Man vol. 3 #25
  11. ^ Avengers: The Initiative #1 (April 2007)
  12. ^ War Machine vol. 2 #3
  13. ^ War Machine vol. 2 #8
  14. ^ War Machine vol. 2 #9
  15. ^ War Machine vol. 2 #10
  16. ^ War Machine vol. 2 #12
  17. ^ 2020 Force Works #2. Marvel Comics.
  18. ^ 2020 Force Works #3. Marvel Comics.
  19. ^ Iron Man vol.1, #300
  20. ^ Captain America: Road to War #1
  21. ^ "Building The Perfect Weapon". Avengers: Ultron Revolution. Season 3. Episode 21. November 13, 2016. Disney XD. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ "MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE 3: THE BLACK ORDER". behindthevoiceactors.com.

External linksEdit

  • Ultimo at Marvel.com
  • Ultimo at The Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe