Ultimo (Marvel Comics)

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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
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

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.

Publication history[edit]

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.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Origin[edit]

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.[1]

First appearance[edit]

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 the People's Republic of 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.[2] 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.[3] Ultimo was then sent by the Mandarin to attack the Yellow Claw and Loc Do, and battled Iron Man and Sunfire.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

Ultimo versus Iron Legion[edit]

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.[7]

Ultimate Devastation[edit]

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.[8]

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.[9]

Initiative[edit]

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.[10]

War Machine[edit]

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.[11] 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.[12] Ultimo/Morgan planned to convert all 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.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15]

Powers and abilities[edit]

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."[16]

Other versions[edit]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Ultimo as seen in the Iron Man animated series.
  • Ultimo appeared in the Iron Man animated series, voiced by Ed Gilbert.[citation needed] In the episode "Rejoice! I Am Ultimo, Thy Deliverer", it's brought to life by the Mandarin and MODOK after being discovered sealed in an inactive volcano in Latin America despite Justin Hammer's warnings. It ends up going on a rampage. Upon following it to Baja California, the Mandarin successfully attaches a control device on the base of Ultimo's skull and had the robot attack Iron Man. Ultimo managed to take down Iron Man as the Mandarin ordered Ultimo to bring Iron Man to its master. Ultimo then attacked the Stark Enterprise Experimental Test Range where the Vibranium Ammo Dump is. Force Works heads out to keep Ultimo from reaching the Vibranium Ammo Dump in order to keep Ultimo from blowing a hole into the Earth while Century locates Iron Man. During the fight between Ultimo and Force Works, War Machine blasts off the control device which causes Ultimo to be free from the Mandarin's control. Iron Man joined Force Works in fighting Ultimo at the Sacred Sands who is draining the elemental energies of the Earth's core. Iron Man and Scarlet Witch managed to find Ultimo's Master Switch in its chest. Iron Man used a special arrow to have Hawkeye shoot in the portal that manifested on its chest to deactivate it. Ultimo was then transferred to a Secure Holding Lab. In the episode "Iron Man, On the Inside", Ultimo returns under the Hacker's control in a plot to take revenge on Stark Industries for denying job applications in Stark Industries' Computer Science Division six times. Ultimo attacked Tony Stark and Julia Carpenter at the airport. While Iron Man fought Ultimo at the airport, Hawkeye joined the fight and ended up injured by falling debris of a crashed airplane. When Iron Man used the Molecular Expander on reverse to shrink himself into Hawkeye's body to get a neurochip into Hawkeye's spine, Hacker controlled Ultimo to use the same machine and follow Iron Man while Hacker hacked into H.O.M.E.R. to give Iron Man bad information. Iron Man managed to knock out Ultimo, heal Hawkeye, and get out through the nose. When Iron Man and Ultimo were restored to normal size, Ultimo came to and was taken down by Hawkeye and Julia.
  • Ultimo also made a brief cameo in the Fantastic Four animated show, actually appearing on a TV show-in-the-show.[citation needed]
  • Ultimo appears in Iron Man: Armored Adventures.[citation needed] In the episode "Hide and Seek", Ultimo is the Guardian of the third Makluan Ring residing in the Temple of Courage. It uses power and force to fuel itself, causing any attack on it to increase Ultimo's size. It came after whoever had the ring it was guarding, walking all the way from Greenland to the city to get it. Even when Tony Stark gave it back it continued to attack because Tony was still "holding" a weapon, namely the Iron Man armor. Tony defeated it by turning off the Iron Man suit because that was the courageous thing to do. Ultimo then regressed to its statue form. In the episode "The Makluan Invasion" Pt. 2, the Makluan Overlord sends an upgraded version of Ultimo against Iron Man, War Machine, Rescue, Nick Fury, Black Widow and Hawkeye. During the fight with Ultimo, the Gray Hulk arrives to help Iron Man fight Ultimo. It is knocked down by the heroes and destroyed when Iron Man destroyed it from the inside.
  • Ultimo appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.[citation needed] In the episode "Iron Man is Born", Ultimo battles Iron Man in the New York Bay before being destroyed.
  • Ultimo appears in Avengers: Ultron Revolution.[18] In the episode "Building the Perfect Weapon", Ultimo is unleashed by the Leader and confronted by the Avengers. While his master gets away and despite Red Hulk's reckless attacks, Ultimo is defeated when the Avengers have Hawkeye tie one end of a rope to Ultimo and shoot the other end on an arrow shot towards an electrical tower, causing Ultimo to act like a lightning rod.

Video games[edit]

  • Ultimo appears in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance as several lines of the Mandarin's defenses. Rather than speaking, the Mandarin speaks through this version. He also appears in Iron Man's simulation disk. He serves as a mini boss in the Mandarin's palace, one version was said to be an advanced "Ultimo Mark 2" along with a "Prototype Ultimo Mark 3" during the Mandarin's boss battle, blocking the teleporter to the Mandarin. The only way to get to him was to lure one of his self-destructing robotic bugs onto the teleporter to destroy the one on the other side.
  • Ultimo appears in Iron Man 2, voiced by Andrew Chaikin.[19] This version is a large battle suit worn (and fused with physically and mentally) by Kearson DeWitt. Because of DeWitt's alliance with A.I.M., the robot was created by stealing and modifying an old version of J.A.R.V.I.S. and Dewitt's PROTEAN project. When Iron Man finally confronts Ultimo, War Machine fights the robot while Iron Man fights Kearson/Ultimo within. After removing the other Arc Reactors, War Machine and S.H.I.E.L.D. continue to attack while Iron Man fights Kearson/Ultimo. In the end, Ultimo is destroyed when Nick Fury rams the robot with the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier.
  • Ultimo appears as a core part of the Iron Man-themed table in Marvel Pinball. He appears during the table's wizard mode after completing all the main modes of the table.
  • Ultimo appears as a boss in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, voiced by Jim Meskimen.[20] Prior to the game, Iron Man defeated Ultimo and wiped his mechanical mind before storing him in a warehouse in New Jersey. Ultimo's body gets possessed by Ultron via the Mind Stone and wreaks havoc on New York City. Ant-Man as Giant-Man keeps Ultron/Ultimo busy while Vision overpowers Ultron's defenses, leaving Ultimo inactive.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Iron Man vol. 3 #24
  2. ^ Tales of Suspense #76-78
  3. ^ Avengers Annual #1
  4. ^ Iron Man vol. 1 #69-70
  5. ^ Iron Man vol. 1 #95-96
  6. ^ Iron Man vol. 1 #298-299
  7. ^ Iron Man vol. 1 #300
  8. ^ Iron Man vol. 3 #23
  9. ^ Iron Man vol. 3 #25
  10. ^ Avengers: The Initiative #1 (April 2007)
  11. ^ War Machine vol. 2 #3
  12. ^ War Machine vol. 2 #8
  13. ^ War Machine vol. 2 #9
  14. ^ War Machine vol. 2 #10
  15. ^ War Machine vol. 2 #12
  16. ^ Iron Man vol.1, #300
  17. ^ Captain America: Road to War #1
  18. ^ "Building The Perfect Weapon". Avengers: Ultron Revolution. Season 3. Episode 21. November 13, 2016. Disney XD.
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ "MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE 3: THE BLACK ORDER". behindthevoiceactors.com.

External links[edit]

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