Ultimate Marvel Universe Reading Order

I used to write off Marvel’s Ultimate universe as a cheap imitation of the real Earth-616 Marvel continuity that began with Fantastic Four #1 in 1961.

Now? It’s possibly my preferred recommendation for new Marvel comic readers.

The Ultimate Marvel Universe is thrilling, a fantastic entry-point, and rarely wastes time on slow plodding storylines. For the uninitiated, Marvel’s Ultimate line of comics takes all the existing and known characters – Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers – and recasts them in a similar, yet different Ultimate Universe set in the 2000s. It’s the sort of concept that could have fallen flat on its head, but actually works for some of the best Marvel stories of the decade.

Below you’ll find a reading order for the Ultimate Universe. Although I split up all the issues, I would mention that you can actually read a lot of these series without too much concern for the others. For example, I read over 100 issues of Ultimate Spider-Man before I ever even thought about the outside Ultimate Universe, and the reading experience was highly enjoyable. So roll with the approach that feels right to you.

The All New Marvel Ultimate Ultimates

Best of the Ultimate Universe – Essential Fast Track

The Ultimate Universe is an enjoyable and completely palatable read in its entirety. Nonetheless, if you still want all killer no filler – and if Sum 41 taught us anything, it’s that you most certainly do – here are my picks for the best 10 Ultimate Universe comics of all time!

1) Ultimate Spider-Man by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley

2) Ultimate X-Men by Mark Millar and Adam Kubert

3) The Ultimates by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch

4) Gah Lak Tus Trilogy

5) Ultimate Enemy Trilogy

6) Death of Spider-Man

7) Ultimate Comics Ultimates by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic

8) Ultimate Comics Spider-Man: Miles Morales by Brian Michael Bendis, Sara Pichello, and David Marquez

9) Divided We Fall / United We Stand 

10) CataclysmThe Green Goblin captures Mary Jane in Marvel's Ultimate Universe

Ultimate Universe Trade Reading Order

Ultimate Spider-Man #1 – #13

Ultimate Daredevil & Elektra #1 – #4

Ultimate Elektra #1 – #5

Ultimate Iron Man #1 – #5 + Ultimate Iron Man II #1 – #5

Ultimate Marvel Team Up #1-#16

Ultimate X-Men #1-#12

Ultimate Spider-Man #14-27

Ultimate X-Men #13-#25

The Ultimates #1-#13

Ultimate Spider-Man #28-#39

Ultimate Fantastic Four #1 – #6

Ultimate War

Ultimate War + Ultimate X-Men 26 to 33

Ultimate Spider-Man 40 to 45, 47 to 53

Ultimate X-Men 34 to 45

Please note that the issue by issue reading order can be found below, and that the rest of these collections can be found in the Ultimate Universe trade collector’s guide.

Mark Bagley draws the Ultimate Spider-Man fighting Doctor Octopus

The Ultimate Marvel Reading Order

Intro to the Ultimate U

Ultimate Spider-Man #1 – #13

Ultimate Daredevil & Elektra #1 – #4

This story is all flashback so you could choose to read it after Daredevil makes an appearance in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up, but I prefer it as origin here.

Ultimate Elektra #1 – #5

Another flashback that is actually published well after a number of the issues below. Daredevil and Elektra are not hugely essential to many of the following Spider-Man, X-Men, and Ultimates stories (although they do pop up) so you could always come back to these stories if you like.

Ultimate Iron Man #1 – #5 + Ultimate Iron Man II #1 – #5

Flashback Iron Man origins from series released in 2005 and 2007-2008 respectively. I consider these pretty inessential and prefer Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s fully formed Tony Stark in The Ultimates. That said, Iron Man’s origins in the Ultimate universe are very different than those of Earth-616 (the main Marvel Universe), so it’s some semi-interesting background.

Worth noting as well that several in the comments have declared these issues out of continuity, and I’m hard pressed to argue otherwise.

Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #1 – #8
Ultimate X-Men #1 – #6

Ultimate Spider-Man #14 – #21

Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #10 – #16

Ultimate X-Men #7 – #14

Ultimate Spider-Man #22 – #27

Ultimates #1 – #3

Ultimate X-Men #15 – #20

Ultimate Spider-Man #28 – #32

Ultimates #4 – #13

Ultimate Fantastic Four #1 – #6

Ultimate Fantastic Four didn’t actually launch until 2003 – well after The Ultimates. The team is referenced off-handedly in Ultimates #2, but I prefer their origin here.

Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #9

Alright, after some notes in the comments let’s go ahead and call this one: Out of continuity! It’s a weird Fantastic Four story that never really aligns with the Ultimate Fantastic Four that would come.

Ultimate Spider-Man #33 – #39

Ultimate X-Men #21 – #25

Ultimate War #1 – #4

After the Ultimate War

Ultimate X-Men #26 – #33

Ultimate Spider-Man #40 – #45

Ultimate X-Men #34 – #39

Ultimate Spider-Man #46 + Ultimate Six #1 – #7

Ultimate Spider-Man #47 – #49

Ultimate X-Men #40 – #53

Ultimate Spider-Man #50 – #59

Ultimate Fantastic Four #7 – #18

Ultimate Spider-Man #60 – #69

The Gah Lak Tus Trilogy Begins

Ultimate Nightmare #1 – #5

Ultimate X-Men #54 – #60

Ultimate X-Men Annual #1

Ultimate Spider-Man #70 – #77

Ultimates Annual #1

Ultimate Secret #1 – #4

Ultimate Vision #0

Technically the Ultimate Vision saga was collected in short stories across the Ultimate line of comics. So, for example, Ultimate Spider-Man #86 included a piece of the Vision story. In Marvel Unlimited, though, you can just read Ultimate Vision #0 altogether, and frankly it’s a lot more cohesive.

Ultimates (v2) #1 – #5

Ultimate X-Men #61 – #65

Ultimate Fantastic Four #19 – #26

Ultimate Fantastic Four Annual #1

Ultimate Extinction #1 – #5

Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #1 – #6

Most of this showdown is published well after Ultimates v2 but I think it makes more sense before the conclusion of the Ultimates second wave.

Ultimates (v2) #6 – #13

Ultimate Spider-Man #78 – #85

Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #1

Ultimate Spider-Man #86 – #90

Countdown to Ultimate Power

Ultimate X-Men #66 – #74

Ultimate X-Men Annual #2

Ultimate X-Men / Fantastic Four #1 – #2

In Marvel Unlimited, the first issue is “Ultimate X-Men/Fantastic Four” and the second is “Ultimate Fantastic Four/X-Men”

Ultimate Fantastic Four #27 – #32

Ultimate Fantastic Four Annual #2

Ultimate Spider-Man #91 – #96

Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #2

Ultimates Annual #2

Ultimate Spider-Man #97 – #105

Ultimate Power #1 – #9

Ultimate X-Men #75 – #80

Countdown to Ultimate Human

Ultimate Fantastic Four #33 – #46

Ultimate Vision #1 – #5

Ultimate Spider-Man #106 – #117

Ultimate X-Men #81 – #89

Ultimate Fantastic Four #47 – #53

Ultimate Spider-Man #118 – #122

Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3

Ultimate Fantastic Four #54 – #57

Ultimate Human #1 – #4

March to Ultimatum

Ultimate Spider-Man #123 – #128

The Ultimates (v3) #1 – #5

Squadron Supreme #1 – #6

Ultimate X-Men #90 – #97

Ultimate Origins #1 – #5

Ultimate Hulk Annual #1

Ultimate X-Men/Fantastic Four Annual #1

Ultimate Fantastic Four/X-Men Annual #1

 Ultimatum Reading Order

Ultimate Spider-Man #129

Ultimatum #1

Ultimate Spider-Man #130

Ultimate X-Men #98

Ultimatum #2

Ultimate Fantastic Four #58

Ultimate Spider-Man #131

Ultimate Fantastic Four #59

Ultimate X-Men #99

Ultimatum #3

Ultimate Spider-Man #132

Ultimate Fantastic Four #60

Ultimate X-Men #100

Ultimatum #4

Ultimate Spider-Man #133

Ultimatum #5

Ultimatum: Fantastic Four Requiem One-Shot #1

Ultimatum: X-Men Requiem One-Shot #1

Ultimatum: Spider-Man Requiem #1

Ultimatum: Spider-Man Requiem #2

After Ultimatum

Ultimate Comics X #1 – #5

Ultimate Comics Armor Wars #1 – #4

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 – #6

Ultimate Comics Avengers #1 – #6

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #7 – #15

Ultimate Comics Avengers 2 #1 – #6

Ultimate Enemy Begins

Ultimate Enemy #1 – #4

Ultimate Mystery #1 – #4

Ultimate Doom #1 – #4

Ultimate Comics Captain America #1 – #4

Ultimate Comics New Ultimates #1 – #5

Ultimate Comics Thor #1 – #4

Ultimate Comics Avengers 3 #1 – #6

Death of Spider-Man Reading Order

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #150 – #156

The Ultimate Spider-Man numbering returns to the original counting for the 150th issue.

Ultimate Comics Avengers vs. New Ultimates #1 – #2

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #157

Ultimate Comics Avengers vs. New Ultimates #3 – #4

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #158 – #160

Ultimate Comics Avengers vs. New Ultimates #5 – #6

Ultimate Fallout #1 – #6

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man (2011 – Present) #1 – #5

Countdown to Divided We Fall

Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #1 – #4

Ultimate Comics Ultimates #1 – #6

Ultimate Comics X-Men #1 – #13

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #7 – #12

Ultimate Comics Ultimates #7 – #12

Spider-Men #1 – #5

Divided We Fall / United We Stand Reading Order

Ultimate Comics X-Men #14
Ultimate Comics Ultimates #13 – #14
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #13 – #14
Ultimate Comics X-Men #15
Ultimate Comics Ultimates #15
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #15 – #16
Ultimate Comics Ultimates #16
Ultimate Comics X-Men #16 – #17
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #17
Ultimate Comics Ultimates #17 – #18
Ultimate Comics X-Men #18 – #18.1
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #18
Ultimate Comics Ultimates #18.1

Countdown to Cataclysm

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #16.1 & #19 – #22
Ultimate Comics X-Men #19 – #22
Ultimate Comics Ultimates #19 – #24
Ultimate Comics Wolverine #1 – #4
Ultimate Comics X-Men #23 – #33
Ultimate Comics Iron Man #1 – #4
Ultimate Comics Ultimates #25 – #30
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #23 – #28

Cataclysm Reading Order

Hunger #1 – #4

Cataclysm Point One #0.1
Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1
Cataclysm: Ultimate X-Men #1 – #3
Cataclysm: The Ultimate’s Last Stand #1
Cataclysm: Ultimates #1
Cataclysm: The Ultimate’s Last Stand #2
Cataclysm: Ultimates #2 – #3
Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #2 – #3
Cataclysm: The Ultimate’s Last Stand #3 – #5
Survive #1

After Cataclysm

Ultimate FF #1 – #6
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #1 – #12
All-New Ultimates #1 – #12

The Ultimate Universe Concludes in Secret Wars!

Check out the future of the Ultimates in Ultimates Vol. 1: Omniversal!

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107 Replies to “Ultimate Marvel Universe Reading Order”

  1. I’m new to comics and currently in the middle of your previous guide covering the Marvel Knights era, (just started the ASM run.) I noticed you’ve replaced that guide with this one. Given that Ultimate is an entirely separate universe, won’t I just be confused picking up Avengers Dissassembled right after this? Should I read both, or come back to Ultimate at some point? Thanks in advance, yet another great guide!

    1. Just realized you put this *ahead* of the Marvel Knights era on the main guide page, sorry for the confusion. A related question remains: should I “jump back” now and read the Ultimate universe, or plod ahead and come back to it when I’m done with the rest of the main 616 guides?

      1. Hey good question – you don’t need to read the Ultimate Universe as part of the chronology of the rest of the guide. It’s a totally separate read and guide.

        So no need to jump back – only if you want to 🙂

  2. This guide is great, thanks so much for putting all these together. The only two things I wanted to point out were that I think Uktimate Spoder-Man annual 1 takes place between Spidey 85 & 86 and also I couldn’t find the Ultimate Captain America annual from 2008 on here (another guide said it happens right around Ultimate Human).

    Anyway, these are quibbles. The guides are fantastic and you’re doing a great job.

  3. Great guide! I have two quick comments I wanted to offer:

    1- Ultimate Comics Thor is a prequel, so if you’re reading chronologically, it should be read before the first volume of Ultimates. That being said, the Thor book works under the assumption that you already know that Asgard is real and Thor is for-real (instead of some crazy person, which is in doubt until partway through Ultimates 2), so placing it where you did makes sense too. Just maybe a note.

    2- I understand that the two Ultimate Iron Man series were retconned to being from an in-Ultimate-universe anime telling an absolutely insane origin story of Tony Stark (from Ultimate Comics Avengers vs. New Ultimates). It might be worth clarifying this in your note.

    These are pretty minor issues though. Great list (and great site overall!)

  4. I think that the first Spidey annual should be read between issues 85 and 86 of the main series. I got to issue 86 and was confused that Peter was suddenly dating Kitty Pryde, then I got to the annual and understood.

    1. If you’re reading the Ultimate Universe, it’s kind of impossible to skip. I’m not saying you’re going to enjoy it, but so many huge changes happen. It’s a completely different Ultimate U after Ultimatum.

      If you’re just picking and choosing the best stories, then yeah, you can probably avoid. Although I have to admit, Ultimatum is completely fascinating. Comics are rarely this egregiously insane and destructive.

      1. I read Ultimatum and I really enjoyed it. All of it. The mayhem. The destruction. The heroes, what’s left of them, banding together to save the day. And the best part…the changes remained in the series that followed up.

  5. Using your guide + Marvel Unlimited to do up the Ultimate universe (now seems like a good time since it may be ending soon).

    Up to Unlimited Iron Man II and this guide is sooooo helpful. Thanks for all the work. I really enjoy the commentary/review information on each collection, I hope you add more!

  6. Is it true the Ultimate Iron Man and Ultimate Iron Man II stories were retconned out of the Ultimate universe? I thought they were really cool.

    Is that why Iron Man’s backstory in Ultimate Team Up is so different?

    1. I’ve heard that, yes. The Iron Man Ultimate Team-Up was published a few years before those origin stories, I believe, which would explain that.

      I feel like it’s dealer’s choice on that origin honestly. Go with the one that feels right 🙂

      1. They were kind of retconned – if reading closely in an issue of usm it’s shown to be the plot of a TV show of Tony’s Life – which is just narcissistic enough for me to keep it in the reading order

  7. So the Ultimate U is now my everything Marvel! Never gave it a chance until Jeff at Mile High Comics turned me on to it. Now I can’t get enough.

    Can anyone tell me where Ultimate Six fits into the fray? I have all 7 in the run but cannot place it. The book is marked November 2003.

    With the aggressive time lapses that the ultimates have, Nov 2003 would be before the end of the first run of Ultimates….yet I don’t see it up on the list.

    Also, I have “Ultimate Marvel: The destruction of the ultimate universe” but cannot place it chronologically among this list?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    *stay geeky my friends

    1. It’s in the “After the Ultimate War” section, lumped with Ultimate Spider-Man #46. Note that in Marvel Unlimited “Ultimate Six” is its own series title.

      I’m not sure about that issue you mentioned… I’ll have to dig in 🙂

      Glad you’re enjoying the comics. The Ultimate Universe has a lot of great stuff!

      1. Yes it does!

        I did miss the ultimate six…Spidey 46 threw my mind off track. Thanks a ton!

        I look forward to what you can find on the other issue, I shall dig deeper as well!

        Love everything you do man!

  8. Hello again my friends,
    I search many other reading order sites and sources but I always come back to the CBH! So a big thanks again!

    I have this Ultimate Captain America Annual. Other sites list it before The Ultimates 3, but it refers to what has happened in Ultimates 3. I will read and send in another reply to help anyone else who is trying to Chronologically place it.

    Sucks the Ultimate U is being destroyed with Secret Wars.

  9. I just got to Ultimate Fantastic 4 #7-18 and General Ross has come back to life! Also, in previous issues of USM, he keeps referencing the Fantastic Four like they are a known super team, but in UFF #7, they haven’t been doing anything heroic. I haven’t read further yet, but it feels weird like I’m reading a flashback.

    Other feedback: this reading order is fantastic and really makes it simple to just get in and read, without having to do a bunch of research first, or worry I am missing something.

    1. Glad you enjoy the guide!

      UFF is tricky. There are references to the team as if they exist (Ultimates #2) before any issues have been published. It may be worth revisiting but for now this approach worked for me.

      1. Yeah, I’m in the chunk right now with Ultimate vol 2, Ultimate Secret, Ultimate Extinction, Ultimates Annual stuff, and it seems like there are a few continuity issues in the issues themselves, and no reading order would be perfect. Most of your choices make more sense as I go further in.

  10. Other issues I found on Marvel Unlimited I don’t see in this guide:

    Ultimate X-Men #0 (seems to take place sometime between issues 6 and 7 maybe)

    Ultimate Spider-Man #1.5 (no clue when this takes place)

  11. Just noticed Ultimate X-Men 89 is missing from the reading order!

    I’m on Ultimates 3 #4 and Pyro is suddenly part of the brotherhood??! When did that happen?

  12. Is Ultimate Adventures omitted on purpose? I haven’t read it yet, so I’m not sure if it’s part of continuity or not.

    Should I read it?

    1. It is pretty much it’s own beast. I do remember the Ultimates make an appearance somewhere in there, so you may want to read it after Ultimates, Vol. 1. But really, you could read it at anytime and be just fine. I know the series didn’t get good reviews, but I personally enjoyed it.

  13. I’ve just read Ultimate Comics Ultimates 1-6 followed by Ultimate Comics Hawkeye 1-4. Hawkeye should really come before Ultimates, as the stuff that happens in Hawkeye leads directly into the stuff happening in Ultimates and helps Ultimates make more sense (the SEAR stuff, at least).

  14. I don’t have proposed updates or anything, I’d just very much like to point out how fantastic the Spider-Men 5-issue miniseries is. I’ve read every Ultimate Universe comic up through it so far, and it’s just a beautiful, emotional piece. If anyone is just skimming through this list, I highly, highly recommend taking the time to read through this one.

  15. Just noticed that ‘Cataclysm point 1’ is missing from the list! Haven’t read it yet, so not sure just where it goes.

    Other things missing:

    Ultimate Captain America Annual #1
    Squadron Supreme #7-12
    Ultimate Adventures #1-6

    I’m nearing the end of the reading list and want to say thank you. You’ve made my Ultimate experience tons better with your work.

  16. Hi. I really like your site, and I am in a bit of a pickle. I found another Ultimate Marvel Universe reading order, and am unsure as to which is the most accurate and readable. Here is a link to it:


    I don’t have access to the comics so I am unable to tell which is better and makes the most sense. If anyone can do a quick comparison, that would be appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Well obviously mine is better 🙂

      Honestly, there are plenty of lists online, and I work pretty hard at maintaining an accurate one, incorporating reader feedback over time. Your best bet is to get rolling with one, and if it doesn’t feel right, call an audible.

    2. I started on the one you have the link for. It is a decent reading order, but after going through Comic Book Herald’s, I can tell you that it is better. I like that it is broken up into subsections. If you really want to follow along, I suggest CBH.

  17. Is Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #09 canon? It’s missing from the list, and doesn’t gel with anything else in the Ultimate Universe so far, but I just want to be sure. Great list by the way! I’m trying to get all caught up for Secret Wars, and this couldn’t be more helpful!

  18. First of all, thanks for an excellent guide. i’m completely new to comics and the Ultimate Universe has me hooked, and I’m flying though this guide.

    I also have a proposed slight tweak in the reading order- I think Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #1 ideally should be read after you finish Ultimate Spider-Man #85, as the events of the Annual are mentioned during the first couple of pages of #87, which is second of the Silver Sable series.

    Thanks for the good work!

  19. Hey! Awesome guide. Im trying to read all of the ultimate universe comics as Secret Wars comes out. What guide should I follow after this one to get the full background for secret wars?


  20. from the feedback in your awesome site, I think I need to follow your wonderful guide since am all new to this comic world
    will starting from your guide clarify anything I need to know about the marvel world?

  21. I finally made it all the way to Cataclysm. I feel like I’ve been running a marathon. That counts as exercise, right? But I digress, I was wondering if you would be so kind as to update the final three series (Miles Morales, FF & All-New Ultimates) now that they have all finished up their runs.

    Thanks for everything you have done here. I am telling everyone about this site…even my wife, even though she just gives me a blank stare in return.

    Keep up the good work!!

  22. Few things that i noticed and would like explanation
    Why is Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #9 way after end of Marvel Team-Up 10-16?
    Missing comics
    Ultimate X-Men #½
    Ultimate Spider-Man Super Special #1
    Ultimate Captain America Annual #1
    Ultimate Secrets #1
    Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 16
    Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 20
    Cataclysm 0.1

    1. Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #9 is a weird one, since it includes the Fantastic Four but was published before the Ultimate Fantastic Four actually started. I prefer slotting it after Ultimate FF has been introduced, hence the placement. I’ll have to take a look at the rest.

  23. Really loving this guide. It’s super helpful.

    I’m about to start the Galactus section, but I was wondering if there’s any plans to keep the reading guide as up to date as possible. I think the ultimate u is officially done now and I was wondering if the ff, morales, and ultimate end books would be as well done as the rest have been.

  24. Totally digging this Reading Order. Funny thing, I have collected most of the Ultimate Universe years back and have never read em…lol Mostly the inner geek in me knowing I’d get to it someday. Anyhow, this guide has motivated not only to complete the collection… But to read em! =P


    Is there anything else (other than Ultimate End which I assume is in your Secret Wars reading order, that I need to consider? Does this list “contain” the 1610 Universe?

    Thanks in advance for any feedback!

  25. How often does this get updated? Noticed that the 3 series after cataclysm aren’t all there and I don’t know what order to read them in… does it matter or can I just wing it?

    1. Now updated through the most recent Marvel Unlimited release!

      I’d start with All-New Ultimates #1 before Miles Morales, but otherwise you can pretty much read through each series individually until Secret Wars hits.

  26. Great guide !
    SO helpful !!!

    Some suggestions :
    – Ultimate Team-up 9 (with FF) and therefore Ultimate Spider-man Super Special (which is not included in the reading order) are off continuity, along with Ultimate Iron-Man I and II
    – You should put Clone Saga (Spidey 97 – 105 or something) before the UXM 75-80 (or something) because we see Charles Xavier in Spidey while he is trapped in the future in UXM
    – Since Ultimate Power is a crossover with the Squadron Supreme universe, maybe the order should include Supreme Power, the other Squadron Supreme (except v1), Doctor Spectrum, Hyperion, Nighthawk ?
    – As it was already reported, there is some issues missing (Captain America Annual, Spidey #1/2…)
    – Could you complete the guide, as I heard that all the series were fully published ?

    1. Thanks for this feedback!

      A few updates have been made. The guide has also been updated to reflect the latest issues of the Universe leading into Secret Wars, although I expect some fine tuning in the near future.

      1. Thanks for the reply !
        Some help for your fine tuning : Fury appears in Ultimate Vision #1-#5 but he is in the Squadron Supreme universe after Ultimate Power. I didn’t read much after this but I guess Ultimate Vision would make more sense before Ultimate Power, and why not just after Ultimate Extinction ? It looks like the events in Vision are just after Extinction.

        Some personnal comments on the Squadron Supreme series I mentioned in my other comment : I read most of them and I didn’t enjoy it, the plots are slow and one of the series is left unfinished, I guess you can just forget it and catch up on Ultimate Power pretty much

        1. Some more fine tuning : Fury does also appear in some FF and X-men issues after Ultimate Power but it’s not a big deal.
          Something I didn’t understand is what does Pyro do in the Brotherhood in The Ultimates 3 #4 ? I still didn’t read any explanation for this.

  27. Hey Dave, awesome guide as always! Thanks!

    How does the Ultimate Universe guide and the Marvel Earth-616 (Main Universe Continuity) guide tie in with the guide you have set up, that starts with “Part 1 Marvel Knight Era”.

    When or how should they be read?

    I am reading the ultimate universe at the moment, but once I am done, is there a guide I should follow for the “logical next step”?

    Also, you have a section called “when should I read secret war”, but what about the original secret wars? Should that be read, or is it now considered “too old” and the new one should be read?


    1. Glad you enjoy the guide!

      You really don’t need to worry about merging the Ultimate U guide w/ Earth-616. They run on parallel tracks, with crossovers few and far between. So once you start Ultimate, you can read as much as you like, jumping on over to Earth-616 only as you want.

      As far as next steps, you’ll want to look to Secret Wars (2015 event). As a Marvel fan, I recommend reading the original Secret Wars, but it’s definitely not a requirement for the current event. It’ll never be too old for me 🙂 Enjoy the comics!

      1. Much appreciated!

        Then where does that “Guide part 1: marvel Knights era” fit in? I assume it’s not part of the ultimate universe.

        Is it part of 616?

  28. hey there is some weirdness going on in the spider man issues up to 90 they should be before the end of ultimates v2 because fury has his arm in one of them

  29. I am new to comic book reading and thought I’d start with the Ultimate Universe. Now I find out there will be the All New All Different Marvel lineup starting in October.

    Will you be building a guide to this new lineup as it happens? I want to finish Ultimate Marvel first, then the Secret Wars guide you have to get prepared for the new universe. I guess an article about how the characters move into the new universe would be helpful. Is it being rebooted or are their pasts still moving into this new universe? Sorry, lots of questions since I’m new to this world.

    1. Some specific Earth-616 titles – Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers and New Avengers – will best prepare you for the Secret Wars event. If you aim to read the whole universe, than definitely Ultimate Universe, as that’s reasonably achievable with my Ultimate U guide. Enjoy the comics!

  30. Ok so Ultimate guide and 616 guide are separate, and can both be enjoyed as you wish…

    what about the guide that is 17 (or 18?) parts, starting with “Part 1 Marvel Knight Era”.

    Where does that guide fit in? Would that be a “3rd reading option” if you will?

    Ultimate Universe, 616 Universe, 17 part universe.

    Do you also happen to have a Hulk guide? I know you have tie ins with World War Hulk and etc. But something to refer to planet hulk etc. Or just the individual Hulk series.

    As always, much, much appreciated!

    1. Part 1 is the start of Earth-616. Hopefully a bit clearer on the main Complete Marvel Order page, but shoot me a note if it’s not.

      No Hulk guide, but Fall of the Hulks and World War Hulks are on the way! Planet Hulk is included in the ‘Getting from House of M to Civil War’ section, I believe.

  31. Hi, quick question. Just finished ultimate fallout, where does ultimate comics spider-man #6 come in, it’s not listed on your guide? Goes from #1-5 then #7-12.

  32. I’ve been using your list to start my way though the Ultimate Universe. So far it’s as good as can be expected. I like that stories seem to be left intact (Doc Ock/Kraven finish before the Team Up stories).

    I’m wondering about the second block of UXM (7-14). Why stop on World Tour 2/8. Why not at the end of Weapon X or the end of World Tour?

  33. I know Ultimate Adventures is not really important but I think you can put it before the fight of Janet and Hank Pym happened in Ultimates Volume 1.

  34. Where does All New X-Men #31-36 and Spider-Verse fit in? I don’t believe Spider-Verse was important but knowledge of what happened in ANXM helps with the end of Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man.

  35. Hey thanks for the Guide you are the kindest person is all the land. Just a quick question as i am collecting all of these comics and was wondering why the publishing chronology contradicts your reading order so often. One such example is in the “After Ultimatum” guide where you list Ultimate X 1 – 4 (which was published between April 2010 – August 2011) before Ultimate Armor Wars 1 (which was published in November 2009). I’m not criticizing, I just want to understand if you put them in this order because the story made more sense this way or if I am reading this list wrong. Please let me know as I am reading through this list right now and have not yet gotten to the ultimatum arc but want to know that you have it listed correctly or if i am reading them in the wrong order. Again thanks so much for this list, I can’t begin to tell you how much of a champ you are for doing this.

    1. Generally speaking any placement is based on the story making more sense that way. Publication date doesn’t always align with a chronological story.

      That said, I also make mistakes 🙂 If you see a placement that doesn’t make sense when you read it, let me know and I’ll update!

  36. Absolutely living this reading order! Great work! I did want to point out that I think ultimate power should go before ultimate x-men #75-80 based on the events at the end of issue #80. I won’t post spoilers. If I’m wrong please let me know.

    1. In fact, there are a couple of links below that one that have the same issue of pointing to the wrong spider-man series.

      I tallied 687 comics total in the Marvel Unlimited section. Really excited to go through it!

  37. Thanks for the excellent reading order, Dave!

    I’ve been plowing through the Ultimate U since December and am up to Divided We Fall, United We Stand. I have the DWF, UWS trade paperback that contains Ultimates #13-18, X-Men #13-18, and Spider-Man #13-18. The trade has them collected in that order, which is different from your reading order above. Any harm in reading straight through the trade or should I jump around to stick to your reading order?

  38. Yo Dave. I think Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #1 – #12 comes after New Ultimates. Because it’s when the other Earth was shown right?

    1. I remember thinking I had some rationale, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it is. You’re right that Miles leads pretty directly into the clash with the other earth… worth another look!

  39. Hi, thank you for this post, it will be a great help for me! Because I’m just starting at this world called Marvel comics. This is the most complete guide I’ve seen by now and I wish I could know:

    1. Is this list complete or you miss some?
    2. Do you have any advice for me as a newbie in this world? I’d appreciate it!

    Thanks again!

    1. Welcome! This guide is very complete. My advice for any newbie would be to stick with what you enjoy, and don’t worry about trying to read every single thing. Comics should be fun and not feel like homework.

      Enjoy the comics!

  40. The placement for Team-Up #10-16 doesn’t make sense, since Parker’s grounded at the end of Ult Spider-Man #21.

  41. Ultimates Annual #1 takes place after Ultimates v2 #4. In the former they’re at Tony’s bachelor party but he doesn’t propose until the latter.

  42. Thanks for this! I just subscribed recently to your Marvelous Year reading club so I’ve been frantically catching up with that (So close now! Just got to 1985, so I’ll be caught up with you guys soon) but have been wanting to check out the Ultimate Universe. I remember reading through the Ultimate Spider-Man comics when I was younger but don’t remember them as well, and have barely read any of the Ultimate X-Men or Fantastic Four comics. Your lists are so great though! I followed through your Modern Marvel guide up until civil war before subscribing to the reading club, and I have to say they work perfectly so that you don’t miss out on any details in the comic timelines. Stay awesome.

  43. I’m an old brazilian reader of Marvel’s comics (my history traces back to 1998) who happened to get very apart of it and recently have been caught back to this reading, and all I have to tell you is that this whole work of yours is just jaw dropping, and I can’t congratulate enough for it.

  44. So, first off thanks for compiling this list. I signed up for Marvel Unlimited specifically to read through the Ultimate Universe and it’s been a great companion. But, questions…

    I see The Squadron Supreme coming up and I was doing skimming some info about them. Another list has Supreme Power v1 1-6 in the list, after UXM # 39 and 7-18 later on, along with Doctor Spectrum. I suppose they explain the origins of Squadron Surpreme (?) but these were run under MAX a marvel imprint and I wasn’t able to find them on Unlimited.

    I did, however, come across Squadron Supreme Saga, which seems like it might be summary of that run. Can you confirm? Is there a reason you chose to leave these off?

    Oh, and yes, the Ultimate Annual #1 happens after Ultimates 2 #4.

  45. Thanks to this guide I have read every single 1610 comic.
    Plenty of high points (USM being a personal fav from issue 1 all the way through), and few lows (The last few arcs of UXM were less than stellar) made reading it a pleasure.

    I really enjoyed Ultimatum myself and was glad to see that the changes that happened stayed happened, something that the 616 could learn from I think. If a character dies, don’t bring them back 1000 times.

    I’ve yet to read Secret Wars to see how everything finishes, but now I’ve joined the reading club I think I’ll be taking a break from finding out for a while.

  46. I’m curious about why ultimate origins is listed so far down when it’s basically an origins story that starts towards the begging? Or am I missing something? I like it at the beggining of my bookshelf personally but that’s just me.

  47. I am just in the middle of the list and I began to worry about something…

    It’s so easy to read the Ultimate Universe since there’s an easy guide for it, as there is not thousands of different characters and groups of heroes like in the 616 universe… I’m really interested in today’s comics like the A-Force, Young Avengers and of course, main events becouse of the movies…

    But I don’t know how am I gonna do it to pass from the Ultimate universe to the main 616 earth… Is the transition easy to follow, am I gonna have to read 10000 comic issues a year to be updated? I just feel soooo overwhelmed about the big amount of issues to read and the amount of characters and how they conect each other…

    HELP! T.T

    1. I’d say jump on with the My Marvelous Year reading club. February is starting and we are getting in 2001, which starts leading us into Disassembled and the long line of Avengers Events.

  48. Your list has truly been a great help, and I thank you for putting it together.

    However, I noticed that you have it listed that you should read Ultimate X-men #72-#74 before you read Ultimate Spider-man #91-#94. After reading those issues, I’ve found it would probably make more sense to read Spider-man #91-#94 BEFORE Ultimate X-men #72-#74, as Ultimate X-men #72 references the events that occurred in Ultimate Spider-man #91-#94 (which heavily features the X-men).

    Other than that, it is a very good reading order, and I’ve really enjoyed reading the Ultimate Universe using it.

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