Ultimo is a fictional giant robot in the Marvel Comics universe. It was once controlled by the Mandarin and used against Iron Man, but has fought Iron Man several times even when not under the Mandarin's control.
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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.
Fictional character biography
Ultimo is a gigantic android that is thousands of years old, and he was constructed by an alien species that has since been destroyed by their own creation. They called the robot "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) Ultimo is depicted in print (in flashback in Iron Manvol.3, #24), he 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.
In Tales of Suspense #77, 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 Ultimo to serve him).[volume & issue needed] Mandarin charged it with geothermal energy inside a volcano and gave it 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 by him 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. 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 his hammer, briefly causing him to become Don 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. Ultimo was then sent by the Mandarin to attack the Yellow Claw and Loc Do, and battled Iron Man and Sunfire. 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. He is not heard from for years after that, until, in Iron Man vol. 1 #298, he is 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 him, and is torn to pieces — and the cybernetic backlash to Tony Stark's nervous system renders him comatose.
Ultimo Versus the Iron Legion
In Iron Man (1st series) #300, the 64 pages edition, Ultimo battled the "Iron Legion". The Iron Legion was led by Jim Rhodes, in the War Machine Armor, and furthermore comprised Happy Hogan, Eddie March (the first substitute Iron Man), Bethany Cabe, Mike O'Brien (formerly Guardsman), and Carl Walker (formerly Force). With the exception of Bethany, each had previously worn an Iron Man suit. However, Rhodes said that he knew from "personal experience" that Bethany knows how to handle herself. Since Stark was down, Rhodes called them in, and had Abe Zimmer (Stark's tech wiz) take a number of old armors out of storage, (see Iron Man's armor) and fix them to be nominally functional again. However, Zimmer said that they would not function anywhere near capacity, since Stark stored them for sentimental reasons only, not with the idea that they would ever be used again. Eddie wore the gray, original suit, and also was the first to get hit by Ultimo. His attempted rescue by Carl Walker, in the "classic" Iron Man armor, led to Carl getting shot, and the suit beginning to melt, forcing him to eject. While Beth and Happy aided Carl and Eddie, Rhodes, together with Mike in the Silver Centurion suit attacked Ultimo in order to provide a distraction. At this point, Rhodes realized that this wasn't what he had in mind for this battle, and decided on a change of plan. Happy was to get Carl and Eddie to the hospital, while Bethany and Mike headed to the town of Futura to start evacuations. Bethany objected, and convinced Rhodes to allow her to buy time against Ultimo with him. At this point, Tony Stark had come out of his 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. Stark successfully took out Ultimo single-handedly, by causing a lightning bolt to strike the robot's "central nervous system". His scans indicated that Ultimo is several thousand years old, and he has it hauled off for study.
Years later, the robot is the property of Stark-Fujikawa, the company which bought Stark's company when he was believed dead (after the events of "the Crossing"). Stark-Fujikawa's engineers, having performed extensive research of the hulking, inert robot, 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.
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 is 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 he attempts to use what data the Stark-Fujikawa engineers managed to obtain to break into Ultimo's core programming once more. Moments before the city is reached, Tony Stark manages to convince the giant killer robot that he is one of his "Masters" and orders him to shut down.
Afterward, Ultimo is dismantled and his systems "fried" by the transfer of his energy stores to the Rajaki vessel.
Ultimo reappeared, apparently fully restored, in Avengers: The Initiative #1, 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 the girl called Armory.
In the pages of War Machine, Ultimo was converted into an "Ultimo virus" capable of bestowing enhanced strength, speed, regeneration, and optic blast abilities to its victims, which included Ares and Rhodey's former love interest Dr. Glenda Sandoval. 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 itself had been contracted by H.A.M.M.E.R. to study Ultimo's potential as a weapon. Having destroyed Ultimo's body, Rhodes sets out to destroy the 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 the CEO of Stark Solutions, who turns out to be none other than Morgan Stark. Stark is transformed by the liquid into a giant, humanoid robot, a quicksilver-like attempt at being Ultimo, and possessed of the Doomsday Machine's programming to destroy all life, and fights War Machine. However, the third component is destroyed when Rhodes uses Ultimo's own weapons technology - which he obtained when he destroyed the robot's body - against it. Stark then self-destructs, scattering Ultimo's liquid body all over the landscape, where it soon merges with the plant life. It was Ultimo's/Morgan's plan to convert all vegetation on Earth into metal, which would suffocate all life within two weeks. Rhodes was able to render Ultimo docile by forcing the Iron Patriot into showing his memories of his happiest moments. However, the Iron Patriot then took advantage of this to take Ultimo for himself. 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, he was confronted by War Machine, who then requested Cybermancer Suzi Endo to take Ultimo with her to "raise" the blank slate it had become, hopefully instilling some other values into the artificial intelligence besides universal genocide.] However, on War Machine's request, drops of Ultimo infected a nefarious group called the Bainesville Ten, which caused them to see the recordings of every person who was raped, tortured, or killed because of their orders.
Powers and abilities
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 they 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). Later, after Stark-Fujikawa's engineers accessed his systems, they made him grow to "over a hundred feet" (he stretched along the entire length of the hull of a medium-sized research vessel).
Ultimo has also shown he can adapt his defenses. For instance, while he once was deactivated by a lightning bolt, this later proved ineffective.
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."
- A modified version of Ultimo exists in the comic book version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a creation of Hydra. This version of the character is created from technology that was recovered from the destroyed Ultron sentries after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
In other media
- Ultimo appeared in the Iron Man portion of The Marvel Super Heroes.
Ultimo as seen in the Iron Man episode "Iron Man, On the Inside."
- Ultimo appears in the 1994 Iron Man episode "Rejoice! I Am Ultimo, Thy Deliverer" voiced by Ed Gilbert. Upon discovering it sealed in an inactive volcano in Latin America, the Mandarin and MODOK bring him to life despite the warnings of Justin Hammer. It ends up going on a rampage. Upon following it to Baja California, Mandarin successfully attaches a control device on the base of Ultimo's skull and had it attack Iron Man. Ultimo managed to take down Iron Man as Mandarin ordered Ultimo to bring Iron Man to him. 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 causing Ultimo to be free from Mandarin's control. After Iron Man was rescued, he 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 the Master Switch of Ultimo in its chest. Iron Man used a special arrow to have Hawkeye shoot it in the portal that manifested on his chest deactivating it. Ultimo was then transferred to a Secure Holding Lab. In the episode "Iron Man, On the Inside," Ultimo returns under the control of the Hacker in his plot to take revenge on Stark Industries for denying his job applications in their 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 his 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 Carpenter.
- Ultimo also makes a brief cameo in the 1994 Fantastic Four show, actually appearing on an Iron Man TV show-in-the-show battling the superhero.
- Ultimo appears in the Iron Man: Armored Adventures episode "Hide and Seek". It 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 gave it back it continued to attack him because he was still "holding" a weapon, namely his 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 episode "Iron Man is Born" and battles Iron Man in the New York Bay before being destroyed.
- Ultimo appears in the Avengers Assemble episode "Building the Perfect Weapon." While at an A.I.M. base and confronted by the Avengers, Leader unleashes Ultimo on them while he gets away. The Avengers were able to defeat Ultimo by having Hawkeye tie one end of a rope to Ultimo and shoot the other end of it on an arrow shot towards an electrical tower causing Ultimo to act like a lightning rod.
- Ultimo appears as several lines of the Mandarin's defenses in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. Here, rather than speaking, the Mandarin speaks through him. He also appears in Iron Man's simulation disk. He serves as a mini boss in Mandarin's palace, though this version was said to be an advanced "Ultimo Mark 2". There were also a "Prototype Ultimo Mark 3s" during the Mandarin boss battle, blocking the teleporter to Mandarin. The only way to get to him was to lure one of his self-destructing robotic bugs onto the teleporter to destroy the Ultimo on the other side.
- Ultimo appears in the video game adaption to Iron Man 2 voiced by Andrew Chaikin. This version is a large battle suit worn (and fused with physically and mentally) by Kearson DeWitt who is in alliance with A.I.M.; the robot itself was created by stealing and modifying an old version of J.A.R.V.I.S. and a project he was working on at Stark Industries, PROTEAN. Iron Man finally confronts the giant Ultimo and War Machine fights him while Iron Man fights the 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 the Kearson/Ultimo. In the end, Ultimo is destroyed when Nick Fury rams it 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.