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Ultraforce
Publication information
Publisher Malibu Comics
Marvel Comics
First appearance Pre-Black September:
Ultraforce #1 (August 1994)
Post-Black September:
Ultraforce vol. 2 #∞ (October 1995)
In-story information
Base(s) Pre-Black September:
Ultraforce HQ, Florida
Post-Black September:
Ultraforce HQ, Headless Cross, Arkansas
Member(s) See roster

The Ultraforce is a fictional superhero group that appears in comic books published by Malibu, and later Marvel, as well as an animated series produced by DIC. Their purpose was to protect the public and keep other Ultras from getting out of line. The membership consisted of various "ultras" (superheroes) in Malibu's Ultraverse, including the super-strong Prime; Hardcase, one of the first public Ultras and the most famous; Prototype, Ultra-Tech's armored spokesperson; Topaz, warrior queen of Gwendor; the undead Ghoul, the last surviving member of the Exiles; and the mysterious Contrary, who organized the team and provided their technology. The Ultraforce was adapted in 1995 as an animated television series that ran for 13 episodes.

Fictional biography

Formation of the team

The only survivor of the Exiles, Ghoul, raised himself from his tomb and was harassed by the press and the public. The Ultra Hardcase rescued him and suggested to the press that only the Ultras could regulate other Ultras, not the government. Prime saw the interview in TV and decided to search members to a new team to be called "Ultraforce". He convinced Prototype of the necessity of the team, but begin to fight him for the "leadership". The fight between the two young ultras alerted Contrary, who brought Hardcase and Ghoul to his airship, and show them the impact that the fight was having in the general public. When Prime and Prototype were fighting in the land, The villain Atalon, king of the fire people, brought them underground. Hardcase went to rescue them. Meanwhile, one of the three queens of Gwendor, Topaz, arrived to Earth from the Godwheel. Contrary promised her to return to her people. Prime and Prototype tried to fight Atalon but were defeated by him. Hardcase arrive just in time save them. After this, the team was formed and backed by the US government and president Bill Clinton. The members tried to recruit aid from the Freex, The Strangers, the Nigthman and Mantra, but were rejected. After manipulations of Contrary, Prime left the team temporarily. Attalon raised a new island and fought Ultraforce in the surface. In the fight, Prime returned and Atalon detonated a nuclear missile in the isle.

In the battle with Attalon, the young ultra Pixx sacrificed herself to disable the nuclear arsenal of the villain, and was killed by the increasing radiation. In the end, Attalon was defeated and after a negotiation with Contrary, he left the surface world to its own devices. In the next months, the Ultra Ghoul investigated the strange death of the singer Mosh.

Black September

Marvel's superhero Black Knight arrived to the Ultraverse and met with Prototype and Prime. He participated in the battle against some 'angels' created by Metabio Corporation and that were freed accidentally by the ultra Siren, who joined the team too. The 'angels' did not have an effect in Ghoul, because he had a decaying body, so he could defeat them. Topaz fought the sorceress Mantra for the possession of the sword of Fangs that used to belong to Topaz's people, but were interrupted by the villain Hybrid who sent Ultraforce in a quest in Egypt. Hybrid was killed and Topaz and Mantra make peace Later, when Black Knight was searching for clues about Loki's presence in New York, he found his lover Sersi, but she was possessed by the Ego Infinity gem and attacked him and Topaz.

Ultraforce Avengers Prelude Vol 1 1
Sersi and the Black Knight on the cover of UltraForce / Avengers Prelude.

Then, the Ultraforce battled the Asgardian God Loki that was searching for the Infinity gems in the Ultraverse. Loki send the heroes in different directions with illusions. They found the infinity gems and with the help of Sersi, returned to Earth. After this, the Ultraforce heroes were fooled by Loki in fighting the Avengers in a competition between Loki and the Grandmaster for the Infinity Gems. Loki won the competition and received all the gems, but he soon lost the gems to the entity Nemesis when the seven gems reunited. Both teams (Avengers and Ultraforce) fought Nemesis in an altered reality that combined both universes. The slaying of Nemesis by the Black Knight caused a reality-changed event that transformed the Ultraverse, erasing Hardcase and Contrary from existence and from the memories of their former teammates, and replacing Prototype (Jimmy Ruiz) with his predecessor in the Prototype armor, Bob Campbell.

After Black September

After the event known as "Black September" (when Marvel Comics purchased Malibu), the Ultraforce was re-created as a new team. Marvel's Black Knight became the leader of the new group, that consisted in him, Prototype (Bob Campbell), Prime, Topaz and Ghoul. The new team fought the fanatics of the Fold that worshiped a man called Pascal and were murdering ultras. However they found that Pascal was dead and that the Fold was using him to enforcing their beliefs. The team was given a new base by the U.S. government in Headless Cross, Arkansas. A mysterious man called Cromwell was introduced as a government liaison for the team, and the wife of Bob Campbell, Felicia Campbell, supported the team as a medic. In the next months, new members arrived to the team included the mysterious Lament and the vigilante Wreckage, who apparently had committed various murders that were investigated by Ultraforce. They discovered that the murders were committed by the ultra Bonnehammer, who was employed by a criminal organization, the Commission. With the help of Wreckage, the Ultraforce defeated Bonehammer.

The team with the X-Men when the Phoenix Force arrived to the Ultraverse, and possessed Prime. Both teams dive the Phoenix away, but it found a new host, Amber Hunt. They also team up with Spider-Man against the extra terrestrials The Shifters who attempted to provoke a war between the Ultraverse and Earth 616. After, this, Amber Hunt and Ghoul investigated the exiles' graves and found the Progeny, an alien menace from the future. In an investigation about the ultra Foxfire, Ultraforce meet Timothy Halloran, the Mastodon, who was committing murders in the sewers of New York. Mastodon was taken to medical care. Foxfire was an unknown carrier of the Progeny virus.

The Ultraforce investigated the murder of senator Robert Shrine, which involved ultras who were killed too. In the quest, they fought the Rawborgs and Dog. After the murderous attack of some of his teammates against Dog, the Black Knight expulsed Topaz, Ghoul, Lament and Wreckage from the team. Topaz did not want to leave and confronted the Knight. She, Lament and Prime were acting very aggressively and attacked the Knight and Cromwell. It resulted that Prime, Lament and Topaz were infected by the Progeny virus and fought his counterparts from 50 years in the future that came to cure them. The Progeny virus would have infected all the Ultras in Earth. After they cured the virus, and took Foxfire with them, the Ultraforce from the future erased the memory from his counterparts of the past. Searching in the base about what happened, the Black Knight and Topaz released Specimen 13, one of various beings kept in the secret basement that was Cromwell's brother. The specimen overpower the heroes but was convinced by his brother to return to his chamber.

After this, the Ultraforce joined the New Exiles, who were fighting an alien robot called Maxis. The Ultraforce collapsed a building upon Maxis, stopping him temporarily. Immediately after, an entire armada of the Tulkan aliens arrived to the scene. They said than were tracking a monster called Demonseed who was causing various damage to their worlds. The Tulkan had tracked the monster to Earth and wanted revenge. The Ultraforce and the New Exiles fought the elite of the armada, defeating them after a brutal battle. With problems in their ships, the Tulkan leader accepted defeat and fled. In the aftermath of the invasion, and with help of Maxis, the Black Knight returned to his home dimension with the exiles Siena Blaze and Reaper via an interdimensional portal.

Prototype (Bob Campbell) become the new leader and accepted new members from the Exiles: Hellblade, Ripfire, Amber Hunt, Ironclad, and the robot Maxis, who was now deprived of his original mission. When Ghoul arrived to the scene, he was accepted in the team too. Back at their base, the Ultraforce meet Hardcase, but did not recognize him. Hardcase explained to them he was not erased by the Black September, but was shutt instead into a limbo, where he created the creature Demonseed as a companion in the loneliness. However Demonseed rebelled against his creator and escaped to the past via a portal, where he destroying innumerable alien civilizations. Demonseed finally appeared and fought the Ultraforce, overpowering them, Ripfire was killed in the last attacks of the creature, but Hardcase sacrificed himself to send Demonseed back to the limbo, where he fought it for all eternity. Despite the grave losses, the Ultraforce looked into the future to continue their mission.

50 years into the future, Prime, Ironclad and others were having a happy time after various battles.

Members

The names listed are those used while the character was associated with Ultraforce. "First appearance" is the place where the character first appeared in the Ultraverse. It is not necessarily the first appearance of the character in print, nor the story depicting how the character joined the team. All information is listed in publication order first, then alphabetical.

Pre-Black September

Character Real name First appearance Notes
Contrary Unknown Freex #9 Allegedly was "Wetware Mary". Founder of the Ultra school Academy of the New Elite
Ghoul Jonathan Martin Exiles #1 Only survivor of the ultra team Exiles
Hardcase Tom Hawke Hardcase #1 Actor and old member of the First ultra team The Squad
Pixx Penny Burka Giant-Size Freex #1 Student recruited by Contrary
Prime Kevin Green Prime #1 Strongest ultra.
Prototype Jimmy Ruiz Prototype #1 Second bearer of the Prototype armor
Topaz N/A Giant-Size Mantra #1 Alien queen from the Female-only Gwendor realm.
Black Knight Dane Whitman Ultraforce #8 (In Ultraverse) Hero from Marvel universe.
Siren Jennifer Pearson Eliminator #1 Former thief

Post-Black September

Character Real name First appearance Notes
Black Knight Dane Whitman
Ghoul Jonathan Martin
Prime Kevin Green
Prototype Bob Campbell Prototype #0 First bearer of the Prototype armor. The adventures of Jimmy Ruiz were retconned as his own.
Topaz N/A
Cromwell Unknown Ultraforce vol.2 #1 Government liaison of the team.
Felicia Campbell Prototype #0 Support doctor.
Lament Sarah Walks Unseen Ultraforce vol.2 #1
Wreckage Jack Prosper Ultraforce Vol.2 #1
Amber Hunt N/A Exiles #1
Hellblade Jefferson Kotto Prime #26
Ironclad Spencer Collins Ultraverse Premiere #5 Was resurrected by the Maxis Robot.
Maxis Dar'u Sorrin All New Exiles #8 Alien robot.
Ripfire Chi'arr / Matt McKinney Ultraverse Premiere #1 Alien warrior with an emmiety with Demonseed
Hardcase Tom Hawke Returned from limbo

Short resume

Hardcase

Prime

Prototype

Prototype is the name of two fictitious superheroes of the Ultraverse line of comics. Both characters used an advanced exo-armor developed by the Ultratech corporation, and were employees of that company. The original Prototype was Bob Campbell, who was replaced after an accident by a young man called Jimmy Ruiz.

Bob Campbell served as the first spokesperson for Ultratech corporation. He used the Prototype armor developed by the company but he was injured in a demonstration and lost an arm after fighting the villain, Arena.

After the accident, the young man Jimmy Ruiz was contracted by Ultratech to serve as new spokesperson. He was given steroids and was surgically implanted with special cybernetics to allow him to control a new Prototype armor in a controlled manner. In his first apparition to the shareholders meeting, Jimmy was attacked by a supervillain. The fight ended with the killing of the villain.

Jimmy with Bob, after uncovering Ultra-Tech's corruption, opted to overthrow the company and become independent heroes, fighting the Japanese organization, Techuza.

When Marvel relaunched the Ultraverse, in the Black September (comics) event, Jimmy Ruiz was erased out of existence and Bob Campbell was the only Prototype that had existed (his arm had never been torn off, either). He became part of the new Ultraforce and after a time, his leader. He led the Ultraforce heroes against the villain, Demonseed.

Contrary

Contrary is mysterious woman who discovered the technology of the ancient Fire People, building a secret academy for young ultras and a special airship with transportation abilities. She was allegedly Wetware Mary, a nurse who exposed various infant children to a wetware virus, transforming them in Ultras in their puberty. Years later, Contrary tracked down several of these children for her Academy of the New Elite and was opposed by the runaways teens called Freex. When Ultraforce was formed, Contrary united the various members and convinced Hardcase to be the leader. She expressed interest in the adventures of the Black Knight,when he arrived to the Ultraverse, from Earth-616.

When Marvel relaunched the Ultraverse, in the Black September (comics) event, Contrary was erased out of existence, and her whereabouts are unknown

Topaz

Topaz is a character created by Mike W. Barr, appearing first in Giant-Size Mantra #1. She was a warrior Queen from the extra-dimensional matriarchal realm of Gwendor, located in the Godwheel. Topaz was the title of the queen, and her real name was never revealed. She meet the sorceress Mantra, when she arrived to her kingdom.She fought the sorceress for the possession of the old Gwendor's Claw, an ancient relic.

A crashed alien spacecraft created a series of random pan-dimensional gateways, briefly connecting Gwendor to the Ultraverse, transporting Queen Topaz stranded in a strange world; one in which Males were not separate from women like Gwendor. Topaz was outraged by the new reality, but Pixx of the Ultraforce calmed her by showing her an image of the "true power behind men". Hillary Clinton(then First lady of the USA). Pixx explained that Earth males have fragile egos, and that it was easier for women to let males think they were in charge. Topaz, still disturbed for what she considered an unnatural order, consented to join UltraForce, even though it was led by a man, Hardcase. After the Black knight arrived to the ultraverse, Topaz begin to discuss with him about his mandates.When Sersi arrived to the encounter of the Knight, apparently mad, Topaz begin a battle with the Eternal, until Sersi was calmed. After Black September, Topaz remained in the Ultraverse and get used to it. There were hints of mutual attraction between her and Black Knight, that went nowhere.Topaz was in the front in the battle against the Tulkans and Demonseed.

Ghoul

Ghoul (real name Jonathan Martin) is a character created by Steve Gerber, R.R. Phipps, Dave Olbrich, Chris Ulm and Tom Mason, appearing first in Exiles Vol.1 #1. Jonathan Martin was one of the young people affected by the Theta Virus, which provided superhuman powers, but also killed its host without assistence.He became a zombie-like being, neither truly alive nor dead. He was recruited in the Exiles by Dr. Rachel Deming, who united a group of Theta Virus victims with super-powers.The entire group was killed(after various mistakes) by an explosion caused by Amber Hunt. Before his "death", Ghoul killed the villain Malcolm Kord and his minions. Ghoul survived, being buried for a while and rose from his grave with a altered appearance, meeting Hardcase and became a member of the Ultraforce.

Black Knight

Enemies

  • Pre-Black September
    • Attalon
    • Angels created by Metabio corporation
    • Hybrid
    • Loki
    • Nemesis
  • Post-Black September
    • The Fold and Pascal
    • Bonehammer
    • Phoenix Force
    • Shifters
    • The Progeny
    • Rawborgs and Dog
    • Specimen 13
    • Maxis
    • Tulkan armada and his Elite
    • Demonseed
    • Rune

Possibility of revival

In 2003, Steve Englehart was commissioned by Marvel to relaunch the Ultraverse with the most recognizable characters, including Hardcase and Prime, but the editorial decided finally not to resurrect the imprint. In June 2005, when asked by Newsarama whether Marvel had any plans to revive the Ultraverse, Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada replied that:

Let's just say that I wanted to bring these characters back in a very big way, but the way that the deal was initially structured, it's next to impossible to go back and publish these books.

There are rumors out there that it has to do with a certain percentage of sales that has to be doled out to the creative teams. While this is a logistical nightmare because of the way the initial deal was structured, it's not the reason why we have chosen not to go near these characters, there is a bigger one, but I really don't feel like it’s my place to make that dirty laundry public.

When Simon Spurrier, Writer of the 2021 Black Knight series was asked if the series was going to be take place in the Ultraverse, he said:"None percent, I'm afraid."

Animated series

UltraForce
Genre Animation
Developed by Martha Moran (episodes 1-9)
Robert N. Skir and Marty Isenberg (episodes 10-13)
Voices of Andrew Jackson
Country of origin Canada
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 13
Production
Executive producer(s) Andy Heyward
Michael Malani
Producer(s) Scott Mitchell Rosenberg
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) DIC Productions, L.P.
Bohbot Entertainment
Distributor Bohbot Entertainment
Release
Original network USA Network
Original release December 21, 1994 – April 26, 1995 (1995-04-26)

There was a short-lived Ultraforce animated television series that ran for 13 episodes. It was based on the first version of the Ultraforce comic book, and was produced by DIC Productions, L.P. and Bohbot Entertainment. There was also an Ultraforce action figure line produced by Galoob. The cartoon featured the roster of Prime, Hardcase, Prototype, Topaz, Ghoul, Contrary and Pixx. It also included appearances of the Night Man and the Strangers.

Episode list

Episode Title Script Original airdate Production number
1 "Prime Time (Part 1)" Martha Moran 21 December 1994 (1994-12-21) 1
Part one of the series pilot. The return of the creature NM-E at a missile base ends up bringing together Ultra heroes Hardcase, Prime and Prototype together. But unbeknownst to them, NM-E is working for someone else...
2 "The Stuff of Heroes (Part 2)" Eric Luke 8 February 1995 (1995-02-08) 2
Part two of the pilot. With the missiles under his control, Atalon begins his attack on the surface world. But can our heroes learn to work together to stop him? Meanwhile, the alien warrior queen Topaz arrives on Earth.
3 "Armageddon (Part 3)" Martha Moran 15 February 1995 (1995-02-15) 3
Conclusion to the pilot. The battle between UltraForce and Atalon reaches its climax as Atalon launches at attack on the surface world. But one member won't be coming back....
4 "Lord Pumpkin's Pie (Part 1)" Dennis O'Flaherty 22 February 1995 (1995-02-22) 4
Prototype, tired of fighting Ultratech, takes some time off to return home. He finds his childhood friends consuming a drug called zuke. He meet the local crime lord, Marcello and his old flame, Rita. Marcello has a proposition for Prototype and Rita has plans of her own.
5 "You Can't Go Home Again (Part 2)" Dennis O'Flaherty 1 March 1995 (1995-03-01) 5
Prototype continue his deals with a new crime lord, the supernatural being known as Lord Pumpkin. He become involved in a drug war between Lord Pumpkin and Marcello.
6 "Wrack & Ruin" Douglas Booth 8 March 1995 (1995-03-08) 6
Prime is taken into custody by the government organization, Aladdin, when he is believed to be infected with a strain of rogue DNA. But there's more to this story than it seems...
7 "Night and The Nightman" Richard Mueller 15 March 1995 (1995-03-15) 7
An accident leaves jazz saxophonist Johnny Domino with the telepathic abilitiy to hear evil thoughts. But Johnny soon discovers that something else was created in the accident...and a new hero is born to battle it.
8 "Prime Ambition" Bob Forward 22 March 1995 (1995-03-22) 8
Prime may end up learning the origin of his powers while stopping a bank robbery committed by two kids with powers similar to his own. He soon founds the true origins of his power.
9 "A Veiled Threat" Diane M. Fresco 29 March 1995 (1995-03-29) 9
Hardcase's new co-star may be hiding a secret, so Ultraforce's members Topaz and Ghoul investigates her.
10 "Pump It Up!" Len Wein (story)
Robert N. Skir and Marty Isenberg (story/teleplay)
5 April 1995 (1995-04-05) 10
Lord Pumpkin returns as the manager of a young Ultra rock star, whose music places teenagers under mind control. And things get really bad for Ghoul when Prime falls under it as well!
11 "Primal Scream" Marty Isenberg and Robert N. Skir 12 April 1995 (1995-04-12) 11
Kevin begins having trouble controlling his more bestial side, Prime. The vampiric Rune observes and prepares to attack.
12 "Everything That Rises Must Converge (Part 1)" Robert N. Skir and Marty Isenberg 19 April 1995 (1995-04-19) 12
A new team known as "The Strangers" is formed when the passengers of a cable car are struck by lightning and acquire Ultra abilities. Meanwhile in the moon, a villain called Boneyard has arrived.
13 "Jumpin' at the Boneyard (Part 2)" Robert N. Skir and Marty Isenberg 26 April 1995 (1995-04-26) 13
Boneyard finds a source of power on the moon and Ultraforce must stop him.

Voice cast

Philip Akin Amos Crawley Janet-Laine Green
Rick Bennett Murray Cruchley Katie Griffin
Robert Bockstael Diane D'Aquila Graham Haley
Sally Cahill Catherine Disher Tom Harvey
Patrick Chilvers Shirley Douglas Dan Hennessey
Jessie Collins Michael Fletcher David Hewlett
Alyson Court David Fox Andrew Jackson
Eve Crawford Tamara Gorski Don Francks
David Keeley Susan Roman Bruce Tubbe
Lorne Kennedy Rino Romano Marlow Vella
Shannon Lawson Camilla Scott Johnny White
Kristina Nicoll Chuck Shamata Chris Wiggins
Jeff Max Nicholls Norm Spencer Peter Wildman
Nicole Oliver John Stocker Rod Wilson
Max Piersig Stuart Stone Jaimz Woolvett
Toby Proctor Sunny Besen Thrasher Richard Yearwood

In other media

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