marvel’s melding their major comic book superheros (x-men, spiderman, etc) into our reality under a new label called ultimate. it looks like a stab to win back audience by giving them a connection to the comic book reality; they have dubya as the president and make pop culture references to celebrities like brad pitt and samuel l jackson. i’ve been reading one particular title in that series called the ultimates (teaser review of issue 1). it’s telling the story behind assembling the avengers (except they’re called the ultimates) under the guise of fighting terrorists. both the story and art seem to be darker and of a more serious nature, the avengers are not likeable — they’re just real people with super powers. perhaps they’re trying to attract an older audience now?