Ultra the Multi-Alien

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Ultra the Multi-Alien
Ultradcu0.jpg
Cover to Mystery in Space #103,
art by Lee Elias
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Mystery in Space #103, (November 1965)
Created by Dave Wood (writer)
Lee Elias (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoAce Arn
AbilitiesSuper-strength, flight, magnetokinesis, electrokinesis.

Ultra the Multi-Alien is a science fiction superhero featured in comics published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Mystery in Space #103 (1965), pushing out Adam Strange and Space Ranger from that title. [1] He was created by writer Dave Wood and artist Lee Elias. [2]

Contents

Fictional character biography

Pre-Crisis

Ultra was originally Earth spaceman Ace Arn, living in an unspecified future era when spaceflight is commonplace. After crash landing on a planet in a far off solar system, he is attacked by four aliens, each a member of a different species from their respective planets Ulla, Laroo, Trago, and Raagan. The four aliens simultaneously shoot him with rayguns designed to transform him into an obedient member of their respective species. Because all four rays hit him at the same time, he is instead transformed into a combination of the four aliens, but free of their control. [3] The upper right section of his body grew green fur and gained super strength; the upper left section turned blue and gained magnetic powers; his right leg grew feathers and small wings, giving him the ability to fly; and his left leg is transformed into a bolt of lightning.

He combined the first letter of the worlds the four aliens were from, along with the first letter of his name to come up with: U-L-T-R-A, his new name. He soon finds a device to convert back to human form, giving him a secret identity. His series lasted until issue #110 (1966), when Mystery in Space was cancelled. He would not reappear for several years.

Post-Crisis

Ultra was one of Wizard Magazine's "Mort of the Month", a featurette showcasing comic characters considered low-quality. Grant Morrison used him both in his run in Animal Man (in issue #25 Ultra and other pre-Crisis characters appear in comic book limbo) and in the Aztek monthly series (though not shown, Ultra makes two appearances).

The character appeared in Starman #55 (1999), in which Ultra, along with Space Ranger, is riding in Space Cabby's cab and looking for Starman IV's cosmic staff for the Space Museum. Each regales the other with different interpretations of Jack and Mikaal rescuing Starfire from a space pirate.

Geoff Johns was the next writer to use these concepts. A storyline in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. involved Young Justice teaming with Star-Spangled Kid and S.T.R.I.P.E. to stop a group of Larroo (one of the four aliens from Ultra's origin) from using their ray to turn everyone in Blue Valley into Larroo. It was established that the Larroo had invented the ray, but were preparing to sell it to the other three alien races.

Ultra appeared as a background character in the Infinite Crisis event. Having apparently somehow traveled back in time to the present era, Ultra is one of the many space-faring heroes who aid Donna Troy in the fallout of the Rann-Thanagar War. He also appeared in Superman/Batman #31 (2007), overwhelmed by an alien influence that is affecting many of the part-alien heroes on earth. After a highly destructive rampage through the American town of Dalesville, he leaves (causing more destruction upon his exit) with Supergirl, also affected. In "Superman/Batman" #33, he and other influenced aliens try to destroy the titular heroes. Fortunately his mind is soon cleared of all influence and the villain behind it all, Despero, is defeated.

The planet Larroo appeared in Action Comics #867. Brainiac attacked the planet while searching the universe for Superman. Superman arrived but could do nothing. A city containing all four races which created Ultra was contained within a forcefield, shrunk and captured. Their star was detonated and Superman was left floating among the remains of the planet. One of his most recent appearance is in the same Action Comics storyline, where he was held with other humanoid characters on Brainiac's ship, such as the Creature Commandos. An attack by super-villains frees Ultra and he is taken into the custody of the United States government. [4] Vixen later mentions him as a potential Justice League member (albeit half-jokingly). He later appeared in the Strange Adventures 2011 One-Shot.

The New 52

In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Ultra the Multi-Alien is re-established as the result of an experiment of Lord Byth's, in which he combined the DNA of alien prisoners in an attempt to create the Slayer of Worlds. [5]

Powers and abilities

Ultra the Multi-Alien's body is composed of the anatomy of the four different aliens from Ulla, Laroo, Trago, and Raagan. Each of these parts grants Ultra the Multi-Alien a different power:

Ultra can generate electromagnetic charges by combining magnetokinesis and electrokinesis. He also developed cosmic awareness during his time in Limbo. Ultra is an expert pilot in his human identity and wears a hyper-converter belt which enables him to switch back and forth from his human form to his heroic identity.

In other media

Television

Film

Miscellaneous

Reception

In American Comic Book Chronicles, John Wells writes, "Debuting in MIS #103, Ultra the Multi-Alien was undeniably different but not in ways that many readers thought were any good... The concept itself wasn't necessarily bad... but Ultra just looked silly. He was part bald blue man and part hairy green monster set atop a bird's leg and a lightning bolt." [7]

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References

  1. Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 357. ISBN   978-1-4654-5357-0.
  2. Morris, Jon (2015). The League of Regrettable Superheroes: Half Baked Heroes from Comic Book History. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Quirk Books. pp. 186–187. ISBN   978-1-59474-763-2.
  3. Markstein, Don. "Ultra the Multi-Alien". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  4. ""Action Comics" Vol. 1 #873 (March 2009)
  5. Justice League United #1
  6. http://teamcoco.com/content/conan-gets-animated
  7. Wells, John (2014). American Comic Book Chronicles: 1965-1969. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 36. ISBN   978-1605490557.