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Ultimus (Marvel Comics)

Ultimus


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Ultimus is a relatively obscure Marvel character, who first appeared in 1973. He was a Thor opponent, so he has a solid power level.

Ultimus started as a mystery character, and in a very Marvel manner his actual origins were revealed 20+ years later in entirely unrelated circumstances. Continuity oh !


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Background

  • Other Aliases: Demon Druid.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed, presumed single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Kree Empire.
  • Group Affiliation: Starforce.
  • Height: 6’2” Weight: 220 lbs.
  • Eyes: White, sometimes violet Hair: Silver-white


Powers and Abilities

Eternals have a nigh-unbreakable mental hold on their body. This renders them largely indestructible and able to regenerate from even the most absurd amount of damage. They are also suffused with cosmic energy which they can use as superhuman strength, energy blasts, flight and a wide variety of quasi-psionic  abilities.

Ultimus roughly matches those criterion, though he seems much stronger with brute force applications. Perhaps this is because he never was trained in the more subtle applications of his cosmic energy.

He is hypothesised to be as indestructible as a Earth Eternal. This is because he has shown power levels even beyond those of most Earth Eternals, who are themselves abnormally powerful due to the Kronos incident. Ultimus might be able to form the Uni-Mind, but since there are no other known Kree Eternals, the point is academic.


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Into the mystic

During his Demon Druid period, Ultimus made a big deal about being connected to ley energies and to a lesser extend the energy of life and passion. That he was drawing nourishment and replenishment from those was important. For instance, he could only use his space-warping power at a ley nexus.

More generally, Ultimus seemed to think he was some alien chthonic mystic. It is unclear how erroneous he was in this respect.

Frex, Ultimus once explained he was draining the spark of ley energy in people to refresh himself. But… well, he had just briefly turned a few people in menhirs , and no special energy thing was apparent. Likewise it is possible that he was able to sense the Phoenix energy, but it might be that he actually sensed the Darkmoor nexus. So… meh.

Other assets

Ultimus has proven to be very fast and mentally resilient – and to be humongously strong and durable. The later apparently comes from a personal force field, since that was one of his key powers as the Demon Druid. Originally this field was clearly radiating around him. But since it is now invisible I have assumed he learned to make it skin-tight.

The Demon Druid could shoot enormously powerful energy bolts (in DC Heroes RPG terms, Energy blast), or wide-angle concussive blasts that could knock even Thor off his feet and inflict considerable damage to everything caught into the deflagration (Super-Breath). As Ultimus he could also shoot explosive blasts that could take out a mass of minor opponents (Bomb).

However, during the Galactic Storm events he preferred to use his fists rather than energy beams against superhuman opponents. This is likely a Kree warrior ethics thing.


History

Ultimus was at first quite an enigma. He may be the only known living Kree Eternal – the usual evolutionary offshoot engineered by the Celestial Host in many sapient  races. No specimen of the other usual offshoot, the Deviants, as ever been seen among the Kree as far as I can tell. What happened in Kree history after the Celestials came is not known.

At one point, at least several millennia in the past, Ultimus travelled among the galaxies and came to Earth. It has been theorised by some that during his time on Earth Ultimus inspired ancient Celtic and Germanic faiths, or more generally the ’European megalithic cultures’, which start around 4,000 BC. There are no distinct arguments for or against this.

Ultimus clashed with the powerful super-Deviant, Lord Tantalus. Tantalus won and imprisoned Ultimus into a mass of rock shaped like a sarcophagus, under the soil of what would eventually become London. Ultimus remained there, apparently in suspended animation, for about 3,000 years.

1962

In 1962, Thor came to London. Landing in an alleyway, he struck Mjolnir against the ground to turn into Don Blake. He did so near the spot where Ultimus had been interred, and the body of the Kree was exposed to the mystical radiation emitted by Mjolnir while transmogrifying  Thor.

This reanimated Ultimus. Soon, the imposing alien burst through the ground. Thor confronted the eerie giant figure, who blasted him unconscious with but a gesture and left.

For unclear reasons, the creature was speaking English in a pseudo-Shakespearian manner, and called itself the Demon Druid. He even swore in the name of Woden .

Our No-Prize Hypothesis

Our No-Prize Hypothesis  to explain this is that Ultimus was rendered partially insane by his long sleep, in addition to forgetting who he was.

As such, he was unduly influenced by the mystical energy he was exposed to via Mjolnir’s radiation. Ultimus used vague impressions picked up from the Odinpower about Thor’s manner of speech to make up a story about his own nature.

The Odinpower “radiation” might even have conveyed information about a previous incarnation of Thor, Siegfried. Siegfried definitely knew about the Germanic Druids and their Woden cults.

This would be a good place for an henge

A detective, Lieutenant Pritchard, helped Thor recover. He took the Norse god to the police task force that was organising to track Ultimus. At that point, Ultimus was walking northward and ignoring the attempts of the British military to stop him.

Pritchard noticed that the pattern on the giant alien’s leotard resembled an aerial view of the Stonehenge monument. Meanwhile, Thor flew to confront the Demon Druid anew. Though this time Thor blocked the energy blast, Ultimus then floored him with a punch. Thor was stunned for two hours, but angrily tracked Ultimus anew as the alien now walked westward.

(Apparently, Ultimus had forgotten he could fly).

The two titans blasted each other again, which resulted in both getting stunned. As they were about to rise again, Pritchard flew in. He told everyone to stand down and let the Demon Druid proceed peacefully to the nearby Stonehenge.

Stepping inside the circle, Ultimus started glowing with further power. He then launched himself into space at FTL  speeds. It is likely that he both absorbed energy from Stonehenge, and used it as an astrogation device.

1990, part 1

28 years later, Ultimus reappeared on Earth, near Edinburgh. Apparently, his previous attempt to go home had failed as he had not realised how long he had been in suspended animation. The resultant shift in heavens lead him to aim in the wrong direction.

He thus ended up somewhere in space. He decided to return to Earth, find more energy there, and go back home, this time with better calculations.

Using some weird energy manipulation powers, he created a wormhole, reached through it and turned two Californian tourists into monoliths. Ultimus then used this anchor to create further monoliths out of energy, replicating the Stonehenge pattern and warping in.

At this point, the Demon Druid was still unaware of who he was. Though he was a tad more coherent than in 1962, he was still out of it. Ultimus remained generally peaceful – like in 1962, he chiefly attacked in self-defense or when prevented from achieving his goals. He was mostly concerned with re-powering himself and leaving.

He still seemed to consider himself as a higher life form with an unclear mission and some kind of alien mystic, connected to planetary and life energies and ranting a bit about it – he talked to himself a awful lot. At least he was no longer speaking pseudo-Shakespearean English.

1990, part 2

This time around Ultimus also seemed to consider himself as a vampire of sorts. That was based on his ability to drain the spark of ley energy in persons to gain a small amount of replenishment.

A chance encounter with the shapechanger Meggan quickly resulted in Meggan being defeated and turned into a menhir. However, her Excalibur team mates intervened. Shadowcat phased into the Demon Druid to stun him, but the unexpected result was significant pain for the both of them, the creation of a shallow and temporary telepathic link between the two, and the Demon Druid flying away post haste.

A few hours later, he reappeared at the site of the Darkmoor Nuclear Research Facility – also known as a major mystical nexus where Captain Britain had been empowered by Merlyn, and Roma as the Goddess of the Northern Skies. There, he started assembling a new Stonehenge-like site using more energy monoliths (though this time shaped like nuclear plant chimneys).

While Excalibur members were quarrelling among themselves, the Demon Druid just opened his spatial warp and left while telepathically chatting with Kitty.

1992, part 1

The Demon Druid apparently again missed the area of the cosmos he was aiming for. When he was seen again, in 1992, he was drifting aimlessly on a small, barren planetoid while reflecting upon his condition as an unknown immortal. The Kree Supreme Intelligence then appeared to him, telling him it had the answers to his questions and calling him “Ultimus”.

It guided Ultimus to Hala, and introduced him to other members of the Kree Starforce. The S.I. told Ultimus that all would be revealed if he helped it with its current plans. At that point, the Kree Empire was entering a war with the Shi’ar empire.

Unknown to all, the Supreme Intelligence also had genocidal plans. The goal of planning this carnage was to restart the stagnant evolution of the Kree race by any means necessary. One would presume that having access to the sole known and long-lost Kree Eternal was an incredibly boon in term of mapping the potential for jump-starting the Kree genome.

Ultimus was apparently given a crash course in Kree civilisation, values and history. He enthusiastically adopted these as his own, and joined Starforce as a strong supporter of the Supreme Intelligence and eager champion of the Kree people.

He adopted the merciless, brutal ethos of the traditional Kree warrior. Ultimus also combined it with the formal and aristocratic bearing and speech of the loyal and powerful champion of a great empire.

1992, part 2

Convinced that the interfering Avengers where deadly enemies of the Kree people, Ultimus led the Starforce charge against them. He personally engaged Hercules.

Some time later, the powerful Ultimus led a special Starforce commando mission to kill Majestrix Lilandra of the Shi’ar. Ideally, this would end the war in one blow. While the rest of Starforce engaged the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, Ultimus punched through a few bulkheads and found Lilandra.

The Kree Eternal blasted away the guards, punched away the Imperial Guardsbeing Earthquake and briefly tangled with the Avenger Starfox – ironically, a fellow Eternal. As Ultimus was distracted by Starfox, Lilandra procured some sort of plot-device energy cannon. She shot Ultimus in the back, somehow taking him out.

The Starforce members were kept prisoner by an ever-handy stasis ray. While the Shi’ar leaders were discussing whether to kill them off, a scuffle with the Avengers led to the accidental revelation that Lilandra’s chief advisor was actually a Skrull infiltrator.

1992, part 3

Ultimus was set free by Lilandra to bring these news to the Supreme Intelligence, since it was now likely that the gigantic war had been manipulated by the Skrulls. The aristocratic Kree Eternal agreed.

However, a short time later, the Supreme Intelligence managed to detonate the Nega-Bomb. This killed untold billions and ravaged the Kree Empire. It was in return killed by some rogue Avengers. Apparently, Ultimus had not returned yet to the Empire, and was not caught in the radius of the Bomb.

The devastated and authority-less Kree Empire became a Shi’ar administrative mandate. Lilandra’s sister Deathbird served as the head of government. The remnants of Starforce (Ultimus, Korath the Pursuer and Shatterax) became Deathbird’s cadre. They served along with her as the highest military and law enforcement organisation in the ruins of the Kree domain.

1994

In 1994, the ship of Lord Tantalus tore through the Kree part of the Shi’ar empire. Assuming it was an advance scout for an invasion, the three Starforce members (sans Deathbird) came to investigate. They clashed with Blackwulf and his allies, who were pursuing Tantalus.

Ultimus realised that Tantalus was the person who had imprisoned him on Earth for so long. Thus, he joined Blackwulf and his crew on their quest to Tantalus’s homeworld. Shatterax and Korath followed suit.

However, Tantalus was as powerful as ever. He easily stopped Ultimus’s charge with vertigo and hallucinations, and Ultimus was once again engulfed by the earth.

Tantalus was eventually stopped by his son Blackwulf (Lucian). While Ultimus’s fate is unrevealed he likely survived the fight. But perhaps he was plunged in a trance under the surface of Tantalus’s home world much like he had been on Earth around 1,000 BC.


Description

As the Demon Druid, Ultimus was about 8’6” and 680 lbs.. He likely assumed that this was his normal size. Once he learned he was a Kree he assumed a fairly normal Kree height and weight. But he could use his powers to recover his Demon Druid proportions whenever he wanted, like he did during his fight with Starfox.


Personality

The History section includes the notes as to his personality, since it’s all a mite murky and varies a fair bit.


Quotes

(1962) “Now must I resume my life at the point when ’twas most brutally interrupted — doing what must be done — for my mission ’pon this planet Earth to be complete, so that I may rest — as [Thor] doth rest — once more.”

(1990) “A witch ? Is that what I sense ? No ! There is a source of replenishment with a… dream… that originates far beyond the cosmos ! Perhaps it is the power the druids have always worshipped and been strengthened by !”

(1992) “Stop this madness, brothers ! Have you forgotten what it means to be Kree ?”

“Be warned, outworlders — Ultimus has not learned of his true heritage only to see it ripped away !”

“You… are attempting to manipulate my mind ! A pity that your power is ineffective against a Kree Eternal !”

“Mercy is not the way of the Kree !”

“Yes, Majestrix Shi’ar, and though I have no more love for your world than you have for mine, I concede that this points up the possibility that the Skrulls may have stirred up the present trouble between us.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Ultimus

Dex: 08 Str: 20 Bod: 12 Motivation: Unclear
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 10 Occupation: Warrior
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 10 Resources {or Wealth}: 010
Init: 018 HP: 040

Powers:
Bomb: 10, Comprehend Languages: 18, Detect (Ley lines and nexuses): 12, Energy blast: 19, Flight: 25, Force field: 10, Force manipulation: 08, Growth: 02, Invulnerability: 23, Matter Manipulation: 06, Regeneration: 05, Running: 06, Super-breath: 19, Suspension: 04, Systemic antidote: 10, Warp: 30

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Bomb has Range and is Contingent on Energy Blast.
  • Force Field is Self Only and Can Attack Through.
  • Force Manipulation only to create immobile objects with just a BODY.
  • Matter Manipulation can affect organic matter (+3) but is Minor Marginal (-1).
  • Running can be performed even when Ultimus seems to be walking.
  • Super-Breath is Contingent on Energy Blast, and can be Combined with 8 APs of Energy Blast.
  • Warp is Self Only and is only possible if he stands for five Phases into a concentration of chthonic/ley energies (such as Stonehenge) ; it is unclear if other kinds of energies can power him in the same fashion.

Skills:
None demonstrated.

Advantages:
Immortal, Life support (Full), Credentials (Kree Imperium, Medium).

Connections:
Supreme Intelligence (High), Starforce (Low).

Drawbacks:
Partial Attack Vulnerability (Dispersal Attacks, -3CS RV), Strange Appearance (on Earth), Authority Figure (Last Kree Eternal).


Discrepancies

In Avengers vol. 1 #346, Ultimus (who has previously been fighting Thor and has *just* been trading blows with Hercules) is… Stunned by a shield thrown by Captain America. Let’s… let’s just say it was all a really big double, okay ? It happens.

In Blackwulf, Ultimus is briefly shown with the so-called ’Caucasian’ skin tone. This was presumably an artistic mistake.


Design notes

Ultimus being a Kree Eternal may have been complete fabrication by the Supreme Intelligence to gain the loyalty of a very powerful being in a time of dire need. Still, our stats assume that he is indeed an Eternal.

Thus, I have assumed that Ultimus had a degree of Eternal-ness to his Powers. That is, that there was some similarity between his Powers and the current stats for Earth Eternal characters. That was implemented even if it was ambiguous and/or not clearly demonstrated, especially in terms of indestructibility.

The Comprehend Languages Power is a bit tentative since comic book space aliens routinely speak English. But it seems logistically indispensable and supported by the primary sources, as are the high APs of Flight.

Generally, there is a lot about the retcons -heavy Ultimus that is an incoherent borscht. So those stats include lots of guesswork and judgement calls.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe.

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