Instigator: Malibu Comics

Purpose: To inform old and new readers about the Ultraverse (Earth-93060)

Allies: Ultraverse fans, official handbook fans

Opposition: Declining Ultraverse sales(?)

Location: Malibu Comics Entertainment, Calabasas, California, USA

First Appearance: Editorial ("Ultrafiles") pages in Ultraverse titles during January, 1996 (e.g., Prime II#4)

(Ultrafiles (January, 1996)) - A two-volume set of official handbooks titled the Handbook to the Malibu Ultraverse was solicited for store release in January 1996. The Handbook was touted as having profiles that covered Ultraverse denizens like Prime, the (All-New) Exiles, Mantra and UltraForce, with details on powers, skills and abilities. Information also covered UltraForce headquarters, ultra-gadgets and Night Man's arsenal. Marvel (Earth-616) characters were incorporated, including X-Men, Loki, Spider-Man, Green Goblin, the Lizard and others. The profiles also focused on power alterations that Earth-616 characters experienced while in the Ultraverse. Original art and diagrams were provided by Jeff Matsuda, Art Thibert, George Perez and others.

   Volume 1 never made it to store shelves and the project was apparently terminated.

Comments: Created by unrevealed writers, Jeff Matsuda, Art Thibert, George Perez, others.

So there's cover art for both volumes publicly available (and replicated here). I'm guessing the Ultraverse Handbook project was canceled due to declining Ultraverse sales before volume 1 made it to the printers, but presumably there must be at least some finalized text and a big bunch of finished internal art out there. Any further information is most welcome. I'm sure there are plenty of fans out there to help get the Ultraverse pages printed in a limited release (like Kickstarter)!

In case you think the style for volume 1's cover art looks familiar, it's a direct homage to the original Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (volume 1).

Volume 1's wraparound cover art is reproduced with characters identified (as much as I can determine, a few already profiled on the Appendix):
1. N.M.E.
2. Nemesis
3. Phade
4. Ghoul
5. Primevil
6. Wreckage
7. Necromantra
8. Prime
9. Prototype (post-Black September, Bob Campbell)
10. Lament
11. Black Knight (Dane Whitman)
12. Topaz
13. Rhiannon
14. Night Man
15. Rune
16. Siren
17. Sludge

The cover was printed small on the inside newsprint pages, so the scan clarity isn't great. Unfortunately, I can't make out the artist for volume 1 (I think the signature is above Night Man). Anyone help? I think it's Jeff Matsuda (the solicit for volume 2 said the cover was by Matsuda and volume 1's cover by Moore (below), but we know volume 2's cover was by Moore, so it sounds like the solicits had the cover artists for volumes 1 & 2 mixed up.



Jerome Moore was the artist for the wraparound cover for volume 2 and he showcased his work online, later adding color himself. Moore's clever idea was to show a lucky boy having received a package of comics and extra goodies from the Malibu Comics editors, but the careless delivery guy dumped the package and the contents spilled out; as the boy peeked out, the comic characters come to life and leap off the pages. Moore's colorized version is below plus his original sketch idea (posted on Facebook) below that. Lesser known character Atalon from Ultraverse's early days is surprisingly there too, suggesting there may have been a return in line. Volume 2's characters, a few of which are profiled on the Appendix, are identified in the sketch art as Anything, Choice, Iron Clad, Amber Hunt, Foxfire, Juggernaut, Mantra (Lauren Sherwood), Siena Blaze, Elven, Duey, Codename: Firearm, Alec Swan (Firearm), Boneyard, 'Strike, Atalon, Gemini, Reaper, Shuriken, Hellblade, Hardcase and Lord Pumpkin.

Interestingly, the original sketch below included Contrary, but not the final art. Maybe Emma Frost didn't like the fashion competition and wiped her from the Ultraverse.

Profile by Grendel Prime.

Handbook to the Malibu Ultraverse has no known connections to:

images: (without ads)
Ultrafiles (January, 1996), p2, pan2 (main image, volume 1 cover)
Jerome Moore's Facebook & Instagram entries (volume 2 cover)

Ultrafiles (editorial) (January, 1996) (cover image only) - unrevealed writer, Jeff Matsuda, Art Thibert, George Perez, others (art), Hank Kanalz (editor)

First Posted: 06/15/2023
Last updated: 06/15/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
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Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

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