The line of 'ultimate' books from Marvel represents some changes intended to bring in new readers. The characters still bear resemblance to their original Marvel Universe counterparts, but the books are written with a mature audience in mind. They place the Marvel heroes in the context of a more realistic background universe (one firmly rooted in contemporary society). They are also clearly trying to give Hollywood ideas for easier translations of their characters to new movies, something that Marvel has benefited greatly from of late.
For the world of the Ultimate X-Men, the names seem the same but the environment is not. The worst dreams of the future are reality in the form of Sentinels hunting mutants, and Magneto is even more militant than his regular Marvel version. There are X-Men (with Professor X running the show) and the Brotherhood of Mutants (run by Magneto).
One thing is certain - this isn't your father's Wolverine. He shares the name and basic powers and paraphernalia (like claws) but he isn't quite as indestructible. His skeleton isn't impervious to harm and his healing factor isn't omnipotent, so he has to watch his step if only a little. And he doesn't start out as a sort of good guy, but he's an assassin and clearly a villain.
Magneto sends Wolverine to the X-Men as a chance for him to infiltrate the group. Along the way he's nabbed by the US Government, and eventually rescued by the X-Men. And so Wolverine comes to be in their fold, though he's not completely trustworthy and certainly not a hero yet. But he's on his way to converting to Xavier's dream of peaceful coexistence. And he has the hots for Marvel Girl!
The first six issues of the series are designed as one story (this makes it much easier to plot and very easy to make into a trade paperback collection). And in issue six, there comes the time when Wolverine and Magneto meet and Magneto comes out a little worse for wear, thanks to Wolverine's claws. This is the moment that has been chosen for perpetual plastic, as the subject for Marvel Select to immortalize with this figure.
Ultimate Wolverine is one of the latest figures in the Marvel Select line, a joint venture between Diamond Select Toys and Toy Biz. The figures are in a 7" scale (meaning a six foot tall character would be about 7" tall and Ultimate Wolverine would be about 6" tall if he stood up straight), and the articulation varies by figure with sculpting and paint given a high priority. Each figure also has some type of diorama or companion display piece included, to enhance your display. The Marvel Select line continues after Ultimate Wolverine with the Classic Green Goblin, The Ultimate Thor and Dr. Doom, with a release schedule of roughly every two months (check here and the Diamond Select site for official release dates).
The articulation here has two unusual joints - the thighs and ankle. The ankles have a side-to-side joint as well as the traditional bend, and this is pretty useful due to the sculpted pose. The thighs are similar to the thigh joints on the Marvel Legends Beast, they are twist joints, but they have a hinged joint added it so it mimics much of the motion you would see in a ball-joint, without actually having one.
- Neck (ball-joint)
- Shoulders (ball-joints)
- Mid-biceps (twists)
- Forearms (twists)
- Wrists (twists)
- Waist (twist)
- Thighs (combination twists and bends)
- Calves (twists)
- Ankles (bends and side-to-sides)
The display base/diorama is in this case another figure. It would be the Ultimate Magneto, right after Wolverine has delivered a painful blow, with the master of magnetism in a decidedly non-master pose. The figure is basically unposeable, with only a ball-joint for the head. He's on a grassy section as a base, and there are several peg holes on it in case you want to pose some other figures with him, just make sure they don't mind getting close.
Scroll past "where to buy" for a look at some of the other figures in the Marvel Select line.
More pictures of Ultimate Wolverine