This week, Brian K Vaughn is back and remixing classic X-men concepts while Warren Ellis is on some weird boring scifi takes that feel low key to Luke and Devin.
- Ultimate X-men Vol 1 #54-60
- Ultimate Nightmare #1-5
- Ultimate Secret #1-4
Check out the image gallery and notes below!
Image Gallery Coming Soon
Ultimate X-men #54-57 – The Most Dangerous Game
Writer – Brian K Vaughan, Pencils – Stuart Immonen, Inks – Wade Von Grawbadger with Scott Koblish, Colors – Justin Ponsor, Letters – Chris Eliopoulos
We start off with a mysterious blonde man being chased by another man armed with a rifle. When the armed man ignores the blonde’s calls for help, the blonde throws razors blades at him and the other man drops the gun but still doesn’t stop approaching, now armed with a machete. Luckily when the man raises the machete to strike, he is struck and killed by lightning. And we see this is all being broadcast as the reality show Hunt for Justice by Mojo Adams, a large albino man.
Kitty finishes showing the video to Scott and Jean who pass it on to Professor Xavier who explains it is being shot on Krakoa, an island near Genosha which is south of Madagascar so it is two smaller islands in east Africa. Geography!
The Genoshan government has outlawed mutants and recently the blonde man, Arthur Centino, was found guilty by a biased court of killing a Genoshan politician, Lord Joseph Scheele. Mojo Adams took advantage of the state of mutant affairs by offering to televise the hunts and this has been going on for about three months.
The X-men want to fight Genosha but Xavier instead decides to send a team on a fact finding mission to find evidence of Arthur’s innocence, with the team consisting of Cyclops, Jean, Colossus, Kitty and Iceman. Colossus doesn’t want to go to just find facts, so Xavier grounds him and generally is snippy with everyone about them not just following him.
Back on Krakoa, Arthur knocks out two crew members and demands to be released and Mojo’s assistant, Major Domo worries about the population becoming tired of Arthur on the show. In return, Mojo mentions how Doug Ramsey won Jeopardy seventy-four times (he’s the Ultimate Ken Jennings) and the number of viewers grew with each win. Major Domo brings up that this is a matter of justice so Mojo decides to call in the big guns to finish Arthur off.
After their plane lands, Scott and Jean decide to try and get close, Kitty calls out Iceman for being a jerk to everyone since Rogue left, and meanwhile back at the mansion, Angel, Nightcrawler and Colossus train together in the Danger Room. Colossus is still angry so Dazzler shows up in the session and suggests they steal the Blackbird to fly out to Genosha. Once they get on the plane, they wonder if they were following Xavier’s plans that he implanted in them.
Meanwhile Mojo has called in Arcade, a video game design prodigy turned real world adventurer who plans to kill Arthur. He wants revenge on all mutants since Magneto killed his sister in New York City, and comes off as unhinged even going so far as to pull a gun on Mojo to get him to stop talking so he can start hunting. Mojo shows some concern about what will happen if they run out of mutants and Major Domo suggests looking worldwide.
The official X-men land unaware that they are being tailed by a mysterious woman, while the unofficial team lands with Angel electing to stay in the Blackbird after they land. They quickly run into a transmitter that they destroy before Arcade runs into them and opens fire. Arcade works to knock them out, knowing how to stop each member of the team, until Arthur shows up, causing Arcade’s gun to explode using his luck powers and saves the X-men from being murdered.
Meanwhile the official class visits where Lord Scheele’s body was found in a random field, knifed to death, even though there were no local signs of a murder (though it had been a few months). The mysterious woman from the airport shows up, knocking out Jean before revealing that she has six arms and a weapon in each one! She reveals that she knows who the X-men are and wants to stop them from destroying her progress in Genosha. Cyclops thinks that she means that she killed Lord Scheele and they get ready to fight. Back at Mojo’s estate, Mojo is worried about the lack of a broadcast and starts threatening people to get it working again.
Back with the secret team, Arthur introduces himself as Longshot to the team and they decide to head back to Angel who at that moment is getting surrounded by something. The team talks about how Arthur’s luck doesn’t prevent bad things from happening but instead means that he usually comes out of situations alright. When Longshot and the team return to the Blackbird though, they find that Angel is missing and a video player was left by Mojo who demands they turn over Longshot or he will kill Angel. Longshot is fine turning himself in until Colossus suggests they attack instead.
Meanwhile the six armed woman stands off against the X-men and when Bobby messes up Cyclops’ plan had she takes advantage, knocking out Kitty and Cyclops but that’s when Jean reappears with the Phoenix and knocks her out and begins exploring the mind of the woman who goes by Spiral.
Nightcrawler brings in Longshot and Dazzler before collapsing from the strain leaving Colossus elsewhere. Longshot quickly goes on the offensive because he really hates humans, while Dazzler tries to look after Nightcrawler, but Longshot’s luck runs out as he ends up in Mojo’s grasp.
In Spiral’s memories, she explains she met Longshot in a club for mutants and explained how his luck powers made him take things for granted, including her. Lord Scheele ended up running into her at the club, and they started a relationship but Longshot ended up catching them. Lonhshot got angry at her for cheating on him with a human and killed him so she knocked out Longshot and turned him into the police to keep it from being a witch hunt. She wanted the X-men to not find the truth because it could cause a lot of problems especially since Scheele was married and had kids.
Dazzler meanwhile causes the lights hanging above Mojo to fall so he drops Longshot. In response, Major Domo takes a knife to Angel, threatening to murder him and defending their actions, claiming Mojo gave the humans an outlet for their hate. Longshot threatens to kill Mojo, so Major Domo backs off and Longshot gets angry and racist about humans and gets close to killing Major Domo until Colossus, who Nightcrawler couldn’t bring in, bursts through the wall and the X-men make their escape, leaving Longshot with a boat to leave before they fly back.
When they all return to the school, Xavier is angry at all of them for letting a killer escape and he plans to suspend all four of them – except for the leader who he will expel. Angel takes the blame and because he was physically tortured by Mojo, Xavier decides to let him stay. When they leave, Dazzler thanks Angel by making out with him. Nightcrawler remarks to Colossus how they are running out of single woman, and Xavier meanwhile reveals he was able to save Spiral and get her out of the country, he is worried that Mojo showed everybody their truest selves.
Ultimate X-men #58 – A Hard Lesson
Writer – Brian K Vaughan, Art – Steve Dillon, Color – Paul Mounts, Letters – Chris Eliopoulos
Professor Xavier is at the bank because he found out that all of his assets were frozen because Sebastian Shaw of the Hellfire Club claimed there was an unauthorized transfer, which doesn’t make a lot of sense because we assumed everyone died. The banker is unable to release any money and Xavier is financially in dire straights. That is coincidentally when Syndicate a mutant with a glowing heart that sends EMPs and a conjoined head comes in with guns pulled to rob the bank.
Xavier is a narc and reaches out to the police psychically but when he tries to psychically force down Syndicate, he fails and they start threatening people. Xavier confesses it was him trying to control them, but they refuse to believe it and that’s when the police show up.
Syndicate starts to worry so Xavier uses the other hostages to keep Syndicate busy because the X-men are currently fighting Warlock in New Jersey for unexplained reasons. That is the only Warlock we get in the Ultimate Universe.
Syndicate starts to force everyone into the vault and warns them that they want a jet in one hour or they start killing people. The security guard meanwhile has a heart attack so Xavier taps into the memories of a lifeguard so she can save him and this convinces everyone else that Xavier is a mutant and to trust him. Xavier warns that they need to escape since Syndicate won’t get what they asked for and he starts making a plan which involves taking dye packs from bags of money and unlocking a woman’s black belt potential.
Xavier rolls out with money asking to buy his freedom and tosses a dye pack at them, blinding them, while the others disarm Syndicate and then escape out of the bank. Xavier is left behind and talks to them and they realize he was the telepath. He explains that he knows about how they wanted to get money to save their sister who is in the hospital but then he threatens to kill her if they don’t follow him.
Xavier has Syndicate surrender at the bank and when they decide to change their mind, they get shot and killed but it turns out this was an illusion that Xavier made. He explains that he did it, while keeping them invisible, so everyone thinks they died so he can wipe their memories. Xavier explains that he wants them to steal his money back from the Hellfire Club and sends them to his secret base in Manhattan.
Ultimate X-men #59-60 – Shock and Awe
Writer – Brian K Vaughan, Pencils – Stuart Immonen, Inks – Wade Von Grawbadger, Colors – Justin Ponsor, Letters – Chris Eliopoulos
Before Storm joined the X-men she was racing motorcycles with her thief friend Yuriko. Yuriko wants Storm to leave because she’s invading her turf so it turns into a fight. Storm summons a storm and Yuriko, distracted, is hit by a semitruck.
Currently, Storm is in a bar in Canada looking for Wolverine who got caught up in a bar fight because some patrons killed a mutant they thought was a Sasquatch. Storm shows up and the fight fully erupts with the duo knocking out the patrons of the bar. As the Mounties head after them, they hotwire and steal a truck, unaware that they are being watched by Yuriko, now going as Deathstrike, who has long murder blade nails.
Wolverine explains that he left Storm because he is looking for signs of his life before he lost his memories and that’s when Deathstrike attacks, slicing the truck in half.
We cut to the past where Dr. Cornelius from Weapon X approached her after Storm and the X-men had attacked Weapon X. He explained that Storm was a mutant and that wants to help Yuriko so he wanted to give her power to stop Wolverine by making her his equal for revenge so she could stop Storm.
So back in Canada, now going by Deathstrike and with misinformation on how Wraith died, she wants revenge. She gets in a fight with Wolverine revealing she now also has a healing factor and knows Wolverine’s weakness and captures him. She threatens to destroy his brain if Storm attacks, so Storm improvises, strikes a tree with lightning and gains some space with Wolverine while Cornelius and a small platoon chase after them in a lightning proof helicopter.
They open fire so Storm tosses Wolverine into the air but while he destroys the helicopter Yuriko starts choking Storm. Storm apologizes for what happened, and then she strikes Yuriko with lightning and passes out.
She wakes up back at the mansion to find Nightcrawler and Wolverine there for her. Wolverine refuses to say what happened to Yuriko but explains that he plans to leave the team again so others don’t get dragged into his history. Storm tells him to stay with the team and make a new future instead and he accepts.
Ultimate Nightmare #1-5
Writer – Warren Ellis, Pencils – Trevor Hairsine, Steve Epting, Inks – Simon Coleby, Nelson DeCastro, Mark Morales, Rodney Ramos, Tom Palmer, Colors – Frank D’Armata, Letters – Chris Eliopoulos
The Tunguska event was a mysterious explosion that caused 770 square miles of forest to get flattened out in 1908. In 1927, the Russians started examining it and found something. Now in 2004, a worldwide audio visual signal depicts the death of an entire galaxy and a specific planet as well as the inhabitants on it. As it repeats omens of death, people across the world start to commit suicide, and at the Xavier Institute Jean and Charles catch the psychic energy as well. Xavier pinpoints the source and assembles a team to rescue whoever is sending it out.
Meanwhile Nick Fury is dealing with the same situation because the signal has happened repeatedly over the past three days in every language and every device across the globe and he wants to stop it. Fury plans to send in himself, Captain America, Black Widow, and someone else, Sam Wilson – the Falcon, who has a pair of mechanical wings.
The two teams separately plan their attempt remarking on how far out Tunguska is (for example if you try to figure directions on Google Maps, it has nothing, it would be about a 10 hour drive if there were highways – which there are not.) Sam, who was doing ayahuasca, thinks he can potentially communicate with them. Also importantly there is a 2 mile base with a series of nuclear landmines built around it, that could potentially be activated by any radio signals.
On the Avengers side, Sam also notes that it looks like the base was abandoned and hacks into the old tech while elsewhere the X-men, Jean, Colossus and Wolverine get in when Jean moves the door aside.
The Avengers finds everyone working at the base left in 1994 when they stopped getting paid. They find a mysterious figure with a horn that fires electricity and the team shoots at it to no effect. Sam ends up slicing the figure with his wings when it takes a break from firing, and they kill it since it lost the electric field and Sam begins an autopsy. He finds signs of starvation and that the horn was metal, grafted onto him and they can’t call for extraction because of the signal being emitted here.
The X-men meanwhile find a number of skeletons and then a dead end that Wolverine believes is trapped. Wolverine doesn’t want to go through the blockage but is vetoed so when he does try to move it, he finds that it is actually a massive figure grafted with metal who attacks. The monster pushes them through the floor and the X-men find themselves surrounded by more of these monsters.
Meanwhile the Avengers continue pushing through and Black Widow who has been reading were trying to take parts of what they found and make their own Captain America as they stumble into cells and have to fight more of the cyborgs. The Avengers run into the leader of the group who has fashioned himself based on Captain America, complete with a flesh shield. Captain America tells the others to keep moving while he faces his doppleganger.
The X-men meanwhile are surrounded by the cyborgs. Colossus tries to talk them down but the cyborgs have gone mad and attack instead. Jean causes a cave in dropping them down and Wolverine worries about Jean pushing too hard, but she snaps back that she wants to quiet the voice. As they push further, the signal starts to take over her more and more and Colossus trying to help rips the door and finds the source.
Captain America fights the Russian Captain and beats the hell out of him before he rejoins the team and they find the remains of an android that has had parts stripped from it to make the cyborgs. The X-men come through the other door and Fury tells them to stand down and stuns Wolverine. When Wolverine gets ready to attack, Captain America comes in and tosses a grenade at Wolverine blasting him and Sam realizes they were hostile because they were in psychic connection with Jean who is being messed with by the Android. Sam starts talking and the android calls itself Vision and says it came with a warning 100 years ago to prepare for Gah Lak Tus but it took too long to be able to send the signal. The X-men escape in a flash realizing they needed to get out, while Fury calls in the Helicarrier to extract Vision and work with him. while deciding that he will be blaming the signal on terrorists.
Ultimate Secret #1-4
Writer – Warren Ellis, Pencils – Steve McNiven, Tom Raney, Inks – Mark Morales, Scott Hanna, Colors – Morry Hollowell, Rob Schwager, Letters – Chris Eliopoulos
Dr. Philip Lawson arrives at the ultra-tight security SHIELD base, watched over by director of security, Captain Carol Danvers. The plan is to launch the ASIS 01 and they’re joined by Dr. Storm. Lawson is here to talk about the zero point zone drive used in the ASIS, which uses ambient energy to power engines, creating thrust from nothing, making a ship capable of 20 percent light speed.
Unfortunately an invisible force breaks through the perimeter at the secret base, making a beeline for the ship. In the commotion, Philip slips away and strips down before activating a watch on him because he’s actually Pluskommander Gehenaris HalaSon Mahr Vehl. He attempts to order the Killform that is attacking to stand down and finds that Yahn Rgg, the mission leader, took away his access. They both leave the dimensional warp that they were in and realizing that he can’t save the ship, Mahr Vel flies in to grab the engine before the ship explodes and drops it off with some soldiers. He then returns and destroys the killbot, and exhausted from the fight, passes out surrounded by soldiers.
When he wakes up, Carol Danvers has a bomb wired to his neck so he takes off the suit, revealing himself to be Lawson. She refuses to believe it is him, so he reveals the truth about being a Kree and Fury comes in to get Danvers. Carol doesn’t understand and thinks he’s a First Nation Cree so Fury talks to him though Mahr Vel is very glib which nobody likes.
He explains how he was surgically altered to look human, but Fury isn’t happy dealing with him and punches him and Mahr Vel claims he was sent there to watch them face Gah Lak Tus. Fury recognizes the name and Mahr Vel goes on to explain that he needed to see if anyone could escape the planet because they are all supposed to die but he has defected since he loves Earth. Fury in response calls in Reed Richards and Sue Storm.
Reed meanwhile has been looking at the Drake equation trying to figure out why there haven’t been any aliens making contact (minus all of the aliens like the Chitarui) and brings up the Fermi Paradox and ultimately Sue posits that maybe something is destroying everyone. That’s when the call comes in and they stop Ben and Johnny from making an alcohol still to go see Fury and meet Iron Man and Thor along the way.
After Sue rejects Iron Man’s advances and Thor bros out with Johnny and Ben, Fury gathers everyone to explain that they found Vision who was supposed to warn them a century ago but now they may have only weeks and that Gah Lak Tus has been taking out alien civilizations along the way. Mahr Vel explains that Yahn Rgg wants all of Earth to die while Mahr Vel likes the Earth and introduced Asis to help it to help them escape. His plan is to make the Kree attack the Earth with actual troops so they can get on the ship which will be undefended and then get the secret Kree information on Gah Lak Tus. Fury agrees, additionally calling in Black Widow and Hawkeye to help.
The away team of Reed, Sue, Iron Man, Hawkeye and Mahr Vel takes off as the swarm of aliens appears on the planet waiting to be greeted by Thor, Johnny Storm, The Thing, Black Widow, Nick Fury, and the SHIELD army.
The away team gets inside and starts killing but Yahn Rgg finds them and deactivates Mahr Vell’s cloaking, leaving him in debilitating pain. When they refused to leave him behind, Hawkeye gets angry. They eventually get to the core and find that Yahn Rgg has already set the ship to self destruct because he read about Gah Lak Tus and went insane. Mahr Vel works to download the Kree database and Sue Storm blocks the escape pod from dropping, trapping him inside the exploding ship. They then beam out the message that Yahn Rgg helped them stop Gah Lak Tus back home and escape the exploding ship.
Meanwhile on Earth, the war didn’t really have any major moments. But now with Vision, and the Kree Database, Fury is ready to save the world from Gah Lak Tus.
Ultimate X-men #54-57 – The Most Dangerous Game
Ultimate X-men #58 – A Hard Lesson
Ultimate X-men #59-60 – Shock and Awe
Ultimate Nightmare #1-5
Ultimate Secret #1-4