This week Luke and Devin are back with the Ultimates for real as everyone hates Thor, the military industrial complex is awful, and then Gambit shows up! We love Gambit!
- The Ultimates 2 #1-6
- The Ultimates Annual #1
- Ultimate X-men Annual #1
Check out the image gallery and show notes below!
The Ultimates 2 #1-6
Writer – Mark Millar, Pencils – Bryan Hitch, Inks – Paul Neary, Bryan Hitch, Colors – Laura Martin, Larry Molinar, Letters – Chris Eliopoulos
One year after the events of The Ultimates, Nick Fury sends Captain America in on a covert mission into Iraq to rescue nine American hostages, breaking the original idea of the Ultimates dealing with only domestic crises. Captain America frees everyone and the discourse begins debating about how SHIELD can use superheroes and as a result, Thor ends up quitting the team, and Tony Stark starts the smear campaign calling Thor insane.
Wasp and Captain America are still dating and Cap’s older personality is starting to become more evident as he complains about being a public figure. The conversation is interrupted, though, by some pretty racist caricatures who try to mug them and are quickly routed.
Meanwhile Hank Pym checks in with Bruce Banner at the Triskelion where Bruce has been keeping things in check with help from medication and Charles Xavier. Hank and Bruce have also been working on different superhero ideas and Hank reveals his newest one – he can shrink himself down as the new Ant-Man.
Thor meanwhile goes to visit Volstagg for dinner, drawing the attention of the diners, as they talk about Thor leaving the Ultimates. Volstagg came with a warning from Odin that Loki has escaped his prison and that he has allied with a new force that will turn the Ultimates against him. Thor believes he is prepared, only to find that he was seemingly talking to nobody in the restaurant, which is really why the diners were looking at him.
Captain America and Bucky go on a double date but they are stopped when the news comes out than an anonymous source has leaked the secret that Bruce Banner was the Hulk and is still alive, something that even the president was unaware of.
Iron Man and Black Widow are working on an undersea rescue mission along Captain Britain, Brian Braddock, and his father James Braddock of the European Super-Soldier Initiative when they get the news.
Meanwhile in Venice, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch receive a call, the same as Iron Man and Black Widow about the Hulk reveal. And in the meantime, Thor is being blamed for the leak.
The Ultimates assemble with Nick Fury revealing they need to let Hulk pay for his crimes which means he will be executed. Fury is also planning to blame Thor and has been digging into his background.
Captain America leaves after the meeting to confront Thor at a club where he’s hanging out. Thor stands his ground saying he didn’t hack and that he wouldn’t try to lead to the death of Banner. The other partygoers start to attack Cap after he warns Thor to be careful and Thor stops them. He tells Cap that he thinks Loki might be behind it but Captain America doesn’t want to listen.
Xavier meanwhile meets with Bruce Banner in his mind to make sure he’s still calm. After the meeting Fury and Cyclops meet with Xavier offers to take over Bruce’s care but Fury knows the public wants someone to pay for what the Hulk did. Hank visits Bruce afterwards to talk, and Hank decides that since he is also getting blackballed, he plans to leave SHIELD.
At the trial of the Hulk, Matt Murdock defends him on the idea that Bruce was influenced by his powers, essentially a “he was on drugs” defense. Back at Tony’s, the Ultimates watch on and talk about how Betty has cut out Bruce. Thor meanwhile shows up on 60 Minutes warning again about the Ultimates being deployed for military purposes which the team doesn’t want to deal with.
Betty does go to apologize to Bruce who blames her for not accepting him which drove him to test the formula on himself before apologizing. She says she loves Bruce and asks him to say it back but in front of the cameras, Bruce doesn’t feel comfortable.
On the 9th day of the trial, Matt is still arguing that Bruce has tried to atone for what Matt calls a military disaster with his genius and that keeping him alive is better for humanity. Back in his cell at the Triskelion, Bruce is waiting for the verdict when Fury comes in with a bottle of champagne saying the case was thrown out of court. He explains some soldiers brought up how the Hulk fought the Chitauri and as Bruce drinks, he falls unconscious and is taken to a ship set to be decommissioned where Iron Man has rigged up a bomb. Bruce wakes up seconds before it explodes.
At Bruce’s funeral, Captain America gives a speech. When Hank gets home he has two voicemails, one about a new apartment, and one about missing Ultron designs before another call comes in from Bruce, saying Thank You, before he hangs up and vanishes into the crowd.
After the Ultimates stop a bomber in New York City, the question of the budget for the Ultimates comes up as The Wasp takes over PR for the team. After the media blitz she meets up with Captain America at the broken down gym that he wanted to go to when he was a kid and Wasp is starting to be burnt out by his lack of excitement.
Jarvis, Tony Starks’ butler who has been going on a bender in the background, announces that Iron Man is in love. We see this is represented by Iron Man giving Black Widow her own suit. As the pair fly together, Iron Man then reveals a second gift – he hired 3 million people from the city she grew up in to form letters so he could propose to her.
At an Italian protest of the EU’s rumored super soldier program, Thor shows up to fight the militant police who were attacking the protestors which quickly spreads in the news. Clint ends up getting the call that they need to stop him.
In Brussels, Nick Fury and Captain America go to meet with the EU’s Super Soldier program which includes Captain Britain, Captain Spain, Captain France, Captain Italy and Gunnar Golman. Gunnar explains how he was working on the Norwegian team and decided to make a Thor themed super suit developing a biomechanical solution for superpowers that included a harness allowing for flight and strength, and a battery in the hammer allowing for weather control and teleportation, but Gunnar’s brother, Thorlief, stole the hammer after a nervous breakdown 18 months ago. Gunnar says that him turning against the government in Italy was the point where he needed to be brought in.
In Norway, Thor slips away from a party with Jane, when he is attacked by Quicksilver. Thor asks them to let the partygoers vacate but Jane tries to stay behind. With the others gone, the Ultimates and the EU heroes converge on Thor. He tries to explain about Loki but they refuse to listen, believing that he is still insane.
Captain America lights Thor on fire and tells the team to steal Thor’s belt. The team tries to get it but Thor is able to fight back again and again as Thor warns the team is going to be militarized like he warned. The team does everything to try and stop Thor and he finally snaps, releasing a massive storm attacking the planes and military. Quicksilver who got hurt earlier is almost sure he can’t go, until Scarlet Witch says Thor hurt her, inspiring her brother to give it one last shot with him stealing the belt, depowering Thor and allowing him to get captured and taken to the Triskelion where he’s put in Bruce’s former cell.
Gunnar, in actuality Thor’s half-brother Loki, comes to taunt him. Thor chides him for outing the Hulk but Loki denies that he did it, and says one of the Ultimates is a traitor and along with them, the Ultimates will also need to deal with Loki’s partners and Thor is left with everyone thinking he is insane.
Nick Fury meanwhile assembles Iron Man and the team because of a new danger in the Middle East.
Since Hank left the team, there have been new team of Giant Men deployed who broke the size limits that he had. As a result he decides to look into another team he was invited to – The Defenders. They’re led by Nighthawk out of his apartment, and it also includes Patsy Walker, Hellcat, who I feel like has to be a different one than the one in all of the videos in Ultimate Spider-Man, as well as Power Man, Son of Satan, and The Valkyrie. The last member, The Black Knight is stuck in traffic and the team also claims that Doctor Strange didn’t show up and apparently two X-men are interested when they get money. Also none of the current members have real powers.
The Defender’s current plan is when Giant Man joins the team they’ll be able to get funding but he reveals he can’t be Giant Man but he can be Ant Man. Hank wakes up that night after lying to The Valkyrie to be able to sleep with her, and he is worried about his Ultron project.
At the Triskelion, Hank tries to show Fury his two androids, Ultron and The Vision Two but Fury doesn’t want to be associated with him. He runs into Janet and they flirt a bit which pisses off Captain America who chases Hank off, and meanwhile Wanda who was walking by flirted with one of the androids.
The Defenders assemble to try and stop a fire but the Ultimates take care of it first. That’s when Nighthawk reveals that he has a tip about a crime to be committed. The team except Black Knight who is stuck in traffic that night, meets with a photographer outside the warehouse, and Nighthawk moves in – but he immediately gets hurt and has the crap beaten out of him by teens who steal his money and toss him out onto a car. Ant Man is unable to assemble enough ants to be helpful and so Valkyrie moves in asking for Hank to do anything when she realizes she is in trouble, so he strips from his costume and turns into Giant Man, ending up nude and large on the front cover of the newspaper, while Nighthawk ends up in the hospital.
He confronts Valkyrie who comes clean that they don’t know the X-men or Doctor Strange, she isn’t good at martial arts, and then she asks him to dress up as Captain America when they have sex.
When he gets home and confesses everything the traitor on the team whose identity is hidden and was unexpected and we see the Ultimates have invaded a country and stolen it’s arsenal.
The Ultimates Annual #1
Writer – Mark Millar, Art – Steve Dillon, Colors – Paul Mounts, Letter – Chris Eliopoulos
On a mid-Atlantic flight that is hijacked by terrorists, the Ultimates stop them with help from the new reserve members, the 3 Rocketmen. Along with them, they’ve had 5 Goliaths, the new name for the Giant Men with a handful of others Goliaths ready, along with The Four Seasons who are former Marines being outfitted with power granting suits, and Lieberman who was able to use the Super Soldier Serum.
Fury meets with Viktor, a Russian counterpart, who warns him about how he expanded the Super-Soldier Program. Fury balks at being told off and Viktor warns him to not use the soldiers on foreign soil.
Meanwhile, a retired assassin known as Mister Nix is called in to assassinate Nick Fury for the danger he poses to the world and Nix accepts. Fury is told about Nix who has a reputation.
Fury is meanwhile tracking the Hulk in the Himalayas with the Rocketmen.
The Defenders meanwhile invite Whiz-Kid, who is in a wheelchair due to polio, and who has temperature control to join the team, but nobody handles the situation well. Pym has also not been showing up recently and the team is excited that they are still getting more press and we find out that the Son of Satan is secretly a SHIELD mole.
As Fury continues to primarily use the Ultimates on missions, the members of the Four Seasons start to get resentful about not being deployed, unlike the other reserve teams like the Rocketmen and Goliaths.
Mister Nix meanwhile meets with a weapons dealer and receives a teleporting bullet and an x-ray rifle to kill Fury with. The rifle is one of only two SHIELD prototypes and they even have a time where they plan to kill him.
Fury meanwhile takes Lieberman to show him his costume – he is going to be the new Captain America in case Steve Roger is killed or quits because Fury doesn’t want America to think their symbol can die or betray them. After, the Four Seasons and Lieberman are out on the town when they see fire trucks go by and Lieberman chases to help.
Fury goes to talk to Iron Man about him getting married and how Iron Man wants to get a bit more settled down now that he met Black Widow who can keep up with him. That’s when Fury gets a call and it turns out that nobody else followed Lieberman since they needed their suits for their powers. Lieberman got too far into the fire when the super soldier serum turned on him and he died.
Fury returns to his apartment that night when Nix is ready to kill him, only for Nix’s handler to call and tell him that she found out who hired him as Fury shoots and kills him with the counterpart rifle, wrapping up another one of his problems.
Ultimate X-men Annual #1
Story – Brian K Vaughan, Pencils – Tom Raney, Inks – Scott Hanna, Colors – Gina Going-Raney, Letters – Chris Eliopoulos
The X-men are currently in a simulation fighting Spider-Man’s villains that were set up by Storm as Angel and Professor Xavier watch, until a call from SHIELD comes in and Angel is asked to leave. Fury called because the Juggernaut escaped capture and Rogue turned evidence leading to his arrest. Xaiver tells Fury that Rogue left the team and he has no idea where she is which Fury is unhappy about.
In the meantime, Rogue and Gambit are in Las Vegas, stealing the Gem of Cyttorak from Fenris that they bought from Black Tom Cassidy, as part of Rogue and Gambit’s heist series against the group.
As they leave the casino though, they run into Juggernaut outside. Gambit tries to fight and is easily tossed aside and Juggernaut explains that he wants Rogue back and used the Helmet he has to track her. He grabs her so she kicks her way out absorbing his power and they start a slug fest while he confesses his love for her. Gambit reappears though and tries to supercharge Juggernaut’s helmet but instead it empowers Juggernaut even more. Gambit turns to trying to use his pole to fight and then charges the helmet with enough energy that it vanishes. Gambit then causes a massive amount of scaffolding to fall down on him and Juggernaut and says Bonne nuit to Rogue before it hits. She runs and digs through the rubble looking for him, but he’s dying so they share one last kiss as she absorbs his powers.
Three days later, she calls Iceman for help because she is scared because Gambit’s powers and memories aren’t leaving her before she says Goodbye and hangs up.
The Ultimates 2 #1-6: Gods and Monsters
The Ultimates Annual #1: The Reserves
Ultimate X-men Annual #1: Ultimate Sacrifice