UltiversalQ 024: Battle Pope by Robert Kirkman

This week Luke and Devin are here to talk about Silver Sable and Deadpool meeting up with the Spider-Man, as well as Robert Kirkman coming onto Ultimate X-men and making it the worst it has been so far. We aren’t mincing words here. 

Issues Covered:

  • Ultimate Spider-Man 86-94
  • Ultimate X-men 66-71

Check out the image gallery and show notes after the jump.

Ultimate Spider-Man #86-90 – Silver Sable

Writer – Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils – Mark Bagley, Inks – Scott Hanna, John Dell, Color – Justin Ponsor, Letter – Chris Eliopoulos

Roxxon calls in Damage Control to clean up after the destruction that Omega Red caused in a fight with Spider-Man. The news that Spider-Man was involved reached the head of Roxxon, Mr. Roxxon, who wants to know why Spider-Man did what he did, so he hires Silver Sable and her team, the Wild Pack, to find that out. Over the next month they track Spider-Man, eventually figuring that he is a student at Midway High School and they ambush and capture Spider-Man, Flash Thompson, who is not actually Spider-Man which Silver Sable realizes. While she dresses down her team, Flash ends up escaping.

Back at school, Kenny is asking what happened to Flash, and Peter, who is still excited about spending time with Kitty, brushes Kenny off and then meets Kitty outside the school which Mary Jane sees. 

The news about Flash getting captured comes out, and Roxxon tries to ghost Silver even though the attack wasn’t traced to her, so Silver tracks Roxxon down and offers to do the job for free in three days. 

Mary Jane calls Peter while he’s at home spending time with Kitty to tell him to turn on the news where we find out that Flash has become a local celebrity. Unfortunately, Peter blows off Mary Jane so he only finds out when he gets to the school, and finds it swarming with police. Once Peter gets into school, the security guards who are doing bag checks, ask to see Peter’s bag.

Luckily for Peter, Mark Raxton runs by in a Spider-Man costume claiming to be Spider-Man to promote his band, so Peter runs away and heads over to find Aunt May at work because he realizes he needs to tell her that he is Spider-Man. But when Peter starts explaining what happened to Flash, Aunt May explains that she hates Spider-Man for being a coward. She goes to explain that she’s been seeing a therapist and that she thinks Peter needs to talk to someone as well.

When Peter gets back home, he talks to Kitty on the phone about it and she tells him to go after the people who’re looking into him. Spider-Man goes to talk to Flash at his home to find out what happened and using the information, he heads to the warehouse that Flash escaped from. Once he gets there, Silver Sable’s team attacks him and he stops them before Silver shows up and she explains that they only want to bring him in. He webs her up as well and then takes her phone, but it ends up knocking him out.

We then find out that Silver mostly grew up on her own and was angry. When her father was dying, he explained to her that he hunted war criminals with a team because Nazis killed his father and he wanted revenge. Her father’s friends helped to then train her. 

Back in the modern day, she brings Spider-Man, unmasked to Roxxon, who asks why Spider-Man has tried to save his company. Peter has no idea what he’s talking about and when he sees the examples, he says he was just doing good and it was all coincidental. Roxxon and Sable don’t believe Peter, so they start scanning his fingerprints which sets off SHIELD alerts who start tracking it back to them and Silver Sable and the Wild Pack start to pack up to leave.

We find out that Donald Roxxon had everything he needed growing up and that he never worked hard. When his father died, he was supposed to take over everything and he was not prepared for it. 

Roxxon threatens to not pay the team while Spider-Man escapes. The building suddenly explodes knocking Roxxon out the window and Spider-Man goes to save him, sticking him onto the side of the building. Spider-Man then finds a member of the Wild Pack got killed in the attack and we see the source of it – The Vulture.  

Peter starts fighting as SHIELD Agent Sharon Carter calls in the scene to Nick Fury and they find that Vulture, who is after Roxxon, is an ex-SHIELD agent. Fury decides to use it as a chance to evaluate Spider-Man. Meanwhile, the person who hired the Vulture calls Roxxon on the phone, which Fury starts tracing

Spider-Man with some help from Silver Sable, defeats webs Vulture to the Prometheus Statue at 30 Rock Plaza and swings off, with no idea of what was going on. 

Fury, Iron Man, and the SHIELD team meanwhile track the call to the Tinkerer who worked for Roxxon and who was fired even though he had good ideas. He started stealing money from the company to make super suits and Fury offers him a choice; either a job under SHIELD supervision or death, and the Tinkerer accepts the job.

Roxxon meanwhile is hounded publicly and Sable confronts him for the money, which Roxxon gives, and he is threatened to never reveal what happened. Elsewhere, Flash’s story including a part where he chases Spider-Man after they met, becomes a Lifetime Movie making Spider-Man a laughing stock again.

Ultimate Spider-Man #91-94 – Deadpool

Writer – Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils – Mark Bagley, Ink – John Dell, Mark McKenna Color – Justin Ponsor, Laura Martin, Richard Isanove Letter – VC’s Cory Petit

After Spider-Man and Kitty Pryde in a new costume knock out The Ringer, a man with rings, who falsely claims to be from Maryland, they defeat him and find out he’s actually from Medina County, Ohio, which is slightly south of Cleveland. The couple swings away confused and start talking about Kitty wearing a costume to hide her identity so she doesn’t reveal Spider-Man’s identity and Peter is still worried, so Kitty convinces him to at least tell his aunt that he’s dating her and then she leaves to get picked up by the remote controlled X-plane. Once on board Kitty worries privately that she is scaring Peter by pushing him to talk to his aunt.

When Kitty gets in, things go from bad to worse quickly as Wolverine attacks her with a knife and then Storm attacks her, so she phases into the basement but she accidentally short circuits the communication center. As the X-men converge on her, she sends the X-plane to pick up Spider-Man. The plane appears above Aunt May’s house moments after she leaves for a date, and Spider-Man swings in to investigate as it brings him back to the mansion where Kitty attacks him and knocks him out as her form fades away to reveal Deadpool and his band of cyborgs.

Spider-Man wakes up to find that he and the X-men, who are still unconscious, are strung up in a helicopter so Spider-Man gets tossed onto an island, PUBG style, along with the other X-men and while landing, Spider-man loses a boot and is then attacked by a cyborg who he webs up and runs away and into Colossus. Colossus assumes they’ve been fighting a shapeshifter and they move in to find Cyclops fighting more of these Cyborgs known as the Reavers, before they reach the first named one, Bonebreaker, who has a serpentine body, shows up to attack. Storm comes in and electrocutes him mid attack, and then reveals they’re on the Genoshan island of Krakoa. As the fighting escalates, they reach Kitty, Nightcrawler, Angel, Rogue and an unconscious Jean Grey. 

Spider-Man who is unfamiliar with Krakoa, gets the rundown about how Genosha sends mutants to the island to be hunted on TV which turns out to be true as Deadpool and the rest of the Reavers attack.

We find out the return of the show is being hosted by Augustus Beezer who wants revenge on the X-men, and so they went to bring new heroes in the form of Deadpool, Sergeant Wadey Wilson, and his men who went through enhancement surgery because they want to kill mutants since they’re actively racist. They lie about how they captured the X-men saying they did it in international waters and then say this is what the world wants.  

When Kitty and Spider-Man get a second they realize they haven’t seen Xavier as the X-men work to knock out more Reavers and the fighting intensifies as they get closer to the studio. Storm starts bringing in a storm to disrupt the television broadcast. Spider-Man eventually gets close to Deadpool and pulls off his mask revealing Charles Xavier. The X-men are shocked but Spider-Man punches Xavier in the face after getting a warning, because Deadpool was just using cloaking technology, and we find that the real Xavier is captured and is being tortured by Mojo who will be lobotomized on air after the X-men are killed. 

Spider-Man and most of the X-men get a break in the action but Spider-Man gets blasted, so Kitty starts phasing through Reavers in a rage, until Deadpool shocks her with a stun gun. Nightcrawler steals the stun gun though, blasting Deadpool and then Angel picks Deadpool up and slams him into the ground before Spider-Man returns and pulls off Deadpool’s mask revealing Deadpool that has no skin on his face, just a transparent shell over his skull and brain for reasons. Kitty has Colossus throw her at Deadpool and she phases and Deadpool explodes. The X-men band together and scare off the remaining Reavers and rush the studio. Xavier already escaped when the power turned off and they all head home in Mojo’s private jet as a still living Deadpool looks on.

Peter and Kitty come in, with Peter planning to tell Aunt May everything only to find that Aunt May left a voicemail because she decided to hook up and spend a night with her date, Miles Warren.

Ultimate X-men #66-68 – Date Night

Writer – Robert Kirkman, Pencils – Tom Raney, Inks – Scott Hanna, Colors – Gina Going-Raney, Letters – Chris Eliopoulos, VC’s Randy Gentile, VC’s Rus Wooton

Cyclops meets with Professor X to check in as the two prepare to go on their own separate nights out with Cyclops planning a night out at the movies with Jean, while Xavier plans to meet with a potential business and sexual partner, before Xavier gets roped into driving in Kitty to Westchester with him. Meanwhile, Kurt plans to go to visit Dazzler in the hospital and he begrudgingly agrees to take Colossus along with him, while Storm and Wolverine also plan to go out, leaving Rogue and Iceman behind at the mansion. 

At the hospital Nightcrawler is angry that Dazzler picked Angel over him, before he and Colossus have to hide from the nurse. When they leave, Colossus forces Nightcrawler to get dinner with him. After the meal, Colossus is frustrated with how Nightcrawler has been treating him since he found out Colossus was gay and Nightcrawler, who is shitty, feels betrayed. 

Bobby and Rogue watch internet videos and then they start to make out because Rogue only has Gambit’s powers. This leads to them having sex and afterwards, they decide that they’ll be a couple. 

At the movies, Jean is angry Scott won’t make a move on her and Scott is worried about how Jean is acting so she runs off. Scott asks what she wants, which it turns out is spontaneity. Scott and Jean return home wanting to have sex with Scott possibly being manipulated by Jean’s desires.

At a bar, Storm and Wolverine play pool and get into a fight with patrons before Sabretooth shows up. Wolverine and Sabretooth get into a fight with Storm making things worse when she tries to help. Sabretooth grabs Storm, threatening to kill her, before revealing that he just to talk to Wolverine. Sabretooth explains that he got his real memories back and that he’s Wolverine’s son. Wolverine is a bad dad, so he and Sabretooth fight more. This time, Storm electrocutes Sabretooth and then she leaves with Wolverine.

Xavier meanwhile meets with Lilandra Neramani, Majestrix of the Church of Shi’Ar Enlightenment. Lilandra explains that the Shi’ar are all about cosmic balance and that she’s aware of the past with the Hellfire Club but wants to offer the X-men money and resources like they did. She’s interested that the church also worships the Phoenix. Charles pauses everyone else in the restaurant when he finds this out. 

Lilandra explains that the Phoenix was originally about utopia and fixing worlds but the Hellfire Club, an offshoot saw it as a destroyer. In the past, aliens tried to capture the Phoenix to harness it and when they finally did, they made a cage that became the Earth, which is why life developed so fast. The leaders of the church used to be able to communicate with it, forming the religion with the prophecy that it would be reborn in a human. Lilandra wants to be able to examine Jean to see if this is true, in exchange for the money that Xavier needs. 

Kitty and Spider-Man meanwhile end up fighting crime.

Elsewhere, a teen in a mansion finds his parents are dead. The police show up trying to arrest him, and he finds himself teleported away into a field where he finds a gun pointed at him by Nick Fury. Fury explains that the teen, Elliot Boggs, is a mutant, and then Elliot attacks them so he can to try and escape, but Fury has him tranquilized. 

Kitty gets home on her own and runs into Colossus who is upset and waiting outside because of Kurt’s behavior. Inside she finds Nick Fury who is looking for Xavier, who then shows up as well, and transfers over Elliot saying if Xavier doesn’t take him, he’ll be stuck drugged for the rest of his life, or worse.

Meanwhile Sabretooth returns to Dr. Cornelius and brings in a portion of Wolverine’s flesh because Cornelius plans to make a clone.

Ultimate X-men #69-71 – Phoenix?

Writer – Robert Kirkman, Pencils – Ben Oliver, Ink – Jonathan Glapion with Jay Leisten, Color – Jason Keith, Letter – VC’s Joe Caramagna

Angel, currently at Emma Frost’s Academy of Tomorrow, talks to Xavier who is checking in on Angel before the dance that Colossus is planning to attend with Northstar. 

Jean comes in to meet with Xavier to work on talking to Elliot in his mind and they explain that he has powers and want to help him control them so they pass him off to Cyclops. Xavier then explains the situation with the Shi’ar to her and Jean reluctantly agrees to meet and be tested because Xavier trusts Lilandra. 

Meanwhile Wolverine gets a call from Nick Fury who tells him to meet in person for unknown reasons.

Rogue meanwhile is picking up more of Gambit’s habits including wearing a jacket and throwing cards. 

Cyclops goes to show Elliot the hanger where he finds Xavier and Jean waiting to meet with Lilandra and Gerald, another church member, and Elliot mentions that he wants a chance to prove himself.

Over at the party at the Academy of Tomorrow, the Brotherhood of Mutants – Blob, Toad, Multiple Man, and Mastermind suddenly show up, and Emma’s students fail to stop it so Cyclops gets the call that they need help, as Elliot’s hand mysteriously glows.

Nightcrawler visits Dazzler who is still unconscious and he is not only homophobic, but he’s also possessive. 

Cyclops, Elliot, Rogue, Storm and Iceman head out to deal with the Brotherhood, and on the plane, Elliot creates his own costume. When the team lands to fight the Brotherhood they find they also have to fight Emma’s students who are being mind controlled by Mastermind. The X-men take out Emma’s students and then face off against the Brotherhood and things quickly intensify. Ultimately Elliot decreases the gravity around Blob and they send him into the sky and then crashing down and they wrap up the fight. 

Back at the mansion, the Shi’ar take a sample of Jean’s blood, warning that the Phoenix will manifest before her twentieth birthday if she is the Phoenix. Jean gets asked about the vision she has of the Phoenix and all of them are of destruction and Jean promises if she is the host, then she will kill herself. As she becomes more upset about the testing, the Phoenix manifests in her and she moves to attack Lilandra until Xavier shows up to try to stop her. She prepares to attack Xavier, so he reveals that he loves her, which distracts her, so he knocks her out and falls unconscious as well.

The Academy of Tomorrow is quickly swarmed by SHIELD and reporters and nobody on the X-men are sure why the Brotherhood actually attacked, while Elliot is busy giving interviews. Cyclops goes to check with Angel and Emma Frost follows up and is angry about everything that happened at the school.

Back at the Xavier Mansion, Jean regains consciousness and Lilandra is frustrated and worried but Gerald reveals that Jean isn’t the Phoenix, and that Jean’s parents were members of the Church and that the Phoenix is her subconsciously creating a split personality based on the Phoenix. Jean gets upset so Xavier shuts her down again.

Back at the school, everyone is celebrating Elliot who is now going by Magician. Scott checks in on Jean who is telling everyone to leave and she’s currently swarmed by invisible goblins, and back at the church, Gerald secretly contacts the Hellfire Club without Lilandra’s knowledge, telling them that Jean Grey is actually the Phoenix.

To Rank:

  • Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 1 #86-90 – Silver Sable
  • Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 1 #91-94 – Deadpool
  • Ultimate X-men Vol 1 #66-68 – Date Night
  • Ultimate X-men Vol 1 #69-71 – Phoenix?

Next time – Wolverine fights the Hulk and the Ultimates are back and things have never been more dangerous.

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