Civil War II #1

Issue Date: 
August 2016
Story Title: 

Brian Michael Bendis (writer), David Marquez (artist), Justin Ponsor (colorist), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Victor Ochoa (design), Marco Djurdjevicz (cover artist), David Marquez & Justin Ponsor, Terry & Rachel Dodson, Rafael Albuquerque, Steve McNiven & Frank Martin, Kim Jung Gi, Michael Cho, Phil Noto, Yasmine Putri, Chris Sprouse and Dave McCaig, Manuel Garcia & Andres Mossa (variant covers), Alanna Smith(assistant editor), Tom Brevoort with Wil Smith (editors), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Just after his Terrigenesis, the new Inhuman Ulysses is found and helped by the Inhuman Royal Family. Sometime later, the Avengers defeat a rogue Celestial with the help of several others of Earth’s heroes. Their victory was made possible by intel from the Inhumans. Afterward, the heroes party at Tony Stark’s home, where Stark, Carol Danvers and a few others are interested in learning more about Ulysses, the Inhumans’ new precog, who predicted the attack. Captain Marvel offers him a job at which point she and Tony get into an argument over the morality and practicality of using precogs. Sometime, later Tony is informed that his best friend, James Rhodes aka War Machine, died in a battle against Thanos. He rushes to the Triskelion, where he finds the body and the other injured heroes and is furious when he learns that Carol and the others were acting on a prediction by Ulysses. He vows he will keep them from ever playing God again.

Full Summary: 

Outside Columbus University:
A young man, Ulysses Caine, runs through the woods in panic. Stop it! he shouts. He stumbles and falls. He holds fast to a tree and groans: Why won’t it stop?

Ulysses? a voice behind him asks. It is the Inhuman queen Medusa, flanked by several other Inhumans, as well as allies the Human Torch and Beast. Her cousin Triton adds they can help him, and her sister Crystal smiles and assures him this is a good thing.

Manhattan, weeks later:
Tony Stark aka Iron Man lies in the rubble. Ow, he states.

Miles Morales, the younger Spider-Man, gets up from under some rubble. This is crazy right? he asks. Oh yeah, Tony agrees. He means even by founding members of the Avengers standard, Miles clarifies. Tony still agrees. Glad it’s not just him, Miles remarks as fellow Avenger Sam Alexander aka the new Nova helps him up. It’s not just him, Sam Wilson aka Captain America remarks. That’s the best part of being an Avenger, Nova agrees cheerfully. You are never alone with the crazy.

Are they absolutely sure this is going to work? Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel asks Iron Man. What makes her think it won’t? Nova deadpans, except for that – “That” referring to a giant glowing Celestial surrounded by several floating beings.

They have to stick to the plan, Iron Man orders. Spider-Man nervously asks what that thing is. Where did it come from? Ms. Marvel informs him it’s a freaky big giant Celestial come to destroy them all. What more does he need to know? Nova points out them getting tossed around by that thing and its soldiers isn’t his favorite part of the plan. Cap orders the kids to focus.

Suddenly, they hear a booming noise from above. Tony tells them that’s the sound of the plan working. It’s the gorgeous sound of a sonic boom and a thunder clap. As if on cue, the new female Thor arrives, followed by an army of heroes, Avengers, Inhumans, X-Men and more.

As they battle the Celestial’s soldiers, Iron Man greets Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel during the battle.

In the meantime on the ground, the magicians, Dr. Strange, Dr. Voodoo, Magik, Shaman, Scarlet Witch, Wiccan and a surly Daimon Helllstrom have gathered. Ready? Dr. Strange asks Iron Man. Captain Marvel orders the heroes to fall back. Strange then gives the order to casts the group spell of dimension reversal. Heroes and civilians watch in awe.

Suddenly, the Celestial is gone and the exhausted magicians inform them the Celestial destructor is gone and the rift is closed. Nova wonders aloud how they knew about this beforehand. Clean-up begins and Carol tells Iron Man that drinks are on him.

The next evening, many of the heroes meet for an informal gathering at Stark Tower. Tony announces he’s been meaning to do something like this a long time. Like a lot of them, he was so moved by what happened yesterday. They so rarely get a complete top to bottom home run. He wants to toast the ones who made it happen: The Inhumans! Tony and Carol thank the Inhuman Royal Family, who are clearly touched.

That moment, James Rhodes aka War Machine joins the party, asking if he missed anything. Only one of the greatest toasts ever given by man, Tony informs him. He hates missing Thor’s toasts, Rhodey deadpans. Tony notes he seemed a little rusty out there. Sure, if someone could hook up a brother with his latest tech instead of his 80ies hand-me-downs, Rhodes replies. Sure, has he got the four billion dollars on him? Tony asks while high-fiving Beast who walks past them. Where’s the best friend discount? Rhodey demands. That was the best friend discount, Tony shoots back and suggests he strap another gun to his shoulder. That doesn’t look desperate or overcompensating or anything…

Carol joins her best friend, Spider-Woman, and Dazzler. Spider-Woman reveals the best part of being a new mom is Hellstrom doesn’t hit on her. Alison demands a pillow she can shove between her thighs. Jessica calms her. He is locked on Wanda today. They’ll be fine. Alison prays for Scarlet Witch to say ‘No more Hellstrom.’ Just one time.

She-Hulk joins Carol and wonders how the Inhumans had that info. They decide to ask ‘Princess Big Hair.’ They join a small group that is standing around the Inhumans and their allies. Carol asks Medusa how they got that info. She exchanges looks with Crystal and the Human Torch then asks them to join her.

They talk in the kitchen, where Medusa introduces them to their latest inhuman, Ulysses, a shy young man whom they have to thank for this. Ulysses is awestruck by all the heroes. Medusa tells him he can be open. Ulysses finds it hard to describe how he can tell the future. Tony suggests they get little Jean Grey in here. Captain America wonders if that is a good idea, pointing out the tension between mutants and Inhumans. It’s a party, Tony shrugs.

Jean is brought in and she suggests she’ll create a limited hivemind with everyone else in the kitchen, meaning Ulysses can show them what he can do but he won’t reveal every weird thought in his head. He doesn’t have any weird thoughts, he defends himself. Everyone does, Jean informs him and creates the psychic link. He should see what She-Hulk is thinking about right now. Not cool, She-Hulk protests. Jean tells him to relax and tell them his story and she will show everyone.

Ulysses begins that a few weeks ago he found out he was an Inhuman which is crazy, as up to a few months ago he had no idea who they are. But then the Terrigen Mists hit his college, Ohio State.

He suddenly finds himself sitting in the dark alone, illuminated by a spotlight. Hello? he calls out.

The moment passes, he is back with the others. A puzzled Jean explains his mind cannot be read. His mind is like a closed system. Like a MacBook? Spider-Man jokes. Is that a bad thing? Ulysses asks nervously.

Is he looking for a job? Carol Danvers asks. Is he exclusive to the Inhumans? Really? Tony Stark mocks. She continues, her team could really use him. The Ultimates are specifically trying to prevent disasters before they happen. Really? Tony repeats. Carol asks him what the problem is. Tony points out they have an Inhuman they have never met whose mind is closed who can somehow tell a future and that is good enough for her? It was good enough for him yesterday, she shoots back. Yesterday he didn’t know about all this, he retorts. Would it have changed a thing? Carol asks and Medusa demands if it is because he is an Inhuman. Tony assures her he couldn’t care less about that.

Captain America wants to know what’s on his mind. He’s not going to have a morality debate with him, Tony refuses. Those never end well for them. Now this is a morality issue? Carol asks annoyed. Tony repeats they have an Inhuman with a power to predict possible future events. They have no idea what his deal is. No offense, he speaks aside to Ulysses. He’s sure he is a lovely individual. They have no idea about the probability ratio his power is working with.

Carol only cares about the world still turning and Rhodey points out this wasn’t a possible future, it was going to happen. But it didn’t happen, Tony insists, because they stopped it. Think about what that means!

The heroes all look at Ulysses. Carol decides if everyone is alive at the end of the day, it was the right thing to do. Tony asks Ulysses to tell them how he got these powers. Ulysses explains how, until a few weeks ago, he was normal. The Terrigen Mists crawl around the planet changing those with Inhuman DNA and he was one of the lucky ones. Since he looked the same, he wasn’t sure at first what made him different. Then it happened. He could see things. Visions. He didn’t just see them, he experienced them. One after the other. He thought he had a psychotic break. The Royal Family took him in. They showed him. Helped him to calm himself. Karnak had a theory. He told him whenever he had a vision he should look around in it, see the details. And then, one day he saw the world destroyed, saw a real apocalypse. Then he looked around, saw what day it was. But it never happened, thanks to all of them.

Okay, Tony suggests, let’s say he comes to them with a vision that the Hulk made out with Ultron and out popped a baby that is the reincarnated Hitler. He’d pay to see that movie, Spider-Man pipes up. No doubt, Tony deadpans, but do they lock away the Hulk before it happens? Before he has done anything? Again, yesterday was easy. The big cosmic monster attacks - they stop it. But what if next time it isn’t easy? What if it’s one of them? What if Ulysses tells them she is a threat to the future? he asks Carol. Do they stop her before she is going to do what she will do, even though she doesn’t know she will do it?

Depends, Carol replies calmly. On what? he asks. They glare. She thought he was a futurist! she bursts out. He is, to his core! That means he respects the future, He believes in the future. He worships at its feet. He’s saying, maybe they should be very careful about what their new buddy Ulysses tells them and what they do about it. But he’s glad they are all here and enjoy the party. He leaves.

Weren’t they all just high-fiving each other about saving the planet ten minutes ago? Spidey asks puzzled. Carol expresses her frustration about Tony. Captain America thanks the Inhumans for their help. Ulysses is starstruck regarding Iron Man. Yeah, it’s exciting, Spider-Man shrugs, then you get over it.

New Attilan, three weeks later:
Ulysses awakes from a horrific vision. The repercussions are felt by Queen Medusa and her lover, Johnny Storm, who race to Ulysses’ room. Other Inhumans join them as a horrified Ulysses announces they have to call the Ultimates.

Later in Tony Stark’s lab:
Annoyed, Tony orders the AI called Friday to tell him where it is. She reminds him he ordered her not to tell him. That was two hours ago. Tony complains. She refuses and states he wanted proof that the stealth armor is superior to the last one. This is proof it is.

A somber Mary Jane Watson interrupts their bickering. He notices her mood. It’s Rhodey, she tells him. He’s gone.

Soon a furious Iron Man lands at the Triskelion, demanding to see him. Maria Hill leads him to the body of his best friend. Instead of looking at the body, he looks at the shattered armor calculating the power needed to shatter this. How did this happen? he demands.

Captain Marvel put a task force together, Hill begins. Tony rushes past her and the Black Panther, shouting for Carol. Where is she? he shouts at a dejected-looking Ms. America. Behind him, she replies. The mission went fubar, Hill explains. He enters another section to find an injured Carol sitting at the bedside of the comatose She-Hulk. Is she-- He stammers. Carol explains she is alive. But they don’t know if she will wake up or walk again. Her biology is so unique. They need a gamma specialist. They need Bruce Banner.

What happened? Tony asks. Thanos, Carol replies simply. Thanos was back on Earth? he asks. He attacked them? Not exactly, Hill explains. They ambushed him when he was attacking Project Pegasus. They were lying in wait.

How? Stark demands. How did they know he was going to be there? She recalls how Thanos killed James Rhodes and doesn’t reply. Carol? Tony presses.

Remember the Inhuman who could see the future? No, Tony states flatly. He came to them, Carol continues. He had a vision. She killed his best friend, Tony pronounces. She killed him as good as if she’d done it with her own hands.

He was a soldier, Carol replies slowly. He went into battle. And Tony’s not the only one who loved him. What was he even doing with them? Tony lashes out at America and Black Panther. He wasn’t on their team! The mission came up, Carol explains. Rhodey was on campus with her. He volunteered. He told her this would happen! Tony rants. She’s sorry, Carol replies. Knowing what they did at the time she would do this again. And so would Rhodey. He knows—

She does not say his name! Tony interrupts her. She loves him, Carol replies. And she is truly sorry. Where is Thanos at least? Tony sighs. They have him in a cell down below. Mission accomplished. He turns away. Where is he going? Black Panther asks. To make sure none of them ever play God again, Tony replies ominously.

Carol wants to follow him when an arm grabs hers. She-Hulk has awakened. Fight for it, she groans. It’s their future, not his. Fight for it! Then her heart gives out. Medics rush in and order everyone out. Carol stands there, shell-shocked. And Iron Man is flying toward his destination…

Characters Involved: 

Captain Marvel VI
Iron Man
Captain America (Sam Wilson), Ms. Marvel, Nova, Thor, Vision (all Avengers)

Black Bolt, Crystal, Gorgon, Karnak, Medusa, Triton (all Inhuman Royal Family)
Flint, Grid, Inferno, Iso, Reader (other Inhumans)
Ulysses Cain (new Inhuman)
Human Torch (Inhuman Allies)
Beast, Colossus Magik, Marvel Girl, Nightcrawler,Old Man Logan, Pixie III, Storm (X-Me)
War Machine
Black Panther, Blue Marvel, Ms. America, Spectrum (Ultimates)

Cable, Captain America (Steve Rogers), Deadpool, Dr Voodoo Quicksilver, Rogue (Avengers Unity Team)
Hawkeye, Hulkling, Songbird, Squirrel Girl, Wiccan (New Avengers)
Dazzler, She-Hulk
Scarlet Witch
Commander Maria Hill (Commander of SHIELD)
Mary Jane Watson


In flashback:
Black Panther, Blue Marvel, Captain Marvel, Ms America, Spectrum
War Machine
Crystal, Medusa
Human Torch

Story Notes: 

‘No more Hellstrom’ is a reference to the Scarlet Witch’s famous line ‘No more mutants’.

Iron Man vs Cap having moral issues probably refers to the first Civil War miniseries which saw the two on different ideological sides.

The battle against Thanos is shown in the Free Comic Book Day 2016 issue.

It can be considered ironic that Iron Man himself used precognition in battle during Force Works.

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