Civil War II #4

Issue Date: 
September 2016
Story Title: 

Brian Michael Bendis (writer), David Marquez (artist), Oliver Coipel (Banner conversation artist), Justin Ponsor (colorist), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Victor Ochoa (design), Marco Djurdjevicz (cover artist), Kim Jung Gi, Michael Cho, Phil Noto, Joe Quesada (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: 

When She-Hulk awakes from her coma, Captain Marvel has to inform her that Hawkeye killed her cousin Bruce Banner and was judged innocent in court. Tony Stark calls the Illuminati, Captain America and Captain Marvel together and informs them he has found out how Ulysses’ power works. It is not precognition but an algorithm. A very good one but nevertheless mistakes can happen. He asks Captain Marvel to stop using Ulysses but she is still convinced that being mostly right is enough and warns Tony to stay out of her way. His fear comes true soon when Captain Marvel and SHIELD arrest a banker, Alison Green, on Ulysses’ prediction that she is a HYDRA agent carrying a bomb. However, her briefcase is empty. Carol is nevertheless not willing to let her go. As she discusses matters with the Black Panther and Maria Hill, Nightcrawler teleports Alison to freedom. Carol, Alpha Flight and SHIELD face a group of heroes around Iron Man telling her to give up. However, she has brought in surprise allies in the form of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Full Summary: 

Captain Marvel flies to the Triskelion. She heard? the Black Panther welcomes her. She reminds him she was in the courtroom. He asks if she wants to talk about it. She’s awake? Carol changes the subject. Has anyone talked to her? They were waiting for her, she is told.

Carol is the first to enter Jennifer Walters’ aka She-Hulk’s hospital room and jokes she’s been hibernating for a long time. Does she remember what happened? Thanos, She-Hulk replies. It went badly. FUBAR, Carol agrees. How long was she out? Jennifer asks. Ignoring the question, Carol needs several attempts to tell her that her cousin Bruce Banner was killed by Hawkeye. He’s been put on trial. Jennifer literally woke up in time for the verdict. And? She-Hulk, now grey-skinned and scarred demands several times.

Miles Morales aka Spider-Man sees the newsfeed on Times Square Hawkeye walks! is the biggest headline. Clint Barton has been acquitted. The news anchors discuss that, according to the polls, 87 percent of the population agree with the verdict, even though Barton basically confessed to the crime. It’s not that he killed. It’s who he killed and why. Some see it as an assisted suicide… a mercy killing. And some it seems are just really happy to be rid of the Hulk.

One of the anchors admits that surprised him. He was shocked many thought that the Hulk’s ongoing freedom was a conspiracy among the super-powered community. His colleague guesses this has now been debunked. It looks like Clint Barton has become one of the most popular heroes. And they are all dying to hear the reactions of the other founding members of the Avengers. He wants to see the statement from Tony Stark. He looked apoplectic in court, his colleague marvels. He probably saw the last Stark stock forecast, they joke. There’s only one thing they know for sure… Never count Tony Stark out.

Tony Stark sits in a darkened room. He is so lost, he admits. He needs their help, he addresses someone. This Ulysses guy… He knows they think he is being overdramatic about him. Some think he’s lashing out at Danvers over what happened to Rhodey or Banner. And maybe that’s true. But it doesn’t mean he’s wrong.

If they’ve learned anything in their time in uniform or as Avengers, it’s the future is not written. It can’t be written. And that was his original problem with this new Inhuman: You can’t see a future that hasn’t happened yet. Time is a construct. Time is concept. It may be an organism that lives and breathes around them. And this kid whom they still don’t know enough about keeps having these visions of … visions of criminal activity, disaster and holocaust. He’s the conduit to the visions. But he doesn’t just see them. He experiences them. He lives those disasters and horrors. How can that not be affecting him mentally? So if those visions are affecting him, then he is affecting those visions. He has to be.

The entire concept of these visions is impure. That was Tony’s worry, his theory. So with that in mind he took it upon himself to scan the kid’s brain. He downloaded a copy of it, to be precise. That sounds very Doctor Doomish, he admits, but he doesn’t care. He did it because, deep down, inside he was hoping he’d be proven wrong. He wanted to be wrong, so he can go back to his life and take a nap.

Captain Marvel confronts an office lady. She is held by security forces.

He hoped Ulysses was the real deal. But what he eventually discovered was worse. Far worse. Do they see? No, is the reply.

Tony shows a holographic scan of Ulysses’ brain. The kid’s brain, his entire body really, take everything in, all the data and energy cascading across the world. Data from energy fields they don’t even know are there. Everything in the world puts out energy. He takes it in and spits it back in the form of these visions. Theoretical visions of the future. He’s not seeing the future because it’s not there. He’s creating an algorithm of a possible future. Maybe a very possible future. But it’s only an algorithm. It’s math. It’s guesswork.

Now that he sees how Ulysses does it, the visions scare the hell out of him fifty times more than they already did. And yes, Thanos did show up like the kid said and Banner was a pot of trouble about to pop.

As the woman is led away, Carol handles her briefcase. Ulysses watches. She opens the briefcase and shows it to Ulysses. There is nothing inside.

But what was really going to happen next? Tony asks. This is profiling of the future. And by Carol acting on it as if it were the Bible, she is by any definition profiling individuals. She’ll call it something else. But she didn’t know what he knows now. She is betting on the math being absolute. But it is not. No one involved in those visions is being given a choice. He is saying free will is being eliminated from the process of choice. If they allow the kid’s power to have the final say, no one in the vision has accountability for themselves. And without personal accountability, what are they? And if they are officially in the world of algorithms and probability, what are the odds of these visions being true and pure and right?

And now, since the Hulk the visions are going wider and becoming more powerful. Now others can see and experience them too. That changes everything. That is huge. Where will it stop? How big will it get? And as the power grows, will it become more accurate or less?

So, there it is. Tell him, he’s crazy. Tell him he’s wrong. Tell him, and he swears, he’ll give up. If he tells him to stop, he swears he will, because he’s learned finally, after all these years, he’s going to listen to Steve Rogers. Listening intently are not only Captain America but also the rest of the Illuminati: Black Panther, Black Bolt, Beast, Dr. Strange and Medusa, as well as Carol Danvers.

Is he absolutely one hundred percent sure about this? Cap asks seriously. Does he think he’d have called them all here if he wasn’t? Tony snaps. Does he think he likes to be in a room with “Big Hair,” after what her people did to him and his life? But – and here’s the thing – the last time there was such as strong moral line in the sand between the two of them… He doesn’t want to do anything like that ever again. Not with Steve. Not with Medusa. Not with anybody. But… he glares at Carol… she’s forcing Steve’s hand. She is forcing his hand! he shouts.

Steve turns to Carol, who demands Dr. McCoy look at Stark’s work. What will that do? Tony bristles. Make her trust it, she retorts. Beast already has. It’s … not wrong, he admits.

So, Tony continues, in front of all of them, knowing what she knows… what is she going to do? All look at Captain Marvel. What is she going to do? Carol Danvers repeats. A person comes up to you and says that guy over there has a gun and is going to open fire. Do you check it out or do you say to yourself: “Well, I’ll wait and see if he opens fire to see if the first guy was right?”

Eighty percent Tony asks. What? she demands Sixty? he continues. Forty? What would the probability percentage need to be that it’s acceptable to her to act on those visions of the future? She rolls her eyes. What if he told her there was only a ten percent probability this was right? She retorts: What if there only was a ten percent chance Thanos was going to get his hands on a Cosmic Cube? That’s high enough for her.

Really? Tony presses. Those visions are not what she thought they were and still… And Rhodey would agree, she insists. Well, he’d ask him, Tony replies nastily, but…

Carol announces that she’s done and warns him to back off. She salutes Captain America and flies upward, through the ceiling. He knew the probability of her doing that, Tony announces. Beast reminds him she is hurting over Rhodey too.

Is he nuts about this? Tony asks Cap. Not entirely, is the reply. But it’s not her right, Tony insists. Is it his? Beast retorts. Tony announces that, after what happened to Banner, he is going to have to go public with this. People need to know what she’s doing. He “has” to, Medusa repeats. She and her estranged husband Black Bolt share a meaningful look.

The Triskelion:
The woman Captain Marvel arrested earlier, Alison Green, sits alone and frightened in an interview room. Carol joins Black Panther and Maria Hill outside the room. Hill announces she can’t hold her any longer. They did the psychic evaluation. They have agents scouring every inch of her world. She is a finance banker working in high end corporate mortgages or something. She has no connection to anything or anyone on SHIELD’s Watch list. They discovered nothing? Carol asks. She really loves karaoke, Hill replies. She’s a civilian. People are looking for her. Her fiancé is going nuts over this. T’Challa adds that her father is a Chicago police officer. They’ve already gone to the press. What was the Inhuman’s vision about her?

Carol enters the room and addresses the frightened young woman. Does she know what HYDRA is? Carol asks calmly. The terrorists? Alison asks hesitatingly. She read about them. Carol accuses her of being a high-ranking deep cover agent working in a plan to disrupt the financial world that holds this country together. But now they have her. Her confession today will reflect well on her trial. She wants names, places, details.

What is she talking about? Alison stammers aghast. She works at a financial institution! Carol asks about the empty briefcase. That was her old briefcase, is the explanation. She was switching it out with a new one she left at home!

She has the legal right to hold her here indefinitely, Carol warns her. For carrying an empty briefcase? Alison shouts. Alison protests her innocence as Carol turns her back on her and leaves the room.

Outside, Hill tells her she needs proof. Cutting off any discussion, Carol is sure they will find it.

They see a cloud of smoke inside the room. They run inside to find it empty and the smell of brimstone lingers. Carol realizes the X-Man Nightcrawler teleported the woman away. Tony, she exclaims.

Hill gives orders to put the whole building in lockdown mode. Carol gives orders to rally the troops. As they walk to the roof, Carol announces she’ll arrest Tony Stark. She’ll need to find him first, T’Challa retorts. No, she won’t, Hill points out. They are on the rooftop.

They step outside. “Tony, you %$*’,” Carol announces. This is not happening!

Iron Man stands there, flanked by the current Avengers team, the time-displaced original X-Men and their allies (sans Jean Grey), Luke Cage, Dr. Strange and the female Hawkeye.

Sure it is, Iron Man replies. He warned her. They all warned her, over and over .He is under arrest! she shouts. At her side SHIELD agents gather as well as Storm’s team of X-Men (apparently without Nightcrawler), Alpha Flight and several of the Ultimates. Good luck with that, he scoffs. When the public sees what she has been up to, she is going to have her hands…

What she’s been up to? Carol scoffs. He just broke into… Tony interrupts to point out she is out powered. Do herself a favor and stand down. Outpowered? Hardly, Carol replies. She has friends all over the place.

And that moment the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive.

Characters Involved: 

Captain Marvel VI
Iron Man

Black Bolt, Medusa, Triton (Inhuman Royal Family)
Beast (Inhuman ally)

Aurora, Puck, Sasquatch (all Alpha Flight)
Colossus, Forge, Iceman, Magik, Marvel Girl (time-displaced), Nightcrawler, Old Man Logan, Storm (all X-Men)
Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman (time-displaced original X-Men)
Genesis II, Oya, Wolverine III

Black Panther, Spectrum (Ultimates)
Captain America, Hakweye, Ms. Marvel III, Nova, Spider-Man II, Thor, Vision (Avengers)
Black Panther, Blue, Marvel, Spectrum (Ultimates)
Angela, Gamora, Groot, Kitty Pryde, Rocket Raccoon, Star-Lord, Thing, Venom (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Dr. Strange
Hawkeye II
Luke Cage
Iron heart

Alison Green

On TV screen

Story Notes: 

The problem of whether Alison Green is guilty or not is continued in Jessica Jones #1-6.

It is unclear why Nightcrawler is acting against the rest of his team.

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