Ultimate War #2

Issue Date: 
February 2003
Story Title: 
Ultimates vs. Ultimate X-Men

Mark Millar (story), Chris Bachalo (penciler), Tim Townsend & Andy Owens (inks), Paul Mounts (colors), Chris Eliopoulos (letters), C.B. Cebulski (associate editor), Brian Smith (associate editor), Ralf Macchio (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Wasp tries in vain to get some information on the X-Men's current whereabouts from Marvel Girl's father. In the meantime, the X-Men have hidden in a New York safe house and Xavier compares notes with Moira MacTaggert, who had to evacuate to Glasgow. Beast is trying to build a secure line to the Ultimates and becomes angry when Storm forgets to bring some material he needed from her shopping expedition. Angrily, she snaps that this whole mess I his fault anyway. They are interrupted as the X-jet with the missing members, returns from the Savage Land, but Cyclops is not with them. According to Wolverine, he's dead. In the meantime, the Ultimates are planning their strategy when the building is attacked by Magneto. He easily brushes aside both soldiers and Ultimates, punishes his children by shooting Quicksilver into hiskneecaps and then informs the Ultimates that he has erased all information on the Brotherhood from their computers. With that he leaves. Shortly afterwards, SHIELD agents inform Captain America that Xavier has contacted them and wants to broker a deal. Cap brusquely refuses: the X-Men are going to be brought down as hard as Magneto and the Brotherhood.

Full Summary: 

The Wasp pays a visit to Professor Grey, Marvel Girl's father, who's currently busying himself in his greenhouse. As the diminutive Wasp addresses him from among his flowers, Grey is startled. She apologizes and grows to her normal form, but she thought he'd be used to this kind of thing. Grey recognizes her as the Wasp from that "Ultimate defense deterrent [Americans] are spending stupid amounts of money on." Nevertheless, both he and his wife refuse to give the government any information on heir daughter, he insists.

Wasp reminds him of the gravity of the situation. Their agents believe that Xavier and Magneto have been working together from the start. Slyly, she adds that this could put his daughter into grave danger. Grey scoffs at her conspiracy theories. He was aware that the X-Men kept Magneto alive, while faking his death, but he also knows why: Xavier was trying to rehabilitate Magneto as a productive member of society and nobody's more upset about his old persona's re-emergence than Xavier.

And why did the X-Men go underground then the moment Magneto resurfaced, Janet demands. For the same reason that Iceman and his family probably went into hiding, Grey shoots back: they knew the government would be coming for them. Xavier saved his daughter's life and gave his word that the X-Men wouldn't rest until Magneto was captured. Xavier's word is good enough for him. Does that mean he won't give them the address of the east coast safehouse they are allegedly cooped up in, Wasp asks. They weren't stupid enough to tell him when they called. So the Wasp might as well call her psychic friends off. After spending three years having breakfast with one of the best telepaths in the world, he recognizes that particular little itch in the hypothalamus. His choice, Janet states, as she turns away. They tried to make it easy for him...

(Pier 88, in New York City, the X-Men's aforementioned safe house)
Xavier is radioing Moira MacTaggert in Scotland. Moira exclaims in mock-surprise that sheÄd thought heÄd be too busy plotting the downfall of man with Magneto to call. Times like these, Xavier sighs, he realizes precisely why they got a divorce. Changing subjects, he asks how things went with her evacuation from Muir Island. The island was better equipped to deal with patients than the old Glasgow tube station they are currently residing in but, as long as itÄs only temporary, it will have to do, Moira replies. What about the X-Men? Missing the school's home comforts Xavier sighs, but this place is fine, until they find out what happened to Cyclops, Kitty and Wolverine. Their radio seems to be broken and he doesn't dare attempt a long-distance telepathic call to the Savage Land for fear of being tracked.

Moira states that she read in the herald that Senator Turk is trying to get the Sentinel initiative started again. Does Xavier think things will go that far? If Magneto pushes them so far possibly, but right now ordinary mutants have little to fear. At the moment their priority is to capture Magneto and convince the Ultimates that they haven't joined the Brotherhood. Well, faking Magneto's death wasn't exactly a smart move, Moira admits. Can he blame them for thinking the worst?

Colossus and Storm join them, just back from a shopping expedition for all the necessities, from tech to toiletries. Did they think of the sniffers, Beast, who's busy with repairs, asks. Storm forgot. Beast gets aggressive: she thought of Peter's comics, but forgot the sniffers he needs to create an untraceable line to the Ultimates? What planet is she from? Jean plays peacemaker: things aren't that bad. This place has most of the things the mansion does, including a small danger room. Trashcan tech that doesn't work, Beast mumbles. When he set the fight program for ninja assassins this morning, he spent twenty minutes defending himself against orthodox Jews.

Well, it's his own damn fault for landing them in this mess, Ororo snaps. If it hadn't been for him and his "little internet slut" they'd all be home now and those people on Brooklyn Bridge would still be alive. Jean tries to calm her down, but Storm cuts her off: typical that she would intervene on Beast's behalf. Between Jean and the Beast trying to get the X-Men killed lately, who needs Magneto?

Somewhat angered, Jean threatens that, if they hadn't noticed the link between Ororo's mood and atmospheric conditions by now... she trails off. She's telepathically sensing that the others have returned from the Savage Land and are bringing the cloaked X-jet down right now. Everyone's happy that Cyclops is finally going to return. Things make more sense with him around. Although Colossus interjects that he's happy for Wolverine to return.
As the jet lands, Jean exclaims "no" and runs towards the plane. Scott isn't with them. Logan hugs her and apologizes. He tells her that he and Kitty spent three days trying to find Cyclops' corpse, but half a mountain fell on him... Is Scott really dead, Colossus asks Kitty. She just replies "yeah."

(the Triskelion)
Despite the tension, the mood is informal. Stark and Captain America are out of uniform. Cap studies their files on Wolverine and announces "Jim Howlett." He explains that he recognizes this man from WW II, before he was called Wolverine. He was a Special Forces hotshot from Toronto and they did a couple of airdrops together in 1944. Jim would always get up again, no matter how badly shot he was. That's why they nicknamed him "Lucky Jim". But why does he still look so young?

Maybe he and Cap are using the same moisturizer, Stark suggests. And while he hates to revert to stereotype here, would anyone else like a drink? He's starting to suffer from a serious vodka-deficiency. The others have hardly pronounced their choice of beverage, when it's already in front of them, thanks to Quicksilver's super speed.

Cap brings them back to the subject at hand. They have three main objectives: find the X-Men, find the Brotherhood and anticipate the terrorist tactics they're going to use against the public. Black Widow and Hawkeye just busted a cyber terrorist attack at the stock exchange. That might give some indication on where they're about to strike. He asks Stark about the status of the mutant-location system Stark International's working on. It's an update of Xavier's Cerebro tracker, operating on a global scale and tapping in a worldwide net of satellites, Tony explains. By the end of the month, they'll be able to pinpoint any mutant on Earth, whether they're cloaked or not.

Cap asks Wanda and Pietro about further Brotherhood hideouts. Wanda replies that all the hideouts they know about have already been smoked out. There are probably still bases they don't know about and concludes that their father never really trusted them. Thor commends the twins for helping them. It's very brave to side against their own flesh and blood. Their father is a lunatic, Pietro shrugs. Deciding to help bring him down wasn't such a hard decision.

Suddenly, the lights go out. Stark is surprised: he designed the lights in this place to never go out. Elsewhere in the building, a tech informs them about a glitch in the system, as the back-up systems kick in.

In another part of the building, two nurses mock the imprisoned doctor Banner. Did he hope this was his opportunity to turn into the Hulk again? Tough. At that, the lights again go out.

Cap tells Thor to grab his hammer - something is going on. Suddenly, the walls outside cave in. Soldiers fight against what's coming - to no avail. Wanda realizes that it's Magneto who's coming. Cap orders Thor to his side. Wanda and Pietro are to back them up and to keep danger away from Tony and the regular Joes.

Magneto enters with a bang. Cap throws his shield at him but Magneto easily tosses it back at him. Next is Thor, who throws his magical hammer. Magneto makes it stop right before it hits his face and chides Thor. Why he of all people chose to throw his lot in with those government lackeys is beyond him. Does he think he can change them by virtue of his example? He's an idiot. With that he directs the hammer to cause some destruction in the room.

Cap shouts at the twins to take him out. They reply in panic that they can't, he doesn't understand. "And they never will," Magneto agrees, telling them to step forward and accept their punishment. He asks Pietro if he understands why exactly he's being punished. Because he took the X-Men's side against him and stole his helmet in Washington, allowing Xavier to take control of his mind, Pietro replies. Actually, that showed admirable ambition for once, Magneto counters. No, he's angry because they took a great organization like the Brotherhood and turned them into a stooge for Homo Sapiens. Wanda interjects. She's as guilty as Pietro. It's unfair if only he gets punished. Oh, her punishment will be to watch, he explains, magnetically points several guns at Pietro's knees and pulls the triggers.

Afterwards he informs Cap that the generators and computers work again, though they'll find that the information on the Brotherhood has been deleted from the hard drives. Incidentally, they are going to keep this place around after the fall of man, as well as the White House and the Pentagon. They'd just agreed that they wanted some elaborate toilets for the new mutant order. As Magneto leaves, Cap swears that he's eventually going to break every bone in his body. Unimpressed Magneto flies away.

Several agents join them, one of them exclaiming that they have a video-call from Xavier who wants to clarify why he and the X-Men lied about Magneto. They want to broker some kind of deal. After this? Cap snaps. No more deals! He couldn't care less about Xavier's reasons for not killing that monster. They are to tell Xavier that the Ultimates are going to bring the X-Men down as hard as Magneto.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Marvel Girl, Professor X, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)
Bruce Banner, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Wasp (all Ultimates)
Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch (former leaders of the Brotherhood of Mutants, currently associates of the Ultimates)

Professor Grey (Marvel Girl's father)
Moira MacTaggert (associate of the X-Men)
Several SHIELD agents, tech personnel and nurses


Story Notes: 

The Brooklyn Bridge was blown up last issue by members of the Brotherhood.

Storm refers to Jean briefly going mad when she was possessed by Phoenix in Ultimate X-Men #25.

Senator Turk was one of the initiators of the first Sentinel attack in Ultimate X-Men #1. He was also behind the planned lawsuit of Iceman against Xavier.

Cyclops and Wolverine were last seen fighting zombies in Ultimate X-Men #24. Whatever happened to Cyclops afterwards happened off-panel.

Captain America refers to Wolverine as "James Howlett." Apparently, Wolverine's back-story, as told in "Origin," holds true for both the regular Marvel and the Ultimate Universe.

Dr Banner is imprisoned after his rampage as the Hulk in The Ultimates #5-6.

Quicksilver sided with the X-Men, against his father, in Ultimate X-Men #6.

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