Ultimates 3 #1

Issue Date: 
February 2008
Story Title: 
Sex, Lies & DVD

Jeph Loeb (Writer), Joe Madureira (Artist), Christian Lightner (Colorist), Richard Starkings (Letterer), Rosemann & Sankovitch (Assistant Editors), Ralph Macchio (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor-in-Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Some weeks after the Ultimates saved the United States from the Axis of Evil, the team is caught up in internal conflicts and issues: Iron Man’s sex romp with the Black Widow was somehow filmed and is now available on DVD and all over the internet, Hawkeye is even more arrogant than ever, Thor is dating new member Valkyrie - formerly of the Defenders who mysteriously possesses actual powers now - and the Black Panther is on the team, even though no one knows anything about him. The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver appear more involved than ever, while Captain America is keeping his distance from the team. Iron Man has sunk deeper into the bottle also. During a discussion about the DVD, the Ultimates are attacked by Venom who throws Thor through the mansion. The Black Panther is tossed some blocks away by the deadly Venom, leaving only Hawkeye and Wasp to go up against him. The Wasp notes that Hawkeye seems to have a death wish, when Valkyrie arrives and slices Venom down the middle for attacking Thor. Thor then finishes Venom off, and Venom’s body turns into a pile of mush. Hawkeye goes off in search of the Black Panther. The next day, Captain America has a chat with Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, suggesting to the Scarlet Witch that she wear a bit more clothing as they should set an example to the public. Quicksilver has a go at Captain America, telling him to mind his own business, before he and Scarlet Witch leave. The Wasp tries to explain to Captain America that, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are in love, and tries to talk to Captain America about what’s going on with him, but he isn’t interested. Visiting her husband, Giant Man, the Wasp discovers him passed out from a drug overdose. The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are out shopping, when a bullet is fired. Quicksilver tries to stop it, but it seems intent on getting to its destination - the Scarlet Witch. The bullet strikes the Scarlet Witch, and she is pronounced dead by a doctor shortly after in Quicksilver‘s arms.

Full Summary: 

Last night at Tony Stark’s mansion, Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, where several members of the world-famous celebrity super hero team, the Ultimates, have gathered in the lounge and a DVD of Tony Stark and their former teammate, the traitorous Black Widow having sex plays on the big screen. ‘So…the Black Widow is back and in living color’ Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye remarks, before asking if they aren’t supposed to be watching Larry King - with his clothes on. ‘Tony, not Larry’ Clint adds, before asking if this is all over the internet.

‘And on CNN and ABC’ points out Janet van Dyne a.k.a. the Wasp, adding that at least NBC had the decency to blur out some of the more graphic parts. She announces that this is already out on DVD and she purchased this version from a street vendor on 57th and Broadway. Janet turns to Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man and quietly remarks that she knows it must be incredibly difficult to deal with Natasha’s betrayal and death, but she wants to know where this came from, remarking that it is not from a security camera, as it has been edited - with close ups. ‘Let it go’ an ashamed Tony replies as he knocks back another drink.

Clint declares that he likes to think of himself as open-minded as the next guy - ‘I mean, except for Cap - man is his face gonna be red - but how much longer do we have to watch this bitch?’ he asks, before watching Wanda Lehnsherr a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch get up from the couch and start to leave the room, asking her where she is going as the meeting is not over. Wanda’s brother Pietro a.k.a. Quicksilver is with her and tells Hawkeye that they have something personal to attend to. ‘Not that it is any of your business’ he adds, to which Clint snaps back ‘I wasn’t talking to you!’ as the Lehnsherr twins leave.

‘”Let it go”?’ Janet quotes Tony, before exclaiming ‘Forgetting the security breach this little triple-X fiasco raises - do you have any idea of the P.R. nightmare we’ve got on our hands?’ she asks. ‘Well, we could always -’ Tony begins, until he is interrupted by the arrival of the villain known as Venom, shouting ‘Where is she? Tell me where she is or I’ll kill every last one of you!’ as he throws the mighty Thor through the living room, tearing apart the mansion. ‘Nice. And now a word from out sponsor!’ jokes Hawkeye as he grabs his guns and leaps into battle alongside the Black Panther, while Janet shrinks down to wasp-size and tells Tony that if he is sober enough to armor up. ‘What the Hell!’ Tony just shouts.

Hawkeye forces Venom to move back out onto the street, ignoring the Wasp who is ordering him to wait for back up. ‘Screw that!’ Clint just shouts, while the Wasp tells him that he will get himself killed. ‘Yeah, so…?’ Clint replies. Venom turns to Hawkeye, ‘You. You know where she is!’ he exclaims, his over-sized tongue lashing about. ‘Don’t know. Don’t care’ Clint replies nonchalantly. ‘Got something else for ya!’ Clint adds as he fires a spear head from a launcher - which lands right in Venom’s eye. ‘Ow’ the villain exclaims, before pulling it from his eye with his tongue. ‘And now I have something for you!’ Venom declares as Clint crouches behind a car and continues to fire bullets at him. ‘Heh’ replies Clint, unconcerned by Venom’s threats.

But before Venom can make good on his threat, ‘Take him, Panther!’ the Wasp exclaims as she begins blasting Venom with her sting, and the Black Panther strikes him across the face with his spiked-knuckles, before going for his stomach, then his face again, until Venom exclaims ‘Enough!’ and grabs the Black Panther’s fist, ‘You’re really annoying’ he tells the newest member of the Ultimates, before engulfing him in a black malleable substance, and exclaims ‘Bye!’ as he throws the Black Panther into the air, and sending him several blocks away.

The Wasp radios for help, exclaiming that this is an ultimates priority-one call. ‘Iron Man, get out tin-platted ass out here!’ she declares, adding that she doesn’t know where Cap is, but that they could use his help also, when, suddenly, she too becomes caught up in Venom’s goop. Hawkeye slices the Wasp free with a set of retractable claws on his hand and tells her to get going while he deals with Venom. ‘Eat this!’ is all Venom exclaims as he covers Hawkeye’s face in the black goop.

Suddenly, a black winged horse appears in the sky, and from it leaps Valkyrie, wielding a very large sword she drops down towards Venom screaming ‘Nobody hits my Thunder God!’ But Venom just looks at her, ‘You are not the one! Where is she?’ he exclaims. ‘Hot!’ Hawkeye remarks as he looks at Valkyrie whilst pulling the goop from his face. ‘Ugh. That’s, like, totally gross!’ the valley-girl Valkyrie exclaims as she slices her sword practically through the middle of Venom’s body. ‘Ewww!’ she exclaims as some blood splats across her face.

Venom tells Valkyrie that she is a very silly little girl, and grabbing her sword declares that she will look much sillier without a head! Valkyrie ducks just in time, although the end of her long blonde pony-tail hair does get sliced off. ‘Oh my…God’ Valkyrie whispers as Venom then brings the sword back once more above his head, ready to strike it down upon the young woman who wounded him, until he himself is struck by a massive blast of lightning.

Thor appears and announces that he did not care to be hit from behind, but that he would be dammed before he allowed Venom to strike the woman he loves. Venom’s body begins to separate under the impact of Thor’s attack. ‘Awesome!’ Valkyrie exclaims, before going over to Thor, ‘You saved me!’ she exclaims as they embrace. ‘You wouldst do the same for me’ Thor replies. ‘Yeah, I wouldst!’ Valkyrie replies, while the Wasp asks her teammates if they have any idea who the “she” that Venom was looking for is, before motioning to his body, with Valkyrie’s sword sticking out of it, and asking since when his body goes as it is now.

Thor and Valkyrie ignore the question, they are too busy kissing, while Clint suggests that they just make sure Venom is dead, and fires off a couple of rounds into the goop. Wasp orders Clint to holster his weapon, remarking that with their luck, one of his bullets will ricochet and hit a pedestrian. ‘What the Hell is wrong with you, Clint?’ Janet asks. Clint spins around and points his gun right at the Wasp’s face, telling her that if she calls him that name in public he will drop her right here in the street. ‘Get that gun out of my face!’ the Wasp orders, remarking that, for good or bad, she runs this team.

‘I tell you to wait for back, you wait for back up!’ Janet exclaims, but Clint replies that he went out to put Venom down. ‘That’s my job! What else do you expect me to do?’ he asks. ‘I expect you to not try and get killed!’ the Wasp retorts. ‘What makes you think I’m trying to get killed?’ Clint asks. Referring to his new costume, the Wasp points out that she is not the one with a target painted on his forehead. ‘@#$%. I’m going to see if I can find the Panther!’ Hawkeye mutters as he leaps over some cars, heading off in the direction the Black Panther was thrown in. ‘Great…’ mumbles the Wasp.

Today, the glamorous Scarlet Witch holds her brother’s hand as they leave the mansion, and Wanda remarks that she thinks they should get everyone a gift this year. ‘Everyone…?’ Quicksilver asks. ‘It’s Christmas, Scrooge!’ Wanda exclaims. ‘Bah humbug’ Pietro jokes, when suddenly, Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America approaches them, asking them if they mind him having a word with them. ‘What is it, Steve?’ Wanda asks. The handsome hero doesn’t look directly at them as he declares that he may be overstepping his boundaries, but that his feeling is they should be setting an example.

‘And…?’ Quicksilver asks. ‘And I’m of the opinion that Wanda might want to wear something less revealing out in public…’ Captain America explains, motioning to Wanda’s costume, which consists of a low-cut mid-riff top, thigh-high boots, long gloves and a revealing skirt. ‘You’re right, Captain - you have overstepped your pathetic boundaries!’ Quicksilver exclaims. Captain America asks the Scarlet Witch to be reasonable, putting a hand on her arm, which causes Quicksilver to pull Captain America away from Wanda, warning him that if he comes near his sister again he will kill him.

Captain America orders Quicksilver to stand down, reminding him that they are all on the same side. But Quicksilver exclaims that, regarding his sister, there is only one side. ‘And that’s by me’. Wanda puts on a long fur coat and wishes Steve a merry Christmas as the twins continue their way out of the mansion.

The Wasp walks up behind Captain America, remarking that she cannot see his face from this angle, but that she knows the look on his face. ‘That’s what happens when your 1944 brain can’t process present-day anything’ Janet remarks. Steve replies that he looked into Pietro’s eyes - ‘He wanted to kill me!’ Steve exclaims. Jan tells Steve that he doesn’t get it, ‘They love each other’ she explains. ‘Of course they do. They’re brother and sister’ Steve replies. ‘No. It’s more than that. They’re in love’ Janet tells Steve. ‘But…they’re brother and sister!’ Captain America exclaims.

Hawkeye approaches his teammates, overhearing the discussion he exclaims that if anyone thinks they have a problem with the Tony Stark sex video, then just wait until somebody in the media figures the twins out. ‘And someone will…unless we do something about it!’ Hawkeye exclaims. Clint tells Steve and Janet that while they talk the situation to death he has work to do, informing them that the Black Panther never made it back, and explains that he is going to need the Panther’s help to track down Spider-Man to see what he knows about Venom.

While Clint leaves, Captain America just scowls, and Jan asks him what his deal is. ‘We hardly ever see you around here and more. Could’ve used your help last night’ Janet points out. Cap replies that he had to get a life of his own. ‘Really. Want to tell me about it?’ Jan asks her ex-boyfriend as she moves closer towards him. ‘Actually…no, I don’t’ Steve replies as he walks away, leaving a dejected Jan alone.

Shortly, Janet is down in one of the laboratories, talking to her other ex, Hank Pym a.k.a. Giant Man, and she tells him that it is like Clint Barton died with his family and all that is left is Hawkeye. ‘Tony’s locked himself in his bedroom, drinking his way to oblivion…Thor is shacked up with a nineteen year old girl who turned up here six weeks ago with the powers of a “goddess” and no real explanation for it…I still can’t get a security clearance on the Panther except that Cap vouches for him and…Doctor Pym, are you listening to any of this?’.

But Jan gets no response, so she calls out to Hank again, who is sitting at a desk, staring into a microscope. ‘Hey, did you fall asleep on me again?’ Jan asks as she taps Hank on the back - but this causes Hank to fall off his chair, his body unmoving, Jan sees the foam around Hank’s mouth and the pills on his desk that have spilled out of their container. ‘HANK!’ Janet cries.

Meanwhile, along a busy street lined with shops, people start taking photos of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver while Wanda holds her arms out and exclaims that it is snowing. Wanda goes on to say that she loves the snow, as it always reminds her of the winters in the Balkans, and asks her brother if he remembers how they used to stick out their tongues and try to taste every snowflake. ‘Promise me you’ll take me back there again, brother!’ Wanda asks. Pietro pulls Wanda in to him, and they stare into each other’s eyes as Quicksilver begins to say ‘Wanda. Whatever happens I will always -’ BANG! There is a bullet fired, the crowd scatters.

Quicksilver tells Wanda to stay down, and he speeds after the bullet, while radioing to the Wasp, informing her that show has been fired at Fiftieth Street near Radio City Music Hall. Quicksilver races alongside the bullet, ‘Janet! Dammit, answer me, woman!’ he exclaims, but he gets no response, so he calls out to anyone at the mansion. Suddenly though, the bullet turns and speeds backwards. ‘Hell!’ Quicksilver exclaims, trying to catch the bullet, he is surprised that he missed it. ‘No no no no no!’ Quicksilver repeats over and over as he races to catch the bullet - which is on a direct course for the Scarlet Witch, who has cast one of her hexes, the pink glow surrounding her.

‘NO!’ Quicksilver shouts again, but he lunges for the bullet, ‘Got it!’ he exclaims as he crashes to the ground, exclaiming that he caught it and telling Wanda that she is safe. But horror spreads across Pietro’s face as he looks at the gaping, bloody, hole in his hand. ‘You’re - Wanda…?’ he whispers, turning to his sister. ‘Pietro…it…hurts…’ Wanda whispers, covered in blood. ‘WANDA!’ Quicksilver exclaims, grabbing his sister, they drop to the ground as a crowd gathers around them.

Pietro tells the Scarlet Witch that he has her, and reminds her that he promised he will always look after her. ‘Nothing is going to happen to you!’ he exclaims. ‘I promised…’ Suddenly, a man rushes through the crowd, asking them to make way, exclaiming that he is a doctor. ‘Quicksilver - isn’t it? You’re one of the Ultimates right? And this is your sister - I was on my break getting coffee. I saw it happen’ the man exclaims. ‘Who the Hell are you?’ Quicksilver shouts furiously. ‘I’m a doctor!’ he replies.

Quicksilver exclaims that Wanda isn’t breathing, to which the doctor replies that he needs to perform CPR, and breathes into Wanda, ‘Come on, Miss, come on…’ he mumbles, before trying again. Blood starts spurting from Wanda’s mouth, and the doctor explains that her lungs are filling up with blood. He tries again, before turning to Quicksilver, ‘I’m so sorry…she’s dead’. Quicksilver clutches his bloody sister and holds her tight, while a Police officer clears the crowd, and the snow falls on the Scarlet Witch….

Characters Involved: 

Black Panther, Captain America, Giant Man, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Valkyrie, Wasp (all Ultimates)






Tony Stark & Black Widow

Story Notes: 

The title is a reference to the Soderbergh movie “Sex, Lies and Videotape”.
This is the 3rd series featuring the Ultimates, following directly from the 2nd.

This issue comes with a rather excessive amount of variant covers: 1. Regular Heroes cover; 2. Regular Villains cover; 3. Variant Heroes gatefold; 4. Variant Villains gatefold; 5. Variant black and white Heroes gatefold; 6. Variant black and white Villains gatefold; 7. Variant Black Panther solo cover; 8. Second printing Valkyrie interior art cover. Whew!

Jeph Loeb takes over as writer from Mark Millar, and Joe Madureira takes over as penciler from Bryan Hitch, who were the creative team on the 1st and 2nd Ultimates series.

The DVD footage is presumably from Ultimates (2nd series) #9.

This marks the first appearance of the Black Panther in the Ultimate Universe.

Valkyrie first appeared in Ultimates (2nd series) #6 as a member of the wannabe super heroes the Defenders, during which she had a brief affair with Giant Man.

Hawkeye’s family was slain in Ultimates (2nd series) #7.

Continuity problems here about the Scarlet Witch’s death, as she is a prominent player in the Ultimate Power mini series, which takes place between Ultimates (3rd series) and the as-yet-unreleased Ultimates (4th series). Additionally, she is wearing her earlier Ultimates costume in the Ultimate Power mini series, not the costume seen this issue.
Whether this is due to bad editing or hints that she will turn out alive at the end of this story is not clear so far.

Issue Information: 
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