Ultimatum #4

Issue Date: 
April 2009
Story Title: 
Ultimatum, chapter four: A Time to Die

Jeph Loeb (writer), David Finch (artist), Danny Miki (inker), Aspen’s Peter Steigerwald (colorist), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letterers), Lauren Sankovitch (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (senior editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Cover: David Finch, Danny Miki & Steve Firchow

Variant Cover: Ed McGuinness, Mark Farmer & Jason Keith

R.I.P. Variant Cover: Phil Jimenez & Frank D’Armata

Brief Description: 

After arriving at Doctor Strange’s home, the Hulk goes on a rampage, upsetting all sorts of magic, and setting free the demon Dormammu, and apparently killing Spider-Man in the process. The Hulk departs, leaving Doctor Strange to battle Dormammu, who is holding the Human Torch prisoner, and using his powers. Doctor Strange puts up a decent fight, but is killed by Dormammu. The Invisible Woman and Thing arrive to rescue the Human Torch, and nobody sees a mysterious figure teleport away with Doctor Strange’s body. Shadowcat also finds Spider-Man’s mask, and takes it away with her. The Hulk runs from the army - but they aren’t the only ones after him, as the X-Men confront him, wanting his help. Meanwhile, in the Supreme-Verse, Doom, Mister Fantastic and Power Princess return, informing Nick Fury and Arcanna Jones of the troubles in the Ultimate Universe. Doom explains his part in those troubles, causing Mister Fantastic to attack him, while Arcanna prepares to teleport everyone back to the Ultimate Universe. Wolverine finds Shadowcat on the roof of Aunt May’s house, clutching Spider-Man’s tattered mask. Wolverine gives Shadowcat a box, telling her to open it if he doesn’t come back. Wolverine explains that he is going to leave Iceman here with Shadowcat, and that the other X-Men are going to confront Magneto. Sometime later, Magneto is knocked aside in his citadel when Angel bursts in, threatening to kill him. But Sabretooth claws Angel’s back, bites off a wing, and cracks his head open, killing him instead. Hawkeye fires an arrow through Sabretooth’s head, while Valkyrie confronts Magneto, demanding he hand Thor’s hammer over to her. When he refuses, Valkyrie slices off his arm. Captain America joins Valkyrie in attacking Magneto, but Magneto buries them in some rubble, before he proceeds to confront the remaining X-Men and Ultimates.

Full Summary: 

The home of Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, in Soho, New York City. ‘Hulk, don’t!’ pleads the teenage hero Spider-Man as he is thrown about by the rampaging Hulk. ‘Doc Strange’s house…it’s filled with all kinds of mumbo jumbo!’ Spider-Man exclaims. ‘Hulk smash mumbo jumbo!’ the behemoth roars as he continues to tear up his surroundings. ‘No, Hulk. Smash bad. Smashing opens bad doors. Let’s out...oh…God…no…’ he screams as he is seemingly torn apart by a combination of forces.

Soon after, the rain pours down on the remains of Doctor Strange’s home - but the rain does not douse the raging fires. Spider-Man’s torn mask lies in a puddle - and Is found by his side-kick Kitty Pryde, formerly the X-Girl known as Shadowcat. Kitty picks up Spider Man’s mask and tears form in her eyes. ‘…Peter…’ she whispers, before taking the mask and walking away.

Nearby, emerging from the ruins of Doctor Strange’s home is a fiery demon, ‘Freed at last!’ he booms, while Doctor Strange hovers nearby: ‘Spider-Man sacrificed himself to stop you. Time to put Dormammu back in the bottle!’ Strange exclaims. But Dormammu remarks that it is Strange’s fault he could breach the walls of the Dark Dimension in the first place: ‘After all…your house came down and left the door open’.

Suddenly, inside the large amulet around Dormammu’s neck, the Human Torch of the Fantastic Four, trapped within, calls out to Doctor Strange, asking him to go and get help. The young hero informs Strange that Dormammu is somehow channelling him, that this isn’t just magic, but Dormammu is using his flame. ‘It doesn’t matter, Johnny Storm…at the end of the day, Dormammu is merely a demon. And like any demon - it can be destroyed by one spell or another’ Strange replies as he flies closer to Dormammu’s face.

‘You cannot be serious. Challenging me?’ Dormammu tells Strange, who casts magic energies towards Dormammu, telling the demon that it is his choice to either suffer death in this world, or return defeated to his own world. Strange’s magic beams appear as large clawed hands, striking out at Dormammu’s face, while Dormammu declares: ‘You know your own history. How your father. And your grandfather. And your great grandfather…all claimed to have the title of “Sorcerer Supreme“. With you being the very last. And because you have no son…your lineage dies tonight!’ With that, Dormammu’s power breaks Strange’s magic hands, and knocks Strange backwards.

Dormammu declares that Strange was never anything more than a sheep in wolf’s clothing, thinking he could best him - the ruler of the Dark Realm! Suddenly, Doctor Strange’s yellow sash, under the control of Dormammu, wraps itself completely around Strange’s body so tightly, that his face turns blue, his eyes bulge from their sockets, and blood streams from his ears and nose - before, suddenly, Doctor Strange’s head pops, splattering blood everywhere, his limp body fall to the ground.

‘If Strange was your last best hope for your planet...then kiss it all good-bye!’ Dormammu tells the Human Torch, only for Johnny to reply ‘Think again, you giant zippo!’ Suddenly, a voice shouts ‘Get the hell away from my brother!’ It’s the Invisible Woman, along with her teammate, the Thing, who exclaims ‘The freakin’ cavalry is here!’

With the sudden arrival of two of the Fantastic Four, no one notices someone walk over to the headless body of Doctor Strange and sigh, before muttering ‘…Stephen…’, and then teleporting away with Strange’s body.

Later, in Lower Manhattan, the Hulk leaps from rooftop to rooftop while being pursued by soldiers in helicopters who fire missiles at him. ‘Tiger One. The Hulk trashed most of Soho. You are green lit to take him out!’ someone announces. ‘Roger that. Locked on target and firing’ the chopper replies, its missiles narrowly missing the Hulk, who growls and shouts ‘Stupid army leave Hulk alone! Hulk try and help magic man!’. Suddenly, there is a blinding red light, and the soldier alerts that they have been hit. ‘The next one goes through the propeller blade. Leave the Hulk alone!’ announces Cyclops, assuring the soldier that the X-Men will then leave him alone. Lightning crackles in the sky as Storm hovers alongside Scott and tells Cyclops that it is up to Logan now. ’Isn’t that comforting’ Scott replies sarcastically.

‘Come on out!’ Logan a.k.a. Wolverine remarks to the Hulk, half-buried in the pavement. ‘Hulk knows you!’ the Hulk responds as Wolverine unsheathes his claws. ‘Hulk tore you in half!’ the Hulk exclaims, to which Wolverine remarks that he was hoping they would not have to go through that again. ‘Hulk smash you like puny bug!’ the Hulk boasts as he climbs out of the pavement and lunges at Wolverine, who calls out to Jean Grey, his powerful teammate. Jean steps forward and uses her telekinesis to hold back the Hulk, telling him that they are not here to hurt him, that they need his help. The Hulk smiles at Jean and looks at her lustfully, before announcing that he will help the pretty girl. Wolverine suggests that they find Colossus, and that they get the Hulk some big boy pants.

Meanwhile, outside the White House of the Supreme-Verse. Former Director of the Ultimate Universe’s SHIELD, Nick Fury steps out of his car, muttering to himself that it would help if there were some Roscoe’s on this godforsaken planet. ‘Oh @#$%’ he mutters, as the pink energy signature of powerful sorceress Arcanna Jones signals her arrival. Fury turns and sees Power Princess, who is also of this world, but just returning to it now, along with Mister Fantastic, and his arch foe, Doctor Doom, both of Fury’s world. ‘I was wondering when you bungholes were going to show up’ Fury mutters. ‘But I never figured you’d be dumb enough to get into bed with Doom again’.

Fury asks Mister Fantastic what the deal is, to which Reed explains that they need Fury to return wit them, and motioning to Doom, adds that it was Victor’s idea. ‘I bet it was’ Fury mutters, before announcing that he will pass. ‘I don’t recall our asking!’ Power Princess exclaims as she smashes her way through Fury’s car, causing it to explode. ‘A little anger management would go a long way with you, Zarda’ Fury remarks, before adding ‘Okay…let’s say I change my mind and went with you…what’s so important that it has to be right now?’.

Reed explains that Magneto has tilted Earth’s axis, causing tidal waves, an ice age, and volcanoes to erupt. ‘He intends to wipe out the entire population!’ Reed reveals. ‘The Doomsday Protocol’ Fury replies, remarking that he warned everyone when he was left here in this universe, taken out of the equation. ‘Well, here you are’ he remarks, before adding that he now understands why Doom is running this little expedition. ‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ Mister Fantastic asks. ‘I…I made an…error in judgment’ Doom replies, revealing that he had Magneto’s daughter, the Scarlet Witch, murdered.

Doom remarks that he knew Magneto would then declare war on mankind. ‘And when it was over…I would be there to pick up the pieces’. Doom admits that he never imagined that Magneto either had the power or will to destroy the human race. ‘What good is a king if there is no kingdom?’ Doom asks. ‘An error in judgment? Millions of people are dead - and Susan - the woman I love!’ Reed shouts as he wraps his elastic body around Doom, while Power Princess begins physically attacking him: ‘Who knows how many more have died since we’ve been gone?’

Fury fires his pistol into the air, ‘Enough!’ he exclaims, telling Reed and Zarda that if he wanted him dead, Doom would be dead. ‘How the hell do we get home?’ Fury mutters, to which his ally Arcanna Jones steps forward: ‘The same way they got here. My magic’ she remarks. ‘Okay, Arcanna. Click them ruby slippers’ he tells the powerful sorceress. ‘Secrets. Bite you in the ass every time…’ Fury whispers.

Back in the Ultimate Universe, at Aunt May’s home, Kitty sits on the roof, clutching the tattered remains of Spider-Man’s costume. ‘There was this flash of light. Like…magic light. And then he was gone’ Kitty whispers to Wolverine, standing beside her. ‘What do you mean “gone”? You mean like…Spider-Man is dead?’ Wolverine asks his close friend. ‘Yes…no...maybe…I don’t know…’ the teary-eyed Kitty replies. Wolverine holds up a small box, and tells Kitty that his timing’s not the greatest as he hands it to her, asking her to look after it for him. ‘What is it?’ Kitty asks.

Wolverine explains that they are going up against Magneto, and that if he doesn’t come back, then she can open it. ‘After that. You’ll know what to do’. ‘”If you don’t come back…?” are you kidding me?’ Kitty shouts at Wolverine, who stares back at her. Kitty gets up and exclaims that she ants to go with him, but Logan tells Kitty that she cannot, and that he is leaving Iceman here with her. ‘Half to protect each other…and half to keep either one of you from tagging along’. Kitty cries some more and hugs Wolverine, asking him why it is she cannot come with him. ‘Because when this is finished…and everything has to start over again…they’re gonna need good people to be there…and you, Kitty? You’re one of the best’ Logan replies.

Later that morning, above the Arctic Circle floats Magneto’s citadel - and three jets approach it at fast speed. ‘To every thing there is a season…and a time to every purpose under the Heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die…’ Magneto remarks as he gets up from his throne, before remarking ‘They are here’. At that instant, Angel of the X-Men tears into the citadel and shouts ‘I’ll kill you!’ as he punches Magneto hard across the face, drawing blood. Magneto puts his hand to his face, while calling out to Sabretooth: ‘He’s yours’. Sabretooth appears seemingly out of nowhere, ‘Got him!’ he snarls as he drops down onto Angel’s back and claws him, spraying blood everywhere.

‘Murdered and Angel’ Sabretooth boasts as Angel falls to the floor, Sabretooth smashes his face against the floor, before using his razor-sharp teeth to savagely tear off one of Angel’s feathered wings, then kicking Angel in the head. ‘I’m going to Hell for sure -’ Sabretooth remarks with a mouthful of feathers. Suddenly, Sabretooth growls as an arrow lands in his right eye. ‘That’s gonna leave a mark’ Hawkeye of the Ultimates declares, armed with a myriad of weapons.

Nearby, Magneto races down a corridor, clutching the mighty hammer that once belonged to Thor. ‘MAGNETO!’ screams the Ultimates’ Valkyrie, former lover of Thor. ‘I want Thor’s hammer!’ Valkyrie declares, holding her massive sword towards Magneto. ‘Then, by all means, here -’ Magneto begins as he pulls his arm backwards, preparing to smash the hammer into Valkyrie’s face. ‘Don’t @#$# with me!’ Valkyrie screams as she brings her sword down on Mangeto’s arm, before the hammer reaches her face. Magneto is shocked, but uses his control over metal to take hold of Valkyrie’s sword. ‘Child. That was the last brave thing you ever did’ Magneto tells her, before seemingly slitting her throat with her own sword.

Suddenly, ‘It’s over!’ Captain America orders as he smashes his way through a window, sending glass flying everywhere. ‘I’ve dealt with would-be tyrants like you all my life!’ Captain America declares as he kicks Magneto in the back. ‘Small men trying to make up for their inadequacies’ Cap adds. ‘Enough!’ Magneto retorts as he uses his powers to bring the ceiling down upon Captain America and Valkyrie, apparently alive.

Magneto flies along the corridor, and uses his powers to put a seal around his severed arm. ‘Even without Xavier…they still resist. Even knowing they brought this on themselves…no matter. This will be the end!’ Magneto declares as he sees several others standing up ahead. He flies over to them - Wolverine, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Storm, Hawkeye and Iron Man. The heroes are ready to fight, but Magneto hovers in front of them and exclaims: ‘And God said unto Noah: “The end of all flesh is come before me/ For the Earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the Earth!’….

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Cyclops, Marvel Girl/Phoenix, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Valkyrie (all Ultimates)


Dr. Strange

Nick Fury

Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr Fantastic, Thing (all Fantastic Four)

Arcanna Jones & Power Princess (Squadron Supreme of the Supreme-Verse)


Sabretooth (member of the Brotherhood)

Dr. Doom


Unidentified person who collects Doctor Strange’s body


Story Notes: 

Wolverine was torn in half by the Hulk in Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk #3.

The Scarlet Witch was murdered in Ultimates (3rd series) #1. Doom’s involvement in her death was revealed in Ultimates (3rd series) #5.

Nick Fury has been residing in the Supreme-Verse since Ultimate Power #9, where his adventures in the Supreme-Verse were chronicled in Squadron Supreme (3rd series) #1-12, which would presumably take place before this issue. The Supreme Power Arcanna Jones also featured prominently in that series (which in fact ended with a conversation between the two of them, as they worked closely together). The Supreme-Verse Power Princess accompanied Doom to the Ultimate Universe in Ultimate Power #9.

Magneto acquired Thor’s hammer in Ultimates (3rd series) #5.

Issue Information: 
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