Ultimate Comics: Avengers
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|Ultimate Comics: Avengers|
Artwork for the cover of Ultimate Comics: Avengers 1 (Aug 2009).Art by Carlos Pacheco.
|Publication date||October 2009 – September 2011|
|Number of issues||24|
Leinil Francis Yu
Ultimate Comics: Avengers is a comic book published by Marvel Comics that began in August 2009 as part of the relaunch of the Ultimate Universe under the "Ultimate Comics" imprint. It is a direct follow up to the events of "Ultimatum". The series was written by Mark Millar, creator of The Ultimates, Ultimate X-Men and co-creator of Ultimate Fantastic Four.
The series takes place in the Ultimate Universe, following the events of Ultimatum and features a wide range of characters. It is planned to be drawn by a new artist for roughly every six issues. The first story arc was pencilled by Carlos Pacheco and Leinil Francis Yu illustrated the second. Steve Dillon pencilled the full third, the series then crossed over with Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man as part of the Death of Spider-Man storyline. The storyline was drawn by Leinil Francis Yu and Stephen Segovia.
Writer Mark Millar, prior to the beginning of the series, explained that he planned to use character ideas that went unused in the first two Ultimates series, saying, "I always liked the idea of doing like five years worth of Ultimates stories, and to me that's 60 issues, but it became 26 issues...but I had those overhanging ideas. I love the idea of Tony having a teetotaling older brother who despised him and always wore white suits instead of Tony's dark suits...I like the idea of going a bit deeper into the characters. You meet Bruce Banner's teachers and Nick Fury's ex-wife. Just seeing what was going on in the background really."
In the fourth arc, The Punisher rejoins the team while Black Widow II leaves the team to join the New Ultimates. Gregory Stark, the Spider and Tyrone Cash betray the team to take control of S.H.I.E.L.D. At the end of the arc, Tyrone Cash, the Spider and Gregory Stark die, and Black Widow II is appointed as the new leader of the Avengers.
The Next Generation
Three weeks after the events of "Ultimatum", Captain America is said by Hawkeye to have "gone rogue." A flashback to one day earlier shows that Captain America and Hawkeye had been fighting a group of A.I.M. terrorists, who had just raided the Baxter Building of powerful technology. They had defeated a majority of the terrorists until Captain America encountered the Red Skull. After fighting and severely beating him, the Red Skull revealed to Captain America that he is his son. Hawkeye jumps to his rescue as the A.I.M terrorists escape with a stolen Cosmic Cube. Later, Hawkeye tried to convince Captain America that the Red Skull was lying, but he violently abandoned the team, attacking S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in the process. Nick Fury later confirmed that the Red Skull is, in fact, the illegitimate son of Steve Rogers and Gail Richards. It is further revealed that shortly after his birth, the boy who would eventually become the Red Skull was taken by government officials and raised at a secret facility where he, having inherited the abilities of his father, was trained to become a Super Soldier. He eventually rebelled and escaped the facility after killing 247 workers and mutilating his own head. Fury suggests that Carol Danvers initiate "Project Avengers" and recruits a team of superhumans to find Captain America.
Fury meets with Gregory Stark to discuss and observe the new team of superhumans tasked with apprehending Captain America. These "Avengers" includes Fury's ex-wife, Monica Chang aka the new Black Widow, a new Wasp known as Red Wasp (aka Insect Queen), War Machine, and an intelligent clone of the Hulk. The new team soon tracks down Steve Rogers and a fight ensues. After a fierce battle the team plan an attack on A.I.M. However, the Red Skull has already used the Cube to kill the A.I.M agents guarding the facility by ordering them to eat each other. Meanwhile, Captain America manages to steal a teleporting aircraft before confronting the Red Skull. He manages to arrive at the exact location where the Skull is standing, impaling him through the chest. The Red Skull is taken to a hospital and kept alive long enough for Gail, his mother, to say goodbye. The Red Skull explains to Fury that all he wanted to do with the Cosmic Cube was simply turn back time and lead a normal life, rather than the one he was given. Petra Larskov (aka the Red Wasp/Insect Queen) then enters the room dressed as a doctor and shoots Red Skull in the head, killing him.
Crime and Punishment
Captain America goes undercover as a Russian crime lord in order to capture the Punisher. Instead of executing Castle, however, Nick Fury and the Black Widow secretly offer him a place on their new Avengers team. Meanwhile, War Machine is sent to South America to find a gangster who goes by the name Tyrone Cash. A former partner of Bruce Banner, Cash also possesses Hulk-like strength and invulnerability while retaining his intelligence. He is eventually blackmailed by War Machine to join the new Avengers team. After this team is fully assembled Nick Fury informs them of their current target, Ghost Rider. It is revealed that the Ghost Rider, as Johnny Blaze, made a pact with the demon Satan in seeking revenge on a biker gang, who killed Blaze and his girlfriend Roxanne Simpson as part of a satanic ritual in bartering their souls with Satan in exchange for wealth and power. The leader of the bikers Michael Blackthorne is the Vice-President, who made an executive order to the Avengers to stop the Ghost Rider from killing him.
The Avengers defended the Vice-President at the White House, but only for a desperate Blackthorne to make another deal with Satan to becoming Vengeance. Both Ghost Rider and Vengeance fight in downtown Washington, D.C. which the Avengers were unable to stop. Ghost Rider dragged Blackthorne into a church which turned them both back into human form, allowing the Punisher to finish off the Vice President, while Blaze was allowed to leave. Castle confront Hawkeye and begged him to allow him to leave as well, arguing that he never hurt anyone who did not have it coming. Hawkeye punched him in the face, knocking out a molar in which a tracking implant was located, allowing him to escape twenty minutes later.
Blade Versus the Avengers
When super-humans start disappearing Fury's black ops team and the vampire hunter Blade discovers it to be the work of a blood-sucking human species; vampires. Their goal is to turn the superhuman population into vampires to take over the world and their main objective is the Triskelion due to a large number of super-humans and detained illegal superhuman experiments. The vampires invade the Triskelion and S.H.I.E.L.D. attempts to fight back to no-avail, in which Perun is killed during the conflict. But Captain America uses Perun's hammer to teleport the Triskelion and its battlefield to Iran where it's daytime which successfully kills the vampires. The event was captured in live television and created a huge media fuss.
Avengers Vs. New Ultimates (Death of Spider-Man)
With the Triskelion having recently been transported to Iran, Thor is slowly teleporting S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel, including Tony Stark, who recently had a relapse of his brain tumor, home to Manhattan. The New Ultimates, also having recently acquired Scott Lang and Monica Chang to the team, learn from Gregory Stark that New Prototype Super-Soldiers were stolen from one of his facilities. The team is then sent to Bulgaria to intercept the train believed to be transporting the stolen property.
The team manages to derail the train and witness one of the prototype Super-Soldiers, called the Mimic, emerge from his containment unit and, shortly afterward, die a painful death. Captain America questions the conductor of the train, who reveals to them that he was hired to steal and transport the prototypes by Nick Fury.
Fury manages to recruit the Punisher (promising him the keys to every cell in the prison in which he is currently incarcerated) and Blade (promising to deliver to him the man who killed his mother, Deacon Frost). Hawkeye also gets recruited for Fury's mission.
Posing as civilians, the group observes the sale of Maximus, a still-gestating Prototype Super-Soldier presumably similar to the Mimic. The team strikes and attempts to intercept the case containing Maximus, however they are attacked by the man responsible for the sale, Tyrone Cash. War Machine attempts to neutralize Cash, with little success, when Blade intervenes and manages to hypnotize him, reducing him to his withered form. Cash then confesses to Fury that he is working for Carol Danvers, and that she has been selling secrets for years.
Tony wakes up after his surgery and has a bad feeling that something terrible is about to happen. He asks a hired model, dressed as a sexy nurse for Tony's enjoyment, to contact his secretary to ready his Iron Man armor. Carol Danvers converses with Captain Britain, who is currently leading the task of transporting the Triskelion back to New York, when Nick Fury appears.
Danvers orders her men to attack, revealing that War Machine, hiding himself with technology that allows him to become invisible, is also there. Iron Man arrives in time to save Danvers but is forced into battle with War Machine. Blade appears among the chaos and knocks Carol unconscious and proceeds to kidnap her with the help of Hawkeye. They are intercepted by Giant-Man and Black Widow while Captain America hunts down Nick Fury on the Queensborough Bridge and beats him almost to submission. Frank Castle, watching from higher ground, decides to try and take out Rogers' knee caps with a sniper rifle. He takes a shot and instead hits Spider-Man, who pushed Rogers out of the way.
A squad of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents arrived at the bridge and, during the momentary confusion caused by Spider-Man's appearance, shot and attempted to apprehend Fury. Filled with remorse, Frank begged the agents to "punish him" for shooting an innocent kid, in which he is then knock out by one of the agents. Captain America promises Peter that his wound is not fatal and commends him for taking a bullet for him without a second thought, stating that when he grows up Peter will be the best out of all of them. War Machine then arrives and blows up the bridge, causing everyone but Spider-Man, who uses his ability to stick to surfaces, to fall into the water below. Thor then arrives and attempts to rescue them, damaging War Machine in the process. Blade manages to take down Black Widow, only to then be severely wounded himself by Iron Man, who was unaware that Blade was not actually super-powered. Carol Danvers calls for backup when she is hit by a police cruiser.
While Nick Fury is in custody and Carol Danvers is taken to a S.H.I.E.L.D. hospital, the leadership of S.H.I.E.L.D. is given to Gregory Stark by the President of the United States. Gregory then takes Fury onto the Helicarrier U.S.S. Jimmy Carter where he reveals to him that he was the one who pitted the Ultimates against the Avengers. He in fact was using the smuggled Super-Soldiers to supply the rebels of rogue states to help the Pro-Democracy Forces and fueling his ambitious agenda to put Triskelions all over the world. He then has his men shoot Fury and leave him for dead.
Fury begins to transform, using the special pills he acquired from Tyrone Cash a few days prior, into a Hulk-type physique, thus protecting him from his wounds. The other Avengers, also having taken the pills, join Fury in confronting Gregory, however he reveals that he is prepared for any and all opposition to his plans and activates a nanite fleet in his body similar to his brother's, imbuing him with Super-Powers. He easily defeats the Avengers and, causing the U.S.S. Jimmy Carter to tilt, hurdles all of them but Fury over the edge.
Meanwhile, in Pyongyang, North Korea, the revolution begins with many Super-Soldiers, led by The Spider, causing mayhem. The New Ultimates are alerted to this attack but are ordered to stand down by Gregory on the grounds that intervening would breach the U.N. Treaty. The Spider, revealing himself to be a Korean himself, though grown in Gregory Stark's Lab for just this occasion, confronts the Korean Military. However he is interrupted when the New Ultimates, going against Gregory's orders, show up with the Avengers.
A huge battle erupts between the Korean forces and the Ultimates and Avengers. When the Punisher confronts the Spider, Hawkeye intervenes and crushes the Spider with a giant block of concrete, killing him. Before he can deal a fatal blow to Nick Fury, Gregory Stark, being informed that the Ultimates are in Korea, teleports to Korea to confront them. He steals Thor's Hammer and easily takes down Thor and Captain America. When he is about to kill Giant-Man, however, Tony smashes him into the ground. The two brothers battle, but Gregory damages Tony's armor, leaving Tony unable to fight. Instead, Tony uses an Electro-Magnetic Pulse to deactivate Gregory's Nanites, thus removing his powers. Thor, thinking quickly, summons lightning and horribly burns Gregory.
Even though the uprising in Korea had been stopped, it came to light that Gregory's true target was Iran, where the Triskelion currently resided. Iran, now under a democratic rule, allowed the Triskelion to remain there while work began building a new one in New York. Gregory was then taken off of life-support, and he seemingly perished.
Nick Fury met with Carol Danvers and informed her that, by order of the President of the United States, she was being forced to resign as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. This was due to the fact that under her watch, not only did Gregory Stark commit crimes against the United Nations, but Spider-Man was killed. Nick Fury then takes up his old position as S.H.I.E.L.D. Director, musing that Gregory Stark actually had some good ideas. Monica, with the referral of Nick Fury, becomes the new leader of the Avengers.
Ultimate Comics: Avengers has been collected in the following trade paperbacks:
|Volume 1: Next Generation||Ultimate Comics: Avengers #1-6||ISBN 0-7851-4097-2|
|Volume 2: Crime and Punishment||Ultimate Comics: Avengers 2 #1-6||ISBN 1-84653-465-8|
|Volume 3: Blade Vs. the Avengers||Ultimate Comics: Avengers 3 #1-6||ISBN 0-7851-4009-3|
|Avengers vs. New Ultimates: Death of Spider-Man||Ultimate Comics: Avengers vs. New Ultimates #1-6||ISBN 0-7851-5272-5|
It has also been collected into omnibus form:
|Ultimate Comics Avengers by Mark Millar Omnibus||Ultimate Comics: Avengers #1-6; Ultimate Comics: Avengers 2 #1-6; Ultimate Comics: Avengers 3 #1-6; Ultimate Comics: Avengers vs. New Ultimates #1-6||ISBN 0-7851-6132-5|
In other media
- Mark Millar on Ultimate Avengers, Newsarama, September 9, 2008
- "Advance Ultimate Comics Solicitations, August 2010". Comic Book Resources. 2010-05-16. Retrieved 2012-05-18.
- NYCC: Millar's "Ultimate Avengers" - The Big Plan, Comic Book Resources, February 7, 2009
- Mark Millar (w), Carlos Pacheco (p), Danny Miki (i), Justin Ponsor (col). Ultimate Comics: Avengers 1 (August 2009), Marvel Comics
- Mark Millar (w), Carlos Pacheco (p), Justin Ponsor (col). Ultimate Comics: Avengers 2 (September 2009), Marvel Comics
- Mark Millar (w), Carlos Pacheco (p), Justin Ponsor (col). Ultimate Comics: Avengers 3 (October 2009), Marvel Comics
- Ultimate Comics: Avengers 5 (April 2010), Marvel Comics
- Ultimate Comics: Avengers 6 (June 2010), Marvel Comics
- Tartaglione, Nancy (May 13, 2014). "Avengers 2 Inspired by Ultimate Comics". IGN. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
- Ultimate Avengers at the Comic Book DB