SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for “Ultimates 2” #1, which is on sale now.
With the debut issue of “Ultimates 2” (a.k.a. “Ultimates²”), Marvel’s premier team of heavy hitters returns — albeit with a few major changes to the structure of the group. Last month’s “Ultimates” #12 saw the team fall apart as a result of infighting over Captain Marvel’s use of predictive justice. As soon as Black Panther removed himself from the group and the government lost access to Wakanda, funding and clearances for the team disappeared. The Ultimates were no more.
That is, until the launch of “Ultimates 2.” The series picks up in the wake of “Civil War II,” with the team having gone their separate ways — some having relocated further away than others. Blue Marvel and Spectrum moved into an “undersea science fortress” in the Marianas Trench. There, Blue Marvel sought to continue his scientific studies, but he’s being haunted by visions of the multiverse — the literal multiverse — screaming in pain. That’s because it’s true, Eternity — the embodiment of the multiverse — has been shackled by an unseen foe. It turns out Adam Brashear’s not the only one having visions; Spectrum’s having them too, which Blue Marvel realizes just as the pair are greeted by an unexpected visitor.
Blue Marvel’s archenemy Anti-Man, who has been missing since the conclusion of “Civil War II,” teleports into the lab and attacks the two of them. With his anti-matter powers hyped up, he’s easily able to deflect Spectrum’s energy blasts and encase her in a shell. He then does the same for Blue Marvel, capturing both of them with ease and alluding to his hidden master.
Elsewhere at a remote diner, an incognito Captain Marvel hols a low key meeting with an equally disguised Black Panther. Carol still resents T’Challa’s decision to leave the Ultimates, as she views that as the team’s death blow. But Black Panther has a purpose for being there: he’s had dreams of “chains and cages” and “nightmares of the sky itself screaming.” Now that he’s feeling massive fear and anxiety, he wants to know what led Carol to form the Ultimates in the first place. While Captain Marvel doesn’t say it, the art reveals that those visions of the multiverse reaching out for help have also been haunting her.
Captain Marvel ignores Black Panther’s revelation, saying she can’t trust him anymore and wants nothing to do with him. But then the pair of heroes get a visit from a familiar party crasher.
Anti-Man fights off the heroes with ease, revealing that he now serves a “higher power” and a “higher calling.” On top of that, Anti-Man tells Black Panther that now he and his ex-teammates will also serve that higher calling. Now that these four heroes — Blue Marvel, Spectrum, Captain Marvel and Black Panther — have been made aware of the plight of Eternity, they are being drafted into a cosmic war. And with that, Anti-Man introduces the for of them to their new boss:
Yup, Galactus, the cosmic being that the Ultimates turned from the Devourer of Worlds into the Lifebringer. It’s revealed that Anti-Man has been transformed into Galactus’ first Herald of Life, and that the reformed Ultimates will also become his heralds as they fight to unchain the cosmos.
But that’s not it. While the team now operates under Galactus, they also have a new field commander — which is a good thing, because Carol swears to T’Challa that she’ll never fight for him again. Instead, the Ultimates will be lead by…
America Chavez, the fifth member of the Ultimates. This shift in power comes right after the announcement of the hero’s upcoming ongoing series, “America.” Between taking the lead of the Ultimates and flying solo for the first time, the ex-Young Avenger has taken a major step into the spotlight.
The Ultimates’ tenure as Galactus’ new Heralds of Life begins next month. “Ultimates 2” #2 arrives in stores on December 21.
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