We're Only Human: Ultimates #8 Recap

Once again, I suspect the main question on everyone's mind upon seeing the cover is how connected the comic is to 2016's most annoying event. And the answer is... a little bit?

Look, unlike New Avengers #12, which takes place before the whole mess even begins to unfold, this comic is tied directly to a central event from Civil War II #1... I'm sorry, I meant "a central event from the comic that was actually cut from it and at the time only available a month before for a single day and only became available digitally a goddamn week after the comic came out" (I'm still a tad baffled by that publishing decision). The point is, a portion of the comic is devoted to preparing for Thanos' arrival and most of it is devoted to the fallout from the fight. So the setup is much more connected to the main event this time around. But judging from the solicitations for the next three issues of Ultimates, Al Ewing seems to be doing his own thing. So I guess you can safely read this comic. Prepare for a lot of feels though.


Captain Marvel shut down a Cosmic Cube-related project at the research facility Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. after a Shi'ar Empire official tries to use it as leverage in intergalactic politics against Earth. Unfortunately for him, before he can properly use it, Thanos attacks his space station, slaughters everyone in his way and politely asks for information on that Cosmic Cube he was talking about. Meanwhile Captain Marvel is contacted by Medusa of the Inhumans, who asks for her assistance.


While events surrounding the Thanos attack are the major part of the issue, we begin quite a while earlier, before the first – at the start of the team. As it turns out, it was Carol Danvers’ idea to form "the ultimate team for ultimate problems." This ends up fleshing out Carol’s position in this brewing conflict – it’s not just Lifebringer’s little timestream demonstration three issues back that got her desperate for a flawless method of predicting coming threats. She’s been worried about an annihilation level event for a while now, and that’s where the idea for proactive task force that would find and fix problems before they got too big to handle. Now if only Bendis had similar skill of character writing...

So she starts her recruitment, first going to Black Panther – because if you’re about to start a very high tech project, having the ruler of the world’s most highly advanced countries definitely helps. T’Challa suggests Blue Marvel, to Brashear’s surprise – the two of them aren’t exactly friends. I personally suspect Adam’s speech in the Last Days issue of Captain America and the Mighty Avengers stuck with T’Challa, dismissive though he was at the time.

Adam suggests an old friend from Ewing’s Mighty Avengers run, Monica "Spectrum" Rambeau, who in turn proposes America Chavez. And that’s how everyone got together. And, before we go any further, I have to mention that I like how Ewing handled introduction of both New Avengers and Ultimates, starting with the teams already formed and not bothering with an introductory of how everyone got together.

Unfortunately for the Ultimates, their forming draws the attention of the U.S. National Security Council – basically a group of distrustful older white men, most of whom really don’t like the idea of this new team. And some of them are pricks about it.

Shut up, Arnold.

Anyway, they want to keep a close eye on the Ultimates. And to do that, they turn to the NSA – and more specifically, the mysterious Philip Nelson Vogt and his team of troubleshooters. We don’t see anything of this team, but they are very resourceful. Later in the issue, when the same group is discussing the fallout from the Thanos fight, they somehow managed to bypass SHIELD and Wakandan technology to get the information in question. I can’t wait to see them.

But let’s get back to the meat of the issue – the events surrounding the Thanos fight. We cut from shadowy meeting to the meeting Medusa of the Inhumans requested. Ulysses the Clairvoyant Inhuman is telling them about the arrival of Thanos. Carol recognizes from his description of what will happen that he’s coming to Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S., and they evacuate the entire personnel, leaving only Live Model Decoys to make it seem like everyone’s there, working and unaware of what’s coming. The Ultimates, Medusa’s Inhumans, Rhodey and A-Force are waiting there and discuss strategy, with Monica in charge of it. She notes that while they’re all professionals, not all of them have actually worked together before. It’s crucial they don’t step on each other’s toes, and if there’s even a single slip…

Yeah. Not Al’s fault, since he worked with what he got. Still hurts.

After the fight, Maria Hill (in what is her most compassionate appearance ever) debriefs Carol, telling her she talked with Rhodey’s mom (Jesus, the poor woman) and wasn’t able to reach Tony, so she left that information with his people.

Meanwhile the rest of the team is taking it badly, especially America Chavez, who doesn’t even talk to anyone, instead focusing on her phone and conversation with her paramedic girlfriend. Everyone is blaming themselves for Rhodey’s death, but no one blames themselves as much as Monica. It was her strategy, and, as she points out, she can move with the speed of light, so she could’ve fried Thanos’s brain and saved everyone. Adam comforts her by saying that she isn’t just light – she’s a human being, with human thoughts and human reactions. And sometimes they all fail.

Their moment is interrupted by Tony Stark’s arrival, with him blaming Carol and the Ultimates for Rhodey’s death.

Back in the U.S. National Security Council, Vogt is reporting the events of the day. He’ll continue monitoring for any event the team might crack under the weight of Rhodey’s death. But at least he’s positive Thanos is completely off the board.

Yep, that’s one defeated foe right there.

Next month, we’ll cover another Civil War II tie-ins – two New Avengers issues and one Ultimates issue.

Dominik Zine is a nerdy lad from northeastern Poland and is generally found in a comfy chair with a book in hand.