Breaking Point: Ultimates #10

The Ultimates #10 cover showing Captain Marvel holding out a briefcase leaking green smoke to a group of shocked heroes with the text bubble above her head reading "What's ins this briefcase could destroy the Utlimates... FOREVER!!!"

Right, let's get this out of the way: the good news is, this issue is likely the last one that is directly connected with Civil War II. The bad news is Ewing is officially unable to fix Captain Marvel's character derailment that the event (or, more accurately, Bendis) is forcing upon Carol. The other good news is, with how the issue ends, it probably won't matter, and considering the series continues onto Marvel NOW!, Ewing will likely work towards fixing Bendis's mess.

Now let's get cracking.


During the team's recent away mission they encountered and took under their wing Adam "Blue Marvel" Brashear's old friend and nemesis, Conner "Anti-Man" Sims. Conner currently awaits trial for his past crimes at the Triskelion, the team's HQ, in a cage Blue Marvel designed to hold him. More immediately, the Ultimates started working with Ulysses the Clairvoyant Inhuman to prevent extinction level events, including Thanos the Mad Titan's attack on Earth (with him now imprisoned at the Triskelion) and the Infinaut. Not everyone on the team, however, is happy with the shape everything is taking. Meanwhile, Thanos started psychically influencing Sims...


Civil War II #4 focuses half of its page-count on the last attempt at peace between Carol and Tony, supervised by Steve Rogers (who, unbeknownst to everyone involved, thinks he's a Hydra agent). The other half is devoted to Carol, the rest of the Ultimates and a number of the other heroes arresting Alison Green, a bank employee, whose briefcase contains something that could result in a disaster. At least according to Ulysses. The issue ends with two groups of heroes at a standoff over her, ready for a fight.

Three panels showing Captain Marvel aggressively requesting that Alison Green, who is clearly frightened, come in for questioning

Ultimates #10 (and, presumably the other two issues of the series before it becomes Ultimates2) is set before Carol's chat with Tony, covering the arrest and the immediate aftermath. The tensions within the team are getting higher and higher, which isn't helped by Carol's continuing unwillingness to compromise. Try as Ewing might, he can't escape the fact that there are plot decisions made by someone else that he simply has to lead into, no matter how nonsensical or out of character they are. Carol has to be unwilling to see reason, because otherwise there wouldn't be the conflict Marvel wants.

This is taking a toll on the team. Monica is on Carol's side  but the rest of the Ultimates aren't. Adam is the most outspoken of them, while both T'Challa and America are assessing the situation, waiting for the right moment to take action.

If you haven't read the main miniseries, you're probably wondering what's in the briefcase. What devilish device can a bank employee carry that might have unspeakable consequences on the world?

A picture of an empty briefcase with "Because there was nothing IN there." in a speech bubble

An empty briefcase, apparently. So empty, they scan it on a subatomic level and check for psychic, magical and temporal residue  and they ain't found shit. The world's entire superhero community will come to blows over a banker with an empty briefcase, in a self-fulfilling prophecy. God, I hate this event.

Captain Marvel standing imposingly in front of a table with the empty briefcase on it addressing the team.

The team confronts Captain Marvel over this mess, with even Monica barely mounting a defense, until Carol puts her foot down. Acting like a self-appointed leader (on a team the members of which are supposed to be equal) she demands to know, before she has to meet Tony, if they are with her.

America slams a chair into Captain Marvel then begins to explain her onjections
"America, yes."
It's at this point that America has officially seen enough. Knowing how universes with predictive justice turn out, she takes on the team. It's a moment to behold, with a very cathartic effect, as America pretty much curbstomps all of her teammates and sending the most dangerous one, Monica, to another dimension before she can incapacitate her. The only one not involved is T'Challa, standing to the side and claiming to be assessing the situation.

Unfortunately, they don't know they have an audience. Both Thanos and Sims are watching the whole squabble, which the former uses to paint the entire team as incapable of helping Sims solve the problem of the Cosmic Jailer. Who, by the way, is part of the series' main story arc. Not that, thanks to the bullshit event, we've had any chance to properly delve into it.

Thanos mocks Sims about The Ultimates Infighting
I really shouldn't be agreeing with a nihilistic, omnicidal space psychopath, but here we are.

Under Thanos' influence, Sims overloads his cage, killing his guards and causing power failure in the entire Triskelion. And in the seconds before backup power kicks in, Thanos frees himself as well. The check...

Thanos viewed from below, clenching his fist and saying "And the mate"

Now that the team finally has a common threat, this should allow the comic to finally get on track and shed the idiotic squabbling enforced upon it by the publisher's major event. Thank God for that, because even Ewing is unable to avoid the character derailment and general idiocy that will be the legacy of Civil War II.

On the art side, this is another issue partially drawn by the guest artist, Djibril Morissette, and it continues to clash with the main artist, Kenneth Rocafort. I suspect Morissette's art will work better on its own in the upcoming Image title Glitterbomb, but here I'm afraid his style doesn't work.

We'll be back to Ultimates next month - in the meantime, we've got the other Al Ewing-penned team to get back to, in New Avengers #15. I'll see you then.

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