The Ultimates2-Manifest *Spoiler Warning*

Ricky

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A short discussion on Ultimates 2 and real world politics

From Issue 1 on, we've been told there is a traitor in the team. However, when the traitor finally speaks his mind in issue 6, I couldn't help but wonder if he might actually be the true hero, standing up to a evil organisation.
I'd like to illuminate this a bit further: The traitor basically tells us that SHIELD has become an amoral institution. His rethoric strongly resemble Thor's. Thor has been going on about pre-emptive strikes in the Middle East and stuff right until the Ultimates took him down. But this hasn't been a recent development, he's actually been preaching the same stuff from the very first scene he's been in in Ultimates V.1, Issue 4 (?). And at least part of his warnings have come true. He told everyone the Superhumans would be employed in the Middle East, and it really did happen, actually right after he had been taken down.

Once I started thinking along these lines, I found quite a lot of dubious things going on at SHIELD. There are few lines that SHIELD won't cross, if national interests are at stake.
Shiels has been responsible for the creation of the Hulk and indirectly for the creation of most of Spiderman's villains (reread Ultimate Six!). They've taken great pains hushing these events up, there-by deliberately miss-informing the public. Still, SHIELD and the Ultimates are constantly taking more money from the tax payers. Meanwhile, they are quenching free thought, replacing the more liberal-minded heroes of the original line-up one by one by loyal soldiers, that will follow even amoral or callous orders. In Extension, has anyone noticed that the Ultimates take everyone, as long as he's useful and stays in line (Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are both former terrorists), but they take down anyone that gets uncomfortable (Banner, Pym, Thor).

So, let's come back to the real world for a moment. I know I tread thin ice here, and I certainly don't intend to insult anyone, but the current U.S. government has been accused of every single item I just listed – not by their enemies, but by their friends, right here in Europe.
America put some of the dictators they are currently fighting right where they are in the first place. This is never admited in public, though. Instead, the public is deliberately miss-informed (we are still waiting for the proof Bush told us he already has before he entered the Iraq – against international law, as I'd like to point out). All the while, we've seen a steady increase in military spendings right across America. Further on – and I must thorougly state that I can't judge on this issue – a lot of people from across Europe feel that America is crushing down on free thought and free speech itself; it's become un-patriotic to take a critical stance on the War on Terror. At least, that's the way it looks like from across the big ocean; as I said, I don't have first hand experience. Please, just think about it for a moment, the only thing Thor has done wrong is his critizism of SHIELD. I know, it all comes down to Lokis machinations, but perhaps that's beyond the point Mr. Millar is trying to make.
I don't remember exactely, but I remember reading an interview in which Mr. Millar himself stated that he wrote Ultimate War with Guantana Bay in mind. In both cases, we have people that might be terrorists thrown into prison without anything like a trial. They are practically deprived of their basic human rights. I don't think it really matters that in one case we have mutants, in the other not.

So, I think it's a fair assumption that the traitor(s) might be the good ones after all.

--------------------------------------------

So, if I may, I'd like to put together a theory about Grand Theft America based on what I just layed out. Everything from here is pure speculation. I'm most likely completely off course, but I find my theory disturbingly satisfying. That's why I'd like to share it.

First of all, I think we should try to draw lines: Who's who? Who might stand on which side? What sides do we have, in the first place?

I think it's obvious that the traitor(s) and SHIELD are oppossed to each other. I might be wrong, but I'd like to believe in the up-right hero that finds it necessary to stand up to the callous imperialistic lying military. It would certainly fit everything we've heard from the traitor himself in Issue 6. He believes in honesty and compassion, attributes not currently employed by SHIELD. Therefore he leaks classified information that the public SHOULD know about, among other stuff.
This certainly doesn't fit the actions taken by someone whom we assume is the traitor in Issue 7 (Hawkeye's house). We don't know that it's the same person, though. Loki told Thor that he allied himself with some secret Power (possibly an organisation instead of an individual; Ultimate Hydra?), that's been messing up SHIELD. We don't have any proof for that, though. We don't know if Loki really exists in the first place, and even if he does, he might still be lying. Still, let's assume he does exist, and he does have this mysterious ally.
I've been wondering if this ally might actually be SHIELD/Nick Fury. But it doesn't make sense. SHIELD is running the place right now. If Loki had allied himself to SHIELD, he'd already have won, there'd be no need for any further conflict. Also, I think some of Lokis actions had been aimed against SHIELD, which would be quite stupid, if that really was his ally.

So, considering everything we've said right now, we'd end up with three different sides, not two like everyone assumes. We'd have:
- SHIELD, callous, but not basically evil
- The traitor and his allies; the true heroes
- Loki and his allies, the villains

So, let's speculate about loyalties.
Nick Fury is easy. He basically is SHIELD. It makes no sense for him to turn against SHIELD, he'd be crippling his own limbs. Even if he were dis-satisfied with the direction taken by the organization, he could just order it to change course. Further on, his personality fits best in with SHIELD – he truly believes in his country, does whatever's necessary, no matter how callous, but he shows mercy and compassion whenever he can afford to.

Thor – another no-brainer. He's the very essence of what the traitor(s) stand for. He'd probably not only support the traitor, if he's broken free, but he might well become the rallying point for all the other dis-fraternized heroes.

Ironman – his convictions fall right in line with everything Thor and the traitor in Issue 6 said. I think he would willingly gather around Thor's banner, but he's been blinded by either the circumstances of by Loki – probably the latter, or he would have noticed that Fury sent the Ultimates into the Middle East right after they took Thor down (when he actually warned them about SHIELD entering the Middle Wast for the last time). I don't think he is THE traitor, however.

Giantman / Hank Pym is desperate to become a superhero again. He'd do anything for it. He's also on friendly terms with the traitor. And it was him that first noticed the rooster change. It's obvious he'd join Thor's cause.

Wasp has expressed her dis-satisfaction with the Ultimates. They keep her off missions, her relationship with Cap is breaking apart, and she's obviously thinking about getting back together with Hank. I think she'd join the traitors as well.

Hulk / Banner was mistreated repeatedly by SHIELD, later they tried to execute him. He was rescued, possibly by Hank, possibly by Tony, possibly by the traitor through some stunt we don't know about yet. I can easily see him gather around Thor's banner. (pun intended)

Cap – possibly the most difficult one. Bendis showed him really concerned about the way SHIELD handles stuff in Ultimate Six, but I don't know how much Mr. Millar will recognize that. He's certainly shown Steve more and more like a obidient grunt recently, yelling at people, doing his job, never questioning what he's doing. I think it would be in his nature to remain loyal to Fury and SHIELD – especially since he doesn't get along with any of the people I marked as potential traitors so far (or will be soon, in the case of Wasp).

Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are most likely going to stay with Fury as well. They don'tr really seem to care about anything but their own well-being, and SHIELD is pretty well suited to provide it even further.

Black Widow – I don't know about her loyalties, if her feelings for Tony are really sincere, she could easily join any of the three camps. I'd really like to see her join the traitors, but I don't see it happen. I think she's the person who's with Hawkeye at the end of Issue 7. It just feels like her, on so many levels. I don't see her working for Fury, either. I fear she's joined Loki's side, for reasons yet unknown.

Hawkeye – I've had a strong feeling that he's the person Hank talked to in Issue 6 ever since I read it for the first time. It just feels like him, again. Him being the traitor would certainly mark him as a target, for Fury (who wouldn't have his children and wife killed, however) as well as for Loki. I personally won't be surprised if he is dead.


Once I got to this point, everything suddenly fell into place:
I see a new team forming, independent from Nick Fury and SHIELD. Most of them have been fired by Fury himself, the rest where never employed by SHIELD. They have been brought together thanks to the machinations of Loki, much to his chargrim. They will be pissed of by what had been done to Hawkeye and his family. They will probably want to avenge him, therefore taking the moniker The (Ultimate) Avengers.
They will comprise Thor, Ironman, Antman, Wasp and the Hulk – just like in regular continuity. Compeling, isn't it?

I've got a second theory, however, probably the director's cut that Mr. Millar plotted out in his head, but didn't dare to commit: There is no third side. It's probably never confirmed whether Loki really exists. It's heroes vs. evil SHIELD all along.

Thank you for your time,
Patrick Miller

Finis.
 

Ultimate Gambit

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you know what I just realized and maybe this has been brought up before but..... what if the entire team were traitors and they had to get rid of Hawkeye because he was so close with Nick Fury and then the team just went against S.H.I.E.L.D
 

MaxwellSmart

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First off I'd like to say wow that was one hell of a power post. One thing that I think really punches a whole in the idea that the traitor is a hero in disguise is that hero don't murder children. I don't think we can learn a lot about the traitor's pysche from his conversation with Hank. I think it's doubtful that he would be honest his intentions with Hank. I think all we can take as true is what Hank knows or accepts to be true. For example, the traitor says that they used to believe in America. They might not have really believed in America, but from what Hank knows about them he believes it to be a reasonable assumption.

P.S. Ricky, Your english is rather good for a nonnative speaker.
 

GMaster

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Spade said:
I think you are boh rite i think by the end of this story SHIELD will have nothing to do with the ultimates or as i like to call them the ultimate avengers, just like before, loki brought the avengers together.
Now thats a logical idea. And a good one.
And seing as how SHIELD is creating another team of superheroes (The Ultimates Annual) when The Ultimates break up, and form together to make The Avengers, realise about how Loki is evil, and take him down.
This also meansthat when Hitch and Millar leave at the end of Vol. 2 (I think this is the last one they are doing) a new creative team can come on, with The Ultimate Avengers. See? Man I'm smart! Oh yeah, thanks Spade and Ricky, too.
 

Bass

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Ricky said:
So, let's come back to the real world for a moment. I know I tread thin ice here, and I certainly don't intend to insult anyone, but the current U.S. government has been accused of every single item I just listed – not by their enemies, but by their friends, right here in Europe.

You can go a lot further. I've been planning on doing the Real-World-Politics in The Ultimates Manifesto once Ultimates 2 is finished.

Ricky said:
So, I think it's a fair assumption that the traitor(s) might be the good ones after all.

Nope. No way is someone like Thor or any good guy going to back someone who enjoys killing children. Killing children as a neccessary and regretful military action. Okay. Killing children and smiling and teasing their father as you do it? Evil through and through. The definition of evil is to take pleasure in the suffering of others. The traitor is evil. But I'll be posting more on his motives on Thursday or Friday.
 

Ricky

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@ Bass and Maxwell Smart:

Have you really read my post?

THE basic assumption was that there are three sides involved, and that the person killing Hawkeye's children is not the same person that talks to Hank in Issue 6!
 

Bass

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Really? I missed that.

Hmmm...


You're wrong though.

About everything.

I have said so.

Mmhmmm.

:D
 

GMaster

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Mark Millar said:
SHIELD is creating another team of superheroes (The Ultimates Annual) when The Ultimates break up, and form together to make The Avengers, realise about how Loki is evil, and take him down.
This also means that when I and Hitch leave at the end of Vol. 2 a new creative team can come on, with The Ultimate Avengers.

Mmmhmm.
 

DIrishB

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This was an excellent post Ricky, and I agree wholeheartedly. Lets face it, America just ain't what it used to be. We've been circling the drain for quite some time now, and I'm just waiting to finally get flushed. I know it sounds unpatriotic, but I kinda have to agree with the traitor, "America isn't a county I believe in anymore", at least not in its current state. And I know this kind of thing has been going on since probably the inception of the country, but I feel that Bush has crossed any number of lines. As you said, he and his cabinet have continually lied to the public, broken international laws (most notably the Geneva Convention standards which were in large part drawn up by US diplomats), and it isn't like our popularity is getting any higher across the world. Seriously, Bush leaving office will be one of the best things thats happened to America since the Louisiana Purchase. I know its a little unfair to blame only him, but he is after all Commander in Chief (you know, the guy who makes the ultimate decision to send our troops to die despite the fact that he didn't have the balls to ACTUALLY serve himself--the Texas Air National Guard doesn't count in my opinion as being a soldier). America has unfortunately gone from being the "Land of the free, home of the brave" to "Land of the corrupt, home of the hypocrites". But I digress. Call me a hippy, call me unpatriotic, but its the plain truth.
 

marvelman

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It has to be FURY. He frames cap, hence the issue 8 cover. He is taking out all the people who can stop him: Thor, a god who can stop him, Hulk, a monster who can stop him, Cap, a superhuman to stop him, framed (apparently) Hawkeye, a man who could assassinate him, Mr. Nix, an assassin, prolly will take out Black Widow, maybe. An what is he doing? he is building a huge army of supersoldiers (26) to use, to grandly steal america. Hence the title, Grand Theft America. and that, my friends, is the answerr to the mystery.

The end.
 

DIrishB

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marvelman said:
It has to be FURY. He frames cap, hence the issue 8 cover. He is taking out all the people who can stop him: Thor, a god who can stop him, Hulk, a monster who can stop him, Cap, a superhuman to stop him, framed (apparently) Hawkeye, a man who could assassinate him, Mr. Nix, an assassin, prolly will take out Black Widow, maybe. An what is he doing? he is building a huge army of supersoldiers (26) to use, to grandly steal america. Hence the title, Grand Theft America. and that, my friends, is the answerr to the mystery.

The end.

Not a bad theory, but whats his motivations? He's just power-hungry (apparently power-ravenous as he's already one of the most powerful men in the world)? It could be, but I think Millar will put a pretty unobvious, yet coincidentally obvious after the fact, twist on the traitor and their reasons for doing what they're doing (besides the "I don't believe in this country anymore" line, I mean if thats the case move to Tahiti or something).
 

MaxwellSmart

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I just couldn't see why Fury would need to try and seize control in such a round about way. I also don't think that Fury would work with other people to take control of the United States. I think that the way Fury would seize control would be by creating a scenario where SHIELD was given greater power in U.S., while also positioning himself higher up in SHIELD. By the way, this theory is coming dangerously close to the Fury is Loki idea .

Your multiple group idea is interesting. I had the idea of having Hawkeye survive and not reveal who traitor is because they have a previously unknown connection. I just can't see hawkeye as being a traitor though.
 

Dr.Strangefate

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I don't believe that the Traitor is Fury.

Fury is insane with power, and is essentially the commander of the UU's real World Police Force. He's severed ties with the state, as we saw in the Annual, and is working more and more towards autonomy, where he'd be the most powerful man in the world.

However, it makes no sense for him to betray himself. If Hawkeye was one of the subversive traitors, then I wouldn't doubt that Fury had him and his family slaughtered.

If anything, I think that the Annual proved how necessary Captain America is to his plan, so necessary that he needs backups. I bet the Traitor will turn out to be the real hero here... and they'll sell off Captain America to the Chinese or the Russians to take out Fury's most loyal powerhouse.

Fury is slowly turning into Bendix, the Weatherman from Stormwatch. Absolute Power corrupts absolutely... but it makes no sense for him to take out the foundation of his empire, Captain America.
 

marvelman

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I know, it looked like a white dude (or chick). But they may say, o it was shadowed, so you can't say definitely. :roll:
 

Bass

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marvelman said:
I know, it looked like a white dude (or chick). But they may say, o it was shadowed, so you can't say definitely. :roll:

But... but... LOOK AT THE SHADOW. The area the traitor is in has a blue tint. It's the exact same shadow as we can see on Pym's arm IN THE SAME PANEL.

:cry: :cry: :cry:
 

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