Spoilers ahead for Civil War II #8.
Civil War II came to a close with December 28's #8 , and the issue brought with it as many questions as it did answers. In a series of rapid-fire visions ahead of his ascension to apparently become a cosmic being, the inhuman Ulysses shared seven glimpses at possible futures for the Marvel Universe, each taking place in the presence of a hero from Civil War II #8, depicted alongside the visions in the artwork.
Some of them are references to past “future timelines,” while some reference previously-announced upcoming Marvel events. But some of the other visions made reference to stories that have yet to be told however, some of which writer Brian Bendis has been teasing and referencing for some time. Here’s a breakdown of everything we saw in Ulysses’ final visions.
The first scene in Ulysses’ series of rapid-fire visions depicts newly-created monsters attacking the Marvel Universe, opposed by Devil Dinosaur and what appear to be other classic Marvel monsters.
Given what we know about the upcoming event, it’s safe to assume that this is a flash-forward to Monsters Unleashed, which revives classic Marvel monsters to clash with superheroes. The addition of Devil Dinosaur and his pals is new, however, and may point to a further clash between Moon Girl, Devil Dinosaur’s current handler, and Kid Kaiju, the young metahuman who can summon monsters by drawing them.
Inhumans vs. X-Men
Next up, we’re given a glimpse of the X-Men attacking what appears to be the city of New Attilan – a logical next step in their clash with the Inhumans over in – where else? - Inhumans Vs. X-Men.
IvX already kicked off, with the X-Men enacting a plan to take down the Inhumans’ leadership. They haven’t escalated to a full on assault though, so this could be what’s coming up in the mini-series.
On The White House Steps
Following the apparent Attilan assault, we get yet another glimpse of Miles Morales holding Steve Rogers’s lifeless body on the capital steps – which could mean that this scenario is yet to arise. Given the tenuous nature of Rogers’ Hydra alliance, this could be a portent of what’s to come when his secret is revealed.
Warrior of the Worlds
The next vision is a look at Killraven’s future timeline in which Earth has been overthrown by Martians. Bendis and other Marvel event writers have referenced this timeline several times in the past for years.
There is an unused Killraven mini-series by Robert Kirkman and Rob Liefeld theoretically collecting dust at Marvel, originally announced for 2008. Is there a chance that series will see the light of day, or is Marvel possibly planning something else involving Killraven?
Days of Future Past
After that comes a look at the "Days of Future Past" timeline, confirmed by Bendis in a post-Civil War II interview. The scene depicts some of the central characters of Days of Future Past, with Kitty Pryde destroying a Sentinel as it stands over the impaled corpses of Storm, Wolverine, and others.
Interestingly, it's Miles Morales chosen by Ulysses to see this vision.
Age of Ultron
Following that is a scene of Ultron standing over a pile of defeated Avengers including Steve Rogers, the original Wolverine, Tony Stark, and Bruce Banner, a reference to Bendis’s previous event series Age of Ultron. Like the "Days of Future Past" scene, Bendis confirmed that this was meant to connect Civil War II to his previously-told story, to place them both on the same timeline of the Marvel Universe.
Finally, in Ulysses’ last vision, Odinson is seen once again wielding Mjolnir, but dressed in armor identical to the armor Jane Foster currently wears as Thor. Odinson is seen squaring off against an older version of Loki who wields All-Black, the Necrosword from Jason Aaron’s “God Butcher” story in Thor: God of Thunder.
This is the most mysterious of Ulysses’ Civil War II #8 visions, with little to go on other than the clues present in the image - but it seems to portend the return of Odinson to the role of Thor.
The big question is, however, what does any of this mean?
Some of these scenes are references to Marvel events that have now been solicited or which are even underway, such as Monsters Unleashed and IvX, while still others are direct allusions to stories that have already been told.
But could Brian Bendis’s long-teased Killraven return be on the horizon?
And is there more to be seen in the potential conflict between Miles Morales and Steve Rogers? Moreover, is Civil War II #8 the first step on the return of the original Thor?
As they say, time will tell.