Ultimate Comics: Game Changer

Sam Humphries explains how Captain America has forever altered the Ultimate Comics Universe with an impactful decision!

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Ultimate Comics Ultimates #16 cover

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES #15 & #16 

By Ben Morse

The Ultimate Comics Universe has been through hell over the past several months, with Reed Richards’ terrorist attack decimating Washington, DC, William Stryker and his Sentinels taking over the American Southwest, and the United States fragmenting into multiple independent countries.

But while divided they fell, united they will stand, as one nation—under Captain America.

In ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES #15, on sale this week, in a special election, the United States of America will vote Steve Rogers in as the new Commander-in-Chief. The story continues next week, in ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES #16, as Captain America takes office and begins his most challenging mission since being forged in the fires of World War II: healing the shattered country he loves from its darkest days.

We spoke with writer Sam Humphries, the man chronicling this groundbreaking storyline along with artists Luke Ross and Billy Tan, about what’s to come for President Steve Rogers and the Ultimate Comics Universe.

Marvel.com: How did you guys come up with the idea to make Captain America the President of the United States in the Ultimate Universe?

Sam Humphries: Jonathan Hickman, my predecessor, very generously gave me all his notes for the title. There was a line in there about making Cap the president. It was an intimidating idea to pitch to Marvel, especially on my first big book. But the more I talked about it with editorial, the more we all became convinced it was the right story to do.

Ultimate Comics Ultimates #16 preview art by Luke Ross

Marvel.com: Right off the bat, how does Steve Rogers feel about this development and how will we see those feelings unfold in the issues to come?

Sam Humphries: Cap is a soldier, not a politician. He's not trying to make a career change. He's answering the call of the people. They want him to do a job—unite America—and he's going to do anything he can to do it.

Marvel.com: How is this the best thing for a troubled Ultimate Comics Universe and how could it also potentially be the worst?

Sam Humphries: This is the best thing because Cap is a man who will do what needs to be done to protect American lives. He's not just a soldier, or a president, but a symbol. As for the worst—that remains to be seen!

Marvel.com: How do the rest of the Ultimates feel about this development?

Sam Humphries: The Ultimates are going to be too busy keeping up with their new president to think too much about it! At the end of the day, Cap knows the Ultimates have his back, and that gives him confidence entering into this new, potentially dangerous chapter.

Marvel.com: What kind of president will Steve Rogers be?

Sam Humphries: This isn't the first time Cap has answered the call of an America in crisis. He's not going to let the presidency change who he is; he's going to do the job he was elected to do. 

Marvel.com: Should we be concerned that Ultimates is going to become more “West Wing,” less slam bang action?

Sam Humphries: “The West Wing” is an excellent television drama, but this is a super hero comic book, and we're not going to lose sight of that. This is a presidency unlike any you've seen before, fact or fiction.

Marvel.com: How will this affect the rest of the Ultimate Comics Universe and how are you guys coordinating your stories?

Ultimate Comics Ultimates #16 preview art by Luke Ross

Sam Humphries: We've made a commitment in the Ultimate line to show how epic events have significant consequences, and this is no different. [ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN writer] Brian [Bendis], [ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN writer] Brian [Wood] and I have been coordinating our stories since the beginning of the year to make it all come together.

Marvel.com: Finally, why is this a story that can only take place in the Ultimate Universe?

Sam Humphries: In the Ultimate Comics Universe we do stories with iconic characters you can't find anywhere else—in the Marvel Universe, the movies, video games, anywhere. President Cap fits that definition by shaking up Steve Roger's status quo in a radical fashion, and hopefully getting to know him in new ways.

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