Sorry to everyone expecting a review of Doctor Strange, but I mistakenly forgot to look over the itinerary for this years Marvel Month, and forgot, Ultimate Avengers came out long before Doctor Strange, but that is coming later this month. So without further ado…
In the North Atlantic in 1945 a squadron of B-24 Liberators transport the 101st Airborne Division. The radio announces that Berlin has been taken and Nazi Germany is expected to surrender. However, there are also claims of a Nazi superweapon that is aimed at Washington, D.C..
Steve Rogers, leads the mission on an island near Norway where the superweapon is believed to be held. Rogers storms through the fortress and is confronted by his nemesis Herr Kleiser, who is revealed to be an extraterrestrial shapeshifter. The superweapon is launched, leaving Rogers the choice to throw himself onto the rocket and harmlessly cause it to self destruct, while having a final confrontation with Kleiser. The missile is destroyed, but Rogers falls into the ocean and the world believes he is dead.
Sixty years later, Rogers’ body is recovered by S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury and thawed out into modern day. Gamma scientist Bruce Banner is working on a super soldier serum for S.H.I.E.L.D., while on medications that keep him from transforming into the Hulk. S.H.I.E.L.D. sends a satellite into space to track the three remaining alien ships, but is ultimately destroyed by the invaders, forcing Nick Fury to initiate Project: Avenger.
Fury and Rogers try to recruit the Norse god Thor, who rejects the offer to continue environmentalist protests. The resulting recruits are Bruce Banner, Iron Man, Giant Man, Wasp, Natalia Romanov, Betty Ross, and Steve (who’s reluctant to join). Fury briefs the team about the aliens, named the Chitauri, and the use of the metal Vibranium, while Banner struggles to repress the Hulk persona and Rogers is hesitant of leading the Avengers.
The team’s first mission is to capture a Chitauri spy which has breached a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility. The Avengers disregard Rogers’ orders and follow their own egos, resulting in failure which allows the alien to escape with all sufficient information about S.H.I.E.L.D.. Fury fires an arrogant Hank Pym, who is followed by his wife Wasp. Iron Man, who reveals himself as Tony Stark, resigns immediately. Rogers also chooses to leave Fury, feeling unready to fight the Chitauri.
Desperate for soldiers to combat the coming assault on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s New York facility, Fury demands that Banner applies his super soldier serum to all of his candidates, only for Betty to learn that Banner was only using the serum as a diversion to find a way to control the Hulk. Banner steps into a “rebirth chamber”, which transforms him into the Hulk, while still maintaining his own mind. Fury and the Black Widow lead a failing attack against the alien invaders, but each Avenger shows up, now joined by Thor, to send the three ships crashing into the ocean.
Banner loses control of his thoughts and the Hulk retains his own childlike and violent personality, brutally killing every last Chitauri and then lashing out against the Avengers. The Hulk proves strong enough to knock out a full-size Giant Man, damage Iron Man’s suit and even, with effort, lift Thor’s hammer Mjolnir. The Avengers manage to inject the Hulk with a high dose of Banner’s medication, and Betty calms the Hulk long enough to let the drug render him human again.
Banner is kept in a glass cell for breaking Fury’s trust, and the Avengers celebrate their success against the Chitauri and praise a wounded Captain America for leading them as a team.
This was an impressive movie, and at the time, it was the only good depiction of The Avengers until “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!” came out five years later, and of course the 2012 movie. The voice acting was great, but I only recognize three actors in the movie (Grey Griffin, Nolan North, and Olivia d’Abo). THe film also had some good (but small) comedic moments here and there. Having said that, it did have problems with trying to interlock the stories together. The one thing I really, REALLY didn’t like about this film was how much of a jerk-ass Hank Pym was. Overall, great watch, and highly recommended, but face front, true believers, the story of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes isn’t over yet, as we’ll see next time in Ultimate Avengers 2.
RANK: 4 out of 5