Released in 2006, Marvel began its own series of animated feature films with Ultimate Avengers. Based mainly on the Ultimate universe of Marvel comics, the first film was based around the formation of one of its most iconic teams.A sequel was later made, involving the Black Panther.For the comic book now known as Ultimate Comics: Avengers (or Ultimate Avengers for short), see The Ultimates.
The films contain examples of:
Adaptational Heroism: In The Ultimates, Black Widow is not only a traitor, but kind of an asshole even when she's supposed to be posing as a hero. In the movies, she's not only not a traitor, but is in general much nicer to those around her.
Armor Is Useless: Made somewhat ridiculous in the end fight against The Hulk in the first film, as Iron Man appears to be the most useless member of the team when fighting him, despite the fact that his armor would seem like one of the only things actually useful against Hulk . Even more ridiculous when you consider how many direct hits Captain America takes (altough Ultimate Cap is explicitly superhuman, maybe this Cap is too).
Badass Normal: Black Widow and Nick Fury. Betty has shades of this as well.
Berserk Button: Do not attempt to harm T'Challa in any way when his father's around.
Bitter Sweet Ending: in the second movie. The Chitauri are finally routed, the day is saved, and Steve can finally move on with his life. But Hank Pym, along with undoubtedly thousands of others, lost his life to the monsters. In addition, most of the world's cities are now heavily damaged and Bruce Banner is stuck on the run, unable to be with his love, Betty.
Composite Character: About all of the characters sans Bruce Banner, Black Widow, and Black Panther are pretty much the classic versions with more or less the Ultimate appearances, though even Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor, design design-wise, blends aspects of their classics selves with the Ultimate versions. Bruce Banner on the other hand is a more toned-down version of his Ultimate self, Black Widow is completely based on the classic incarnation and and so is Black Panther as Ultimate Black Panther didn't exist yet when the movie was being made.
Defcon Five: Fury raises to DEFCON Five when a Chitauri attack is imminent.
Bruce Banner: Any questions? *students' hands go up* Any questions not about the Hulk?
Heroes Want Redheads: Tony Stark tries this on Black Widow, but she's not really into him (the fact that they were introduced by her seducing him to be interrogated by Fury probably doesn't help). Later, she becomes romantically involved with Captain America.
Heroic Sacrifice: Giant Man. Iron Man later seems like he's going to follow suit, but Thor revives him.
Improbable Aiming Skills: In quite a few scenes, Black Widow is only seen firing a few rounds at her opponents, which then seem to have multiplied by the dozens in the reactionary shots of them getting hit. And she doesn't miss either.
The scientist who keeps torturing Bruce for his rash decision to become the Hulk.
Nick Fury became this after the Avengers screwed up, and at Captain America for not ordering them.
The Wakandan Council for their unflinching belief in their not needing assistance.
Made of Iron: In the first film, Captain America gets punched about by The Hulk, a lot. He is still conscious at the end of the fight and suffers little in the way of any real injuries.
My Country, Right or Wrong: Subverted with Black Panther. He wants them to be away from their isolationist stance. But his people, especially the elders, were not happy with their king's decision, especially when he brought the Avengers along. They had him de-throned, but the elders were proven wrong and Black Panther re-took the throne, and the Avengers defeated the aliens.
No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Partially averted with Captain America. While they did have the formula on file, inept record keepers didn't properly document it.
Pragmatic Adaptation: Given that pretty much all the heroes in the Ultimates comic book Took A Level In Jerk Ass, they're considerably Lighter and Softer here. Mark Millar's controversial, less heroic re-imaginations of the characters were replaced with more traditional ones. Hank Pym is still the group Jerk Ass, but that was a step up from the unstable wife beater he was in the comic. Thor and Captain America's political views are far less extreme (in fact, they barely come up at all). In a nutshell, it takes the contemporary setting and origins from the Ultimates, but uses the character personalities of 616.
Redemption Equals Death: Hank Pym's death seems to play with this trope. He didn't really do anything evil beforehand, but he had been a major Jerk Ass, especially to Janet. And it seems his sacrifice was in part to show her that he could be the man she wanted him to be.
Rock Beats Laser: In the second one, Iron Man's missile launcher is destroyed by a Wakanda warrior's spear and his armor is wrecked by a swinging log. For the record, Wakandan warriors wield vibranium weapons - and vibranium beats non-vibranium every time.