Recap: Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes S 1 E 3 Hulk Vs The World

Written by Kevin Burke and Chris Wyatt

A scruffy-looking man arrives in Vegas after trekking through the desert. That is itself unusual but the man appears to be wearing a hoodie and not sweating in the slightest. Suspicious. The local police seem to think so too, and give chase but the man avoids them just in time to suppress a transformation into something altogether more terrifying. But however good he may be at dodging the police, he did not escape the notice of the military as the Hulkbuster unit starts rolling through town under the command of General "Thunderbolt" Ross. The Hulkbusters pick up police communications that match the description of Dr. Bruce Banner and Ross orders a full containment despite misgivings that Banner has typically avoided major population centers.

Banner slips into a diner and approaches Carl "Crusher" Creel, a large and imposing man who apparently emits gamma radiation. Calling himself an expert, Banner offers to help Creel with his "problem" and expands upon the nature of the second supervillain prison, the Cube. Just like the Vault was created specifically to contain technological villains and their gear, the Cube was created to imprison and study villains who were mutated by gamma radiation, ostensibly to find a cure. Banner speculates that SHIELD's motives are even more sinister than the audience has been lead to believe; they are trying to find a way to control the gamma mutations in order to create living weapons. Creel, who is known in some circles as the Absorbing Man, is not interested in Banner's offer and commences a beatdown that forces him to reveal his true colors, so to speak.

After a brief fight, the Hulk literally pummels the Absorbing Man into dust, but things become more complicated when the Hulkbusters arrive to take him down. They continue to pound him with heavy guns and missiles until Ross is ordered to stand down by a higher authority. Also, he runs out of working guns.

Ross is spared further humiliation when a SHIELD team arrives to bail him out. Their counterattack is spearheaded by an acrobatic redhead in heels and an archer with exotic arrows who manage to keep the weakened Hulk at bay until Ross lets his pride get the better of him and calls down an artillery strike on the battlefield despite the fact that it will most assuredly hit the SHIELD agents. The attack disables the SHIELD dropship but the Hulk mysteriously intervenes to save it and its crew. For his efforts, Banner is subdued and taken to the Cube for further study.

Hawkeye enters the Cube to interrogate Banner for his own personal reasons while the good doctor debates his caretaker, Leonard Samson, on the wisdom of trying to cure the Hulk. It seems that the two aspects of Banner's mind have come to an understanding of sorts, which is probably why this Hulk seems more articulate than in previous Marvel adaptations over the years. Hawkeye arrives hot on Samson's heels and demands to know why the Hulk saved his men. Banner counters by challenging Hawkeye to investigate the true purpose of the Cube, especially now that they have a sample of his blood in addition to all the other gamma-powered villains.

Hawkeye decides to humor him and catches none other than his partner Natasha breaking into the secure storage. He continues investigating Black Widow's personal files but finds that they have been moved off of SHIELD servers and onto a private server — where she has been communicating with HYDRA. Convinced that Black Widow is a traitor, Hawkeye interrupts the hand-off of Hulk's blood sample but the untimely arrival of SHIELD forces allows her to paint him as the double agent and gets him locked up in the Vault. Meanwhile, the Black Widow is free to continue her dastardly work. Hail HYDRA.