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Western Animation / Ultimate Avengers

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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. There's also a Broad Strokes Spin-Offspring movie based on the duology, Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow.

For the comic book now known as Ultimate Comics: Avengers (or Ultimate Avengers for short), see The Ultimates.

The films contain examples of:

  • Adapted Out: Happy Hogan, Pepper Potts, Hawkeye and the Maximoffs are entirely absent.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Initially, Nick Fury wants to recruit Iron Man, but he refuses many times, pointing that he works alone, and only helps the team as Achilles in His Tent. In the original Ultimates comics, Tony was on-board from the start.
  • Adaptation Title Change: As noted, it's based on The Ultimates, but is modified to include the team's traditional name. It was likely done since the newspaper at the end of the first film and Dr. Olier in the second both refer the team to as "the Avengers", not "the Ultimates".
  • Adaptational Badass: Captain America, which given how tough Ultimate Cap already is... several times in 2 he gets shot, only for it to be shown he heals too quickly for it to do more than slow him down.
  • Adaptational Job Change: Betty Ross. In The Ultimates, she's a PR agent for SHIELD. Here, she's a scientist.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • In The Ultimates, Black Widow is not only a traitor, but quite aloof even when she's supposed to be posing as a hero. In the movies, she's not only not a traitor but is much nicer in general.
    • Hank Pym goes from workaholic scientist, unrepetant domestic abuser, and eventual traitor to a slightly rude and aggressive man who is protective of his wife.
  • Adaptational Modesty: The Hulk still has Magic Pants. In Ultimate Marvel, he did not. Likewise, the first shot of Hank using his Giant-Man powers already has him in costume as opposed to nude as in the first few times in the comics.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • Captain America is basically his mainstream version, The Cape who believes in America's ideals and is a kind old soldier. Ultimate Captain America isn't just a man from the 1940s, but he's abrasively rude and holds many of the same bigoted views prevalent at the time (he is from the 1940s, after all).
    • Although still a rampaging monster, the Hulk is drastically toned down from his Ultimate incarnation, which is literally a psychopathic manifestation of Bruce Banner's Id without any restraints period — Ultimate Hulk is an attempted rapist and a cannibal, just for starters.
    • Betty Ross. In Ultimates, she has a staggering Lack of Empathy that even Nick Fury is appalled by. Here, she's a nice gal.
  • The Adjectival Superhero: Albeit in this case, it's because they just decided to call the movie Ultimate Avengers rather than The Ultimates.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: The Chitauri are evil aliens who want to wipe out mankind and work with Nazis because... uh... well, they just do, apparently. The sequel at least gives them the motive they want to harvest the Vibranium meteorite deposits on the planet (and specifically in Wakanda).
  • Alternate Continuity: For some reason, the first film officially takes place on Earth-3488 and the second film takes place on Earth-60808.
  • 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 (although Ultimate Cap is explicitly superhuman, maybe this Cap is too). Then again, Iron Man's suit was more or less fully functional after his brief beatdown, and after about 30 seconds he's back in the fight; it's implied Tony Stark himself was stunned, rather than the suit.
  • Asshole Victim: Dr. Oiler takes advantage of an imprisoned Banner and tries to kill him to save his own neck. Didn't end well for him.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: No, Hank, just because you can grow bigger than everyone else doesn't automatically give you a significant advantage over The Hulk. Your knee and throat, evidently, learn this the hard way.
  • 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.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Steve and Natasha at the end of the second movie.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The second movie. The Chitauri are finally routed, the day is saved, T'Challa opens Wakanda to the world, 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, and ready to turn into the Hulk again at any time.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Thor, in the first movie.
  • Comforting the Widow: Like in the comics, this happens to Steve's girlfriend Gail by his best friend Bucky when it was assumed he died during the war. Brought together by mutual grief, their relationship eventually turned into love and they were married before Steve returned, causing much embarrassment when Steve returned to the point Gail couldn't bear to see him out of shame. However, Steve was simply happy both were cared for and did not mind the relationship, only saddened that all his friends and chance for a relationship had long since passed
  • Composite Character:
    • Most of the Avengers mix the roles of their 1610 selves with the personalities of their 616 counterparts.
    • Iron Man's armor looks more like his mainstream designs and he maintains a secret identity.
    • The Hulk was created by Banner's exposure to Gamma Radiation like the mainstream universe.
    • Thor is clean shaven and Mjolnir seems to have the worthiness restriction of it's mainline counterpart.
    • Black Panther is seen turning into a humanoid cat, recalling the character Coal Tiger. However, as the movie was made before Ultimates 3, there was no Ultimate Black Panther to draw from.
    • Kleiser becomes a mixes elements of his comic self, as the leader of the Chitauri, the classic Red Skull as Captain America's nemesis, the Super Skrull as a genetically enhanced member of his species, and Ulysses Klaw, since he is responsible for T'Chaka's death.
    • Here, Tony dons the War Machine armor for the second movie. Rhodey doesn't put in an appearance.
  • Creepy Monotone: Dr. Oiler, as only Mark Hamill can provide.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: When Steve asks about Thor, Fury offhandedly mentions there are some other people who can manipulate the weather, but this is never elaborated on. Almost certainly, he's hinting at that universe's equivalent of Storm of the X-Men, who otherwise go unmentioned.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Hank's shrinking. Jan warns him at the start of the second movie it'll be dangerous, and he refuses to study it because he hates it. It ends up killing him.
  • Death by Adaptation: Hank Pym.
  • Death Seeker: Black Widow accuses Cap of being one in the second movie. Steve doesn't deny it.
  • Defcon 5: Used incorrectly. The Chitauri invasion has Nick bump SHIELD to DEFCON Four, then to DEFCON Five when a Chitauri attack is imminent.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: T'Chaka taking down Kleiser. Especially how it happens:
    Kleiser: (approaching T'Challa) Here ends the Wakandan royal family, all over the jungle floor!
    T'Chaka: YOU WILL NOT HURT MY SON! (Goes panther mode and attacks Kleiser, knocking him over a cliff)
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: Not entirely easily, given Hank Pym sacrifices himself, but the Chitauri get taken down pretty quickly all the same.
  • The Faceless: Odin. We hear him speak to Thor, but he never puts in a flesh-and-blood appearance.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Steve has a quick look at Gail's photo before jumping from the plane.
  • From Bad to Worse: At the climax of the first movie, the problems of Chitauri invasion are largely forgotten when the Hulk loses control.
  • Hands Go Down:
    Bruce Banner: Any questions? (scientists' 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 the fact they most likely invoked this trope). Later, she becomes romantically involved with Captain America after bonding due to mutual experiences as soldiers.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Giant-Man. Iron Man later seems like he's going to follow suit, but Thor revives him.
  • I Work Alone: Iron Man outright states this, and while he does consent to seeing how being part of a team goes at first, the botched first operation and Fury's dressing down leads him to noting this is exactly why he works alone before taking off. He does have a change of heart when the Chitauri attack and returns to remain as a stay-on for the team, of course.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The Chitauri are usually incredibly lousy at hitting a main character. In some cases the character in question is even basically standing still and the shots just keep missing, unless it's one of the particularly resistant Avengers.
  • 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.
  • Internal Reveal: Iron Man is Tony Stark. Spoilers for sixty years worth of comics, but Tony keeps his identity a secret until he gets injured.
  • It's All My Fault: Starts going around when the team bungles their first mission. Wasp blames herself for getting injured, Cap blames himself for being in charge. Hank doesn't blame himself, even though he disobeyed orders (admittedly, because he panicked over his wife being injured).
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Bruce and Hulk, as always. Bruce thinks he's gotten a handle over the Hulk just before the big fight in the first movie, complete with Hulk speaking in his voice, but about five seconds later he turns out to be wrong, and Hulk does what Hulk does best.
  • Jerkass:
    • Giant-Man, though he's just merely arrogant and and insecure, unlike his outright abusive incarnation in The Ultimates, whom he's visually based on.
    • The scientist who keeps torturing Bruce for his rash decision to become the Hulk in the first film.
    • Nick Fury briefly becomes this when the Avengers screwed up the first mission, and at Captain America for not doing a great job leading them as a team.
    • The Wakandan Council (especially the head elder) for their unflinching belief in their not needing outside assistance.
  • Jerkass Gods: Odin comes off as this as he urges Thor to leave humanity to their fate as humanity have abandoned their faith in the gods.
  • Just Think of the Potential!: Bruce wants to learn how to control the Hulk for the benefit of all mankind. Exactly what benefit a giant grey smash monster is supposed to bring to mankind is unclear, but at the very least learning to control the Hulk would keep him from going on indiscriminate rampages.
  • Kill Sat: The Chitauri mothership in the sequel has this. It takes everything Thor has just to deflect its shots, and it's fast enough on the charge it eventually catches him in mid-swing.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: Inverted. It's explicitly stated (and subsequently demonstrated) that the ONLY thing that can reliably cut Vibranium is more Vibranium outside of nuclear weapons, and people have reservations about the latter for good reasons.
  • 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. In the second film, he's shown jumping from tall buildings and landing without a scratch as well as withstanding gun fire while still being able to fight without too much slowing him down.
  • Meaningful Echo: In the second movie, Iron Man and Captain America briefly talk about Cap's Heroic Sacrifice back in 1945 when Tony tells Steve he always wanted to know if Steve thought he'd be getting off that missile alive. When Steve admits no, Tony admits that Steve's a better man than him. Steve refutes that, and Tony replies that that's fine, since he's a Glory Seeker and never been the type to be interested in a "posthumous reward." Steve replies in turn that "you'll never really know until the time comes." Near the end of the movie, as the wreckage of the Chitauri mothership is barreling towards Wakanda's capital, Iron Man states he thinks he can deflect it and when Cap questions him on whether or not he can survive...
    Iron Man: If not, I'll take that posthumous reward.
  • Mighty Whitey: Played around with in the sequel. The Wakandan elders believe they don't need the aid of outsiders and especially the Avengers to stop the Chitauri as long as they have their Vibranium meteorite deposit and the salvaged Chitauri technology, since they did in fact repel them before. However, not only is the Chitauri assault implicitly much bigger than the one Wakanda faced in the past, they realize the Wakandans are using their technology to help power their weapons and blow it up, crippling Wakanda's defenses. Also, the Avengers would have had to go to Wakanda anyways since that's where the mothership coordinating the whole planetary assault is stationed.
  • 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, are not happy with their king's decision, especially when he brings the Avengers along. They have him de-throned, but the elders are proven wrong and Black Panther re-take the throne, and the Avengers defeat the aliens.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Bruce Banner. He thought he could control the Hulk, but he was wrong.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Thor namedrops the Frost Giants of Johtunheim, the Dark Elves of Swartalfheim, and the fire demon Surtur who are all classic foes of his from the mainstream comics.
    • T'Challa mentions his grandfather Azzuri, when discussing Wakanda's history.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: The Wakandans, after the disastrous first contact and war with the Chitauri, grew inherently untrusting of all outsiders and thus fuels their isolationist stance towards the rest of the world.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: Herr Kleiser, through a combination of a powerful Healing Factor and just being plain Made of Iron, is able to shrug off attacks that would kill any other character ten times over. Such feats include (going by chronological order in-story and including the flashbacks): getting almost the entire upper half of his head sliced off by a metal shield, being right underneath a bunch of explosives that destroy the train car he's on and collapsing the tunnel it goes through, getting a metal shield lodged in the chest, falling off a soaring nuclear missile and getting caught in the exhaust, falling off a cliff, getting all his limbs sliced off before being torn in half at the torso, and finally being Buried Alive in a vat of liquid vibranium that hardens around him. And it's implied even that didn't kill him and just made him a Sealed Evil in a Can. Not for nothing Nick Fury calls him the Chitauri Super-Soldier.
  • Nightmare Face: After Kleiser is ripped apart by Black Panther in 2, his face is (thankfully briefly) like that of some kind of nightmarish zombie.
  • No Medication for Me: Bruce is taking meds to stop him hulking out, but as Betty discovers, he's stopped taking them.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The specifics of Hulk's first appearance, where he rampaged around Brooklyn and smashed up the water front.
    • Apparently Nick Fury and King T'Chaka met at some point, but Fury doesn't elaborate.
  • No One Could Survive That!: At the beginning of the first movie, Kleiser is kicked into the jet entrails of his own nuke, supposedly killing him. 2 reveals he did in fact survive that.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Apparently Wakandans only ever wear togas and sandals no matter what they're doing, even working with molten metal in a mineshaft.
  • 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.
  • One-Winged Angel: Herr Kleiser's final form, which he assumes in the latter act of 2, resembles some Eldritch Abomination.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Mjölnir has the same worthiness restriction as its 616 counterpart but the Hulk is able to lift it through sheer strength.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: This is the pose in which Iron Man carries the nearly dead Hank Pym near the end of 2.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Given that pretty much all the heroes in the Ultimates comic book were subject to Adaptational Jerkass, they're considerably Lighter and Softer here. Mark Millar's controversial, less heroic re-imaginations of the characters are replaced with more traditional ones. Hank Pym is still the group Jerkass, but that's a step up from the unstable wife beater he was in the comic. Hulk's no longer a psychotic cannibalistic monster. Janet is no longer a flirtatious domestic abuse victim too afraid to leave Hank, Thor and Captain America's political views are far less extreme (in fact, they barely come up at all except for Thor's rampant involvement in environmental protests as a "hippy"). In a nutshell, it takes the contemporary setting and origins from the Ultimates, but uses the character personalities of 616.
  • Prepare to Die:
    Kleiser: Now you die... for the LAST! TIME!
    Captain America: My thoughts exactly!
  • Promoted to Love Interest: Black Widow and Captain America become a couple in this continuity.
  • Rebel Prince: While T'Chaka was still king, T'Challa constantly travels outside the borders of Wakanda. The Council has a problem with it, but T'Chaka is more understanding.
  • 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 Jerkass, 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.
    Iron Man: Well that's embarrassing.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Wasp's costume.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Captain America shows signs of it.
  • Shooting Superman/I Will Fight Some More Forever: The alien warships are armoured with vibranium, which can only be damaged with vibranium weapons (or nuclear bombs, which the heroes don't have). Regardless, SHIELD's navy and air force are perfectly content with wasting all of their ammunition on the aliens, even getting frustrated when their weapons continue to fail.
  • Takes One to Kill One: a technological example — vibranium armor can only be penetrated by vibranium weapons.
  • Tank-Top Tomboy: Natasha wears a white tank top when she's off-duty.
  • Team Title: Self explanatory.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Subverted with the head elder. While he walks away after Black Panther saves them despite the council de-throning him, he does bow to him at the end.


Video Example(s):


Ultimate Thor vs Ultimate Hulk

Even Thor, who has fought and slain all kind of giants, is doubtful when battling the Hulk.

How well does it match the trope?

4.82 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / ArrogantGodVsRagingMonster

Media sources: