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Best Battles in Comic Book History: Hulk vs. The Ultimates

Hulk's first fight with the Ultimates is nothing short of epic and most definitely worthy of a spot in this segment.

You've heard of the Avengers, right? Dumb question, of course you have. We all know who they are, what they do and how it all began. However, back in 2002, writer Mark Millar and artist Bryan Hitch sought to change all of that and completely reinvented the team. Instead of giving the group in the standard 616 universe a new direction, the two creators decided to start from scratch and build an all-new team in the ultimate universe. Formed by Nick Fury, the new team consisted of Captain America, Wasp, Giant Man, Thor, and Iron Man. Bruce Banner's there, but he's around to recreate the super-soldier serum, not to help as the Hulk.

After uniting, the team didn't have a major obstacle to tackle or anything like that. There wasn't an alien fleet attacking a major city, no egomaniac trying to take over the world... nothing happened to really justified the existence of this team. Meanwhile, Banner found himself unable to replicate the super-soldier serum and knew the team was going to get torn apart by the media. So, he took a drastic step. Not only did his actions make him transform into the Hulk right in Manhattan (note: this version of Hulk is much more vulgar, twisted and savage), but it also gave the team a reason to finally stand side-by-side and tackle a legitimate threat: the Hulk.

Hank was the first to step up to the plate, but despite his towering height, he was no match for the brute's strength and was quickly disposed of. How? Well, we try to keep things fairly family friendly here, but let's just say Hulk threatened to use the big guy's mouth as an outhouse. Hey, we told you this version of Hulk's a vulgar and twisted dude in this universe, didn't we? Luckily for Pym, Iron Man swooped in and tackled the savage into Grand Central.

In spite of all of his technology, Stark just doesn't have what it takes to keep the powerhouse down for the count. Watching him hit Hulk with a sonic weapon is a real treat and the wallop he gives him immediately after that is an even bigger treat. Stark knew he couldn't hold his own for much longer, so he literally punched Hulk out of the building. What happened next is truly a classic moment for Captain America fans. For Hulk fans, though? Not so much. Once Hulk is smacked out of Grand Central by Stark, Captain America landed on Hulk... in a tank. The big man of course survived having a tank crush him and tore through the vehicle. Steve doesn't need the tank to be a badass, though. The super-soldier showed off his talent and took the ginormous threat down with some very well placed hits. Although, it was only a momentary defeat. Hulk's perfectly fine in the very next scene, but it's still a very rad and jaw-dropping moment.

Each character getting a chance to take a swing at Hulk is awesome, but what makes this scene even more powerful is the fact a good majority of the story is devoid of action. Sure, it all kicks off with a great scene of Steve Rogers in World War II, but the rest of the read is Millar developing these characters and building it all up to this one epic brawl.

The moment everyone was waiting for happened next: Thor vs. Hulk. Bryan Hitch gave Thor a tremendous debut, too. He created a brilliant panel of several bolts of lightning striking behind the Empire State Building -- it's magnificent. What followed is totally brutal as well. There's a fantastic splash page of Thor standing over Hulk after he landed the first devastating hit. But with all that Hulk's been through, Thor knows better than to think one strike is enough to keep this fearsome foe incapacitated. The man raised Mjolnir and proceeded to absolutely go to town on Banner, striking him over and over again. Instead of focusing on the vicious impact each strike has on Hulk's body, the panels display the raw power of each hit by showing how it's completely demolishing the surrounding area. It's just another example of Hitch did a praiseworthy job bringing the location to life.

In the end, it's not the God of Thunder, a giant man, a dude in a sophisticated armor or even a super-soldier that saves the day. No, it's the Wasp, the smallest hero of them all. How does this tiny superhero bring down the massive and powerful green goliath, you ask? Well, you'll just have to read volume 1 of THE ULTIMATES to find out, won't you? It's a great read and Millar/Hitch's following work on the series is every bit as good, if not better.

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Edited by Life_Without_Progress

Ultimate Captain America is a jerk but he's more than that: he's a badass jerk

Posted by Vincie_Pooh

This got me back in to comics after my LONG stay away... and this telling just got me back into comics again :)

Posted by ULTRAstarkiller

Nice

Posted by Lvenger

@veshark I think you might be pleased to read this week's edition of Gregg's Best Battles article given its topic ;)

Posted by Techherofan

The initial Ultimate comics were some amazing revamps I read in a while too bad some of them went down hill after Cataclysm.

Posted by Life_Without_Progress

Millar & Hitch's Ultimates run was legendary but everything went downhill after Loeb came along

Posted by scouts1998

Who are the Avengers, not everyone has heard of the avengers!

Posted by scouts1998

I'm just going to read avengers #25 now.

Posted by The Average Bear

At the Half Price Books in my town, I got the first Ultimates volume for like $3.99 (seriously! go check them out, guys) and I gotta say, this fight, an many of the Ultimates later issues, blow me the hell away.

Millar and Hitch are a dream team.

Millar & Hitch's Ultimates run was legendary but everything went downhill after Loeb came along

Yes, sir. I agree.

Edited by The Average Bear

Ultimate Captain America is a jerk but he's more than that: he's a badass jerk

Did you see when he fought War Machine and used a class full of kids to make sure Rhodey wouldn't fire at him? Jerk, indeed. But dang, he is one cool mf

Posted by moonsault86

I love Ultimate Comics, everything before Ultimatum was awesome.If we are going with Ultimate Comics, we need to count the battle between Ultimate Spider-man, Spider-Woman and all the clones against the Doctor Octopus. That was truly epic.

Posted by jwalser3

An amazing fight.

Edited by Captain13

One of the best comic book story arcs ever.

I wouldn't mind seeing a Justice League version of this.

Posted by micah

Love the Ultimate Universe

Posted by D_Knight

i just bought vol 1 of the ultimates on comixology for $1.99 yesterday! i think the sale goes through the weekend.

Posted by Veshark

@lvenger said:

@veshark I think you might be pleased to read this week's edition of Gregg's Best Battles article given its topic ;)

Indeed. In fact, if anyone wants to read more about this battle, I did stumble upon this awesome and insightful blog post by some guy called RisingBean and his very witty co-host.

I kid. It's a great write-up by K4tzm4n; I'm glad to see the Ultimate-verse get more shine.

@the_average_bear Speaking of them being a dream team, Millar recently announced a new secret comic project with Hitch that's due for 2015

Edited by laflux
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Ultimate Captain America is basically U.S Agent.

Posted by StMichalofWilson

Nice choice. I like both the comic and the animated version of this fight. Really brutal and epic

Posted by phisigmatau

This was when the Ultimate universe was cool...

Remember the X-men vs the Ultimates... do that one next, I think. There were a fews things I didn't like a bout it...

Edited by Pokergeist

@laflux: I love Ultimate Universe, it's what got me back in comics when I joined the military. Ultimate comics been down hill since ultimatum, but still have solid runs every now and then. The new Ultimate Spider Man is fantastic as well. So is all the Ultimate Comics that feature Reed Richards as the suppose bad guy. It will always hold a special place in my heart.

Posted by Grimoire

I watched the animated movie adaption of this fight and it was the first thing I had ever seen from the Ultimate Universe and I loved it. After reading the comic version my hatred for the Ultimate version of characters started, especially the Ultimate Hulk which was a bastardized version of my favorite hero. lol

Posted by SlimJ87D

Ultimate Captain America is a jerk but he's more than that: he's a badass jerk

Lol, he's not that much of a jerk. He's had some heart to heart talks to his teammates, Peter Parker, Aunt May and Miles Morales.

He's a lot better at taunting his opponents than 616 Steve is though.

Posted by comicdude23

Ultimate Hulk was okay, he was far weaker than the 616 version and he ate people.

Posted by Herokiller12344

I can barely make out what's going on.

Posted by viin

I really wanted to see this fight scene in the Avengers movie. But instead got a Mark Ruffalo that could control his powers whenever it was conveniant to the plot.

Posted by StriderNo9

Ultimate Cap is one of my favorite comic book characters ever. I really loved that fight, loved that entire series.

Posted by AmazingWebHead

I still think it just comes down to a jerkass, a drunk, a hippie, a wife-beater, and an incest supporter vs a cannibal.

But yeah, it was an awesome fight.

Posted by Sovereign91001

A brutal fight.

Posted by RisingBean

@veshark: You beat me to it. I saw this thread and was going to tell @k4tzm4n that you and some other guy was very slowly but surely planning to run over the Ultimate Universe fights and that the first one could be found at this location.

Online
Edited by Lone_Wolf_and_Cub

Great choice.

Posted by micah

@comicdude23: Not really, Ultimate Hulk broke the Ultimate Version of Adamantium (although it should be known Ultimate Adamantium is far weaker than the 616 version), but you get the point their about the same

Posted by micah
Edited by comicdude23

@micah said:

@comicdude23: Not really, Ultimate Hulk broke the Ultimate Version of Adamantium (although it should be known Ultimate Adamantium is far weaker than the 616 version), but you get the point their about the same

Um, NO. Ultimate Hulk has struggled with far weaker opponents than 616 Hulk has, Ultimate Hulk was impressive in his encounter with Wolverine (and survived that big explosion), but his durability was way weaker than 616 Hulk's and his strength feats are nowhere near as good.

Ultimate Hulk is a good take on the character, but he has nothing on 616 Hulk.

Posted by Experio

Nice.

Posted by Extremis

Well jeez you spoiled everything else for me, you couldn't tell me the end?

How much is Marvel paying you Katzman?

Edited by k4tzm4n

@extremis said:

Well jeez you spoiled everything else for me, you couldn't tell me the end?

How much is Marvel paying you Katzman?

There's a huge difference between highlighting why something is awesome/making people want to read all of it, and giving away a volume's conclusion. You know, Best Battles has literally the same format (just smaller portions for 3 fights) and you comment there... so, that must mean when you comment in Best Battles, you don't actually read it? Because if you did, you'd see we do the exact same thing over there every single Friday.

How much? Like, at least seven figures. Be jealous. Or, THE ULTIMATES is one of my favorite reads, and as you can see by the comments, I'm hardly alone in loving it. Seriously, stop being silly because the "how much did x pay you" comment is beyond stupid.

Marvel: We're doing really well, but we could improve the trade sales for this volume from two thousand and frickin' two. OH! Bribe Comic Vine!

Yeah, exactly. If you think the fight is garbage and not worthy of the segment, then go ahead and say why. Don't reduce yourself to that beyond face-palm worthy accusation, though.

Online
Posted by ItsDan

Great Battle, I didnt really hate Ultimate's 3 all that much, it was good not crazy good, but good. All that volume really was, was a prelude to Ultimatum. Suck's Ultimate X-men died in that :( but jeph loeb made up with Ultimate X, which was the sequal to X-men(real good series by the way!).

Posted by Guardiandevil83

Banner could control the Hulk since the end of Incredible. After the Carrier was attacked, the Hulk emerged to lash out at the danger. Banner didn't chose at that time to change. If he had, he would have went ape on Loki not Thor and Widow.

Posted by micah

@comicdude23: What weaker opponents has he struggled with?, also just because he doesn't have strength feats on par with his 616 version, do we have to assume he's weaker, based on what we've seen we can assume their the same

Posted by comicdude23

@micah said:

@comicdude23: What weaker opponents has he struggled with?, also just because he doesn't have strength feats on par with his 616 version, do we have to assume he's weaker, based on what we've seen we can assume their the same

Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate Abomination (though he later won), for a while the weaker Ultimate Wolverine, etc. Um, yeah can assume he's weaker because he hasn't done ANYTHING to show he's anywhere near 616 Hulk. Based on what we've seen, Ultimate Hulk is far lower. 616 Hulk has fought 616 Thor and nearly matched him in strength, he's held up an entire mountain, etc.

616 Hulk would eat Ultimate Hulk for breakfast.

Edited by micah

@comicdude23: 616 Hulk has struggled with 616 Spider-Man and in their fights tends to immobilize him with his webs. I think you know he was playing around with Ultimate Abomination and 616 Hulk has struggled with his Abomination, and who wouldn't struggle with a Wolverine

Posted by comicdude23

@micah said:

@comicdude23: 616 Hulk has struggled with 616 Spider-Man and in their fights tends to immobilize him with his webs. I think you know he was playing around with Ultimate Abomination and 616 Hulk has struggled with his Abomination, and who wouldn't struggle with a Wolverine

616 Spider-Man > Ultimate Spider-Man by far.

616 Spider-Man has been able to enrage and avoid 616 Hulk but never seriously hurt, he's needed help to take on 616 Hulk. He wasn't playing around for a large majority of their fight, he was struggling - 616 Abomination trumps Ultimate Abomination.

616 Hulk has held up a mountain, and that isn't even his best feat. He destroys Ultimate Hulk.

I think Ultimate Hulk is more interesting though.

Edited by micah

@comicdude23: I concede, Ultimate Hulk is very interesting though

Edited by comicdude23

@micah said:

@comicdude23: I concede, Ultimate Hulk is very interesting though

Okay. Yeah, I think he is more interesting, and the whole 'eating people' part was actually very fitting for the character (though vile).

Posted by micah
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