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.