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Ultimate Avengers (2006)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Ultimate Avengers (2006) This direct-to-dvd animated feature re-tells the origins of THE AVENGERS, and in doing so is far more entertaining than THE HULK live-action movie, ELEKTRA and SPIDERMAN 2 put together.

The movie begins with a group of American soldiers infiltrating a Nazi stronghold at the end of WWII. Their leader is none other than the newly created Captain America. They not only discover that the Germans are about to launch a nuclear missile at the States, but that they are being helped by a malevolent alien species. Captain America stops the missile but plunges down into the ocean below, presumably dead.

Then we skip ahead to the present, where an African-American Nick Fury is trying to get Bruce Banner to duplicate the Super Soldier Serum. By coincidence Steve Roger's (Captain America) body is found encased in a chunk of ice. He's thawed out and comes back to life. He sees the new world he is in and feels out of place.

But those Nazi helping aliens have returned and Fury puts together a group of superheroes to fight them. They are IRON MAN, GIANT MAN and WASP WOMAN, and THE BLACK WIDOW. Captain America is chosen to lead them, as he's the only one who has experience battling the creatures. Bruce Banner, though, wants to help-and believes that by injecting himself with the Super Soldier serum, he'll be able to control the rampaging HULK. When the battle with the aliens does happen, Banner transforms into the green goliath, and at first he's in control. But it fades fast-and the AVENGERS have to battle the HULK as well.

THE ULTIMATE AVENGERS is an extremely entertaining movie, far better than most of the superhero movies that have been done. It is kind of weird, though, when they change some characters, such as Fury being African American and Janet Pym (Wasp Woman) as Asian. Also, Michael Massee (THE CROW, RESURRECTION mini-series) does the voice of Banner, which does make the character seem unstable and creepy.

Hopefully this will be the beginning of a continuing series.

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