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Avengers: Age of Ultron is on the horizon, and as the clock winds down word has come from on high to try to make things more Avengers-centric around here. A topic wasn’t so difficult to find – and found it was. Something I’ve actually been wanting to rip into for a while. Join me as we count three scenes that the first Avengers films cribbed from The Ultimates that I felt the latter did better.
1. I’m Always Angry/Inner Sociopath
This particular scene, both variations, is actually a very big hit with fans. It’s not hard to see why, not at all. It’s the big “return” of the Hulk. It’s your classic second-wind moment – it’s the crowd cheer-inducing “heck yeah” scene. Yet, there was just something more intense about the first rendition. It’s not exactly a mystery either. The Chitauri (and Loki) in the first Avengers were not intimidating villains.
They just weren’t. They were bland, weak, mooks. So while the line and placement was good, the Ruffalo-scene has a lesser impact because the stakes don’t seem as high. So the reaction isn’t as high either. Contrast with the Ultimates-variant, where it spends a lot of time making the reader realize what has “hit the fan”. It also helps that Bruce Banner was gone for a much longer stretch of time in The Ultimates 2, but that’s the realm of nitpicking.
2. Thrown From The Helicopter
We’re just burning through the Hulk related ones right now aren’t we? This was something that was recreated for the, thankfully, sidelined Edward Norton-Incredible Hulk film that came off the cusp of Iron Man. There are some flaws with that film, but one I found rather regretful was that this incredible moment was wasted on the climax of a really mediocre film. The Incredible Hulk is one of the most forgettable of the Marvel movies, if not as outright bad as the Thor movies.
Used as part of the climax for the first Ultimates this scene was simply unforgettable. Mixing the two is just a terrible shame because not only will people not see it done in live action, but it really wasn’t done justice. The film was a bore and the climax was emblematic of that. This would have been an acceptable piece to use for the first Avengers too, anywhere it actually gets to have a big audience reaction it has earned.
3. Loki Visiting Thor
Now this is a scene that was recreated for the first Thor movie. A movie that has the dubious honor of being not as terrible as Thor: The Dark World. It’s just a boring and utterly unremarkable movie. Even so, when drawing from The Ultimates they took the best pieces, namely the actual Thor subplot and one of the best scenes from that plot – Loki visiting Thor in prison. I love this scene in the comic because Loki is literally a smug snake in it.
Of course the entire dynamic of the scene is changed, in the comic Loki is taunting Thor. Claiming that this is all part of the games they play and that it shouldn’t be taken seriously – even as the world falls apart. It’s chilling in a way and really sets up Loki as a big threat, with a bit of flair. The scene in the movie is fine, but it just reiterates what we already know – that Loki lies.
If I come off as disparaging of the Avengers films, it’s not meant as something entirely malicious, but that I feel like they lack particular “oomph”. An “oomph” that is only punctuated by comparing them to where they drew from. If Age of Ultron hopes to succeed where the first failed, it needs to create something actually on par with these scenes all its own.