1. The Ultimates


Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s The Ultimates clearly influenced Avengers Assemble (it’s here that a Nick Fury based on Samuel L. Jackson’s likeness was first introduced), but it features an even more realistic take on what our world would look like with superheroes. In the series, Captain America is a tough as nails soldier, Iron Man is an alcoholic with an inoperable brain tumour, Thor is a hippy whose teammates believe is mentally unstable, and The Hulk…well, The Hulk just wants to EAT Freddie Prinze Jr.! Along with these fascinating character alterations, the political ramifications of S.H.I.EL.D. dispatching the team to get involved in the Middle East are also explored. The series includes some very interesting differences to the original comics, with the way that Hank Pym is dealt with after beating his wife – The Wasp – being a highlight. A true must-read for new and old fans alike.


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