It’s World War II and an alien race, known as the Chitauri, has infiltrated the Nazi Party. One of the high ranking aliens absorbs and devours Herr Kleiser, a Nazi officer. The Chitauri offered the Nazis advanced technology to use them to conquer Earth and impose “order”, erasing all individuality, which they see as an aberration. Towards the end of World War II , Herr Kleiser faces off with Captain America but was ultimately defeated.
Fast forward 57 years into the future and Cap and Kleiser are at it again in one of the most spectacular fights ever put into comics. I mean, it was jaw dropping fantastic. The background: Herr Kleiser and other aliens, using their shape shifting capabilities, infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D’s Psi-Division, and plant false information designed to lure the Ultimates to a Micronesian island where they were to be destroyed by a nuclear bomb. However, Thor’s magic hammer, and Iron Man’s force field, protected the Ultimates from being obliterated. Unfortunately thousands of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents were killed. Kleiser and the Chitauri also infiltrated Triskelion, S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, captures Wasp and takes her to Area 51 near Phoenix, Arizona.
At the same time, the Chitauri fleet inform Kleiser they are planning on destroying the planet; at this point it’s revealed that the Ultimates survived the Micronesian trap and a HUGE battle takes place. This is where Herr Kleiser and Cap finally go at it again and it’s absolutely fantastic. Cap kicks it off by alerting all, and I do mean ALL, military personnel across the globe to get their asses to Phoenix to fight the aliens who have “seized control of S.H.I.E.L.D and now threaten our very existence.”
While Kleiser is monologueing on the radio, Cap pierces him on the nose tip of a jet fighter and sends the jet, with Kleiser, crashing into several tanks of jet fuel, but not before ejecting from the cockpit. There’s a HUGE explosion and the entire area goes up in flames, yet Kleiser survives, and is pissed. Kleiser’s now raging mad. They engage, but Cap can’t even get a hand on Kleiser before Kleiser lands three painful blows on Cap, throwing him around like a rag doll. Kleiser then proceeds to mop the tarmac with Steve, all while monologueing. While being pummeled, Cap can barely get the words out, “WILL YOU JUST SHUT UP AND DIE!?” God this is fantastic writing.
Keep in mind, Kleiser is naked as a jaybird at this point while they’re wrestling in mortal combat. “Get offa me, you freak!” Cap manages to say while his beating continues. Meanwhile the Avengers are… I mean… the Ultimates are dealing with the rest of the Chitauri, and it’s totally hardcore up in the air as Iron man and Thor are ripping apart the airborne fleet. On the ground, Fury sees Cap being thrown around and activates his “light-sensitive mode” for sixty seconds and basically goes invisible to sneak up on Kleiser, to the point of being able to put an M203 Grenade Launcher (M16 for those of you who don’t know weapons) up side of Kleiser’s head, “EAT THIS, MOTHER******!” and is able to pump a good 6 rounds into Kleiser’s cranium.
But, Kleiser isn’t even phased, with half his head blown off, he quickly dispatches Fury and proceeds to try to force Cap to surrender, to get Cap to repeat after him, mocking him, “I surrender, Herr Kleiser! Make it quick!” Cap loses it and head butts Kleiser, palms Kleiser in the jaw, knocking him back then grabs his shield and nearly cuts Kleiser in half finally managing to yell out, “Surrender? … SURRENDER??!! You think this letter on my head stands for France?” All while he’s bleeding from multiple cuts all over his body.
It’s at this point where Fury gives the “ok” to “traumatize Banner, gentlemen,” to get the Hulk into the game. And that’s when it REALLY gets interesting.
If you haven’t read the Ultimates, then you’re just WRONG! And if you don’t understand Cap’s reference, with all due respect to France (thank you for the statue of liberty) then you might want to read up on France as they lose their way through historic battles in time; the Gallic Wars, Hundred Years War, Italian Wars, Wars of Religion, War of the Augsburg League/King William’s War/French and Indian War, War of the Spanish Succession, The Napoleonic Wars, World War II and the Vietnam war. All of which they lost. But boy they can sure cook!! We still love you guys.
The Ultimates was written by Mark Millar and artist Bryan Hitch. Go buy a hard copy now.