The Duel of Johannesburg was an open confrontation between Iron Man's Mark XLIV Hulkbuster armor and South African authorities against Hulk. Bruce Banner, who had been spellbound by Wanda Maximoff during the Battle at the Salvage Yard, transformed into Hulk, and began rampaging on the streets of Johannesburg. When Iron Man arrived, the two duelists both caused massive collateral damage trying to defeat the other, crashing through many local markets and buildings. After Iron Man knocked down Hulk, the Avengers were the topic of many controversial news in the local area, and went into hiding at Clint Barton's Homestead.
Wanda Maximoff, in conjunction with a plan she made with Ultron and her brother Quicksilver, used her powers to manipulate the Avengers, with the exception of Hawkeye. Bruce Banner, affected by her powers, went into a state of uncontrollable rage and transformed into Hulk, traveling from the Salvage Yard to Johannesburg. Black Widow would normally have calmed Hulk down, but she had been affected by Maximoff's powers herself, preventing her from helping.
Iron Man arrived on the scene and equipped the Hulkbuster armor, ordering the police to "stand down" and drawing the attention of Hulk. He attempted to calm Hulk down through conversation, but inadvertently enraged him by referring to him as Bruce Banner. Hulk then threw a car at Iron Man, but he managed to catch it. Hulk hit him through the car and sent him backwards, so Iron Man took off and grabbed Hulk by the neck, dragging him through the street. Hulk kicked the Hulkbuster armor, freeing himself and crashing Iron Man
When Iron Man rose, Hulk ran at him, but the Hulkbuster easily threw him off with the left arm before blasting him with the repulsor cannon on its right, making Hulk hit the side of a building first and then a delivery truck. Iron Man approached the truck, but Hulk hit him from behind with a metal pole. He then pounced on the Hulkbuster before Iron Man could recover and severely damaged its left arm, but as Hulk tore through the thick armor, Iron Man reversed the damaged arm and punched him off.
Hulk recovered almost instantly and charged at Iron Man. Seeing that the left arm of the suit was too damaged, Iron Man ejected it and called the hovering "Veronica" carrier for a replacement. He continuously barraged the charging Hulk with repulsor blasts from his right arm while the replacement attached itself to the Hulkbuster. Finally, Hulk punched Iron Man, but he punched back with his new arm, causing a shockwave.
Iron Man managed to throw Hulk down on the ground and proceeded to pound him repeatedly with the new arm. Hulk grabbed hold of the arm, but it turned out to be a trap, imprisoning Hulk's hand. Iron Man then attempted to fly Hulk away from the city, but Hulk punched him mid-air, causing him to crash into a building full of people. Iron Man tried to sedate Hulk, but Hulk kicked him into an elevator full of people. He grabbed the elevator wire before it crashed, allowing the people to escape. Hulk jumped on him, but the Hulkbuster flip-kicked him away before smashing him with the elevator and punching him full in the face, making him lose a tooth. Hulk angrily spit out the tooth, scaring Iron Man enough to apologize.
The fight spilled out once again, with Hulk angrily gliding the Hulkbuster armor across a tall building before ripping out vital components off of it. Veronica attempted to replace the damaged parts but Hulk smashed the incoming replacement right into the carrier, destroying both. Seeking to end the fight quickly, Iron Man flew high above the city, throwing Hulk into a building under construction, shooting missiles to destabilize it and ramming Hulk all the way to the ground floor, burying them both under the rubble.
Hulk burst through the rubble and began to calm down as he saw the devastation that had been caused and the frightened civilians attempting to get to safety. However, upon seeing the South African Army arriving on the scene, Hulk started to get angry again, but Iron Man punched him in the head, knocking him unconscious.
Public opinion of the Avengers went down significantly. Captain America, Thor, and Black Widow were still scarred from their visions. Bruce Banner, meanwhile, was horrified at the destruction he had caused as Hulk, and began to question whether Hulk had any business being an Avenger.
Hawkeye took the team to his homestead where his wife Laura and their two children lived in order to rest and recover. Nick Fury arrived and inspired the team to work together and stop Ultron from committing global genocide.
Repairs began in Johannesburg following the incident and continued to as late as May 3, 2016 when Johannesburg was among the cities noted by WHiH News anchor Christine Everhart to be still "on the mend" as a result of the incidents involving the Avengers, in part due to their tactical response, as the issue of the Avengers' management and responsibility was being discussed.
|Appearances for Duel of Johannesburg|
In chronological order:
- Avengers: Age of Ultron takes place two months before the events of Ant-Man. Scott Lang is released from prison on July 17th, as shown in WHiH Newsfront.
- Captain America: Civil War
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- WHIH Newsfront Exclusive: President Ellis Discusses the Avengers