‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’: OK, So Who The Heck Is Ultron?

Senior Contributor
07.22.13 55 Comments


At San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, Marvel announced the next Avengers movie, Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Comics nerds went nuts, but people less familiar with Marvel were left scratching their heads. Unlike, say, the Red Skull or Doctor Octopus, Ultron isn’t as well known of a villain. So here’s his backstory, why fans are so excited… and also why fans are confused.

So, Ultron, I’m assuming he’s not a cleaning product.

Nope, he’s a robot who wants to wipe out humanity and replace them with robots. Specifically, he’s a homicidal robot built by an Avenger who we haven’t seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hank Pym.

Wait, wait, wait, who’s Hank Pym?

He’s one of the central Avengers over the run of the series. He has a number of aliases: Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket. Mostly Hank is defined by three things: His scientific genius, his tendency to have size change powers thanks to “Pym particles”, and the fact that he’s severely mentally unstable and yet people still let him play with highly dangerous weapons systems.

I’m starting to see why Ultron was a bad idea.

Ohhhhhh yeah. Hank built Ultron with the best of intentions, but, unsurprisingly, a robot made out of indestructible metal (adamantium, the same stuff that’s glued to Wolverine’s skeleton and claws) with the most highly advanced weapons a superscientist can build is going to start some trouble. Whenever Ultron shows up, the Avengers are generally in for a very, very bad day.

In a nutshell, it’s basically the Avengers fighting the Terminator. Only the Terminator can fly. And has a lot more guns. And probably won’t be inexplicably Austrian.

Are there any other reasons to be excited?

Beyond robot fights? Well, Ultron is generally vulnerable to vibranium, another fictional metal in the Marvel Universe, and that only comes from Wakanda, the home of beloved Avenger Black Panther. And indeed, we’ve seen hints that Black Panther will be in the next Avengers movie.

So what about this Thanos guy? The big purple dude with the silly chin? Wasn’t he at the end of the first Avengers movie?

That’s an excellent question! Nobody’s really sure just what Marvel is up to in that regard. We do know that Iron Man 3 has kicked off Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians Of The Galaxy, and Avengers: Age Of Ultron make up the rest. We also know that Vin Diesel would make a pretty good Thanos, and he’s apparently going to be working for Marvel in short order.

We’ll have to wait… well, actually just until November for the answers to start coming in, but it promises to be a lot of fun.

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