One of the most important announcements at the San Diego Comic Con 2013 was the villain for the Avengers movie sequel. Geek god, Joss Whedon announced that the name of the sequel will be “Avengers: Age of Ultron”. While most comic book fans will recognize the name as one of the most formidable villains that the “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” ever faced, a lot of movie goers are not truly familiar with the character. The good news for them is that the character that will oppose the hero team is a good choice because he is one of the few in comics to ever come close to destroying the team.

The Basics

Ultron made his first appearance in Avengers #54 in 1968 and came to life thanks to artists Roy Thomas and John Buscema with Stan Lee as the editor. In the comic books he is a robot created by Hank Pym one of the smartest people in the Marvel Universe who is also known as Ant-Man.

To try to describe the powers of Ultron would be difficult as there have been many different versions of the character with him always showing up with new improvements. The one thing that remains is the characters extreme intelligence which was first based on the brain patterns of Pym, but soon became even smarter.

Ultron's First Appearance

Some of the powers that make him a formidable foe besides his intelligence are energy absorption, blast power, flight, healing, shape-shifting, super strength, electronic disruption, heat vision, hypnosis, he is invulnerable to most attacks and is almost immortal which is the reason he keeps coming back. That is just a small list of his powers, and there are many more. As you can see the heroes will have their work cut out for hem in the Avengers movie and in future comic book events.

His Purpose

When Pym created Ultron he was working on a new level of Artificial Intelligence and his purpose was to help save the world. Eventually the robot’s intelligence took over and he became more sentient, developing hatred towards his creator and an interest in Pym’s wife Janet van Dyne otherwise known as the Wasp. After a few upgrades he revealed himself as Ultron-6 where his body used the same metal as Wolverine’s claws (Adamantium) which made him nearly indestructible.  

Not The Comic’s “Age of Ultron”

Age of Ultron Comics

Though the name of the movie will be “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, it is not the same as the recent comic book series which went by the same name. At CCSD 2013 Whedon was very clear in saying that the movie will be the origin story of the character and not based on the 2013 series.

In the comics “Age of Ultron” series the robot actually succeeded in taking over the world. He created many replicas of himself that would kill any human in sight which made all the heroes go into hiding.

The comic book series would present some challenges as two of the main characters are now the property of 20th Century Fox in the big screen and those characters are Wolverine and the Invisible Woman. That is one of the main reasons why the Avengers sequel is not based on that particular series, instead going with the origins story.

No Hank Pym

Though the average movie goer does not necessarily know who Hank Pym is, comics fans do. Director Joss Whedon has announced that Ultron’s creator Hank Pym is not a part of the Avengers movie sequel which probably means that Tony Stark will more than likely be the one who creates the robot. There are hints in the movies that it may be the case as Jarvis is actually artificial intelligence. If stark was able to create Jarvis then there is a chance he can also create Ultron.

Fans of the comic book however are scratching their heads as nothing in the comic books has ever suggested that Hank Pym is not the brains behind the villain. Some have even taken to social media to try to get Ant-Man in the Avengers sequel as there is even a movie for the character now in development. Since creating Ultron is one of the most important things that Hank Pym ever did and there is a movie about him on the way, something as little as a cameo would make a lot of sense. No word yet on that possibility of Whedon changing his mind.

Best Story Arc To Get Familiar With The Character

From The Masters of Evil

Anything that you read about Ultron will help get you ready for the movie, but keep in mind that there are changes in the script when compared to comics and that the movie is not based in the 2013 series. Some of the better choices to read are in the “Masters of Evil” arc.

 In the “Masters of Evil” you will get to see Ultron-5 through 10, so you will get a lot of his powers and how he works and keeps surviving. This is also when the mechanical body starts to take the shape that fans are familiar with today. This is also the arc where Ultron creates Vision to destroy the Avengers, but Vision was so human-like that he had a conscience and that meant that he knows right from wrong. Vision helped defeat Ultron and joined the Avengers team.

What To Expect From The Movie

The Avengers: Age of Ultron will be as big as the 2012 movie and most of the characters should be back. You should not expect to see Loki and Agent Coulson in the movie however as Whedon has already confirmed they are not in the script.

New characters will make their début in 2015 and the ones that we already know about are the mutant sibling team of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. Quicksilver will be on the big screen in 2014 in the X-Men: Days of Future Past movie, but different actors will take on the role.

Vin Diesel is likely to also be in the movie, but it is not yet known which character he will play. Most comic book fans are suggesting that he will be playing Vision in the movie, but there is a chance that he may actually play the main villain Ultron. The Avengers team of Captain America, Thor, Iron-Man, Hawkeye, Hulk and Black Widow are more than likely also coming back.

Whedon has a history of killing off important characters as a way to add drama and it is very likely that at least one of the heroes will meet his/her demise in the sequel. But do not worry; Marvel characters have a way of making it back to life. One of the best examples is Agent Coulson who will be the main character in the “Marvel’s Agents of Shield” show on ABC starting in September. 

Joss Whedon interview with Marvel Live