April 25, 2013
A Closer Look At Ultron
Marvel is nearly finished with their latest and exciting series, “Age of Ultron” (abbr. AU). In AU, Ultron has returned to Earth and has devastated the planet, conquering it successfully and killing off most of the opposition, with few heroes surviving. As the series still hasn’t been released entirely, I can’t give away too many details since that would both be spoiling it… and because I don’t have the ability to read unreleased comics, which would be a superpower I would love to have. With AU near completion, I decided to review Ultron’s history and how he became one of the Avenger’s most feared super-villains of all time.
One of the most important and crucial parts of Ultron’s history (and in my experience, commonly unknown or forgotten), is how he came into being. Ultron is the creation of Henry “Hank” Pym, aka Ant-man (or Giant-man, Goliath, the notorious Yellowjacket, etc.). A failed experiment with artificial intelligence, Ultron was based off Hank’s own brain wave patterns; unfortunately, this includes Hank’s mental instability without the moral conscience. As such, Ultron formed a major Oedipus complex, exhibiting an irrational hatred for his “father” and for humanity as a whole while forming an interest for Hank’s lover (Ultron’s “mother”), Janet van Dyne, aka the Wasp.
But what makes Ultron such a formidable opponent, so much so that it eventually triumphs over the Avengers and the Earth as a whole? Being an A.I. based off one of the world’s leading geniuses, its intellect is unsurpassable by normal mortal’s standards; likewise, Ultron is capable of rebuilding itself over and over, always improving on its previous body. Starting out as a crude robot, it re-invented itself time and again, using adamantium for its body as Ultron-5 and thereafter (Ultron-5 being the fifth body Ultron creates for itself). Using its supreme intelligence and near indestructible body, it has faced the Avengers, West Coast Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and even Iron Man, being defeated only narrowly each time.
While Ultron is purely evil, he is responsible for the creation of two other androids, Vision and Jocasta. Vision is the “son” of Ultron, yet ironically enough, is a long-time member of the Avengers. Vision generally shows no behavioral similarities to his “father”, though this may be self-evident considering he’s on the Avengers, nemeses to Ultron. Jocasta, designed to be a bride for Ultron, and ironically again based off the Wasp’s brain waves, refused to be his mate after realizing his evil ways and joins the Avengers as well. She would help to assist the Avengers in many endeavors, though never really feeling as part of the team. However, she would eventually become a teacher for Avengers Academy, another one of Ultron’s creations that turned against him. Though they may be heroes, Ultron created them with a hidden program that would force them to rebuild Ultron again and again; as such, though they may be heroes, Ultron still uses them for his sinister plans.
Ultron has done much since his introduction in 1968 in Avengers #54, proving to be a formidable foe, nearly taking over the Earth and the Kree, and creating for himself 18 unique bodies, even including one which looks exactly like the Wasp and one where he controls the cybernetic alien species, Phalanx. Now with the his absolute conquest of Earth complete, it will be exciting to see how the surviving heroes take back Earth and save what’s left in the final two issues of AU (01000001 01010101).
Image Credit: Marvel