Since the dawn of The Avengers: Age of Ultron teaser, the world waited anxiously for the arrival of what appeared to be one of Marvel’s most notorious villains big screen appearance. As time progressed, and more leaked footage hit the net, fanboys’ and girls’ anticipation reached uncanny levels. Then with the release of the feature film and the first full-length view of the big-bad Ultron, the end result left an underwhelming feeling and bittersweet taste in moviegoers’ mouths.
Avengers: Age of Ultron was one of the most overly publicized movies to hit theaters this summer. From a slew of TV spots, late night show appearances, toys, games, promotions, and even Target’s full stock of Avenger’s merchandise, the sequel exceeded the limits of overly-hyped. From the first looks of the previews, the big bad Ultron was more than just a feet in CGI but a creepy threat that even made the Pinocchio song (I’ve Got No Strings) chilling. So, from first expectations, moviegoers would think that Ultron would continue that same menacing, chilling tone from the previews. Unfortunately that image was not really what moviegoers received.
Ultron in the films started as an improved A.I., developed by the Hydra radicals during their experimentation with the mind-altering scepter and Chitari (alien invaders from the first Avengers‘ film) tech. Thanks to the brain-meddling of the Scarlet Witch, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Tony Stark’s drive to make things better, Stark’s character continued on with the Hydra tech to create a metal blanket to cover and protect the world from any threats-domestic or extraterrestrial. The flaw in that theory is that the A.I. was built from alien tech that already tried to eliminate the world’s population and the tech was further experimented on by a fascist organization. There was not a win in that situation for the heroes. The end result of the meddling and, ultimately, heroes trying to play god was a super-intelligent, hostile bot that wanted to wipe out the world’s population.
In the comics, Ultron was not created by Tony Stark or Bruce Banner but Hank Pym (The Ant-Man). Originally written by Roy Thomas and John Buscema in 1961, the A.I. was first envisioned as a sentient program that mimicked the brain patterns of Dr. Pym to help in scientific discovery. The bot eventually became more sentient and corrupt, resenting Pym and everything that he stood for. Ultron would go on to make over 15 versions of himself, each one an upgraded version of the other. The evil bot proved to be one of the Avengers’ greatest foes because of his ability to always come back stronger than ever and even managed to conquer the world before planning on wiping out all organic life on the planet. Though mighty and sadistic in his goals for mass genocide, the Avengers and other characters of the Marvel universe would always find a way to eventually defeat him.
In the film, Ultron first appeared as a creepy A.I. first developed with the intentions to become a more advanced police drone system to replace Stark’s Iron Legion. As the story progressed, he became more of a wise-cracking, metallic child throwing a temper tantrum. His character was bit contradictory in the fact that he ended up just capturing Black Widow to show her his new upgrade because he was, in a way, sad and lonely that the twins left his side. Still bent on world destruction, the super-intelligent program even became stumped on finding the right word to say. Eventually becoming obsessed with upgrading into a humanoid android called The Vision, Ultron’s plans were later thwarted and his last ditch effort was something so silly that not even a comic book writer would have developed.
Considering how the Avengers movie ended, it was a little surprise that the sequel would make Ultron the main villain instead of Thanos. With all the hype and publicity that followed, it seemed that Ultron was a dream that director and writer Joss Whedon hoped to bring to the big screen. Ultimately, the choice to make Ultron seem more dimensional by making him into a pun-filled robot with anger-management issues and bitter feelings. This did not translate too well or come across as threatening. At the end of the film, it felt more like the villain was the assembly-line, mass-producer from hell, rather than, an alien A.I. that was one of the Avenger’s greatest foes.
Opinion By Tyler Cole
ComicVine:Avengers: Age of Ultron Review