The Ninjabot

Hello, My Name Is: Ultron

Posted on November 7, 2014 at 9:00 am by Tyler Waterman

As the popularity of superhero films continues to skyrocket, we’re beginning to see more and more characters who aren’t household names getting the Hollywood spotlight. To ensure that no fan is left behind, Geek Legacy’s Managing Editor of Comics breaks down the essential info into a brief and easy-to-digest primer for these characters, in a feature we call “Hello, My Name Is.” 

There aren’t many superhero films that have fans talking more than the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. The sequel to the biggest superhero movie of all time, this latest chapter pits our favorite super-team against the sentient (and destructive) artificial intelligence known as Ultron. Wondering why this robot demands such respect? Let me show you!

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Here’s Ultron, just hangin’ out with his Avenger pals!

 

Who Is This Guy?

Ultron is essentially walking, talking, murdering proof of the phrase “the road to Hell is paved in good intentions.” Ultron was originally created by Hank Pym, super genius and the Avenger’s own Ant-Man. (Don’t know about him? Don’t worry; he’ll also be getting the “Hello, My Name Is” treatment as well.) Pym was looking to develop highly intelligent robots to help the Avengers in their war on evil, which was a great idea in theory, but spun out of control quickly. Ultron rapidly gained sentience, and when looking for the best solution to achieve his programmed mission of protecting humanity, he came to the conclusion that humanity’s greatest threat was themselves. Therefore, the solution was obvious: if he destroyed all of humanity, he’d inherently be saving it. Pleased with this deduction, Ultron hypnotized Pym into forgetting he ever created him in the first place, and set off to achieve his new mission.

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Looking at Ultron’s first incarnation, I can kind of understand why Pym didn’t consider this a potential threat…

 

What’d He Do?

From here, Ultron gets to work, with essentially the same formula every time; upgrades himself to a new version, attempts to kill everything that lives, gets foiled by the Avengers, repeat. However, one consistency remains; he continues to get closer to the goal. Ultron has re-appeared in over twenty different forms, each more deadly than the last. Though the shell changes over time, certain characteristics stay consistent; the distinct face of Ultron is typically obvious, and his physical forms are almost always comprised of adamantium or similar metals that allow him to go toe-to-toe with the strongest of heroes. His powers and abilities change over time as well, but you can always count on Ultron to be incredibly strong and laden with weaponry. He’s also rarely alone; Ultron can control other forms of technology, and is rarely seen without either an army of drones or at the head of a robotic civilization he’s taken control of.

Over the years, Ultron has threatened the world with nuclear annihilation, has taken control of Iron Man’s armor more than once, has been destroyed and rebuilt by the likes of Doctor Doom and the Beyonder, spawned other AIs like Vision and Victor Mancha, and nearly took control of the entire galaxy after enslaving the entire Phalanx race by sheer force of will. Most recently, the Age of Ultron event showed us a world where, due to some time-travel shenanigans, Ultron achieved his mission and took control of the entire planet, nearly wiping out all life.

Ultron is really big on self-improvement.

Ultron is really big on self-improvement.

 

So Why Should I Care?

Although the Age of Ultron event may not have been a critical darling, it certainly proved one thing: Ultron is legit. The only way the remaining heroes were able to wrest control of the world from him was to literally break space and time. When a broken space/time continuum is a better scenario than what the villain is doing, you know he’s got to be bad.

Essentially, what makes Ultron such an impressive villain is that, quite frankly, you can’t really stop him. There’s a reason we’ve seen over twenty forms of Ultron, and why I’m sure we’ll see more: he can’t be killed. As an artificial intelligence, he isn’t trapped in a single form, and always finds a way to get past whatever’s stopped him so he can get back to killing. What’s worse, you can never beat Ultron the same way twice. As the smartest AI ever created, Ultron can immediately adapt to any change and correct any weakness; what stops Ultron today will likely just make him stronger tomorrow. To put it bluntly, Ultron is the only villain that keeps Tony Stark up at night; if the man who takes nothing seriously worries himself sick about Ultron, you’d best believe we should all be worried too.

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And here I assumed Tony only dreamt about sexy ladies wearing repulsor gauntlets.

And there you have it, the 4-1-1 on what makes Ultron worthy of the big-time spotlight. Make no mistake about it: while you may not have been familiar with him when you first heard the name, Ultron is absolutely one of the Marvel Universe’s biggest threats, and deserves to be the villain of an Avengers-level film. While I’m sure the “movie Ultron” will deviate from the comic form (we already know the film version is created by Stark, not Pym), what won’t change is the massive threat level Ultron represents, and now you can be just as excited as I am to watch the Avengers knock his block off!

Got more questions? Want more details? Ask them in the comments, and I’ll be happy to clarify. And be sure to keep checking Geek Legacy for more “Hello, My Name Is” features to continue your comic character education and ensure maximum comic movie enjoyment!

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