Recent news indicates that Kevin Smith and his team are
Avengers: Age of Ultron is coming to theaters and the Avengers are set to take on a robot nemesis that has been one of their longest running villains. James Spader will be bringing the iconic villain to the silver screen and will be trying to fit decades of appearances and development into one feature film. With such a rich history battling the Avengers throughout the years, here is some facts about the killer robot.
1. Ultron first appeared in Avengers #54 & 55 and was created by writer Roy Thomas and artist John Buscema.
2. All the leaked news points to Tony Stark being responsible in the film for bringing Ultron to life, but in the comics it was Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man. He used his brain waves to create the first artificial intelligence in the Marvel comics, beating even Stark and Reed Richards to that achievement.
3. The identity of Ultron was kept hidden from readers at first. He led a new team of the Masters of Evil in disguise as the Crimson Cowl. Hank Pym didn’t remember creating him due to Ultron developing his own personality. The robot developed a crush on Hank’s wife Janet van Dyne, The Wasp, and wanted Hank out of the way. Ultron rebuilt himself and turned on Hank, erasing his memory of having even created him.
4. He reveals himself as the Ultron-V to the Avengers with his origins unknown to the hero team. In order to combat the heroes, Ultron creates a synthezoid (fancy name for android) called the Vision. To create him, Ultron used the brainwaves of Avenger member Wonder Man. Originally built for the destruction of the Avengers, Vision turned on his master and aided the heroes to defeat the evil robot.
5. Ultron rebuilt himself as Ultron-6 and put his next plan into action. He creates his new body from the indestructible adamantium.
6. Throughout the decades, Ultron has figured out new ways to upgrade his body and abilities, constantly testing the Avengers and any heroes he stands against. The robots ability to adapt and remake himself after a defeat stands as one of his most lasting legacies as a Marvel villain.
7. In the 2000’s, Ultron was given a facelift for “The Might Avengers.” Ultron interfaced with Tony’s armor, which at this point was no longer mechanical but biological and changes the both of them into the form of Janet van Dyne. Yes, this is an arc where Tony is taken over by Ultron and turned into a woman. In the end, the Avengers triumph and change Tony Stark back to his RDJ self.
8. Ultron, however, figured a way out of his defeat and had his consciousness transferred to deep space. He was eventually picked up by a race known as the Phalanx, which he converted into a hive mind to serve him. With the distant galaxy in upheaval due to the Annihilation Wave (long story), Ultron used the Phalanx to convert every alien world he could conquer. This spurred the creation of Peter Quill’s rag-tag team of commandos that fought back, and would later become the current Guardians of the Galaxy.
9. The most recent storyline with Ultron in the comics is The Age of Ultron, no relation to the upcoming movie. In this tale, Ultron has figured out a way to used the Vision in the future to strike back at the heroes in the past, conquering the world. The remaining heroes travel into the future to fight back, but Wolverine and the Invisible Woman go back in time to Hank Pym before he could create the villain. As time travel stories go, by changing so much of the past, the two throw the entire future into upheaval. So Wolverine goes back again in time to stop himself from killing Hank, leading Hank and Tony to implant a backdoor into Ultron’s programming to finally destroy him and stopping the events of Age of Ultron.
10. Ultron has appeared in alternate universes, such as the Ultimate universe. In it, he is still created by Hank Pym, but is designed to be a world police force to aid the Avengers and SHIELD. Rejected by Nick Fury, he still tries to use them to help during crises. The Ultrons are then turned into butlers for the Ultimates until Doctor Doom takes over one and manipulates it into killing the Scarlet Witch and creating robotic replacements of the Ultimates.
11. With each upgrade, Ultron’s powers have changed throughout the years. He typically has enhanced strength and the ability to fly. He also has the ability to fire laser beams from his eyes and hands. One of his biggest weapons is the Encephalo-Ray which puts the victim into a death-like coma. While they are under, Ultron can memorize and hypnotize their minds.
12. Ultron’s appearance is generally a full silver body with glowing red eyes.
13. To this day, Ultron remains one of the most popular Avengers baddies. Besides his about to featured in one of the biggest movies of the year, Ultron has made an appearance across the whole of the Marvel’s properties, from video games to cartoon shows. He ranked 189th in Wizard Magazine’s Top 200 Greatest Villains Ever and 189th in their 200 Greatest Comic Book Characters of All Time.