Editorial: ComicUI takes on Avengers 2: Age of Ultron
Here at ComicUI, our passion is to provide readers with up to date information most of the time and occasionally our thoughts tend to slip through. Now that Marvel had their panel at SDCC this year and several announcements were made, I felt it perfect time to give you some information and thoughts on sequel to the one of the biggest films ever made.
Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. We now know the title, a logo, and they even had some sort of teaser trailer for display. This was definitely a bigger surprise than anything DC offered up this year. Why is it shocking you ask? Then you asked the same question I did. Hearing the title I didn’t ask “what” or “who” but rather the “why” for the film’s title.
For the uninitiated, Age of Ultron is the name of the latest event for Marvel comics. It spanned 10 issues, had minimal crossover fallout, changed the status quo for years to come, and ultimately was, honestly, underwhelming. The title character, Ultron, didn’t factor into any of the later issues and the premise fell flat around halfway through. I didn’t hate it but I felt the ending focused too much on the next big event/universe change and not enough on having an actual ending. There were definitely some oh snap moments that kept me going. It was just sad to see one of the Avengers greatest villains go out not with a bang, but with a whimper.
My strongest prediction, is that the title will need a change. Age of Ultron rolls off the tongue, but the association with a mediocre (or underwhelmingly) received series isn’t the strongest move for a sequel with expectations higher than any vaulted ceiling. It is also a play on Age of Apocalypse, a Marvel event that still has implications in the comic universe today. Apocalypse gained notoriety in the X-men cartoon in the 90’s, but Ultron’s name doesn’t pull that weight just yet. There have been episodes on the Avenger cartoon TV shows based on him, but the traction doesn’t exist yet. Many people reading this may not even know who he is at this current point. I may be the only one having concern, but this is early. We still have a ton of time between now and then before we have to actually worry.
The exact Age of Ultron storyline would not work in the Marvel Cinematic universe at this point anyways. Time travel has not been introduced, Hank Pym/Ant-man/Giant Man (creator of Ultron) is getting a film after this one, and the story focused on Susan Storm/Invisible Woman and Wolverine, both properties of Fox. I feel very sure they will not be making appearances in this film or anytime soon with the avengers. This also gives me a feeling that this is a working title, nothing finalized, and won’t revolve around the event series that came out this year, it will be an original or semi original story created by Joss Whedon.
Whedon has been very vocal about including Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch in the upcoming movie as well. This is all good and such, but how? Age of Ultron didn’t focus on either of these characaters, both were not in the Avengers during Ultron’s initial attacks on the team in 1968, and the only series that comes to mind that covers all 3 as primary characters is (regrettably) Ultimates 3. This travesty lead to Utimatum and proved to me that Jeph Loeb lost whatever magic he once had. I won’t touch any work by him anymore due to Ultimates 3. Long story short, the Ultimate Ultron shoots the scarlet witch, enraging Quicksilver and Magneto, causing world devastation, etc. If they follow this arc, god help us, although Magneto is currently a Fox property, so it would be hard for most of this to happen. However, it is important to point out that The Vision, a robot Avenger who was created by Ultron, and the Scarlet Witch end up marrying each other in the main storyline, There’s magic and robots and romance. I’ll return to the Vision later in the article.
How do they do Ultron before Ant-man movie? Hank Pym created him to be the best, smartest AI in the world, which we know how that goes. A perfect robot to assist and evolve and adapt, something that had never been done before. As all robot stories tend to do, Ultron outgrew his father and his programming determined that humans should be eradicated/enslaved and a robot evolution should take place. Each time he faced the avengers, Ultron would learn and adapt and upgrade his systems. The next time it would be more and more difficult to destroy him. He wasn’t created out of evil, but rather accident by the “great” hero. I put these in quotes due to Hank Pym being someone crazy, but brilliant. With Edgar wright (Shaun of the dead, Scott pilgrim) penning and helmng the Ant-man movie, introducing Ultron first would be a) peculiar and b) too serious for an Ant-man film. Chronologically, if we follow Ultron’s roots and creation, he should come post-Ant-man, however we will be seeing him first. It’s gonna be interesting to say the least with lots of surprises along the way..
But what about Thanos? Why spend an entire movie building up the Mad Titan and not letting him have his day? Thanos screen time was minimal at best with the fewest lines ever, but the reveal was chilling nonetheless. Kevin Feige soon stated that we will see Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy next fall, which makes sense due to Gamorra being his ‘adopted’ daughter. Don’t expect it to be the main villain, but the mastermind behind another plot or two. Marvel showcased the Infinity Gauntlet a few years ago at SDCC and put it for a few seconds in Thor, but now they’re going with a tin can (not complaining, just a joke!)? Definitely interesting and makes me ponder their goals, but I trust Marvel and above all, I trust Joss. They have not steered us wrong yet. Maybe we will see Thanos come courting Death at a later date, which means I’ll have to replace all my Thanos artwork with Ultron. Such a rough life I live.
Foremost, these are not complaints I have with Avengers 2, but rather questions and ideas that arise once something so shocking is announced. With this news, I see lots of silver lining on the horizon. The predictable villain would have been Thanos and some Infinity Gauntlet quest. This story would have been formulaic and the Internet could tell us what would happen years before it it even hits theaters, even I had some pretty solid theories. Yet this puts us fanboys in a tizzy and has really even thrown off my normal thinking pattern. I can’t fathom how this will even work, let alone realize we will be seeing Ultron as a main villain, but I’m more than excited. This new story and shake up could be something that prevents Marvel from stagnating and lets them stay ahead in the comic book movie race. I will always give them credit for taking characters no one cared about and creating huge franchises out of them. Iron Man was just a b-list character in the comics before they reinvented it with RDJ, and nobody had any hope for Thor, yet they both yielded great results for the risk taken.
Lastly, this brings me to some speculation that has been going around about…Vin Diesel. We have heard he is talking to Marvel actively about being a character in some undisclosed film. The two biggest rumors are that he is voicing Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy (no one has been confirmed to voice the character as of this writing) or the Vision. Please note the last photo of Diesel as he left the Marvel office does in fact include Hank Pym as a primary focus. If Avengers 2 is taking on the villain, then the Vision is definitely not out of reach. But, bear with me here, what if we take it a step farther and he ends up in the role of Ultron himself? It wouldn’t be a stretch to only have one villain, but we won’t know until an official announcement is made regarding the driving force behind the second film. To me,its looking more and more likely Vinny could be a robot instead of a raccoon.
Avengers 2: Age of Ultron is scheduled to be released May 4, 2015 which is shaping up to be quite the year for filmgoers. Written and directed by Joss Whedon, we will see the return of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Bruce Banner/Hulk, the Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D. and potentially a few more characters from Guardians of the Galaxy and whoever else will be called upon to save the Earth. You can count on me to be there Day 1 (if not 3 weeks early like was offered for Avengers 1) and you can always count on reading more about the film as information is released on ComicUI. Please feel free to leave your comments and questions below, we will be more than happy to answer.