So the dust has settled, SDCC is over and we’re already on the release date of The Wolverine. But the question I’ve been asked most this week is about the Avengers 2 announcement. I’ve seen some ludicrous claims online about it following the similar titled Age of Ultron storyline, despite tons of statements from Joss Whedon and Kevin Feige saying that the title was pulled from the comics, but written as an original story. The biggest concern is that Marvel is introducing Ultron so quickly and as the main villain of the phase 2 chapter. So let’s cover how the first and only release film of Phase 2 can lead into an Ultron storyline through Iron Man 3 and the team involved.
First and foremost, the obvious answer is that Ultron is an accidental creation from Tony Stark. But Hank Pym created Ultron, you cry. Sadly, I don’t care. This is the cinematic Universe and has been rewarded for taking risks and telling stories that have broken the mold their comic brethren created. Iron Man 3 introduced us to an army of near sentient robots through his wirelessly controlled armor. What happens when Jarvis or an alien AI (via the Chitauri) get into one of these suits? They would find ways to improve upon the design and become the ultimate machine. This would drive Tony mad because he deems himself the master of machines; his frustration would create a great story for Stark in Avengers 2.
Also, to top off the sentient machines which are derived from Tony’s suits of armor is the introduction of Extremis. Yes, it is a biological weapon that can be used to heal humans and reprogram life as we know it, but that also makes it a machine. One that can be militarized and bastardized into something beyond what we previewed in Iron Man 3. Killian’s A.I.M. organization is one based on science and furthering the progress of society through intelligence, which could pop up later too as a creator of Ultron.
Further descriptions of the teaser from SDCC describe what appear to be aliens and a temple in space. This is all hearsay at this point, but if it is of alien origin too, it could be another attempt by Thanos to take over the world via indirect route. The Phase 2 films and SHIELD tv show also focus on the fallout from the Chitauri invasion, now that the world knows we’re not alone. If you remember from the Marvel One-Shot: Item 47, some of the Alien technology still works on our world. If AIM or SHIELD or Stark Industries attempts to take on this technology, they may find themselves with something more than they bargained for in the terms of a hyper advanced AI that is nigh-indestructible.
One of the strongest points is the writer/director. Joss Whedon is an apt story teller, per his rep sheet in Buffy, Firefly, Astonishing X-men, and lately the Avengers. He also acts as a creative consultant for Marvel films now, able to slightly craft the films to his need so the payoff will be Avengers 2. Not that they had to do much for the Avengers, but some retconning was done to fix some nuances. Whedon also knows how to handle ensemble characters and has mentioned we will not get a film like the first Avengers. He is intentionally trying to take this to a new place and the unexpected villain is one that could be best for everyone, especially fan boys. Despite the altered origin of Ultron, keeping us guessing till the end will be exhilarating and rewarding if correct.
If Avengers 2: Age of Ultron is to provide a penultimate story for the Phase 2 films, I have a strong feeling this may be the way they go. Marvel has ideas and plans that are already in motion for these movies, but all we’ve seen is Iron Man 3 at this point. With the other films on the horizon, including Thor: The Dark World; Captain America: Winter Soldier; and Guardians of the Galaxy in between now and then, more pieces of this large puzzle will fall into place. A slow, unveiling to the road map that leads us into the Age of Ultron is better than a quick reveal.
Nobody wants Marvel ultimately blowing their wad on what was supposed to be a dry run. What are your favorite theories of Ultron in the Marvel cinematic Universe?