Monday, October 27, 2014

Avengers, Age Of Ultron ... WTF Was That?

So, that was fun.

Time for my five cents.


Avengers 2.


Ultron is the primary villain of Avengers2. It's really called Avengers: Age of Ultron. So, duh.

We know that Paul Bettany, the voice of JARVIS in Iron Man, is getting his own part as the Vision.  More later.

We know that Pietro and Wanda Maximoff will be in the film.

Dr. Zola, in The Winter Soldier, has an artificial intelligence algorithm that is set to find threats to Hydra, like superheroes, and kill them.

Hydra has the glows tick of destiny from The Avengers.  It has a glowing gem that makes you control people's minds. A mind gem if you will (more on that later).


Take the AI, stick it into some of Tony Stark's armor, whack it with the mind gem to give it life, and you have a crapstorm ahead called Ultron.

The Maximoff's were seen at the end of Winter Soldier in the clutches of Hydra. Which means that Baron von Strucker and his minions will be part of it. We have another army of darkness ahead.

That was before I saw the trailer.

Now that we've seen The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer ... now what?

Well, a few things.  To start with, the narration was obviously done by the marvelously malicious James Spader, who is voicing the killer robot Ultron. Blaming Hydra aside, we know a good chunk of stuff.
[More below the break]


For those of you who don't know about Ultron, in the comics, he was created by Hank Pym, aka: Ant-Man, one of the leading minds of the Marvel universe. Because that's what scientists do in comic books. Ultron went bad, and would even create one of his own robot minions, The Vision. While The Vision is not in the trailer, just assume that he's going to be one of the dozens of various and sundry minions crawling all over that old castle.  Why do I assume that? Because, as noted, The Vision has been cast, and he will be played by Paul Bettany, who has been the voice of Tony Stark's AI with an attitude problem, Jarvis, since the first Iron Man film.

In this little bit of Marvel continuity, Ultron will be created by Tony Stark, not Hank Pym (set to have his own movie sometime next year ... maybe).  From what I have seen around the net, Tony Stark will try to "reactivate a program" and it all goes terribly wrong. Since the end of The Winter Soldier showed us elements that show up in Age of Ultron, my friend Jason and I have considered that this program may incorporate elements of the SHIELD / Hydra program that targeted threats to Hydra -- namely superheroes.

Let's face it, does anyone put it past Tony Stark to say "Hey, if I program to identify real threats, like on that Person of Interest show, and create an army of police drones to enforce it, there's no way that this can go wrong!"?

No matter what, we'll have Ultron, the killer robot will have drone minions, and control machines ... like the Hulkbuster Iron Man armor we see the Incredible Hulk fighting in the trailer.

Short version: Ultron will be a pain in the ass to kill.


We see a city in the distance at sunset, then inside its borders are terrified citizens. In another cut is a crowd, seemingly protesting ... Probably Tony Stark, if the above theory is correct.  Though who would be out protesting during Ultron wiping out humanity is a completely different question.

A robotic hand emerges from a molten liquid and flexes, then more screaming people. We encounter our heroes; Captain America walks in slow motion into wreckage, an alert Hawkeye spins around and a backlit Thor stands in front of a smashed cityscape.

Yeah yeah, all very dramatic.

And here's Ultron, mangled but shambling into Avengers Tower, where the heroes -- in plain clothes -- see him, perhaps for the first time.

The next face we see close-up is Robert Downey, Jr. He looks pretty concerned as the bot-who-will-be-Ultron picks up a Stark drone and crushes his head and

... you know what, this bores me. Back to some analysis.


The Scarlet Witch, in costume
If the end of The Winter Soldier is anything to go by, Hydra will be involved for the first act, and it will involve the two young folk shown in Hydra glass cages -- who are Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff.  Pietro just runs very fast. The Scarlet Witch has the power to warp reality ... and is bat-guano insane.

We know the Maximoff twins are going to be in the movie. They're in the trailer.  If they're out and running loose, that means that Hydra is involved, at least in the first act, if not the second and third.

After all, can't you just see it? Act one, Hydra attacks. Tony Stark releases his drone army.  Captain America comes in out of the cold -- and the search for Bucky -- to fight them. Bruce Banner is around, as seen at the end of Iron Man 3, so he shouldn't be too far off.  Black Widow and Hawkeye would come out to play and beat the crap out of Hydra.  And Thor might just be in the neighborhood.

The Twins, the in movie
By the end of Act One, Hydra is replaced with the drone that will become Ultron as a primary threat, and the Maximoff twins are leftover from the Hydra attack to join Ultron. Then we're off to the races.

How they fit in Jarvis as The Vision is a good question, and it can happen at least three different ways. In the comics, it was a natural progression of the AI Henchman that served Ultron. Obviously, if Jarvis has his own body, something else is going on.

Keep in mind, the Scarlet Witch and the Vision were eventually married in the comic books.

Insert your own "sex machine" joke here.

Since Wanda / Witch can warp reality, there was at least one comic book variation where she had an idle thought about a robot falling in love with her, and it grew a personality ... it also became Ultron.  But the less said about that storyline, the better. If they borrow elements of that, and make it the Vision, with Jarvis' programming, that might work

Also, for the ultra creepy-crowd, in the comics, there were a few writers, who created a few moments, where it looked like Pietro and Wanda were a "thing." And one of those writers was Jeph Loeb, who is currently running Marvel's Agents of SHIELD.

...Though I can't help imaging that if Loeb suggested such a thing, or tried to insert his influence anywhere near Age of Ultron, Joss Whedon would personally break Loeb's fingers off and use them as a suppository up Loeb's backside.

Just saying.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the Maximoff twins, as they belong to two different universes. On the one hand, both become members of the Avengers in the comics.  But they're also supposed to be the children of Magneto. They're mutants.  Yeah. That's going to be fun.

If this film ends with a cameo from Ian McKellen, expect laughter in the audience.


In the trailer, there is no shortage of wreckage -- destroyed cities, terrorized citizens and authorities fighting something off camera. Every hero we see early on in the trailer shows them walking slowly, looking forlorn and beat down. Bruce Banner is crouched and shuddering, clearly terrified … then stumbling through the snow, presumably post Hulk. A hospital bed wheels down a hall, and there’s a close-up of surgical equipment.

Okay, what does a castle have to do with ANYTHING?
Ultron is an evil robot. Or is he something Tony dug up somewhere?
Ultron, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch appear to exchange a moment in some sort of factory before the droid army swarm a mountain (the same one with the castle, which Iron Man looked up at and Cap stormed into). The heroes, inside an old structure, appear shocked enough to make Thor drop Mjolnir. Tony Stark says, “It's the end of the path I started us on,” to which Black Widow replies, “Nothing lasts forever.”

Yeah, so this is Stark's fault.

And why is Nick Fury back? And who's that bearded fellow with the odd haircut looking really angry/nervous (played by, I think, Andy Serkis, of Gollum fame)?

Hulk Buster Armor. Guess what it's supposed to do.
Scarlet Witch in an office building ... I'm kind of bored now.  Oh look, the not so jolly green giant versus Stark’s Hulkbuster armor.

Insert action cuts with Black Widow dropping out of a Quinjet on a motorcycle.  That looks cool.  Hey, Marvel, can we have the freaking Black Widow movie now, damnit?

.... And then Thor lifts Stark by the throat .. definition all Stark's fault.

Hulk throws a car at the Hulkbuster -- then punches through the car. Yay destruction.  And ... Captain America’s broken shield.

Are we doing the Death of Captain America already? I'd rather not. The Civil War rumors were stupid enough.

Dun dun dun DUNDUN
End with the finished Ultron product. Cue Terminator theme.

The trailer has the UK release date of April, not the US date of May 1.

So, that was fun.

Oh, and in case you haven't noticed, the commercial was having too much fun playing with that Pinocchio "No strings"  song. Which makes me wonder if Whedon wrote the commercial, too.  It would be something he'd pull.


Now, this will be the end of Marvel's second phrase. If you haven't figured it out yet, everything is building up to Avengers 3, where the main adversary will be Thanos, and he will be wielding all six infinity gems.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, they were mentioned in Guardians of the Galaxy as the McGuffin devices for Captain America, Thor 2, GotG, and the first Avengers.

That is actually a good question with Age of Ultron. The last image we had from Cap 2 was that Hydra, led by Baron von Strucker, was in possession of the mind control spear that Loki used in The Avengers.  If the spear is tipped with yet another gem -- the gem of the mind / soul, for example -- not only could it control people's minds, could it also bestow life on an artificial intelligence? We'll see how it goes.

There are many different ways to slice this pie, and I'm sure there are various and sundry things I'm missing. Heck, the only way I can fit the old castle into this film is if it's a Hydra base .... Yes, I could see Act one (as described above) ending with the Avengers being beaten and driven off, and as they research the program Stark used, they have to go to Eastern Europe to investigate.

Why Eastern Europe?  Look at the region the tanks are driving through, the forest that Hawkeye runs through, and tell me that doesn't look like something that could be in Eastern Europe.

How does this fit in with the rest of "The Marvel Plan"?  Identifying the spear as running on an Infinity Gem would add to the chaos.  If the old castle is actually a really old Hydra base ... well, we know how Hydra liked to play with Powers That Should Not Be Touched, so who only knows where this plot could go with reference to the overarching storyline. Also, according to IMDB, Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter in Cap 1) is supposedly in the movie, but that's IMDB, so who knows?

How much of this buildup was there?  [SPOILERS] Well, Iron Man 3 ended with Tony Stark giving up his suit, which would lead to this drone program (subtle as a brick, our Mr. Whedon). Thor 2 might only impact the story because Thor is on Earth. Captain America 2, however, might bring in God-knows-what, from Hydra, to the AI program, to the glow stick of destiny, but it will certainly bring in the Maximoff Twins. [END SPOILERS]

In reference to Avengers 3, seriously, who knows? I'm still trying to figure out why we're getting a movie about Ant-Man and not Miss Marvel, Black Widow, or Hawkeye.  GotG at least made sense in that it better introduced us to Thanos than his brief cameo at the end of The Avengers. Personally, I could have seen a few different movies done instead, and then do GotG in phase 3, but what do I know?


If you know anything about the Civil War premise, you know that it's impossible to make into a movie at this point, and maybe never.  Why? The original Civil War plotline called for dozens if not hundreds of active heroes in the Marvelverse.  The Superhero Registration Act requires heroes to reveal their identities to the government ... and everyone in the film universe knows about Thor, Stark, Captain America, War Machine, and after Winter Soldier, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and maybe Bruce Banner.  Civil War is an impossibility.

This rumor came out of a conflation of two stories. One, Iron Man would be in Captain America 3. Two, Marvel was going to have a comic book callback to Civil War. Conflate both stories, and game over.

Considering that the rest of the Cap 3 story was that "Downy complained that his role was too small, and various drafts delete him from the plot entirely," I suspect it may be more than a cameo.  Also, if Captain America 3 doesn't involve the search for Bucky, than what the hell was the end of The Winter Soldier about?

Anyway, I think I've said enough. I've told you all I know, and some of what I suspect.  Enjoy.


  1. Is it possible that Joss planned this all just to drive Marvel Fanboys insane? :)

  2. The upcoming Marvel release list was, er, released:

    May 6, 2016 – Captain America: Civil War
    November 4, 2016 – Doctor Strange

    May 5, 2017 – Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 (new date)
    July 28, 2017 – Thor: Ragnarok
    November 3, 2017 – Black Panther

    May 4, 2018 – Avengers: Infinity War – Part I
    July 6, 2018 – Captain Marvel
    November 2, 2018 – The Inhumans

    May 3, 2019 – Avengers: Infinity War – Part II

    I have to say, as someone who was a big fan of the first two Cap movies, Civil War is making me really nervous.

    1. Thanks. I know. I did an article for my day job. Well, my other day job. :)


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