July 20, 2013


Marvel President Kevin Feige is about to leave the stage in Hall H following the panels for Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy.  An amped up crowd is shouting “More!”  Feige returns, takes a seat, and says “There’s only one more person here.  He wanted to say, ‘Hi.’  Joss Whedon!”  Whedon takes the stage.  “Hi.  I know it’s time to go,” he says, “and I don’t have a lot to say, but I have something to add.”  We cut to a trailer of quotes from The Avengers over something metal being hammered.  The metal has a strange red glow.  The last quote we hear is what Nick Fury told Maria Hill about the group coming back together when they world will need them.  The camera then pulls out to reveal Ultron’s helmet.  We then get the title for the highly-anticipated sequel: The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Hit the jump for more.  The Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1, 2015.

avengers-2-age-of-ultron-comic-book-coverThe reaction in Hall H to the reveal of Ultron was ecstatic because these are the fans that know the name “Ultron”.  For those who don’t, here’s a brief recap with the help of Wikipedia:

–       Ultron made his first full appearance in 1968’s Avengers #55.  It is revealed that the living automaton “is the creator of the “synthezoid”, the Vision, whom it tries to use as a weapon to destroy the Avengers. The Vision, however, destroys Ultron with the aid of the Avengers.

–       Further flashbacks reveal that Dr. Henry Pym, a.k.a. Ant-Man was the creator of Ultron.  The robot eventually developed its own intelligence and rebelled, suffered an Oedipus Complex, tried to kill Pym and became interested in Pym’s lover, Janet van Dyne, a.k.a. The Wasp.

–       The title “Age of Ultron” refers to 10-issue crossover comic book event that ran from March to June of 2013.  Here’s the synopsis from Wikipedia:

During the Age of Ultron storyline, Ultron has returned and conquers the world while slowly remolding it into his image. His Ultron Sentinels are guarding the streets looking for any fugitives. Hawkeye runs into the Ultron Sentinels as he was rescuing the Superior Spider-Man yet manages to destroy the Ultron Sentinels present. It is later revealed that Ultron is actually in the future and has been using Vision as a conduit to punish humanity. While one strike team travels into the future to fight Ultron, Wolverine and Invisible Woman go back in time to kill Pym before he can create Ultron in the first place.  This results in a world where Tony Stark controls an army of robotic drones and that Morgan le Fay has conquered half of the world. Travelling back in time once more, Wolverine succeeds in stopping himself from killing Pym, and he, Pym and Susan Storm come up with a different plan. This plan results in a different outcome of the prior confrontation between the Avengers and the Intelligencia; a ‘back door’ installed into Ultron at his original creation allows Hank Pym and Iron Man to destroy the robot, instead, averting the events that led to the ‘Age of Ultron’.

So…yeah.  That’s probably not going to be the exact plot of Whedon’s movie.

The larger question is, “How does Thanos fit into all of this?”  As far as the comics are concerned, Wikipedia says he doesn’t.  Thanos isn’t mentioned anywhere on Ultron’s page.  So while it’s exciting news, we were all going on a big assumption:  Guardians of the Galaxy introduces Thanos, Thanos fights the Avengers in The Avengers 2, and we move on to Phase Three.  It’s possible Ultron and Thanos fight alongside each other in Age of Ultron, but what if we jumped the gun?  What if Thanos isn’t the villain of The Avengers 2?  What if he’s the villain of The Avengers 3?

Marvel always knows how to send its audience reeling.  Today, they did it with a revelation reminding the crowd that as the studio becomes more successful, they’re going to take more chances, and we should learn to expect the unexpected.

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