The Avengers have struggled with many bad guys over the years. But despite having a gallery of ladinos as long as their arm, only a handful of villains really made their way to the big screen. And only one of them can even be said to be truly a villain of the first Avengers: Ultron.
Appearing for the first time in 1968, Ultron was resurrected again, and again, and again, and again so many times that you would need a master's degree in Marvelology to catalog all of them.
The character's constant design changes mean that the talented ones in charge of adapting it to the Avengers of 2015: Age of Ultron had their work cut to them in terms of creating a great cinematographic design.
Fortunately, Charlie Wen, former head of visual development at Marvel Studios, was up to the challenge. Wen sat down for an exclusive interview to go over all the ins and outs of creating the cinematic version of the homicidal robot that Marvel fans love to hate.
When he first appeared in Avengers # 54 of 1968, Ultron did not have a name, much less a distinct design. The story of the issue concerns the Masters of Evil teaming up to capture the Avengers with the help of secrets provided by team steward Jarvis.
At the end of the story, one of the newest members of Masters of Evil, the Crimson Cowl, is revealed as an unnamed robot, covering Cowl's true alter ego: Jarvis, the butler.
So in the next issue, writer and artist Roy Thomas and John Buscema apparently realized that suddenly making evil Jarvis for no real reason was not the best move. Instead, it made the random robot – now seemingly called Ultron 5, the Living Automaton – the real villain all the time, who hypnotized the faithful steward of the Avengers in a temporary betrayal.
Even with the revelation of this new villain called Ultron 5, readers still would not learn much about their real origins for various subjects, specifically the Avengers # 58. There it is revealed that Hank "Giant Man" Pym was experiencing the creation of "synthetic life "and built a goofy robot that looked more like the boiler you could have in your basement than the mechanical threat he had become.
After his initial fight with the Giant Man, Ultron somehow erased his father's memory of science and jumped only through a concrete wall like the Kool-Aid man, but with more lasers and unexplained memory erase technology. Keep watching the video to see what Ultron was like on the MCU!
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Meet Ultron: Generic Evil Robot | 0:55
Meet Ultron again: poor hot water heater | 1:43
Terrifying robot, goofy teeth | 2:36
Tooth and Consequences | 3:34
Without mooring | 4:36
Elegantly inhuman | 5:37