Friday, April 11, 2014

Ultron's Bride! by Jim Shooter and George Perez

It seems that anyone who writes the Avengers all do their take on Ultron, one of their greatest foes, and Jim Shooter and George Perez were no exception when they created the awesome epic tale of Ultron's Bride.

Jim Shooter and George Perez are two of the Avengers greatest creators creating a string of classic stories in the mid 70’s a couple of which included that Roy Thomas/John Buscema creation, Ultron. Ultron has one of the best back stories on all Marvel comics. "Son" to Henry "Gi-Ant Man" Pym, "father" to the Vison, he came back time and time again, to challenge the Avengers to the limit.

In Avengers #161 and #162, and again in Avengers #170 and #171, Jim Shooter and George Perez weave an epic tale of love and betrayal that became one of their greatest adventures.

The story begins the story with Ant-Man attacking all of the Avengers. Apparently he doesn’t know most of them. He seems to have been mentally reverted to the time when the Avengers first became a team. He attacks the Avengers and does an exciting and credible job of taking the whole team down.

Ironically he is no match for his waif wife, Janet "the Wasp" VanDye who takes him down with a shot of her bio-electric "wasp sting".
They do their best to figure out what caused Pym's amnesia but before they can Ultron shows up and takes him and Janet away.

We begin the next issue with Ultron convincing Ant-Man that his wife is deathly ill and the only way to save her is to transfer her consciousness to a mechanical body that Ultron has prepared. The problem with this is that it will kill Janet unbeknownst to Hank.

Meanwhile the Avengers are trying to find Hank and Jan when they receive a message in the form of ants telling them where to look.

They find where Ultron's secret base is and fight him. It is only through the threat of destroying Ultron's bride that Ultron gives up and escapes.

In the end they are left with the mystery of who sent the ants directing them to Ultron's hideout.

Shooter brilliantly followed this story up 9 months later! In that time the Avengers were able to have other adventures and the audience was able to forget about it. That's one of the brilliant things about Shooter's Avengers run is that he thought big, planed real arcs, and paced his stories to take place months apart with action in between each part.

Avengers 170 starts off innocently enough with the Avengers doing daily things, one of them is moving Jocasta, Ultron's bride, from Pym's lab to Avengers mansion. In that time she becomes animated to everyones surprise.

She is being controlled externally by someone, presumably Ultron. the Avengers try to stop her until...

Iron Man has a way of tracking Jocasta so the team goes on a wild goose chase threw Manhattan following her. they end up at a convent to their bewilderment which, of coarse is really Ultron's secret lair.

They fight until Ultron gets the upper hand but just as he thinks he has won...

It seems that the Wasp's imprint has left Jocasta with a conscience and she helps destroy her love.

Ultron truly is one of the Avengers greatest enemies. Being made of indestructible adamantium makes him one tough customer and his cold hatred for his father Hank Pym makes him really scary. His motivation is not simply a criminal one, it's one of revenge and one that's created by madness, and a cold robotic madness at that.

Jocasta carried on with the Avengers through Jim Shooter's run joining them in their battle against Korvak/Michael the man/god though she went out of favor in the early 80's and was killed off in Marvel Two-In-One #92 in a sad little story. It's a shame because I enjoyed her and thought she had potential. she is one of those characters that only the creator seems to be able to write for and dies when the writer goes off of the book.

Jocasta in Greek mythology was Oedipus' mother. Oedipus was a famous Greek play about a guy who killed his father and married his mother. Perhaps Shooter chose that name as a way to show the hate Ultron had for his father. If you think about it, Ultron was in love with his mother (Janet) and wanted to marry his daughter (Jocasta) and wanted to kill his father (Hank). It's pretty messed up.

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