Friday, May 1, 2015

Ultron, the ultimate Avengers adversary!

Ultron, the sentient, evil robot, is one of the Avengers greatest nemesis. He has deep ties to the Avengers with his being created by Hank Pym and in turn, creating the Vision. He has continued to plague them over the years giving us some of the most kick ass Avengers stories ever written.

In the late 60's Roy Thomas had taken over the writing duties of the Avengers from Stan Lee and was trying to prove himself and find his own voice apart from Stan 'the man'. It was at this time that Roy would create some of the most memorable and enduring characters of the Marvel Universe including the sentient, evil robot, Ultron that first appeared in Avengers #54, July 1968.

Ultron disguised as the Crimson Cowl and reformed the Masters of Evil so that he could attack the Avengers in Avengers #54 and #55, July-Aug 1968. 
It was revealed in the Avengers #58, that Ultron started out as an experiment in artificial intelligence by Hank Pym, aka Ant-Man, aka Giant Man, aka Goliath, aka Yellow Jacket. He was not only a genius in biochemistry who created a way to shrink and grow but it seems he also excelled in robotics and artificial intelligence.

Ultron was evil from the very beginning as seen here in this page from Avengers #58, Oct 1968.
Ultron is one of the Avengers greatest foe. Not only does he have a great hatred for mankind but he has a near indestructible adamantium body and lots of deadly weapons like his encephalo beam that puts the victim in a death-like coma.

There have been numerous versions of Ultron having had his body destroyed many times but he always finds a way to come back. He started out as Ultron 5 but he has gone through the single digits long ago. That's one of the reason he is such a threat, because his consciousness can live on without his body and he can recreate himself in bigger and better bodies to plague the Avengers with.

He would often look for ways to kill his "father" Hank Pym.

One time he came up with a scheme to create his own bride with brain patterns stolen from Hank's wife Jan 'the Wasp' Van Dyne.

Ultron brain washed Hank "Ant Man" Pym into attacking the Avengers and kidnapping his wife Janet "the Wasp" Van Dyne for him so that he could use her brain pattern as a model for his new "bride" Jocasta, in Avengers #161 and #162 (July, Aug 1977) written by Jim Shooter and drawn by George Perez.
Jocosta would eventually turn on Ultron and become an unofficial member of the Avengers.

Notice Jocosta behind Ms. Marvel and Iron Man. She was considered a valued part of the team in this picture from Avengers #196, June 1980, and was even offered membership from Iron Man and Captain America.
With all of the multiple versions of Ultron constantly coming out, there had to be some mutations going on. One of these mutations, in a strange twist of fate, wanted to make amends with Hank Pym. He would eventually fight his evil twin in Hank Pym's honor.

A good Ultron tried to establish a father/son relationship with Hank Pym only to be undermined by another. evil Ultron in West Coast Avengers #7, Apr 1986. 
In another instance Ultron attempted to create another mate. This time he used Hawkeye's wife, Bobbie 'the Mockingbird' Morse, as a template. This resulted in the creation of Alkhema.

Ultron's new bride Alkhema is her own woman as seen here in Avengers West Coast #90, Jan 1990.
Ultron would then decimate the Eastern European country of Slorenia in order to lure the Avengers to him in Curt Busiek and George Perez phenomenal tribute to the Ultron mythos in Avengers vol. 3 #19 - #22, Aug - Nov 1999.

You can see Busiek's masterful build up and pacing here in this excerpt from Avengers vol. 3 #19, Aug 1999.
As if Busiek didn't do Ultron enough justice, he and friends revisit the character in the 2001 one shot, Ultron Imperative where Ultron's ex, Alkhema is back and is using the Avengers brain scans to imprint on her new robot population set to take over the world, but the Avengers and Ultron is none to happy about it.

The Avengers battle robotic versions of themselves, Alkhema, and Ultron in the 2001 one shot, the Ultron Imperative
Since his creation, Ultron has been one of the Avenger's ultimate nemesis, providing them with an interesting drama with his filial relations with Pym and patrimonial relations with the Vision, being a credible challenge to the Earth's Mightiest Heroes and providing us with immense amounts of excitement.

Even at the very beginning Roy Thomas and John Buscema were doing some of their best work with Ultron as seen here from the final page of the Vision's first appearance in Avengers #57, Oct 1968.

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