Entertainment Weekly will have an exclusive interview with the “God of Geek Culture,” Joss Whedon, in its upcoming issue. Being savvy marketers, they tease the interview online today with little bit about how Ultron will appear in the sequel, The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
As any hard core Avengers comic fan will tell you (or. more accurately, complain to you), the film version of the robotic bad guy will be different. In the comic books, the character is a Frankenstein trope with an Oedipus Complex (and other daddy issues) attached to it. The comic book Ultron is a killer robot created by Hank Pym (the comic book Ant-Man) in a moment of insanity. The robot is disowned by Pym and develops an intense hatred towards the man he considers his “father” and an unhealthy attraction to his “mother,” Pym girlfriend and later, wife, Janet Van Dyne (aka The Wasp). He extends this with a wish to kill all of humanity.
Since neither Pym or Van Dyne will be in the film, the sequel will have to go in a different direction. How? Here’s what Whedon had to say about it:
“I knew right away what I wanted to do with him,” Whedon says. “He’s always trying to destroy the Avengers, goddamn it, he’s got a bee in his bonnet. He’s not a happy guy, which means he’s an interesting guy. He’s got pain. And the way that manifests is not going to be standard robot stuff. So we’ll take away some of those powers because at some point everybody becomes magic, and I already have someone [a new character, Scarlet Witch] who’s a witch.”
Whedon adds that he has to be careful “to ground [the character] while still evoking that guy.” And like a certain giant green Avenger hero, it sounds like large doses of rage will be key to his personality. “As a character I love [Ultron],” Whedon says, “because he’s so pissed off.”
If fans were concerned with Pym not being the creator of the villain in the film, they’ll probably throw a fit over Whedon’s confusing comment about taking Ultron’s powers away. The only real “power” Ultron has in the books is from something called the “encephalo ray” which enables him to do everything from hypnotizing humans to putting them into comas. Take that away, pretty much all you have left is “standard robot stuff”–super strength, invulnerability, heightened intelligence and the ability to shoot death rays from his eyes and hands.
I am a big fan of Whedon’s work and am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on a lot of thing, but it seems like there will be a lot of what makes the comic book Ultron a great Avengers villain stripped away. I hope it’s replaced with something as good if not better.
The issues should be to subscribers and at better newsstands on Friday, everywhere else on Monday.