The lead up to Comic-Con always offers some awesome news and reveals, and Entertainment Weekly is delivering this week with their cover story on the first look at next summer’s biggest movie (we’re guessing), The Avengers: Age of Ultron, written and directed by Joss Whedon of course. The issue (which, like the trouble in the film, is a double) also gives readers their first real idea of the kind of story being told and what danger Ultron (James Spader) actually poses. The answer is “quite a lot, actually”, and it’s mostly the heroes’ fault.
Since the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the finale of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the world is in a bit of a jam, security-wise. There are still threats that need un-threatening, but without S.H.I.E.L.D. and its government funding, it pretty much falls to the Avengers to clean up the mess, which can be tiring. In order to give himself and his cohorts (Cap, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye) some rest, Tony Stark develops a series of drone Iron suits, much like the ones at the end of Iron Man 3, to do the dirty work. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
The only problem is that Ultron, the leader of the Iron Legion, completely lacks any empathy, sympathy, or anything beyond a superior intellect and problem solving skills. He crunches the numbers and realizes the biggest threat to the Planet Earth is actually humanity itself and so decides to wipe them out. That’s pretty harsh. He doesn’t even ask them if they want to play a game first. Tic-Tac-Toe solves many a problem. He can also, being not just a robot but a program, upload himself anywhere (I knew the Cloud was going to lead to this) and rebuild himself in new and more terrifying ways if destroyed.
In the article, Whedon is quotes as saying “Ultron sees the big picture and he goes, ‘Okay, we need radical change, which will be violent and appalling, in order to make everything better’; he’s not just going ‘Muhaha, soon I’ll rule!’ He’s on a mission. He wants to save us.”
The issue also talks about how the new characters, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and the Vision, factor into the story and what side of the battle they’re on (judging by things I’ve seen, I think it’s safe to say their alliances are tenuous at best), as well as about how the origin of Ultron was changed for the film, given that they’re doing this without the involvement of Hank Pym or any of his namesake particles. There’s also a great deal more in the issue about non-Avengers Comic-Con stuff, like Star Wars and The Hobbit and the like.
Below, see a gallery of all the new photos released in EW.
Update: For more on this story, check out today’s episode of Nerdist News.