Rather than being afraid to even utter a word about The Avengers: Age of Ultron, writer-director Joss Whedon has been surprisingly loquacious when it comes to other Marvel directors. Obviously, he won’t divulge plot details, but he’s been willing to announce characters, say how much of a role other characters have in the plot, and more. In the upcoming issue of Total Film, Whedon explained why he chose Ultron as the villain for the upcoming sequel. For those who don’t know, Ultron made his first appearance in 1968’s Avengers #55, and has been a problem for them ever since. His origin story will be changed for the movie, but Whedon has had his eye on the evil automaton before he even got into the director’s chair for the first movie.
Hit the jump for what Whedon had to say about Ultron. The Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1, 2015.
Speaking to Total Film, Whedon said about the villain,
“I was pitching Ultron before I took the job on the first movie. I was like, ‘I don’t know if I want to do this, but for the second one, you should totally do Ultron.’ Because he’s been a thorn in their side as much as any other character over the years and particularly back in my history.
“He was great. He’s somebody who can juice things up and he’s a real problem for the Avengers. That’s not always easy to find. It’s not like the Vulture is really going to give them a hard time for 20 minutes.”
How hard of a time can Ultron give the Avengers? Here’s a list of his powers and abilities according to Wikipedia:
The visual appearance and powers of the character have varied, but common powers include superhuman levels of strength, speed, stamina, durability, and reflexes; flight at subsonic speeds; and various offensive weapons such as concussive blasts of energy fired from its optical sensors and hands, and an “encephalo-ray”, which places victims into a deathlike coma. The latter ray also allows Ultron to mesmerize and mind-control victims, or implant subliminal hypnotic commands within their minds to be enacted at a later time. Ultron also has the ability to convert electromagnetic radiation into electrical energy for use or storage. Ultron has a genius intellect, a capacity for creative intelligence and self-repair, superhuman cybernetic analytical capabilities, and the ability to process information and make calculations with superhuman speed and accuracy. The character is an expert roboticist and strategist.
Ultron’s outer armor is usually composed of primarily adamantium, which is almost completely impervious to damage. (The first use of the term “adamantium” in Marvel Comics was made in reference to Ultron in Avengers #66, published in July 1969). Most Ultron units are powered by a small internal nuclear furnace and incorporate a “program transmitter” which can beam part or all of Ultron’s memory/personality system into other computer systems or duplicate robotic bodies. Ultron can also control other machines remotely. Ultron has occasionally reformed itself with a humanoid appearance above the waist and the appearance of a complex machine, including tractor beam apparatus for flight, below the waist. A later Ultron model developed hive-mind technology, allowing it to animate and control hundreds of alternate Ultron bodies simultaneously, although only the ‘prime’ Ultron was composed of adamantium while others were made of steel or secondary adamantium due to the lack of resources to give all the Ultrons adamantium bodies. Ultron also uses an internal molecular rearranger that renders the adamantium components of its workings more malleable and so have the ability to restructure his physical form. What circuitry Ultron has is carefully shielded to protect from damage, although the Scarlet Witch is capable of causing malfunctions with her hex power, Johnny Storm, using his nova burst, managed to damage Ultron’s internal circuits while his outer armor remained intact, and Wonder Man was once able to destroy an Ultron by throwing it so hard its internal systems were damaged.
So, yes. Slightly tougher than the Vulture.