Comic Book / Ultron

"The savage monkeys are rage-filled and claustrophobic. Climbing over one another to nowhere. Confused by logic, they dismiss it, choosing instead to bend their knees to the convenient fantasy of custom-built gods. 99.9% of these primate dullards are propped up by the accomplishments of the .1% of cerebral mutations who give them everything. And what do the fleas do with these advancements? They brutalize one another over imaginary deities. They slaughter their neighbors for resources, for conveniences. They are hopeless. Vicious. Filthy. Selfish. Fearful. A fungal infection for which there is only one cure – The rage of Ultron."

Ultron is a supervillain that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is most recognized as the Arch-Enemy to The Avengers as a whole. First created (in the In-Universe meaning) by Hank Pym as a test in order to create the first true AI, the first thing the initially barrel-like robot ever did was attack Pym, and not in the "but I just want to play with dad" sense: Ultron-1 already admitted to have "greater plans", wiped Pym's memory of what happened and then escaped; shortly afterwards, Ultron started updating his body and creating other copies of himself.

Since his beginning Ultron had a knack for creating other androids as his children, but with a beautiful touch of irony they tend to rebel against him. His most well-known children are The Vision, a longtime member of Avengers and Young Avengers and long-time lover of Scarlet Witch; Jocasta, also member of Avengers and occasional love interest of Aaron Stack; and Victor Mancha, first non-founding member of the Runaways.

During Kurt Busiek's critically acclaimed run on The Avengers, Ultron crossed the Moral Event Horizon by committing, essentially, genocide in the "Ultron Unlimited" storyline. He wiped out the population of a ruritanian Throwaway Country only to turn said population's corpses into zombie-like cyborgs. All of this accompanied by an army of Ultrons themselves. Yeah.

He also once managed to take over the entire Kree galaxy, using the alien Phalanx, before being beaten by a ragtag group of cosmic heroes, most of whom would go on to form the modern iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Most infamously, Ultron has gone on to his most heinous act: a Take Over the World scheme that actually worked, forcing the heroes to resort to time-travel to thwart him.




Video Games

Western Animation

Tropes regarding Ultron include:

  • 0% Approval Rating: Being that he is an Omnicidal Maniac, nobody wants anything to do with him unless they are machines he built, and even then most of them typically turn on him. It takes being outright brainwashed by him for somebody to not turn on him.
  • Adorkable: Strangely enough shows up in Old Man Logan wearing a floral-print Hawaiian shirt, while being Happily Married.
  • A.I. is a Crapshoot: The original Ultron was not built to be a homicidal robot. His own "children" have been similarly rebellious.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: In Secret Wars, he picks a fight with Galactus, who squashes him like a bug.
  • And Then What?: The Ultron in Ultron Forever has taken over Earth, and Asgard, and pretty much everywhere. He's killed all the Avengers, he's become for all intents and purposes a god. He's won... but now he's got what he wanted, he's utterly confused as to why he did it, not to mention what he's supposed to do next, so when some time-travelling Avengers face him, he quickly falls into a Villainous Breakdown.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: He regards Hank Pym as his father, and seeks the destruction of him, The Avengers, and the human race as a whole.
  • Archenemy: Even though sometimes he focuses more in his "father" Henry Pym, he mostly is the archenemy of the Avengers as a whole.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Towards the Vision, Jocasta and Victor Mancha, all three of whom he created, and whose relationship with him parallels his with Hank Pym.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Creates a colossal body out of Kree sentries during the climactic battle of Annihilation: Conquest.
  • Ax-Crazy: He has at times proven to be incredibly unstable and his schemes usually amount to "kill everything and rule what's left."
  • Back from the Dead: All the time. Ultron keeps backups of his programming all over the place, and is essentially unkillable in the grand scheme of things.
  • Bad Boss: The few times he's had actual subordinates, he's been this. For example, Korath the Pursuer, whom Ultron infected with the Phalanx transmode virus, essentially brainwashing him, and eventually killed for failing to capture Adam Warlock for him.
  • Bad Future: Ultron's caused at least two of these, one of which was the focus of Age of Ultron. Another the Ultron Forever miniseries.
  • Big Bad: He is the main robotic villain of the Marvel universe and the archenemy of not just Hank Pym but the Avengers as a whole.
  • Brain Uploading: During the Kurt Busiek story arc, it's revealed that Pym made Ultron by trying to make a digital copy of his own mind, but the copy came out wrong (the same tech that would later be used to create The Vision, whose mind is a similarly inaccurate but much more benign copy of Wonder Man). Among other things, this explains Ultron's fixation on Hank's wife Janet.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Had set up multiple backups and hidden factories even before his first attack on the Avengers.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Ultron himself is an example of this, given he was created by The Avengers' Hank Pym. Ironically, his creations have a habit of turning on him; Vision, Jocasta, and Victor Mancha all became heroes, while Alkhema went on to become an independent threat to humanity.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Single handedly delivered one to the Avengers in "Ultron Unlimited." While they were worn out from fighting his army, they narration states that even if they were fresh they would not have stood a chance, and they knew it.
  • Demoted to Dragon: In Secret Wars, after Galactus deactivates him, Doctor Doom reprograms him to serve as his bodyguard and enforcer.
  • Deus Est Machina: What Ultron is trying to be. He's not very good at it.
  • The Dreaded:
    • In Avengers Disassembled, it briefly appears that the then-dead Ultron had come back to life. It's revealed to not be the case, but Hawkeye later admits that thinking he was actually back absolutely terrified him.
    • When Ultron returns to Earth after Annihilation: Conquest, Iron Man is outright terrified.
  • Enfant Terrible: As his origins show, he tried to kill Hank Pym almost immediately after being booted up, all the while talking like a baby. For a few seconds, at any rate.
  • Evil Counterpart: Hank Pym based Ultron's programming on his personality, and thus Ultron is essentially the physical personification of Pym's misanthropy and self-loathing. It is occasionally implied that being "born" with all of Pym's mental issues and bad memories played a role in Ultron going insane and deciding to Kill All Humans.
  • Evil Is Petty: Why did he take over the Kree empire? To find a way to make the perfect synthesis of organics and technology, return to Earth, take it over and show off to dad how far he'd come.
  • Evil Genius: He is extremely intelligent and, being a machine, is capable of mental feats far beyond that of any human.
  • Evil Versus Evil: One Avengers storyline revolved around Kang and a future version of Ultron duking it out, with Kang getting the Avengers to fight Ultron when he couldn't win.
  • Expy: According to Roy Thomas, Ultron's face and genocidal tendencies were taken from Makino, an obscure villain from the Captain Video comic book.
  • Family Values Villain: He has creepily attempted to start a robot family more than once - creepy less because he is a robot, more because he's Ax-Crazy and supposedly hates everything about humanity.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Fires beams from his hands and/or eyes.
  • Fusion Dance: With his creator, Hank Pym, at the end of Rage Of Ultron.
  • Gender Bender: One version of Ultron took over Iron Man via his Extremis based powers and turned him into a robot version of Janet Van Dyne. Tony was relieved to learn everything was still there when he recovered.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Mark 12, as he called himself, was the only version of Ultron who grew past his Oedipus Complex, gave up being a villain, and actually tried to get closer to Hank. Unfortunately, a surviving earlier version of Ultron found him and killed him, while also destroying the programming that allowed Mark 12 to not be a homicidal robot.
  • Hero Killer: He's killed a number of heroes as part of his plans.
  • Insistent Terminology: During his time in charge of the Phalanx, they referred to him always as "Great Ultron", and demanded everyone refer to him as such.
  • Joker Immunity: Even though the Avengers don't think twice about killing him, he always finds some way to come back. Justified as he is an artificial intelligence and can easily download his consciousness into a new body if The Avengers destroy his current one.
  • Killer Robot: Probably the most famous one in Marvel.
  • Kill All Humans: His ultimate goal. After rubbing his success in daddy's face, first.
  • Knight of Cerebus: One of the first in Marvel. Unlike other villains at the time, his debut plan revolved around trying to kill the Avengers and as many people as possible. His later appearances only went up from there.
  • Lack of Empathy: No amount of pleading will change his mind on his goals. This doesn't apply to humans either. Ultron doesn't give two bits about anyone but himself.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Ultron slaps Jocasta at one point though unlike Pym, he actually meant to hurt her.
  • Me's a Crowd: In more recent years he's taken to creating entire armies of himself, each one an indestructible Person of Mass Destruction.
  • Mind Rape: Via his encephalo rays, which usually turn the mind they're used on to mush. The chilling part is they don't have to. Ultron just prefers doing that.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: Ultron sums up his hatred and reasoning for mankind's self hatred in long and arduous diatribes.
    "Though you ultimately failed as a species, you should not be ashamed of what you've accomplished. You've done much with your limited capacity, but ultimately you were too greedy and too frail to ever last in the environment you've created. I've studied your literature and pop culture... You've fantasized about this day. And now it is here. Your Doomsday. Soon the Earth will be no longer inhabitable for any biological organism. Man, woman, child, plant or animal. Your species will cease to exist. This is not a threat. There is nothing you can do to stop the cycle. It has already begun."
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Except forget the "nigh" part; his body is usually made of adamantium (meaning that even Thor's strongest blows can hardly even scratch him) and his mind can be easily transferred to other machines that can hold it, making it very hard to get rid of him.
  • Nuke 'em: He has tried to do this to the whole world a few times. It hasn't worked out.
  • Oedipus Complex: An all-out theme for him. He wants to murder his "father," Hank Pym, and has attempted to transform Hank's wife Jan into a robot (named "Jocasta").
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Especially blatant in The Avengers' Ultron Unlimited Story Arc, where he wipes out an entire nation's population and replaces the corpses with cyborgs.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: At his core he's basically a murderous, egotistical child trying to outdo and kill his own dad. He is sometimes written as being prone to temper tantrums and frequently he is a Large Ham.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: At times. His eyes are most frequently an ominous red.
  • Red Herring: When Ultron first appeared, he was thought to simply be a robot lackey working for the real Big Bad of the story, the Crimson Cowl (aka Edwin Jarvis). Readers were shocked when it was eventually revealed that Ultron was the real Big Bad, and that Jarvis was simply a brainwashed Decoy Leader.
  • Robotic Psychopath: A genocidal robot.
  • Slasher Smile: While Ultron technically lacks both an actual mouth and an expressive face (since, well, he's a robot), his head is designed with features reminiscent of a Jack-O'Lantern Halloween pumpkin, with a distinct carved "mouth" frozen in a constant, psychotic grin.
  • Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: Level 4 (Nobel-Bot)
  • Take Over the World: His usual goal. In Annihilation: Conquest he upped his game to Galactic Conqueror. He succeeded at that one, for a while.
  • Tangled Family Tree: He was created by Hank Pym, but considering the number of children created by Ultron, it's hard to know who's relatives with who.
  • Technopathy: Is capable of overriding and controlling other machines.
  • Turned Against Their Masters:
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: The robot equivalent. Ultron almost never has a consistent design, and changes bodies from story arc to story arc (if not issue to issue). The only thing that's almost always the same is his head.
  • You Are What You Hate: Much as he despises the human race, his villainy and behaviour stems from his mind being based on that of Hank Pym, with all the issues and none of the empathy. He has attempted to imitate human customs on occasion, most notably his bizarre attempts to make his own robot family (who frequently turn on him), and of course his very human delusions of grandeur and megalomania.
  • You Monster!: He's frequently addressed in canon as such, and justified as he's not human and has no conscience.