Comic Book / Ultron

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ultron_2858.jpg

"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

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.

Comics

Anime

Film

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.
  • Aesop Amnesia: One of his defining traits is that no matter what, his robotic children and brides will always turn against him.
  • The Alcoholic: Again, as Ultron-15.
  • 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.
  • Antagonist Abilities: Not only he's virtually indestructible and can manipulate computers and machinery but he rivals his creator Pym and Reed Richards as one of the most brilliant minds of the Earth. The fact that he's AX Crazy and full of himself is the only thing that prevents him from using his cunning effectively.
  • 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.
  • Assimilation Plot: As the ruler of the Phalanx, he planned to do this to the galaxy before going back to Earth to get his revenge on the Avengers.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Most of the time, his weak point is located in his head.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Creates a colossal body out of Kree sentries during the climactic battle of Annihilation: Conquest.
    • Even many years earlier when he attacked the wedding of Crystal and Quicksilver as the gigantic Ultron-7.
  • Attention Whore: Why else he would challenge the nations of the world on television after destroying a country?
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Being an A.I. he has quite a knack for gathering info about his enemies.
  • 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.
  • Badass Boast: He's prone to saying these.
  • Badass Bookworm: As a robotic Mad Scientist who can quickly process a vast amount of information.
  • 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.
  • Badass Cape: Has one in Annihilation:Conquest.
  • 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.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: He's the ruler of a few bad futures as mentioned above.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: He doesn't really need air since he's an A.I.
  • 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.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: To say that Ultron's relationship with his father figure Pym and his own robots is dysfunctional it's an understatement.
  • Bishonen Line: Mixed with Gender Bender in Mighty Avengers as he turns from monstrous robot to a doppelganger of Janet.
  • 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.
  • Breath Weapon: Shoots his Enchephalo-Ray from his mouth.
  • Came Back Strong: His shtick aside from his rampant daddy issues is his ability to Always find a way to come back in more powerful bodies after being destroyed.
  • Came Back Wrong: As the silly Ultron-15.
  • Continuity Nod: All over the place in Ultron Unlimited, with long flashbacks from Pym as well as Ultron having an army made of his previous incarnations from the original, boiler-looking Ultron-1 to Ultron-15.
  • 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.
  • Contagious A.I.: His most dangerous ability is he can override any type of A.I. and turn it into an extension of himself.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Single handedly delivered one to the Avengers in "Ultron Unlimited." While they were worn out from fighting his army, the narration states that even if they were fresh they would not have stood a chance, and they knew it.
    • He was on the receiving end of this when he threatened Galactus in Secret Wars, of all characters.
  • Deadline News: Two of the victims of Ultron's rampage in Slorenia are a news reporter and his cameraman who were covering the massacre caused by the robot. And thats right before Ultron threatening the rest of the world on television.
  • 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.
  • Determinator: You can make him explode, you can pulverize him with vibranium, you can melt him or you can infect him with a virus and launch him in space, and none of these will stick as he will Always find a way to comeback with a new powerful body.
  • Did Not See That Coming: The idea that his creations, or children are not going be 100% loyal to him just because he created them doesn't seem to ever cross his computer brain.
  • 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.
  • Emperor Scientist: Whenever he's in charge.
  • Enemy Civil War: With Alkhema, his second robot bride who ditched him because she wants to take over the world for herself.
  • 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.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: He turned the murdered citizens of Slorenia into cybernetic zombies to use as mooks.
  • 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 Overlord: When he was the leader of the Phalanx.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: In the The Avengers: United They Stand and The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! animated series.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Of course, he follows the robotic variant of this, claiming that robots and synthezoids should be the dominant species on the planet.
  • 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.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Tends to pretend being civil and reasonable when he talks to Hank and Vision before trying to kill them.
  • Fighting a Shadow: Destroy his current body and his A.I. is still around preparing to pop up again with a new body.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Fires beams from his hands and/or eyes.
  • Friendly Enemy: Completely one-sided, but he sometimes tends to engage in scientific and philosophical discussions with his creator and Vision.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: In the comics he goes from being a silly boiler-looking thing to one of the Avengers deadliest and most persistent foes.
  • Fusion Dance: With his creator, Hank Pym, at the end of Rage Of Ultron.
    • With Sigma in Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite.
  • Galactic Conqueror: Managed to briefly take over the Kree empire with the help of the Phalanx in Annihilation: Conquest.
  • 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.
  • Genius Bruiser: Has the mind of a Mad Scientist and can hold his own against many powerful heroes in a fight.
  • Genre Blind: Fails to realize that creating sentient robots using the brain patterns of members of the Avengers, like Vision and Jocasta, leads to them developing a conscience and revolt against him.
  • Grand Theft Me: He briefly did this to Adam Warlock in Annihilation: Conquest.
  • 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.
  • Hidden Weapons: His robotic body has lasers and rocket launchers all over it.
  • Hive Mind: Any robot or computer corrupted by his A.I. become extensions of his will. This is especially true when he was the leader of the Phalanx who are expies of the Borg.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He has a blind spot when it comes to the synthezoids he created like Vision and Jocasta, has they turned against him and often proved to be instrumental in his defeats.
  • Horned Humanoid: Continuing with the trend of his demonic looks, his antennae are often drawn in the shape of horns.
  • Hypocrite: He often criticize human beings for being petty and illogical, this coming from an emotionally unstable robot who mostly acts out of spite for his creator.
  • Humongous Mecha: His Ultron-7 incarnation and his giant form in Annihilation: Conquest.
  • 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.
  • It's All About Me: He's a Misanthrope Supreme and very arrogant, he really doesn't care for anybody but himself. He might have had some affections for Jocasta, but that was just a whim caused by Ultron's Oedipus Complex as he based Jocasta on Janet..
  • 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.
  • Karmic Death: It never sticks, but his defeats are often ironic.
  • 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 just apply to humans either. Ultron doesn't give two fucks about anyone but himself.
  • Large Ham: If the quote at the top of the page didn't tell you.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Ultron slaps Jocasta at one point though unlike Pym, he actually meant to hurt her.
  • Lonely at the Top: At the end of Ultron Forever.
  • Mad Scientist: He's essentially Hank Pym, or Tony Stark in some incarnations, without any morals.
  • Manipulative Bastard: In his earlier stories, where he used other villains or secret hidden programs in Vision against the Avengers.
  • 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 for mankind 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."
  • Mood-Swinger: He can switch from a smug evil Genius to a screaming megalomaniac in few seconds. Fittingly considering that he has the brain patterns of a man who isn't a stellar example of sanity despite being a hero.
  • 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.
  • Nightmare Face: see Slasher Smile below.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: He's a shapeshifting, demonic, robotic mad scientist with daddy issues.
  • Not So Well-Intentioned Extremist: He thinks he's doing the planet Earth a favor by Killing all humans as he believes they would eventually destroy the world. In reality, he's motivated by his oedipical hatred for his creator and can't fathom to seek a compromise.
  • 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.
  • One-Man Army: He alone can give the Avengers a tough fight. Not to mention what he does to Slorenia.
  • Outside-Context Villain: He is primarily an Avengers villain, but he ended up being the Big Bad of Annihilation: Conquest which is about the cosmic heroes.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: He has proven a few times he's a walking genocide.
  • Pet the Dog: The only being he's ever treated with something akin to kindness is Jocasta and even her received some physical abuse from him.
  • The Power of Hate: It's basically the fuel that allows him to keep coming back to threaten the Avengers, his family and humanity.
  • 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: Possibly one the most famous examples of this trope. He was homicidal at his very birth, and his obsessed with committing genocide over the entire human race.
  • Sadist: Tormenting Hank Pym both physichally and psychologically is one of his favorite activities.
  • Sanity Slippage: He started as a charismatic and diabolical mastermind with the goal of creating a robotic utopia, as well as a master of disguise, but after a few reincarnations he's reduced to a screaming megalomaniac who wants nothing more than tormenting his creator and destroying the Avengers while causing plenty of death and destruction(sometimes on a galactic scale as shown in Annihilation: Conquest) along the way.
  • 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). He is as self-aware as a regular human, and much smarter, rivaling people like Tony Stark and Hank Pym.
  • Slouch of Villainy: He does this on one of the covers of Annihilation: Conquest.
  • Stalker with a Crush: To his mother figure Janet Van Dyne.
  • Smug Super: Probably his Fatal Flaw as he tends to provoke characters that are above his league like Galactus and Sentry.
  • Super Strength: As this video shows he is quite a cybernetic power house, which is one of the things that makes him a worthy threat to a superhero team like the Avengers.
  • Super Weight: His level flutuates between incarnations, but most of the time he's a solid level 4.
  • 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:
  • The Unfettered: There is absolutely nothing that can persuade him from not trying to destroy humanity.
  • 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.
  • Villain Team-Up: With the Masters of Evil in his first appearance, under the guise of the Crimson Cowl. Oddly averted in Secret Wars where he immediately attacked the other villains because he refuses to collaborate with organic beings.
    • Teams up with the Phalanx in Annihilation: Conquest. Even though its more like that he put them under his rule.
  • Worthy Opponent: Most certainly considers the Avengers this.
  • 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.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/ComicBook/Ultron