Ranked Number 23 among the Top One Hundred Comic Book Villains
, this android is 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.
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 group of cosmic heroes, most of whom would go on to form the modern iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy
More recently, Ultron has gone on to his most heinous act yet
: a Take Over the World
scheme that actually worked, forcing the heroes to resort to time-travel to thwart him.
Ultron will be making his live-action debut as the Big Bad
of the upcoming sequel to The Avengers
, The Avengers: Age of Ultron
, played by James Spader
Tropes regarding Ultron include:
- 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.
- 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 and the Runaways Victor Mancha, both of whom he created, and whose relationship with him parallels his with Hank Pym.
- 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: If you can take on the entire avengers team at once and WIN in a story arc, you better believe you're this.
- 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.
- Crazy-Prepared: Had set up multiple backups and hidden factories even before his first attack on the Avengers.
- Demoted to Dragon: In Secret Wars, after Galactus deactivates him, Doctor Doom reprograms him to serve as his bodyguard and enforcer.
- The Dreaded: In Avengers Disassembled, it briefly appears that the then-dead Ultron had come back to life. Its revealed to not be the case, but Hawkeye later admits that thinking he was actually back absolutely terrified him.
- 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 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.
- Family Values Villain: He has creepily attempted to start a robot family more than worse- creepy less because he is a robot, more because he's Ax-Crazy and supposedly hates everything about humanity.
- Frickin' Laser Beams
- 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.
- Killer Robot
- Kill All Humans: His ultimate goal. After rubbing his success in daddy's face, first.
- Lack of Empathy: No amount of pleading will change his mind on his goals.
- 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.
- Nigh Invulnerable: His body is usually made of adamantium 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: Tried this once. It didn't work.
- 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.
- 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
- Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: 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's 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: Which is the very first thing he does in his origin story.
- In a stunning move, Jocasta and Alkhema both turned against him. He doesn't appreciate the irony.
- 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.