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Western Animation / Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow

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In the future, The Avengers are dead and the one responsible, Ultron (voiced by Tom Kane), is in the process of completely dominating the planet. The only hope left for the world, are seemingly the children of the Avengers. Hidden away from Ultron and protected and raised by Iron Man (also voiced by Kane), they must band together and seek help from any other survivors, including the Hulk (Fred Tatasciore), before Ultron wipes them all out. Canonically the reality this film is set has been designated as Earth-555326.

The film seems to be a semi-continuation of the Ultimate Avengers films, but with more references to the mainstream Marvel Universe. Arguably, it's a cross between Young Avengers, A-Next and What If? v2 #114 (the one where the Avengers had kids on Battleworld).


  • Adaptational Badass: Comics Ultron is no slouch, but this version is a Hero Killer on a grand scale, having killed the Avengers (and implied to have done the same to the rest of humanity's costumed heroes) and conquered Earth.
  • Adaptation Deviation: Ultron was created by Tony Stark rather than Hank Pym in this continuity, something that he would later be responsible for in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
    • Also implied to be the case with Vision, who is normally a creation of Ultron who turns on his creator. Here no relationship is mentioned and in the opening prologue he is shown as an Avenger before Ultron became a threat.
  • Adults Are Useless: The kids are the only ones able to save others from Ultron's rampage since they're basically the only known living superheroes left aside from Iron Man and the Hulk. Subverted in that they absolutely need the Hulk's help to defeat Ultron, as they are horribly outgunned otherwise.
  • Amputation Stops Spread: Ultron has the ability to infect and control any technology he touches. When he goes up against Iron Man and manages to grab the shoulder guards, Tony discards them before the infection can compromise his entire suit.
  • The Atoner: Tony feels immense guilt for building Ultron as a force for peaceful law and order and its subsequent betrayal, as well as being unable to save Francis in time due to his armor being damaged during Ultron's destructive rampage.
  • Avengers Assemble:
    • Spoken by James at the end of the film.
    • A robotic variant also occurs when the Iron Avengers are activated.
  • Bad Future: By the time of the main story, Ultron has killed almost every hero on the planet and is very close to conquering the entire planet.
  • BFS: Torunn's is gigantic.
  • Big Bad: Ultron.
  • Born After the End: In Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow, Avengers' villain Ultron takes over Earth and the Avengers are exterminated. Years into the future, Earth's only hope are the children of the deceased Avengers, raised by Iron Man in secrecy to protect them from Ultron.
  • Break the Haughty: Torunn gets her ass handed to her pretty badly the first time she actually tries fighting the forces of evil. By the end of the film she's so freaked out by the experience that she is literally begging her father Thor to send her sword back to her.
  • Broad Strokes: The movie is a semi-continuation of the Ultimate Avengers films, what with Black Widow hooking up with Captain America and Henry Pym, Jr. apparently being part Asian like his mom, the Wasp. However, the costumes shown in the flashbacks look nothing like the Ultimate outfits, and Pym's whole existence is complicated by the fact that Giant-Man dies at the end of Ultimate Avengers 2, which doesn't fit given that he's the youngest of the kids.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Francis Barton.
  • The Chains of Commanding: The most plausible (ie. generous) explanation for Thor's absence during the Ultron crisis, who (according to Tony) stated that after Odin's death, ruling Asgard was his responsibility from then on, not Earth. Obviously, the harsh decisions that come with leadership can take quite a toll.
  • The Cameo: While not directly identified, Storm can be briefly seen in the flashback while the Vulture's wings can be seen in Ultron's trophy room.
  • Canon Immigrant:
  • Cranial Processing Unit: Vision has become one of these after his body was heavily damaged while spying on Ultron for Tony.
  • Creepy Souvenir: Ultron's base has a huge chamber full of glass cabinets, each holding a nameplate and remains of some hero's uniform.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Iron Man takes on Ultron to allow the kids to get away. He doesn't last too long before Ultron overpowers him.
    • The Hulk quite easily destroys Ultron in the last moments of the final battle.
  • Cute Bruiser: Torunn.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: Of the Kid Hero. While James, Torunn, Pym and Azari might have been trained all their lives to protect themselves, they ultimately lack any real experience to pose a genuine threat to Ultron and struggle with the Iron Avengers. Even Hawkeye, who's spent his entire life surviving in Ultra City and is actually shown to be better in a fight, still doesn't stand a chance against Ultron. This leaves them no choice but force the Hulk into fighting Ultron, who is the only person strong enough to defeat him. However the reconstruction comes in from the fact that they are genuinely brave kids with training, who eventually defeat the Iron Avengers and come up with a plan that frees the world from Ultron's control.
  • Dirty Coward: Thor comes off as this, as he spends the whole film sitting it out on the sidelines to rule Asgard while his daughter remains trapped on Earth under Ultron's murderous regime.
  • Electric Black Guy: Azari.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Francis Barton.
  • Helping Would Be Killstealing: Subverted with the Hulk. At first it seems to be heading for this trope, though during the climax, he joins the fray and just simply spares the Avengers the trouble and destroys Ultron and the rest of the Iron Avengers for them.
  • The Heart: Ultron says Captain America was this to the original Avengers, which is why Ultron considered him the most dangerous of their ranks.
  • Hero Killer: Exaggerated with Ultron. Not only did he kill the Avengers, it's implied that by the time of the movie, he's killed every single one of Earth's heroes, barring Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Vision.
  • Heroic Lineage: Kind of a given since the focus of the movie is on the children of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Basically most of the original Avengers in the opening backstory (except Iron Man, The Vision and Thor) fought and were killed by Ultron in order to allow their children to be safely hidden away.
    • Torunn nearly dies trying to scatter Ultron's remains into space.
  • Hope Springs Eternal: Even in a world torn by death and sadness and most of the Avengers are dead, it will be their children who will defeat Ultron in the end.
  • I Am Your Father: Tony Stark built Ultron in this story.
  • In Name Only: Despite the name, it has nothing in common with A-Next as it tells an original story with a cast of Canon Foreigners. The only character who debuted in the A-Next comic who appears in the film is Pym, who has nothing in common with his comic counterpart.
  • Jerkass: James starts out as one, thoroughly disillusioned by his regular routine of training for a fight that never seems to come and the death of his parents, even mocking Torunn for Thor effectively abandoning her. He gets better before too long.
  • Jerkass Gods: Thor comes across as appallingly cruel. He not only abandoned his Avenger friends and Earth (or Midgard to use Asgard lingo) to Ultron, but also abandoned his young daughter to an apocalyptic Earth ruled by Ultron in some weird, misguided attempt to teach her some humility.
    • Thor's jerkiness and general lack of heroism is probably due to the fact that this film was made and released in 2008 — the year Iron Man and Hulk both had big movies but Thor didn't.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Francis and James, the latter emphasizing the "heart of gold" part a bit more often than the former.
  • Kid Hero: If the poster and premise wasn't clear enough, virtually everyone important not named Tony Stark, Betty Ross, or Bruce Banner is a kid.
    • Actually becomes deconstructed when it's shown the upstart kid heroes, despite all their powers and training, have absolutely zero chances of stopping a seasoned Hero Killer like Ultron who's murdered their vastly more experienced parents. They end up having to enlist the aid of an elderly reclusive Hulk to beat Ultron down enough where they can chuck him into space.
  • Last-Name Basis: Pym, first name Henry.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The Vulture's wings can be seen in Ultron's trophy room, which couldn't be directly acknowledged since Sony owned the animation rights to Spider-Man at the time. Strangely Storm is treated this way, despite Marvel still retaining the animation rights to the X-Men.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Torunn pulls one when they reach Ultra City.
  • Legacy Character: All of the kids seem to become one of these at the end of the film.
  • Missing Mom:
    • Azari's mother is strongly implied to be Storm from the X-Men, but we have no idea what happened to her (though considering the vast collection in Ultron's "trophy room", it's most likely she died fighting Ultron). Likewise, Torunn's mother is never seen and she only makes reference to her father (Thor) and the same is true of Francis Barton (though Word of God says his mother is Mockingbird). Considering that we know Clint died, the same is likely of her.
    • Though it's obviously unconfirmed, Torunn's mother would more than likely be Sif, who was Thor's wife in the original Norse myths.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: The offspring of the Avengers are hidden away from Ultron and will later go on to play a major role in restoring peace to the world.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Iron Black Widow has a second pair of arms that allow her to quadruple-wield pistols.
  • My Fist Forgives You: Discussed when Francis, still angry about Tony having created Ultron, asks what his father would have done if they asked for his help Tony responds thusly:
    Tony: Clint? He'd punch me in the face, and then he'd help.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: When Francis talks with James about why he decided to join them, the conversation ends with:
    Francis: Besides, anything to impress a girl, right?
    James: Girl? Wait, you mean Torunn? Dude, she's like my sister!
    Francis: So, she's available then?
    James: No, she's not!
  • Mythology Gag: "Ultron... we would have words with thee." Courtesy of Toruun — a reference to Thor's famous line from the Busiek / Perez Avengers run.
    • Francis claims that his dad always said the Hulk was the "strongest one there was", a reference to the Hulk's iconic "Hulk is the strongest one there is!" Catchphrase. Hulk himself even says the phrase in the climax.
    • Torunn wears a costume similar to that of Thor's from the Ultimate comics for most of the film before getting a more Asgardian looking one at the end.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • While it was an accident brought on by a innocent childish motive, had James left the Iron Avengers alone when Toruń told him to, they wouldn’t have activated and alerted Ultron to they’re secret hideout.
    • Also, applies to Tony as in this version of events he created Ultron, who not only killed most of his teammates orphaning most of their children, but in twelve years took over most of the world.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The look on Tony's face when he sees that a "new energy signature" is heading towards the refuge makes it clear that he knows exactly what is coming even before it's confirmed.
    • Torunn when she realizes she isn't as invulnerable as she thinks she is.
  • Old Superhero: Tony Stark and Bruce Banner/The Hulk have both become this.
  • No Indoor Voice: Though he doesn't yell, Pym is noticeable quite a bit louder than the other kids, even when they are supposed to be hiding.
  • No-Sell: When the kids catch Tony sneaking into a hidden lab with the Vision, all except Azari want to follow, and he tries to get the others to back down by using his Shock and Awe to intimidate them. Toruun steps forward and uses her sword to drain his lightning away, at which point he meekly goes along with them.
  • Papa Wolf: Tony becomes one of these when Ultron arrives to kill the children. First thing he does after ensuring that they have an escape route is donning on his Iron Man armor and using it to battle Ultron.
  • Parental Abandonment: This seems to be the case with Torunn and Thor. Unlike the other Avengers, Thor never fought Ultron, as he left to rule Asgard after Odin died. He left his daughter on Earth so that she could learn the same thing he had to when his father was alive: how to be human. (Never mind the problem with Thor's logic here that he did this to Toruun when she was still more or less a baby, while Thor himself was punished for his arrogance as an adult because his arrogance was causing genuine problems for Asgard.) After he explains this, she forgives him and Thor sends her back to Earth with a new Asgardian costume to replace her old one, with the promise that she will always be welcome back at Asgard.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: In a nod to the Ultimate Avengers films, Captain America and Black Widow fell in love.
  • Promotion to Parent: Playboy Tony Stark is unexpectedly saddled with guardianship of four children before the film begins. All things considered, he did pretty well.
  • Relative Error: Francis' "anything to impress a girl" comment seems to imply that he thinks James has a thing for Torunn, though they're actually adoptive siblings.
  • Robot Me: Tony Stark apparently built robot versions of the original Avengers with the intention of using them to one day fight Ultron. Seeing as how Ultron appears to be a robot version of Iron Man but with a different head, it's possible they were all built together before Ultron went bad.
  • Ship Tease: Francis and Torunn, especially with the former's flirting.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Tony’s attire at the hide out makes him resemble Obi-Wan Kenobi from A New Hope. Which is somewhat fitting considering the premise of the movie and his role.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: The children eventually seek out The Hulk because he's the only being left on earth powerful enough to go toe-to-toe with Ultron and win.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Arguably the case with James, who seems to have inherited his dad's super-soldier abilities. Both of his parents were super-soldiers, so it makes a kind of sense. A less ambiguous case is Azari, who inherited lightning powers from his mother and the Black Panther line's agility and strength.
  • Team Dad: Tony Stark, who raised the children of the Avengers to atone for creating Ultron.
  • Trust Password: When Tony asks Francis for help in getting out of Ultra City shortly after revealing he created Ultron and is indirectly to blame for the deaths of his father and the Avengers, it leads to this interaction.
    Francis: What do you think my father would have done Stark?!
    Tony: Clint? He would have punched me in the face. Then he would have helped me.
    Francis: Wow. You really knew my dad.
  • Wake Up Fighting: James knocks Azari into a mud pile after he wakes him up by shocking his feet.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Torunn is absolutely desperate for her very much absent father's approval. She gets it, but it's not very satisfying.
  • Well-Trained, but Inexperienced: Shown and played straight. All of the children raised by Iron Man had been training to fight Ultron since birth, but are woefully overwhelmed when actually facing Ultron. In contrast, the Badass Normal Francis, who's been actually fighting Ultron's army in the real world for almost all of his life, does a much better job at fighting than the entire team of superhuman kids.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: When the gang infiltrates Ultron's base:
    Azari: There's no one here. Maybe Ultron assumed no one would be dumb enough to sneak in.
    Pym: HA! We showed him! We are dumb enough!
  • The Worf Effect: The Iron Avengers were made to fight Ultron, so he gets to show off his power by easily defeating all of them and turning them into his soldiers.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Ultron definitely doesn't have any qualms about killing the Avengers' children.
  • Would You Like to Hear How They Died?: Ultron taunts James about killing his father at one point.
    "Scanning Avengers datafiles. Identity match: James Rogers, son of Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, the most dangerous of all the Avengers. He inspired them. And like Captain America, you, James, will be the first to fall."
  • Writing Around Trademarks: When the movie talks about "The King finding his Queen", they show a lightning bolt symbol next to Black Panther's, and when he's presented to the people of Wakanda, his white-haired wife is shown from behind. Oh, and Azari has electrical powers. As they aren't using the X-Men trademark, they can't flat-out say that Azari’s mother is Storm. But they certainly don't try very well to hide it.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Torunn talks in this manner when she remembers to, in order to sound Asgardian. Thor himself, however, doesn't.

Alternative Title(s): Next Avengers