When we last left Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, they had reunited and defeated A.I.M.’s super Super-Adaptoid, only to find the evil scientist cabal had also awakened the Avengers’ deadliest foe, Ultron. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “The Ultimates,” the latest episode of “Avengers: Ultron Revolution.”
Don’t Wanna Fight
As we open, Ultron in his new Super-Adaptoid body and having absorbed A.I.M.’s scientist supreme, does not want to fight. He has his own agenda and is content to walk away from the Avengers. If the animated team is anything like the comics version, that ain’t gonna happen, Ultron has put them through far too much crap to let him walk away.
Ultron seems to have the upper hand when he controls the Avengers tech. Why that should bother Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the Hulk, I don’t know. Do they really use technology? Ultron is thicker, more streamlined, and is voiced by Jim Meskimen humanly, but still better than James Spader. The Avengers seem to vaporize the machine messiah at the end of the skirmish.
While paranoid Tony searches for Ultron, not believing he’s gone, the reunited Avengers go back into training together. Once cabin fever sets in they go their separate ways, letting Tony continue his search on his own, the way he does best – obviously a reversion to the old Stark of the previous two seasons.
Solo and doing their own things, the Avengers find themselves stalked by robot duplicates of themselves, seeking to replace them. This wouldn’t be the first time Ultron has tried this in the comics, as he did in The Ultron Imperative and even Jocasta, the Bride of Ultron, was sort of a robot version of the Wasp.
A decade or so ago, Marvel Comics introduced a new line of comics called Ultimate Comics. The thrust of this concept was to recreate the Marvel Universe in today’s grim and grittier, more reality-bound world. From this we got a much cooler Spider-Man from Brian Michael Bendis, a darker spin on X-Men, a scary but thoughtful kid version of the Fantastic Four, and Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch brought us The Ultimates, the Ultimate Comics line’s Avengers.
The Ultimates was quite successful, and brilliant in its first run. Its existence spun off two animated features called Ultimate Avengers and is arguably the basis for what became the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The problem was that these were darker, sometimes deliberately different and sociopathic versions of the heroes we loved. Reading the comics again after all these years, I can see how close Marvel could have been to making all the horrific mistakes DC Comics is experiencing right now with the perception of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
It’s interesting that the only one of these ‘Ultimates’ that is an improvement on its ‘obsolete’ is Iron Man, his robot double is created from parts of many different armors. I had to wonder why it wouldn’t just be just a combo of the Hulkbuster and Destroyer (does that mean Fear Itself happened in this continuity?) armors rather than a patchwork of all of them.
The battle against the Ultimates once both teams are united is good enough to keep my attention, but could have used more character interaction and dialogue. It was adequate, what the resolution of this episode was not. Just smash Ultron’s head and it’s game over? Earlier Ultron was vaporized and Iron Man was still paranoid. Are the Avengers getting sloppy, or just the writers?