Friday, May 06, 2011

Another rerun with Thor in it: "Downsizing."

One of my favorite old strips. Hope you like it!
Cap is this close to putting Vision and Yellowjacket on KP.
Click pictures for Giant-size!
To his credit, Ultron's never turned Hank into a girl, either...



Who would've thought brainwashed zombies might do a subpar job of advanced electrical engineering?  It was a foolproof plan, otherwise.
I figure Cap sounds normal and current like 90% of the time, but occasionally slips into Grampa Simpson mode.
Is Jan taller than Hank?  Or has she been huffing Pym particles?
Is this really the end of Ultron?  We'll see...



Even though I readily concede he's one of the Avengers' greatest bad guys, there's a couple of nagging questions I've always had about Ultron.

Since his outer shell is made of indestructible adamantium (which is what adamantium should be used for, killer robots, not cramming into hairy Canadians...) Ultron doesn't usually perish in the traditional explosion as you might expect. Instead, a lot of the time, some of his non-adamantium internal parts are damaged or destroyed, or his reactor goes all meltdown, or one of his creations turn on him: the Vision, Jocasta, War Toy, Aibo...

Of course, Ultron's returned several times, since he is just a robot and can be rebuilt, but here's the thing: on multiple occasions, Ultron's left brainwashing or reprogramming subliminal messages in the Vision, Iron Man, and his creator Hank Pym. Without them even knowing they were doing it, they were forced to reconstruct one of their greatest enemies.

Now, I'm pretty sure the Vision would do a good job of resurrecting Ultron. And since he doesn't sleep, he has a lot more free time to do it. But I'm 90% sure, the time Ultron made Tony Stark do it, was when he was a drunk; right around the classic "Demon in a Bottle" storyline. (Maybe. I could be off on this, and I'm pretty sure every issue immediately after didn't jump up and down on that point, either. And for a dissenting view on Tony's "alcoholism," check out this one from Ye Olde Comic Blogge.) I try to avoid the drunk Iron Man jokes--others have done them, better than I--but it is fun to consider a completely hammered Stark, hypnotized and drooling, slapping together a very shoddy Ultron.

Hank's almost in the same boat. He suffers from a whole mess of psychological problems, including but not limited to the physiological effects of size-changing, mental tampering from Kang and others, an inferiority complex, and the capricious whims of editorial mandate. And he was married at the time. (Which probably didn't help the inferiority thing...) So, how Hank was able to sneak away, and be together enough to put Ultron together, well, seems dicey, like not the best quality craftsmanship there. Hell, if you figure Hank's first Ultron went nuts and tried to kill him, why would you assume he could build a more advanced model? (I kid, I kid: I like Hank, and have already admitted wanting the Yellowjacket costume.)

Of course, if you assembled Ultron's CPU and an arm, he could probably rebuild the rest himself. Eventually. Which leads to the next point, materials. None of the crap you need to build Ultron is gonna be at Radio Shack. Most of it, even guys like Stark and Pym aren't going to have lying around, like adamantium resin. Is resin the right word? As I recall, you mix together the two compounds, stir well, bake at 400 for forty-five minutes, voila! Adamantium. (Not quite, but I think there's a Joe Casey Incredible Hulk issue that discusses it.)

Therefore, adamantium isn't going to be an over-the-counter kind of purchase. You have to figure the Avengers (and possibly Wolverine) would be curious as to who was buying it. Though, I suppose Ultron could have depots, little hidden stashes of it for his hypnotized lab rats to use later. ("Ultron Depot: For all your Ultron needs!")

No spoiler now, but after the female Ultron whatever in Mighty Avengers, he turned up as the big bad in the new Annihilation: Conquest series, leading the alien Phalanx, or "Marvel Borg." Is Ultron advanced enough technologically speaking for that? Or is it like your blender trying to download music?

Anyway, the bulk of the idea for this week's comic was the fact that I have the older, Marvel's Most Wanted Ultron; and not the Marvel Legends Ultron, which was part of the (not so) Legendary Riders and came with like an Ultron-faced Goblin Glider. I had thought my Ultron was a bit smaller, and had to cheat: he's on his knees in all the pictures. I think, although I'm not positive, there was one more in the Avengers cartoon toys; and I swear, I remember seeing an Ultron-5 (that's the robot upper torso, mounted on what looks like a jet engine desk) in Previews seven or eight years back, but I don't think it ever came out. If anyone else remembers even the solicit for it, let me know I didn't hallucinate that part of my life too...

3 comments:

SallyP said...

Haw! Best Ultron Story Ever!

Emilio said...

You're right, there were at least three Ultrons made
http://www.marveltoys.net/character.php?c=220&p=0&page=1&v=0
By the way, i'm a big fan of your work, specially Bastards of the Universe (BRB rocks¡)

Susan said...

Aww, Baby Ultron!