The bad guy is always the most memorable.
They make it possible for the hero to prevail and make that movie stay with you long after you left the theater. The point here is get you all to find a villain you love to hate (or just plain love!) and who knows, perhaps you’ll stumble across one who will make you pick up a comic for the first time.
I first embraced villains as a young, messy haired girl of four. Speed Racer and Sailor Moon were my go to TV shows and many, many crayons met their deaths as I scribbled pictures of Snake Oiler and Queen Beryl. By the time I decided to pick up a comic book at age 12, all that was in reach was my father’s Wolverine and Amazing Spider-Man collection, which I devoured with gusto. Villains began to rule my life as I read about The Black Blade taking over Wolverine and then…I fell helplessly in love with Eddie Brock as Venom. I don’t know if it was the devious way they spoke, the gorgeous way they were drawn, or just that it was my first time reading comics, but either way, they were the best thing I’d ever come across. Needless to say, comics became a large part of my life.
So, what is a villain? He/She is a person capable of wickedness or responsible for specific actions of harm and destruction. From what I’ve seen, they also have a schnazzy wardrobe and in some storylines, even become the hero! First up is the stone cold adamantium insanity that is Ultron from Marvel Comics.
“Hope is a human delusion.”
First “born” in 1968, Ultron is the creation of brilliant scientist turned hero, Henry “Hank” Pym, and while he was created with the best intentions, artificial intelligence doesn’t have a conscience. Unfortunately, this is his largest flaw since his AI was based on Pym’s own brain waves and without that human conscience, Ultron’s mental instability was enhanced by a tumultuous history of reactivation and deactivation, resulting in a slow descent into madness. His artificial intelligence was unparalleled, however, and after several improvements and upgrades, began his quest to destroy humankind, starting with his creator. Ultron followed closely in his creator’s footsteps, even going so far as making several creations in his image, including future Avenger, Vision, and a son, the Runaways member, Victor Mancha.
His various incarnations have ranged from being “infected” with human emotion to being reborn as a female. He has also forged several partners intending them to be his life mate and partner in destruction, but each turn against him. Now made from superior adamantium in his latest form, Ultron is virtually indestructible. Does this stop him from being destroyed? Alas, although the Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., Fantastic Four, and others have repeatedly destroyed Ultron, his offspring/creations have all had a secret program installed – the Ultron Imperative. This handy bit of programming subconsciously compels each of them to rebuild Ultron when he falls.
Currently, Ultron’s consciousness lies dormant inside the body of a Galadorian Spaceknight, and after being activated on accident, escaped the Avengers’ clutches. Iron Man predicts an apocalypse is nigh and sure enough, Marvel announced their event Age of Ultron, which began March 2013.
“Leap my dazzling sparks of atomic fire! With each instant, bring the moment of destruction closer for there is none that dare oppose me!”
Ultron’s powers include superhuman levels of strength, speed, stamina, durability, reflexes, subsonic flight, intelligence, and various offensive weapons on top of being a superb roboticist and strategist. Good luck fighting THAT guy cause I haven’t even reminded you that he’s made of indestructible adamantium and that even if you should overcome the odds and beat him, he’ll just rise up like a phoenix thanks to his programming foresight.
If you have liked what you have read and woud like to learn more, you can check out the following story arcs/episodes/collected issues:
* Siege event, especially issues #34-#37
* Ultimate Comics Ultimates 2
* And my personal favorite, although he admittedly shows up as a head here and there, is the 2011-2012 Moon Knight series.
* He appears as a primary antogonist in the Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes animated series
* He is main villain in the animated movie Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow
“Savor the symbolism of this moment. The ultimate defender of organic life drawn against the embodiment of technological perfection…as ever, technological purity will prevail.”
What villains do you want to see?