Age of Ultron

Upgrading Ultron 3.0

The most enduring enemy of the Avengers commits his harshest crimes yet!

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By Jim Beard

The artificial evil known as Ultron stands as not only one of the greatest threats to the Avengers, but also to humanity at large.

Ultron’s true strength lies in his unnerving ability to rise from the ashes after each defeat and reinvent himself for further battles. His long history as the Avengers’ adversary proves this mechanical monstrosity will never stop until he destroys all life as we know it.

One against Many

After an escape from incarceration by the Avengers, Ultron-13 sought out a newly-announced vibranium off-shoot called Nuform. In the ensuing chaos, Spider-Man joined with Iron Man, the Black Panther, and Sunturion to hold back the robot’s progress with the incredible metal, learning later that NuForm would eventually break down and become unstable.

Not long after, an older version of Ultron, Ultron-11, found itself a prisoner of one of Doctor Doom’s wayward mechanical duplicates, a Doombot. Despite the amazing advanced programming of the Doombot, it fell prey to the attentions of Deathlok, a cyborg hero.

More Wedding Bells

Something vital to his existence remained elusive for Ultron, though, and the robot upgraded himself once again, setting out to create another mate. Realizing that his first “wife,” Jocasta, possessed programming unsuitable for global domination, Ultron-14 created Alkhema, also known as War Toy, utilizing the brain patterns of the heroine Mockingbird. Together, the duo entered into opposition with the West Coast Avengers and found themselves jettisoned into space by Ultron’s “son,” the Vision.

Perhaps because of this, Alkhema then betrayed her “husband” after a botched attempt to bring about a volcanic winter on Earth by planting explosives near many volcanoes. Human emotions played havoc with Ultron later as another version, the fifteenth, produced signs of inebriation from the “infection” and welcomed an invitation by the Vision and Jocasta to explore the planet he’d attempted to conquer in the past.

A Taste for Genocide

One of the most horrific transformations in the robot’s history produced Ultron-17, who marched into the small Baltic nation of Slorenia and systematically butchered every single one of its men, women and children. The Avengers took notice, of course, and jetted off to confront and disable their foe before he could commit further atrocities.

All of Ultron’s past metallic bodies attacked some of the Avengers and abducted the robot’s “family”—Hank Pym, the Wasp, the Vision, Wonder Man, the Scarlet Witch and the Grim Reaper—to forcibly take their engrams and use them to create a new race of cybernetic conquerors. Ultron then sent hundreds upon hundreds of robots against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in a battle that laid waste to all that remained of Slovenia.

During the proceedings, Pym revealed to the Wasp that he’d used his own brain patterns when he built the first Ultron and that he and he alone took responsibility for every murderous act committed by his creation. When the young Avengers recruit Justice brought Antarctic Vibranium to the fight, Hank Pym channeled all his anger and frustrations over Ultron into a blistering beat-down that dissolved the robot into nothingness. At that moment, it seemed as if the world saw the last of the Avengers’ most diehard opponent…

To be continued…

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