With Warner Brothers electing to save Batman vs. Superman for next summer’s Comic-Con, this summer’s convention belongs squarely to the other superhero orgy in our lives, The Avengers: Age of Ultron. To that end, Entertainment Weekly is featuring a first look at Ultron on the cover of its Comic-Con preview issue, and it is very, very cool.
We’d expect nothing less at this point, of course. Marvel is great at making Marvel movies—they keep getting better while other long-running franchises like, say, Transformers just get worse—and they’ve delivered a couple of pretty great genre flicks with Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The bar is high, and the pressure on Ultron to top The Avengers’ bonkers success in 2012 is higher. But based on what’s in EW, Joss Whedon & Co. have it well in hand.
The big reveal is our first real look at villain Ultron, unknown to general audiences. Nerds are and have been flipping their sh*t because Whedon is rewriting Ultron’s backstory, but the details outlined in EW are solid. Traditionally Ultron is the spawn of Hank Pym (Ant-Man), but because that character is not yet introduced to the cinematic universe, Whedon has rewritten Ultron as a by-product of Stark tech gone wrong. It’s linear and fits neatly into where Tony Stark was at the end of Iron Man 3—set on retiring, but also having developed semi-sentient armor that could operate at the discretion of Jarvis.
This is where we find our heroes—left hung out to dry by the fall of SHIELD, tired and without backup. So Tony invents a system, Ultron, to manage global security with an “Iron Legion” (are we going to see the Iron Avengers?!) while the Avengers take a much-needed break. Except something goes wrong, Ultron gains sentience and decides the path to world peace is to destroy humanity. Stark tech: Blowing up in Tony Stark’s face since 2008.
The EW piece also includes some first-look photos at all of our heroes, old and new. We get a good look at the twins, Quicksilver (THAT HAIR) and Scarlet Witch, though more than any other Avenger they depend on how their powers end up looking on screen. There’s Tony and Bruce Banner, Science Bros for life, and Captain America, Hawkeye and Thor all sporting new armor. There’s also a photo of Natasha Romanov with a Photoshop shadow right where Scarlett Johansson’s pregnant stomach should be—they’re going to remove her baby belly with CGI in post-production.
Then there’s the one thing I care about more than anything else related to the Avengers: SUPERHERO CLUBHOUSE.
The thing I love most about the Avengers comics is that the heroes all lived together, but unlike the X-Men, they don’t have adult responsibilities. The X-Men all live at Xavier’s school, but they’re also teachers. The Avengers just like, f*ck around and talk sh*t and eat and punch each other in between missions. For the first time, we’re going to see the cinematic Avengers living together in Stark Tower (and Rhodey’s there!). I could watch a whole movie of just this.
Comic Con is next weekend and the cast of Age of Ultron is confirmed to attend. We’ll be seeing footage, and we’re officially less than one year away from the movie hitting theaters in May 2015. Are you excited yet?
Click here to see all the photos.