Countdown to the End of Fourever: Ultron Attacks…!

There's a lot going on here.

There’s a lot going on here.

I can’t look anywhere without seeing ads for Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. That includes, but is not limited to: driving, reading my e-mail, watching TV, listening to the radio, going to 7/11, and generally being awake. Reading comics? Oh no…it’s Ultron time, people. Get as many of his appearances back in print as you can, as well as new material.

Who is Ultron? Glad you asked, True Believers. Ultron is a supervillain that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is a straight up murderous robot, created by Ant-man, one of the founding Avengers. He is most recognized as a foe of the Avengers, and has a quasi-familial relationship with several of their members, especially his creator Hank Pym. He was the first Marvel Comics character to wield the fictitious metal alloy adamantium, which is way better known as the stuff Wolverine’s claws are made out of. That’s the Cliff’s notes version.

The visual appearance and powers of the character have varied….but not a whole lot. He invariably has a version of the weird Atomic Pumpkin Head thing happening that you see above. His usual, or common powers include superhuman levels of strength, speed, stamina, durability, and reflexes; flight at subsonic speeds; and various offensive weapons such as concussive blasts of energy fired from its optical sensors or hands and an “encephalo-ray,” which places victims into a deathlike coma. The ray also allows Ultron to mesmerize and mind-control victims, or implant subliminal hypnotic commands within their minds to be enacted at a later time. Ultron also has the ability to convert electromagnetic radiation into electrical energy for use or storage….which is straight up convenient for a robot. Ultron has a genius intellect, a capacity for creative intelligence and self-repair, and like most robots, the ability to process information and make calculations with superhuman speed and accuracy.

Kind of an intimidating supervillain, I agree.

Why is he bullying his way into the art above? Good question, with a simple answer.

Marvel is pushing Age of Ultron almost as hard as my school district is pushing the iPad Driven SBAC standardized test. This week’s Agents of SHIELD will have an Ultron tie in…hence the art above. Although Attilan is supposed to be the Hidden City of the Inhumans, Ultron seems pretty able to find it. I am no fan of Skye, so we have old school Crystal of the Inhumans in Ultron’s inappropriate, giant robot hand.

That place looked pretty expensive, though, so I’m thinking the Inhumans will be mad about a robot wrecking up the place.

The FF Variant cover.  Without intrusive logo overlays.

The FF Variant cover. Without intrusive logo overlays.

Standardized testing is the same way. There are six weeks left to the school year, and suddenly, testing takes over everything. Today’s after school meeting will be about testing, which will in turn eclipse this thing I like to call a report card. Procedures will be gone over for some time…about an hour and a half. interestingly enough, the scores will once again not be counted, despite the disruption that this will cause to an entire week of teaching.

Yeah…a week. Short schedule, weird rotation, half the day on testing with the iPads alone…the rest, sort of an educational joke. You see why I thought that a giant robot busting up the place was appropriate to the school analogy, not just my comments on the comics industry.

Hey...that's Quicksilver too! trade dress!

Hey…that’s Quicksilver too! And…no trade dress!

Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch will be in this film as well, and as a result, we are seeing Marvel pushing those characters more than they have in some time. I may have some Quicksilver based humor coming up later…like next week or so. It’s half formed, and at the back of this thing I call a brain. Still…Marvel is sharing that duo of characters in film with Fox, so it will be interesting to compare and contrast the differences.

Next Issue: Countdown to the End of Fourever…the Final Part!

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