Thursday, August 1, 2013

Avengers: Age of Ultron and the Future of Tony Stark


So with the recent announcement from Joss Whedon (Director of The Avengers and creator of the shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dollhouse, as well the wonderful Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog) that the upcoming sequel to The Avengers has been dubbed, “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”  A few things off the bat to the uninformed about what this new title tells us.  First our main villain for the movie is most likely this murderous robot that makes the Terminator look like W.A.L.L.-E.


His origin comes from one Hank Pym, aka Ant-man. In the comic world Ant-man created Ultron based off his own brain patterns with peaceful intentions in mind. The robot then goes on to be one of the most difficult foes the Avengers ever have the graces of facing off against.

Hank Pym reflecting on his creation.

Hank Pym, unlike most of the other Marvel heroes, is a pacifist at heart. The destruction brought forth by Ultron is a source of great concern for Pym, not only because Ultron is his creation, but because Ultron is based off Pym's own brain. Now, how this plays into the cinematic universe will be interesting to see because Joss Wheddon has confirmed that Ant-Man, not even as Hank Pym, will not be involved with Ultron's creation, nor will he be in the Avengers sequel. Our first view of Ant-Man will not be until Edgar Wrights movie, Ant-Man. 

The man who brought you these films will be bringing you Ant-Man.

So the question of who is left to create Ultron really only falls to one person.

Does he really need a caption?

Yes, Tony Stark. Genius weapons designer turned philanthropist superhero is the only real option to create Ultron. There are number of reasons for this to be true. First, as stated he is genius.

He built this in a cave while under duress of terrorist.

Second, he's a master weapons designer.

He also built about forty of these.

Third and most important, he hasn't become a complete and total drunk yet.

Something I imagine Robert Downey Jr. wont have to stretch to far to act out.

Now, at the end of the Iron Man 3 it would seem that Tony Stark has fulfilled a complete character arc. He's gone from a completely narcissistic, wholly self interested, live in the moment, playboy weapons designer to a slightly narcissistic, globally aware, plan for the future, single relationship clean energy mogul.  Anyone familiar with his history in the comics universe however knows that he steeps deep into life destroying alcoholism.  While they certainly made the case to show that Tony Stark drinks freely in the movies,

Even when the world is at stake, probably especially then.

They don't have go down the road of destructive alcoholism. A case could be made for the scene in Iron Man 2 where he gets drunk at his party and the fights War Machine, but that is more of a case of acting out against impending death. He doesn't threaten to run his company into the ground, destroy his wealth, or negatively effect the Avengers because of his drinking. They had a chance to begin that story line at the end of Iron Man 3 when Pepper Potts makes a jump to Tony Stark to save herself and he essentially drops her to her death. This could of been a perfect prime to start Tony's alcoholism and his downward spiral into a bottle, but through the relevant plot points of the movie Pepper Potts is saved and Tony retires the Iron Man suit(s.)

So, we come back to Avengers: Age of Ultron. If in place of Hank Pym, Tony Stark creates Ultron for humanitarian purposes in the same manner in which Pym's character originally did, based off his own brain scans, then this can lead to Tony Stark going to a very dark place. We've already seen he's susceptible to P.T.S.D from Iron Man 3 due to the New York incident, and if he were responsible for something similar or worse then it is highly likely that he would begin to deal with his psychological issues with the bottle.

These kind of things.

They've already confirmed an Iron Man 4* and it's my prediction, that like Iron Man 3, this one will be his dealing with the ramifications of the latest Avengers gathering and most likely set off at least a two movies with him dealing with his alcoholism while fighting bad guys. A plot line that can be nicely tied up and resolved in meaningful ways in whatever happens in Avengers 3. Hopefully that involves sobering up to deal with Thanos.
One of the few things that whole galaxy run away in unison.
*CORRECTION: I had read an article that said that Robert Downey Jr.'s contract had been for Avengers 2 and Iron Man 4. It is in fact for Avengers 2 and 3. It should be noted that Kevin Feige, the head of Marvel, has stated that Iron Man will continue to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Downey has left the series.


  1. They never confirmed Iron Man 4. They specifically only signed RDJ for Avengers 2 and Avengers 3.

    1. Thank you for correcting me, I will correct the post this afternoon. It's worth noting though that Marvels head Kevin Feige said that Iron Man would continue to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after RDJ quit playing him.