Thursday, October 23, 2014

An Avengers vs. Ultron History Reading List

Avengers: Age of Ultron is due in May, 2015, and thanks to the Avengers 2 trailer, we have our first glimpses of the movie version of the Avengers' ultimate nemesis: the super-intelligent, adamantium death-dealer known as Ultron.  Looks pretty bad-ass.

While we're waiting for the movie, we can still luxuriate in almost 50 years of Ultron history in Marvel comic books.  Many of Marvel heroes' most exciting battles against the merciless Ultron have been published in trade paperback form, so rather than hunting down The Avengers individual back issues, you can buy and enjoy complete stories collected in one binding. these books do not represent every single appearance of Ultron, they do include the most important episodes and some of the best Avengers/ Ultron battles.  Buy comics online for your reading pleasure...

Avengers Marvel Masterworks Vol. 6
Marvel Masterworks Avengers Vol. 6 -- Who is Ultron?  Here's where the story begins.  The first appearance of Ultron-5, the origin of the Vision, and The Masters of Evil!  This 256 page hardcover collects Collects Avengers #51-58, Annual #2 and X-Men #45.  Written by Roy Thomas with pencils by John Buscema, Don Heck and Werner Roth.
Marvel Masterworks Avengers Vol. 7 -- Ultron returns, and for the first time, cast in indestructible adamantium!  Also, identity crises as Henry Pym becomes Yellowjacket and Hawkeye becomes Goliath.  Reprints Avengers #59-68 and Marvel Super-Heroes #17.  Story by Roy Thomas with art by Gene Colan, Sal Buscema, Barry Windsor-Smith, John Buscema and Howard Purcell.  

 Avengers Epic Collection: The Final Threat -- This collection features the classic "Bride of Ultron" storyline.  Ultron's Oedipal complex drives him to kidnap the Wasp in order to transfer her consciousness into a robot body.  Plus, a two-part Thanos epic!  Gathers Avengers #150-188, Annuals #6 and #7, Super-Villain Team-Up #9, and Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2.   Creators include Jim Shooter, Gerry Conway, Jim Starlin, George Perez, and John Byrne!   

West Coast Avengers Omnibus #1 --  760 pages of Avengers action, collecting the first years of Hawkeye's California-based Avengers team.  Ultron 11 becomes Ultron 12 and tries to work out his substantial daddy issues with Hank Pym.  This is a huge tome filled with fun, colorful stories!  Creative team includes Roger Stern, Steve Englehart, Danny Fingeroth, Bob Hall and Al Milgrom. 
Avengers: Ultron Unlimited -- In this highly-regarded story, Ultron returns and destroys an entire country, but he's just getting warmed up.  Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the other Avengers Assemble, but just how many Ultrons do they have to contend with?  Action-packed!  Avengers #19-22 by Kurt Busiek, with stellar art by George Perez. 
Mighty Avengers Vol. 1: The Ultron Initiative -- Ultron takes over Iron Man and transforms him into a killing machine.  Can a brand new Avengers team featuring Wasp, Sentry, Wonder Man, Black Widow, Ms. Marvel and Ares God of War stop Ultron without killing Tony Stark?  Collecting Mighty Avengers #1-6 by Brian Michael Bendis and Frank Cho!
Age of Ultron -- Ultron has triumphed, and the human race has been nearly eradicated.  Only a few desperate heroes remain.  Will they be able to undo an apocalyptic future?  Features Avengers # 12.1 and Age of Ultron #1-10.  Written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art by Bryan Hitch, Carlos Pacheco and Brandon Peterson.

The Ultron story covers decades, but these books will catch you up on the essentials in time for the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015.  For an exhaustive Ultron history, check here.

Finally, how awesome is this:

Ultron throne polystone statue

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