What if Ultron is Not the Villain in Age of Ultron?

I’m usually incredibly wrong with these types of predictions, like with Amazing Spider-Man #700, but hear me out. I think we’re going to find out that it wasn’t Ultron who took over the world and killed all the superheroes, it was instead Hank Pym! Or maybe some kind of hybrid of Pym and Ultron!


I have very little evidence to base this on. Only two issues of Age of Ultron have come out so far, but the clues are starting to be dropped. There are also solicitations for issues all the way up until the finale in June that we can pore over.

I don’t think anyone at Marvel has actually teased that there’s a big surprise coming. This is deliberate, I think. If someone in PR said ‘Who is really behind the Age of Ultron?’ then everybody would already know the answer is Hank Pym. So if they don’t tell us that there’s a big surprise twist coming, then we won’t know to expect it, and it’ll be even stronger when it does hit.

Join me after the jump to see my evidence.

First off, for those who don’t know, Hank Pym is one of the founding members of the Avengers (even though he didn’t make the movie). He started out as Ant-Man, but has also been Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket and a few other superhero identities. He’s also a super scientist, and he invented an artificial intelligence that he named Ultron. Well, like most super robots, Ultron gained sentience and decided to destroy the human race. Ultron became a frequent villain for the Avengers, and I think he’d be a great villain for a future movie.

Everyone else is robots

Hank Pym has also been kind of pigeon-holed with a bad reputation because he once struck his wife in a story a few decades ago. It wasn’t cool, of course, but it was a minor contexual thing, he apologized and they made up. He hasn’t done anything harmful to her since, but fans still refer to Hank Pym as the wife-beater. That may be important later.

Age of Ultron is a new Big Event comic coming out right now in which Ultron has finally succeeded in taking over and destroying the world. Only a handful of superheroes remain, and it will be up to them to unite and save the world.

Two issues of Age of Ultron have come out so far…but Ultron himself has not appeared in either of them.

Why not?

We’ve seen a few Ultron security drones flying around enforcing justice, but we haven’t seen the big robot himself. Why wouldn’t Marvel show Ultron ruling over the Age of Ultron?

Perhaps because he’s not really in charge!

We also haven’t seen Hank Pym. We’ve seen a few pockets of surviving superheroes hanging around, but no Hank Pym. Yet we know that Hank Pym is going to be a big player in the series before the end.

So where is Hank Pym? And where is Ultron?

And who is this mysterious figure?

That’s Spider-Man, right?

In Age of Ultron #2, Spider-Man reveals how he discovered that the world had come to an end. He swung into battle to try and help, but he was knocked out by this mysterious caped figure.

Do robots wear capes?

If that’s supposed to be Ultron, why hide him in shadow? And why is he wearing a cape?

That was my first – and really my only – clue that Hank Pym is going to be the surprise villain. Everybody likes big twists in their stories, and I think it would be a huge, shocking twist that Hank is the villain instead of Ultron. Everybody expects Ultron, but he hasn’t shown up yet. Nobody will expect Hank to be the villain – hence, twist.

So with this theory in place, let’s look ahead to future solicitations to see if anything pans out.

First up, in April, we have Age of Ultron #4 which promises a “secret behind Ultron’s victory over all of mankind.” Fair enough of a clue that some secret will be revealed.

Bigger in April is Age of Ultron #6, during which Wolverine and the Invisible Woman go back in time to do something in the Avengers’ past. The solicitations reveal that they have to make a big, scary decision that will change everything. Now take a look at the cover and see if you can guess what decision they make:

What a particularly Hank Pym-ish cover to tear up

Wolverine cutting through an image of Hank Pym. Hmmm. Now why would Wolverine make the controversial decision to kill Hank Pym? Perhaps because he’s evil now!

The next big hints are in June during the big finale. There’s a comic coming out called Age of Ultron #10 A.I. Based on the solicitation, it sounds like some kind of epilogue:

One of Marvel’s most classic characters, Hank Pym, stands at the crossroads!
Faced with a dilemma only he can solve, Pym gambles his past and his future!
Some men are beyond redemption! By story’s end, Hank Pym will have an entirely new role in the Marvel Universe!

That all sounds pretty interesting. Hank Pym at a crossroads? Pym gambling his past and future? Pym beyond redemption? New role in the Marvel Universe? What does all of that imply?

Couple that info with the issue’s cover, which seems to have Hank Pym’s screaming face hidden under an exploding Ultron helmet.

A man screaming that loudly could only have stepped on a LEGO

Hank Pym as Ultron. Didn’t I just say that?

So what do you think, guys and gals, might I be on to something? It sounds awfully suspicious to me. Mysterious caped figure. No appearance yet by Ultron. Trip to the Avengers’ past. Hank Pym at a crossroads and beyond redemption. I think I might finally get one of my comic book predictions right!


About Sean Ian Mills

Hello, this is Sean, the Henchman-4-Hire! By day I am a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in Central New York, and by the rest of the day I'm a pretty big geek when it comes to video games, comic books, movies, cartoons and more.

Posted on March 18, 2013, in Avengers, Comics, Marvel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. If Pym is the big bad I will personally go to Bendis house and put a flaming bag full of poo on his doorstep, why don’t they leave Hank alone? I like Hank, I believe they could do a lot of good stuff with him, but no, is always the same, everytime he is part of the story and not just a mention or on the sidelines they either bring back the beating incident, make him go through some crap or something with Ultron, I wish both readers and writers could treat him better.

    • I don’t have any confirmation of this, but I’m pretty sure it’s an Internet rumor/factoid that Bendis just doesn’t like Hank Pym.

      • If that’s true then I better start finding his address, thanks, hope you don’t mind I want you to be wrong on this one. Also I was going to use another word instead of “poo” and “crap”, is it permited or should I keep it PG-13 in here?

    • And I will go with you 😉


    I also have the feeling that Hank Pym is the villain behind age of ultron.

  3. Your theory is valid, but i don’t think it’s as much a potential surprise twist as you think. I mean, yeah, the mysterious caped figure was suspicious, but i mean, isn’t Henry Pym like the first person to come to most people’s minds when thinking about who that might be? Maybe i have too much faith in mankind’s deductive reasoning, but i think not to many people would be surprised if he was the big surprise.
    As for the Wolvie going back in time to kill Pym theory, it makes sense, one could easy assume that from looking at that cover. However, i think it’s more likely he wants to stop the creation of Ultron 1 rather than kill Pym. At least it makes sense to me when you consider the dramatic (and i mean DRAMATIC) effect on history that would occur if Pym was killed way back then – thereby erasing all the good he has ever done- and all the lives he has saved- as both a superhero and as the Scientist Supreme.

    • Well the reason I think it will be a surprise twist is because nobody has said there’s going to be a surprise twist. The story is called Age of Ultron and all the promotional material says that Ultron has taken over the world. I think Marvel PR is purposefully setting us up for a big reveal that Pym is behind it. Otherwise, I would think that people just assume Ultron is behind the Age of Ultron.

      As for going back in time to kill Pym and the reverberations it would have, Marvel have been talking out the wazoo about how the ending to Age of Ultron is going to have huge ramifications on the Marvel Universe. How the ending is such a surprise that Joe Q himself volunteered to draw the last few pages so that they wouldn’t have to tell the artist what he had to draw. That only 6 people at Marvel know the ending.

      If that ending is some kind of reboot/reshaping of the Marvel Universe, killing Pym so early in the timeline would have that effect. Plus, why would Wolverine of all people go back in time just to stop Ultron 1 from being created? Heck, Wolverine’s answer to stopping Ultron from being created would be to kill Pym. He’s Wolverine.

      I also kind of think we might be looking at a Flashpoint scenario. If you look at the cover to Age of Ultron #7, it shows a bunch of heroes, but they look different, as if they’re from an alternate reality. I think Wolverine goes back in time, kills Pym, creates this offshoot alternate reality, then the real ending involves fixing reality…leading to whatever big, amazing surprise Marvel has for us at the end.

  4. Where is Vision? I haven’t been following what’s happening with the Avengers too faithfully. I seem to recall not too long ago that Vision was acting like a bit of an ass. He and Wanda are also almost dead-center in the panel of all the photos on Fury’s wall. Do they plan to ignore the connection between Vision and Ultron?

  5. I don’t know… no offense, but I don’t see any logic behind your reasoning. The only thing I could see is that you either don’t like the character too much, or maybe you don’t know him very well… If you do, I apologize for my previous comment.

    Starting with the figure floating above SpiderMan, with a cape on, I could think that it was Vision, Magneto, or some other hero or baddie wearing a cape. Pym goes big or small, doesn’t fly and doesn’t wear a cape…

    Secondly, the real question is… why? Why would he take over the world? I personally don’t think he has this in him. Look at his recent record, since the Skrull invasion: leading the Mighty Avengers and getting rid of Osborn, Avengers Academy, a center for women, rescuing Wasp from the Microverse… all positive things. I don’t really recall anything negative that happened to him that could have triggered somehow a relapse of a mental breakdown that he had not have for at least 15 years (if not more). He would not snap just like that, for no reason, especially so to anihilate humanity…

    But it seems logical to assume that Wolverine went back in time to try to stop Pym from creating Ultron, or simply to kill Pym altogether, I’ll give you that. But that “butterfly effect” they were talking about in the previews is easy to pin, as someone commented before: all the good things Pym did in his lifetime would be erased. Who knows what could have gotten wrong? Korvac destroyed the world? Or Kang? The Skrulls succeeded in their invasion? How many heroes has he helped develop, or restore, or better control, their powers? And one of those heroes could have made the difference too at some point. My guess is when they’ll see that the world is as bad, if not more, after they stop Pym, that they’ll go back and stop themselves from killing Pym. Now I’m getting a bit of a headache!

    I took the image from the cover of AU #10 A.I. as a metaphor of what is to come for Pym: a true but painful liberation from Ultron, a dissociation of some sort from his “creation”. By what means, and where will it lead him, I don’t know, but I don’t think we should take this “first degree”. Giant-Man pictured breaking out of an Ultron shell doesn’t mean he LITTERALY was inside Ultron, or that he was Ultron.

    My only concern is that they seem to want to change completely the 616 universe… which means we have over 50 years of comic books that won’t be true anymore, Kind of makes me sad 😦

    • I’ll admit to not reading much Pym, but I like the character as much as the next person. I just think Marvel, and Brian Michael Bendis, are completely capable of simply ignoring all the good he’s done and coming up with some reason for him to be evil now. Any character can become evil as long as they figure out how. But you’re right, that could be Vision with the cape. The twist could be that vision is the secret villain.

      But turning Hank Pym evil is one of those things that comic book companies do from time to time. Cyclops is evil (ish) now, at least in some people’s opinions. Bishop is evil. It happens all the time, even to characters that we fans would swear would never go evil.

  6. I just got an idea… bear with me! What if… the reason why the earth has been conquered by Ultron is BECAUSE of something they did in the past trying to stop Pym?

    They see Ultron coming back, Wolvie says “we gotta stop this once and for all” and goes back in the past and kills Pym. Then he comes back to the present and finds the Earth like in the first two issues… then, they have to go back and fix it better!

    Just a wild thought 😉

    • That would be a neat and weird twist as well!

      • It would also explain why Peter Parker is Spiderman again (I haven’t read on Spidey lately but have been told he’s not Pete anymore…) and why Hawkeye is so fond of piercing people through with his arrows… I mean, this is the guy who litterally ended his marriage to Mockingbird BECAUSE she let a villain die. It’s always been the motto of the Avengers : Avengers don’t kill. The motto of the writers at Marvel should be : continuity… 😉

  7. What if all the heros thought dead are in fact inside the ultron drones which would explain Pym’s facing breaking away from Ultron’s. Let it be noted I am not reading age of Ultron.

  8. Anyone notice on the cover of Age of Ultron #10 A.I that Pym has tears in his eyes? To me that says he didn’t want to be in there.

  9. It’s been revealed that vision is a bad guy in it and he was the one with the cape

  10. Also one of the other covers shows wolverine stabbing another version of himself that looks like the ultimate version?

  11. people wont be surprised but more like heart broken like me that is what they are confusing it with and going for.

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