Marvel has announced that Ultron will return to menace a group of Avengers assembled together from across time in a new three-part event. The announcement comes via Hero Complex, which revealed that the event -- "Ultron Forever" -- will span three oversized issues due out next spring.
The story will be told in three parts: "Avengers: Ultron Forever" #1, "New Avengers: Ultron Forever" #2 and "Uncanny Avengers: Ultron Forever" #3. The event will be written by Al Ewing ("Captain America and the Mighty Avengers") and illustrated by Alan Davis ("Savage Hulk"). The event is apparently aimed at introducing new readers to the Avengers villain just in time for the release of Marvel Studios' next film, "Avengers: Age of Ultron."
The Avengers lineup will consist of the present-day Black Widow, Vision, and female Thor; they will be joined by James Rhodes in his Iron Man armor as well as classic versions of the Hulk and Thor. The story will also feature an adult Danielle Cage, the daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, as Captain America. Ewing revealed that this particular lineup draws on his own sense of Marvel nostalgia as it includes the versions of Iron Man and Thor that he grew up with.
"Growing up, I didn't particularly care who Tony Stark was -- it was Jim Rhodes, this guy who was with the rest of the superheroes on this little alien planet fighting each other," Ewing said, recounting the events of 1984's "Secret Wars." "So yeah, I do kind of want to have him back in the red and yellow, because it's a nice nostalgic thing for me, and it'll be good for a bunch of readers who remember that whole era."
As she's still a baby in the main Marvel Universe, the grown-up Danielle Cage is the wildcard of the bunch when it comes to reader expectations. "She's very strong, and she's as bulletproof as her mom and dad were," Ewing told Hero Complex. "She has the Captain America shield with an anti-gravity unit in it, which she can sort of control with a unit on her glove. I'm going back to the days of the '60s where, for about five minutes, Captain America worked his shield with magnets. She's not throwing the shield so much as flying it out, and then it ricochets off of people and comes back to her. It's pretty cool."
Doctor Doom's time platform will bring these disparate heroes together 50 years in the future in a timeline where Ultron won. Editor Tom Breevort told Hero Complex that the setting for "Ultron Forever" was briefly glimpsed in "Avengers" #31. "It was a happy accident that [writer] Jonathan [Hickman] had just set that world of the future up, that Ultron-dominated world, because when we were thinking about this, it was sort of low-hanging fruit."
Ewing discussed what it was like writing a fulfilled version of Ultron rather than the power-hungry version we've seen in the past. "He's achieved all his goals, and he's kind of become this godlike figure," said Ewing. "It's almost like humanity is just this resource for him now, but at the same time, he's enjoying lording it over them."
"Ultron Forever" will be released in April and May of 2015.