A Vengeful Beginning
Ultron was created by the original Ant-Man, Doctor Henry “Hank” Pym. Dr. Pym also founded the Avengers with his wife, Janet van Dyne (AKA the Wasp), whom Ultron would come to consider a mother.
Inspired by his studies of Professor Gregson Gilbert’s synthetic being Dragon Man, Pym began experimenting with artificial intelligence. After building a structurally crude robot (a torso on tank treads with spindly arms), Pym endowed it with consciousness using a copy of his own brain patterns as the basis for the robot’s programming. However, the robot inherited not only Pym’s great intellect, but his inherent mental instability—only without a human conscience.
To Pym’s surprise, the robot developed an advanced intelligence within moments of its activation and an unexpected capacity for emotion. Most notably, it was filled with irrational hatred for its “father” Pym and the human race Pym represented. “I know now that it is time to put your species out of its misery. You serve no value. You serve no purpose,” Ultron once said.
Hank should have destroyed his creation at once, when it began speaking before he’d even turned the machine on.
Overpowering and mesmerizing Pym, the robot—which soon dubbed itself Ultron—hypnotically commanded Pym to forget its existence and abandon the New Jersey lab where it was created. Pym did as commanded, and after the lab was shut down, Ultron returned. Using the lab’s equipment, Ultron rebuilt himself completely four times, making improvements and modifications each time. Rechristening himself Ultron-5, he now felt ready to wage war on humanity—in particular the Avengers, the heroic super-team which counted Pym among its founding members.
Weapon of Mass Destruction
Ultron’s abilities vary with each upgrade but include: superhuman strength durability, the power of flight, and various offensive weapons such as concussion blasters, radiation emitters and his “encephalo-ray,” which plunges its victims into a deathlike coma. The latter also allows Ultron to mesmerize and fully control the minds of his victims, alter their memories, or implant subliminal hypnotic commands within their minds to be enacted at a later time. Since he can transfer his consciousness from body to body, he is nearly indestructible.
Ultron sometimes uses a “molecular rearranger” (which renders Adamantium temporarily malleable) to reconstruct or modify his body. His inventions include androne-mutation gas. This gas converted hundreds of humans into mindless metallic-bodied slaves composed of Gallium Arsenide with built-in, makeshift computer chips that Ultron could control remotely through his own central consciousness.
In terms of his upgraded body, he usually goes for a metallic humanoid form topped by a bizarre, gaping-mouthed head that vaguely resembles a jack o’ lantern, often featuring twin electrodes affixed to the sides of his head. Since his Ultron-6 body, Ultron incorporates Adamantium (the strongest metal, which also coats Wolverine’s skeleton) into his frame, which is powered by an internal nuclear reactor. The Adamantium in question was procured for the evil robot by a brainwashed Vision.
Ultron vs. The World
When it comes to enemies of Ultron, the sky’s the limit. Wanting to wipe out all of humanity, he is basically the adversary of every single hero AND villain on the planet, particularly the Avengers. Ultron cannot even get his own creations, like Jocasta, to side with him. He is pretty much alone in the universe and that is how he likes it, given his “noble” mission of mass genocide.
Sinister Solo Act
Ultron doesn’t really want allies, but sometimes he finds it a necessary evil to work with others in order to achieve his goals. But even when it comes to finding “friends,” Ultron prefers to either build his own or possess the minds and bodies of others. For example, he built a robotic lover with the mind of Janet Van Dyne (Jocasta), duplicated himself to conquer Slorenia and the Phalanx, an alien race that saw him as a father figure.
He would later conquer Earth by creating machines that hunted down and killed anyone who did not submit to his will. He may work alone, but Ultron has a way of coercing people, things, and aliens to do his bidding.