by Brett White
We've known since San Diego Comic-Con that Ultron is the villain next in line to throw down with the Avengers, and now we know that James Spader has been cast in the role. But as bad as Ultron is, he can't be the only bad guy in "Avengers: Age of Ultron." Every Marvel movie has more than one bad guy in it, even if they're just henchmen.
Case in point, "Iron Man 3" threw a bunch of super-charged Extremis soldiers at Tony Stark in addition to the threat of Aldrich Killian, and the Red Skull lead an army of HYDRA agents in "Captain America: The First Avenger." Even using the first "Avengers" film as a template, Loki had an entire Chitauri army at his disposal, as well as a bunch of S.H.I.E.L.D. defectors and brainwashed goons. Whatever dastardly deeds Ultron does in the film, he won't be doing them alone.
With that in mind, we've come up with five ideas for Ultron co-conspirators designed to give the Avengers a workout—and also make them look good while they're mopping the floor with them.
The Masters of Evil
Ultron originally debuted in the guise of a villain named Crimson Cowl, the leader of the second incarnation of the Masters of Evil. Avengers fans have been wanting to see the Masters of Evil on the big screen for a while, so including them in the sequel would be both a great nod to continuity and some neat fan service. The incarnation even includes a few characters that could set up future Marvel films, like the Black Panther foe Klaw and the Ant-Man bad guy Radioactive Man.
Ultron may not need to hire from outside when he could easily make his own backup. Jocasta was created by Ultron to be his wife, which could humanize the character considerably—something that Joss Whedon wants to do with Ultron. She has many of Ultron's abilities, including superhuman strength, enhanced durability, and above average senses. Jocasta eventually broke free of Ultron's rule, eventually becoming a valued member of the Avengers.
Of all of Ultron's creations—and he's had a few—Vision is definitely the most notable. Vision first appeared mere months after Ultron, making him Ultron's first creation as well as one of his deadliest. In addition to the ability to fly and enhanced strength, Vision can also control his density, making him either intangible or hard as diamond. He's gone on to explore his artificial humanity, falling in love and marrying Scarlet Witch—a character that's popping up in the sequel. Vin Diesel was long rumored to be playing the character, but that has since been debunked. Whether there's any room for a character as important as Vision in the film, even in a henchman role, remains to be seen.
Maybe Ultron's backup will be Ultron himself. In the recently concluded "Age of Ultron" limited series, the artificial intelligence utilized hundreds of individual robot bodies to carry out his every whim. Superhero films, especially big ones like "Avengers," need disposable bad guys just to give our heroes something to plow through. An army of Ultron robots could fulfill that role nicely; just imagine the Hulk tearing through dozens of Ultron robots with every punch!
If Tony Stark is indeed Ultron's new creator—in lieu of Hank Pym—then the connection between the two could be used for evil. Imagine Ultron taking control of Iron Man's armor and pitting the Avengers against their biggest ally? Of course this plot twist plays heavily into stuff we've already seen before; we've already seen giant armor battles in two of the three "Iron Man" finales, and Loki tried to turn Tony Stark with his mind control staff in the first "Avengers" film. While this could be an interesting development, it might not be original enough for this highly anticipated movie