Tag Archives: Ultron

Top Five Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains

I’ve heard it said, and I’m not sure I can disagree, that Marvel doesn’t have the best or most compelling villains in the Cinematic Universe. Some of that is that some of their best – Doctor Doom, Galactus, Magneto, Spider-Man’s rogues gallery – are all locked up in movie rights.

There’s been a lot of one-off villains, with various levels of comic history. But I think that they’re getting better, now that the heroes have been more established. And hopefully Thanos is awesome… But for now, my list of top 5 MCU villains.

Problem is… I don’t know if I can put them in an order to say who’s best. For one thing, the television show villains – who have been getting good – have a lot more time to breathe, to develop. They’re not a one-off problem. They’re people. Evil, messed up people. So let’s do the list chronologically, and in the comments, you tell me who you think is the best!

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Science Fiction Today – Accidental A.I.?

We wrote a lot of Science Fiction Today posts for this year’s April A to Z Challenge, and one thing I noticed over and over as we talked about science fiction examples was that in pretty much all of them Artificial Intelligence comes about as an accident.

I feel like it has happened so much now in stories that it’s become almost an assumed trope. Like the stories always end up in that Skynet situation where the AI was created and we weren’t ready for it, and it hates us, and it takes over.

Is that really how it’s going to go? I don’t know. Because no one really knows how the singularity will truly and finally come to be, I guess the best we can do is the accident, like many of the great inventions and scientific discoveries of the past. But I’ll look at a couple of thoughts as to what’s happening today that make me wonder how it really is going to go down.

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Avengers: Age of Ultron Comics and Movie Comparison

Cover for Age of Ultron #1

Cover for Age of Ultron #1

This last weekend, we were able to go see Avengers: Age of Ultron. It was pretty excellent. We have an ongoing discussion thread about the movie and all things Avengers – that would be a great place if you wanted to talk about the movie, spoilers welcome! Or if you’re looking for a full movie review, how about two-for-one over on Sourcerer?

Meanwhile, this is my LitFlix for the movie – my comparison of the movie and its source material in the comics. I read a handful of Avengers comics before and after the first appearance of Ultron in Avengers #55. I also read the titular Age of Ultron storyline. I know it’s not really the source material for the film, but between these two and some Avengers reading from a while back, I feel like I have a good foundation for comparison.

So let’s look at the Avengers in the film and the Avengers in the comics!

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Science Fiction Today – Robots

RBecause of the bizarre order in which we have written my A to Z posts this year, this happens to be the last one that I am writing! That means this is being written after all my thoughts have gone into the other posts, and after many of the great conversations we’ve had.

There’s also maybe not a better topic for me to be closing out on and to have time to think about. When we think about possible futures, one thing that comes up a lot is inequality. Whether that’s financial inequality seen with corporations or money; or political inequalities like with queens or the Justice System; unequal health care or access thereof; or how about a post that’s begging to be linked to like my gender one… in any and all of these, and more, we can see how the world could turn (more) to inequality in the future.

What alternative do we have? In what sort of future could we maybe, just maybe, all live a somewhat utopian life with a decent amount of equality? Well… how about a future where everyone has a robot? We’re already moving towards some robotic things – whether it’s a Roomba cleaning up, or a driverless car. What if robots did all the hard work for us – and we all got to live lives of leisure and luxury?

Do Androids Dream of Science Fiction Today Posts?

In the interest of word count, how about some images?

One of the common problems that we run into with robots in Science Fiction is we reach a point where the robots are lifelike. Humanlike. Conscious. Have secrets – have dreams. Have souls?

And if they do – are they slaves then?

One thing I loved about Interstellar was the robots. There were robots built for utility, not for looking human.

Yet even in Interstellar, by the end, the robots are some of their closest friends…

I Want to Show You Something… Beautiful

Then of course, there’s the other thing that happens in robot – and especially artificial intelligence – stories. The robots decide, for whatever reason, that we the humans are the problem. That we are our own problem, that the number one risk to humans is other humans.

The upcoming version of this is going to be Ultron, in the new Avengers movie. However, we have a lot of history in this world at this point – and I think that Ultron will be using all their failings and faults against them, rhetorically at least. I hope they hit some new territory with this story type.

One of my favorites, though, is Dune. In Dune, it’s millennia after the war with machines. And it doesn’t take time to explain this war, really; it’s just a known fact of the past. It’s the idea there will always have been a war with the machines. What mattered was what the future looked like after that.

This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, and also part of our occasional series on Science Fiction Today. You can read an explanation of both here. We are striving to keep these posts short, and know that we have not covered every example or angle – plenty of room for discussion!

Hydra, at it again – have an Avengers Trailer!

[tweet https://twitter.com/Marvel/status/525071656306626560]

That’s what Marvel had to say about the leak of their first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron. It was supposed to air next week, during Agents of SHIELD.

I’m not sure I get that plan, either, since most people watching Agents of SHIELD are going to go see an Avengers movie. Let’s just safely make that assumption. In reverse, if your goal is to get people watching the show to see the trailer… wait, people still watch television live?

Anyway, once the proverbial cat was out of the bag, Marvel gave up their original plan, and released the HD version of the trailer online themselves. Blame Hydra, but in this case they seem to have done something good… we’ve got the trailer and a few of our thoughts after the jump!

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