Monday, April 27, 2015

Ultron - The Devil's Greatest Trick - Grant McLaughlin

Three rows of panels.  Row one is made up of panels 1 and 2, row two of panels 3 and 4, and row three of panel 5 (which is the focus of the page).

1 - The late 1960s / early 1970s.  A stereotypical family sits in their living room, watching their era appropriate television.  We've got the kids lying on the floor, parents sitting on the couch, etc.  The important part is that the family is watching a newscast that shows the Avengers of the day defeating Ultron (either file footage or a news anchor).  You could have a caption like "Avengers muzzle mechanical menace!" or whatever.

CAPTOIN (ULTRON): It is not a simple proposition to conquer an entire planet.

2 - Early 90s.  A doctor's office waiting room.  A bulky CRT television hangs above some patients.  As before, the Avengers are vanquishing Ultron ("Ultron ultimately usurped!").  Some patients are paying attention, others read magazines, and one listens to their walkman with bulky headphones.

CAPTION (ULTRON): It is a project that I have approached in a variety of manners.

3 - Mid-2000s.  We're in a college dorm room.  A flatscreen TV shows another Avengers defeating Ultron newscast ("Avengers rout Ultron armada!").  The roommates only half pay attention, as one is focusing on their laptop and the other is firing up their video game console.

CAPTION (ULTRON): Each with the same result.

4 - Nearly present day.  A teenager looks at their phone on the Subway, the Marvel-universe equivalent of Twitter up on their screen (top tweet: "omg - avngrs > ultrn #amiright?").  Around them, people are either looking at phones, listening to mp3 players, reading eBooks, or starring straight ahead.

CAPTION (ULTRON): In my fervor, I failed to realize the solution was far more straightforward than I had ever considered.

5 - Present day.  Times Square.  An enormous crowd stands before the big screen ("Avengers defeat Ultron for the last time?").  However, no one is actually looking up at the screen.  They're either looking down at their own phones, holding up their phones to take a picture, and so forth.  No one is engaging with the world.

CAPTION (ULTRON): Why force someone into bondage when they will gladly enslave themselves?


  1. Wow. Great commentary on media and our relationship to it, our inurement to violence, and our steady march to isolation within our little screens (he says while typing on one). Also a fantastic start to a killer Ultron story that seems slightly more subversive than his previous outings. A great opener for the week, Grant...

  2. What RAW said - there's a part of me that wishes I'd thought up a version of this script myself.

  3. To quote (probably poorly) from the last Captain America film, "You cannot take people's freedom, you have to convince them to give it up voluntarily."

    You've perfectly encapsulated that point, the always-looming threat of technological advancement, and why Ultron is both a great classic and modern villain.


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