Comic vs. Film: 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'
Whenever a comic book is adapted to movie or television, there are going to be changes. Some are subtle, while others are a little more drastic (ie: race or sex swapping). A small contingent of viewers want a slavishly faithful, panel-by-panel adaptation, but most fans appreciate a switch up to keep things interesting.
Like in the comics, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has always planned to have a rotating line-up of Avengers, which means each Avengers sequel will see the inclusion of new members, as well as the possible hiatus or expulsion of others. So, while everyone knows what the classic Avengers look like in the comics by now, here we will compare the new members and new villains director Joss Whedon has introduced to Avengers: Age of Ultron.
There have been a lot of versions of Ultron over the years in the comics, but his final look in this movie evokes artist Marko Djurdjevic's recent renditions of the super villain. The way James Spader humanizes the robotic villain provides room for some wit, which calls back to earlier, more campy incarnations of the character.
The biggest change with Ultron is his origin. Instead of being created by Hank Pym (the original Ant-Man) like in the comics, Ultron is caused by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner in the film.
Ultron can rarely be found without drones, and in some stories, these drones vary in size and form. He has even embodied a gargantuan version of himself to battle Hank Pym in Giant-Man mode. The drones in the movie looked straight off the page.
Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch
Elizabeth Olsen's portrayal of Wanda as a woman out for revenge sets the tone for how much the world sees the Avengers since they assembled in the first film. This version of Wanda as an ultra powerful yet unstable "enhanced" echoes many a writer's take on the character in the comics. She also looks the part, even though they didn't give her the carnivale-style costume. But the red highlights in her wardrobing were an obvious and appreciated nod.
Pietro Maximoff aka Quicksilver
Aaron Taylor-Johnson has tended to play the "nice guy" in most of his roles thus far, so fans were weary of him playing the jerky Quicksilver. Well, no fronting allowed, he pulled off Pietro's arrogance and impatience quite well. However, they gave him the personality of a 20-something, Russian street thug.
He has the silver hair from the comics right from the start, but it isn't until he gets outfitted by Stark that he receives a uniform referencing his comic costume. The subtle white lightning detail is a nice touch.
The Vision was the character Marvel tried to keep under wraps the longest, abstaining from revealing his look in North American promotion until a few months before release. He turns out to be the heart of this movie, much as Hulk was in the first one. His demeanor and appearance are dead-on to the comics. Sure, he is a different shade of green, but he has the red face, yellow cape, even the diamonds on his forehead and chest! The biggest difference is that the diamond on his forehead is the Mind Stone in the movie, yet in the comics it is simply a solar cell he can emit energy beams from.
Fun fact: There is a Marvel hero with an Infinity Stone (Gem) on his forehead in the comics: Adam Warlock.
Ulysses Klaue aka Klaw
Fans were excited to find out Andy Serkis was not only on set to assist Mark Ruffalo with his Hulk motion-capture performance, but to also play a part in the film. Many thought Serkis' role would be CG (ala Brolin as Thanos), since he has basically mastered motion-capture acting. So, it was a cool twist that he plays iconic Marvel profiteer Ulysses Klaue (before the transformation into Klaw). This character and his family have a long history with the fictional African country Wakanda and its hereditary leaders, the Black Panthers.
He looks the part, he acts like Klaue, and they blew his hand off, which sets the stage for him acquiring his trademark sonic cannon/claw in the upcoming Black Panther film.
Agent Peggy Carter
While Hayley Atwell was introduced in the MCU years ago and has reprised the role of Peggy Carter many times since, we are featuring her here because her short cameo in AoU was a pivotal moment for Captain America. Both Tony and Steve's visions induced by Wanda's powers drove them towards their more extreme natures. Seeing Peggy again, Steve realizes she was his only chance at love and the family life. With this realization, he accepts that he is now more Captain America than Steve Rogers.
As for comparisons, Peggy has blonde hair and fights with the French Resistance in the comics, but is a brunette working for the SSR in the MCU. She has a similar attitude and strength though.
Much like Joss Whedon's first Avengers outing, this movie pulls from a lot of Avengers continuity. He does a magnificent job of fitting in all kinds characters and elements without losing the focus: Ultron wants to wipe out humanity! Kevin Feige seems to be an expert at helping directors connect these movies. The way they set up Captain America: Civil War, Thor: Raganarok, and Black Panther was awesome and didn't seem forced at all.
It is sad to see Whedon leave this franchise but he did a tremendous job with the biggest and most difficult movies Marvel has released and deserves a break.
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