ByJim Galizia, writer at
Filmmaker/Writer/Super Hero/Burrito King
Jim Galizia

WARNING! While there are no spoilers ahead, just speculation, I have to warn you that this gets pretty heavy in the psychological department. It might hurt your brain, and also your feelings. Just a heads up...

So you thought the villain for Avengers 2: Age of Ultron was Ultron right?

WRONG! Kind of...

Let me explain...

But its not.
But its not.

Okay here's what Im NOT saying.

1. Im not trying to tell you that someone else is pretending to be Ultron. This isn't [Iron Man 3](movie:24391). Trevor Slattery or anyone else isn't wearing an Ultron suit! Im about 99% sure that won't happen.

2. Im also not trying to say that Thanos is the villain and he's controlling Ultron. He likely isn't. Ultron holds his own gravity as a villain in the comics, and though Loki became one of Thanos' puppets in Avengers 1, I doubt there is anything Thanos could gain by aligning himself with Ultron. There are no strings on Ultron after all! Which leads me to point #3...

3. Im also not saying Ultron isn't the main antagonist for the film. Ultron is his own dangerous foe! He will definitely be the big baddie for Avengers 2, and I doubt that the Avengers will be rid of him for good after this film ends.

So what am I saying? Are you confused yet? Let me clear this up!

Im saying that the true villain for each and every character is their own ego. Every character has one, and each of them is affected by it differently. Ones ego is what makes them feel self important and makes them feel like they matter.

Thor himself is a god, and thus his ego is massive. Its a simple fact that gods in the Marvel universe think themselves above others. Hell, its the whole point of the first Thor movie! He learns humility during his time on Earth and realizes that he is no better than anyone else, even though he is a god. Thor used to feel validated by being more powerful than anyone else around him. When he comes face to face with more powerful opponents, Thor's ego is crushed.


Odin makes Thor feel like a child time and time again. The Destroyer literally destroys his ego, humbling him and making him feel small. Thor's powerful ego over the years makes Loki feel small, which results in Loki's constant betrayals. Malekith's attack on Earth makes Thor realize how protecting the Earth could be his new purpose. Thor loves Midgard because he feels powerful there. On Asgard his opponents stand a chance, but on Earth there are few who can rival the might of Thor. Towards the end of Thor 2 he self proclaims himself Earths protector. Thats one way of saying Earth needs protecting because they are weak, and I am strong. That isn't humility, its ego. Thor's validation comes from being Midgard's protector.

Captain America is a victim to his own ego as well. While Cap isn't arrogant or as "in your face" about it as Tony Stark, his ego drives him to be the leader that he is. Captain America believes himself to be the absolute authority on fighting for what he thinks is right, no matter the cost. So when Cap doesn't agree with you, his ego pushes him to do whatever it takes to take you down. He comes from very humble beginnings, but Steve Rogers always thinks of himself as the moral high ground. That said, Captain Americas committed the most selfless acts throughout his life out of all of the current MCU characters. He suppresses his ego to save lives, believing others to be more important them himself. Whether he's crashing his ship into the arctic, diving on an enemy grenade, or putting himself between danger and a civilian, Captain America is a very selfless man. Of all the Marvel super heroes, Cap has the most control over his ego.

Cap dives onto a grenade in The First Avenger.
Cap dives onto a grenade in The First Avenger.

Hulk hasn't had a lot of lines, but the few he's had and his actions speak loudly enough. Whether he's laughing at gods or crushing aliens, one thing we know the Hulk truly believes. He is the strongest one there is. Period. His ego feeds on his infinite rage. If challenged or provoked, Hulk reacts in a way that proves he thinks very highly of himself. His ego is truly Hulk sized, but it hasn't drastically effected the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet. Since his appearances are fewer, he's had less opportunities for his ego to really mess things up on a global scale.

Puny god.
Puny god.

Back to [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035)...

Tony Stark is probably the most egotistical character in the MCU right now. In Avengers 2 we see that Tony is building Ultron robots, but for what purpose exactly? He's tired of suits and armor? No, he wants to create life! He's designed JARVIS, and also other simple minded androids already, but nothing that was truly alive. Why does he feel the need to create sentient life? What pushes him? Its all a metaphor for Tony not having a child of his own. Hence his relationship with the 10 year old boy, Harley, in Iron Man 3.

Tony wants to create something from nothing and put a piece of himself into it. He sees Thor, and though he doesn't really believe Thor is a god, the thought of "what if he is?" still lingers in the back of his mind. Tony has always been the most important person in the room. Nowadays he shares rooms with actual gods, and that makes Tony feel small and terrifies him. Creating life as though he were a god feeds Tonys massive ego, and helps him compensate for the fact that around these gods and heroes, he feels like a small man in a tin suit.

I can tell that hurt a bit...
I can tell that hurt a bit...

I predict that Tonys ego is one of the traits Ultron inadvertenly receives from Tony when created. Ultron also keeps referring to strings that tangle up the Avengers, which is a metaphor for all the flaws they possess. Ultron believes himself to be flawless and perfect, like a god. His ego makes him think he is a god himself, and fills him with the notion that he has the right to decide the fate of an entire species. What Ultron doesn't realize is that the gods in his universe are some of the most flawed characters!

Im also saying that Ultron doesn't NEED a body! He is a computer program that is able to take over any technology around him. His body that appears in the comics and the film is simply one of many vessels that can house him. Ultron isn't limited to one physical form, and thats why we see him differently throughout the trailers. So why does he have a physical form at all? Cant he just nuke as all Terminator/SKYNET style anytime he wants?

One of Ultrons many forms.
One of Ultrons many forms.

Ultron has a body because he wants one. His uncontrollable ego makes him want to exist in the physical world. Being "real" is what makes Ultron feel validated. Yes, I said feel. Ultron is a robot, but is given sentient life and thus has emotions and an ego of his own.

Im saying that the true enemy does not physically exist. It is something we all always have, and yet something we lose control of all the time. Some of our heroes fail to control it, and it results in the near ending of the world time and time again. The problems our heroes face are nearly always caused by one of their overcharged egos. In the case of Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, the true villain is the ego of Tony Stark.

Please leave comments below! Id love to hear you opinions on whether or not you agree with me! Thanks for reading!

-Jim Galizia


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