[The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035) was one of the most anticipated films of 2015; after the major success of Marvel's The Avengers in 2012, fans expected nothing less than a near perfect sequel. Needless to say, several fans were disappointed, and although they weren't exactly being fair, the disappointment showed in the rushed pacing and the hasty introduction of four new characters. And although there's no way to fix the movie now, other than for Joss Whedon to release the full three and a half hour original cut (which I would totally watch), could Age of Ultron have increased the audience's interest in another character? Specifically
When the Avengers sequel was announced to be titled "Avengers: Age of Ultron", many fans were quick to point out that in Marvel comics, Hank Pym was the creator of Ultron, not Tony Stark. More importantly, Hank Pym had not yet been introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and in 2013, an Ant-Man movie was barely in development, and Edgar Wright was still attached to the project. Could the (brief) inclusion of Hank Pym in Avengers: Age of Ultron have made audiences more interested in the Ant-Man film coming out later that year? Could he have even made Age of Ultron better? I think so, and here's why:
Replacing Helen Cho
Does anyone actually remember what Helen Cho's role in Age of Ultron was? If you don't, here's a brief reminder.
Helen Cho shows up at the beginning of the movie to heal Hawkeye's wounds, by "literally printing flesh", as Bruce Banner puts it, using a device called the Regeneration Cradle. Later, Ultron breaks into the U-GIN Genetic Research Facility in South Korea, and uses the Cradle to build himself a new body (which eventually becomes the Vision). Let's be honest here: was Helen Cho's inclusion in the film really necessary?
How simple would it have been for Joss Whedon to replace Helen Cho with Hank Pym, and to replace U-GIN with Pym Technologies. It's highly likely that Pym Tech has been working on more than just the recreation of Pym particles, so it would make sense to show the audience that Pym Tech was responsible for the Cradle as well. Also, while it would probably be necessary for Hank Pym to appear for the creation of Ultron, he wouldn't really need to be there when Ultron shows up to take the Cradle. Instead, Ultron could have broken into Pym Tech while Darren Cross was there, using him to create his new body (but we'll get back to Darren across later).
Not only would the inclusion of Hank Pym have rendered Helen Cho's appearance completely unnecessary, but it would also remind us of the interconnected universe among these movies.
While comic accuracy isn't Marvel Studios's top priority, it's definitely a big plus. Fans were understandably disappointed when the Mandarin's true identity was revealed in Iron Man 3, everybody hated X-Men Origins: Wolverine's version of Deadpool, and many are worried about Doomsday's appearance in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Additionally, many fans (including myself) were hoping for some hint in either Age of Ultron or Ant-Man that Hank Pym had a hand in the creation of Ultron in the MCU, like in the comics. Alas, it was not to be: Tony Stark and Bruce Banner created Ultron in the film, using what we learned was the mind stone (the gem in Loki's scepter) in what was a pretty confusing process. After a five minute montage of Stark and Banner playing with CGI holograms and doing some computer-y stuff, they somehow ended up with artificial intelligence; wait, what? I know I'm not the only one who was left baffled after that scene; how could you not be confused with absolutely no explanation as to how Ultron was created save for a blue hologram ball that looked like it was "thinking".
Although the inclusion of Hank Pym may not have made this scene make any more sense, it definitely would have made it more comic accurate, and would have satisfied fans much more. How easy would it have been for Tony Stark to call up Pym Technologies to ask for Hank's help (instead of Helen Cho's), only for audiences to discover some secret hints and Easter eggs about Ant-Man. And who knows: maybe Hank Pym could have brought some sense to that scene, showing audiences just why and how Ultron was created.
Additionally, what if Hank was being manipulated by Tony Stark (like he was with Shield), and he was unaware what his work was going to be used for. This leads into my next point...
Making Hank Pym a deeper character
Although Scott Lang is the most recent Ant-Man in the comics, Hank Pym is by far the more interesting character. In the comics, Hank Pym has gone by several superhero aliases: Ant-Man, Yellowjacket, Goliath, the Wasp; his Pym particles have driven him to the point of insanity, resulting in him creating a Syndrome-esque evil plan to retake his place on the Avengers, as well as his famous domestic abuse issues. He singlehandedly created one of the most dangerous villains in the entire Marvel comics universe. Hank Pym is a character that has gone over the brink, and despite his atrocious acts, readers can't help but sympathize with him.
Movie Hank Pym? Well, that's another story. He briefly worked for Shield, but then they tried to recreate his formula, so he got mad at Howard Stark. Then we found out his wife died, so he and his daughter are sad, too. Do you see where I'm going with this? We only got a brief mention of how Pym particles can alter a person's brain chemistry, and it was only an excuse to keep Hank out of the suit.
If Hank Pym had been introduced in Age of Ultron, Marvel would have had two movies to explore his background, which would have been especially useful, considering the main focus isn't on Hank in Ant-Man. As I said earlier, perhaps Hank Pym's intelligence could have been taken advantage of by Tony Stark in order to create Ultron. Hank Pym realizing that he unwittingly played a part in creating a being that nearly wiped out the human race is bound to leave a few mental scars. Additionally, Pym's manipulation by Tony Stark, plus his research being stolen by his father Howard Stark, would provide a more logical explanation for his grudge against the Stark family, which is explored more in Ant-Man.
Vision's power set
While Vision is undoubtedly one of the coolest new additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, his origin and power set are pretty confusing (like every other new character in Age of Ultron). Of course, this is probably due to the fact that Marvel Studios wanted to make Age of Ultron shorter than the first Avengers film (for some reason); but using Pym Tech to create Vision's body could have provided a possible explanation for his molecular manipulation abilities.
For those of you who aren't aware, Vision had the ability to manipulate every molecule of his body, allowing him to pass through solid objects. We see him demonstrate this ability briefly in the film, when he reaches into Ultron's drones to tear them apart from the inside. However, the movie failed to explain where he obtained this ability; but Pym particles may provide an explanation. Darren across explains in Ant-Man that the Pym particles reduce the volume of an object while increasing its density; but what if they worked in reverse? What it Age of Ultron revealed that Pym Tech had found a way to decrease the density of an object, rather than increase it? Ultron could have incorporated this discovery into his creation, explaining how Vision is able to pass through solid objects. Additionally, this discovery could have played a part in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, since Ant-Man is rumored to go giant...
Darren Cross having an actual motivation
One of the MCU's biggest problems is its villains. Because all of the Marvel movies are centered around the heroes, there isn't much time to focus on the villains. Loki is one of the best villains in the MCU because his character was developed over three movies, and not surprisingly, Wilson Fisk and Kilgrave are two of the most menacing baddies in the MCU, no doubt because they had thirteen episodes to be explored. However, Darren Cross, or Yellowjacket, was just another symptom of Marvel's villainous disease. Yellowjacket had just about no motivation, only wishing to recreate the Pym particles to create an army of Yellowjackets. Deleted scenes show that Cross proposed the use of Pym particles in other ways, such as storage and transportation. Unfortunately, these scenes never made it into the final cut of the film.
But what if Pym Tech, and Darren Cross, were introduced in Age of Ultron? Ultron's attack would be a excellent incentive for Darren Cross to create an army of Yellowjackets in Ant-Man. Additionally, if the whole world knew about how Vision's (a guy who helped save the world) powers are derived from the Pym particles, buyers would be much more willing to invest in an army of suits made from the same stuff. Both of these points make Darren Cross's argument so much more convincing, and it would be far more difficult for the heroes of the movie to convince people that the Pym particles should not be sold. Giving Yellowjacket a convincing argument and motivation would have made him a much better villain, one of the few in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
But what do you guys think? Should Hank Pym and Pym Technologies have appeared in Avengers: Age of Ultron to replace Helen Cho, or should they have just stayed in Ant-Man's solo film? As always thanks for reading, and leave your thoughts in the comments below.