MARVEL! Shut up and take my money now!

Marvel has become the company who has a license to print money.

It’s got the top comic books out there, its TV show Agents of SHIELD is ready to head into its second season. Its got licensing up the yazoo, and it has one of the highest-grossing motion pictures of all time in The Avengers. It has got a slate of movie and television projects on the table that will take it at least 15 years to complete, and at the top of that list is The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Entertainment Weekly’s cover story this week, in advance of the San Diego Comic-Con, shows Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans as Iron Man and Captain America, standing in front of Ultron, the robotic figure, whose construction was well-intentioned on the part of its creator, Tony Stark.

For better or worse (trust us, it’s worse), his Tony Stark has devised a plan that won’t require him to put on the Iron Man suit anymore, and should allow Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the Hulk to get some much needed R&R as well. His solution is Ultron, self-aware, self-teaching, artificial intelligence designed to help assess threats, and direct Stark’s Iron Legion of drones to battle evildoers instead.

The only problem? Ultron (played by James Spader through performance-capture technology) lacks the human touch, and his superior intellect quickly determines that life on Earth would go a lot smoother if he just got rid of Public Enemy No. 1: Human beings. “Ultron sees the big picture and he goes, ‘Okay, we need radical change, which will be violent and appalling, in order to make everything better’; he’s not just going ‘Muhaha, soon I’ll rule!’” producer-director Joss Whedon says, rubbing his hands together.

In the comics, Ultron was created by scientist Hank Pym, who was also a member of the Avengers as Ant-Man (also as Giant Man and YellowJacket over the years — long story). Pym will be introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe next year as well, played by Michael Douglas in the film Ant-Man — which is set to be filmed this fall at the new Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayetteville.

Presumably, there will be a teaser or trailer or something for  at Comic-Con. And I. Can’t. Wait!

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