UPDATE: More images have been added, and you can check those out below.
ORIGINAL: Entertainment Weekly’s cover shoots have given us some great first looks over the years, and the pop culture magazine’s upcoming Comic-Con preview double issue is no exception, providing Marvel fans with a tantalizing first look at the titular baddie in hotly anticipated superhero sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron. Check out the cover below, which finds sentient robot Ultron (James Spader) looming behind Avengers teammates Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans).
Accompanying that awesome cover was an excerpt from EW’s cover article about the blockbuster:
The good guys are tired, S.H.I.E.L.D. has been destroyed, and there’s no one else for the planet to turn to when menace looms on the horizon. Everyone wants a break—and that’s exactly how they’re about to be broken. There’s no abdicating heroism.
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!’” Whedon says, rubbing his hands together. “He’s on a mission,” the filmmaker adds, and smiles thinly. “He wants to save us.”
The article adds that Ultron’s not a robot so much as “a program, capable of uploading himself and disappearing not into the clouds but the Cloud. And he has a bad habit of rebuilding himself into stronger and more fearsome physical forms.” That makes him a difficult villain to best, as the Avengers find out. The sequel is said to be darker and more tragic than the first Avengers, so expect Ultron’s defeat to come at a steep, steep cost.
Avengers: Age of Ultron dawns on May 1st, 2015.