Issue(s): Avengers #66, Avengers #67, Avengers #68
Iron Man can't do anything to it. Goliath nearly breaks his hand punching it.
Goliath has dyed his pants red. I still hate his He-Man top.
Dr. Myron Maclain is a weird looking guy with a goatee and sunglasses. I was sure he was gonna turn out to be a super-villain or something.
Later, a routine in the Vision's programming gets activated, and he turns evil, rebuilding Ultron out of adamantium and attacking the Avengers.
Ultron is extra cool in this story as his bottom is just a crazy mess of machinery instead of humanoid legs. He also uses the molecular rearranger to turn himself into pure ionic energy.
While the Avengers fight Ultron, a SHIELD task force (actually: "Suicide Squad One"), consisting of Dum Dum, Gabriel, and the Contessa is formed.
This is the first time we've seen the Contessa outside of a Steranko comic. Very likely a sign that Smith was influenced by Steranko. After Ultron brushes off the Avengers, the Vision resists his programming (or Ultron only programmed Viz to rebuild him and didn't worry about what would happen afterward) and attacks his maker, but even he can't stop him. SHIELD then shows up and attacks the Vision while Ultron gets ready to launch a nuclear attack. Somehow the Vision manages to escape the agents and disable the launching device while the rest of the Avengers fight Ultron.
The Black Panther has been in Wakanda all this time but the Avengers give him a call and ask for some vibranium. They set a trap involving Dr. Maclain. Ultron is aware that there is a trap but decides to spring it.
The trap is set at the UN. The Wasp is worried... because she hasn't a thing to wear. She next shows up in a trampy new outfit.
As the Avengers fly to the UN in their quinjet, a black man outside the building says "Holy jumpin' cats! Either that's an Avenger crate... or I've been hittin' the soul food too hard!" The narration box tells us it would take a brass monkey to not be moved by the sight.
When Ultron arrives, he's rebuilt himself, saying he's the Ultimate Ultron beyond any numerical degree. His new body is actually kind of scrawny looking.
Now try to follow this. Here's how the Avengers defeated Ultron. Janet hypnotized Henry Pym into thinking he was Dr. Maclain, and they dressed up Pym in a Dr. Maclain mask. Janet also filled his subconscious brain with the phrase "Thou shalt not kill". When Ultron grabbed 'Maclain' and tried to scan his brain to find out how to build more adamantium, he instead got nailed with 'Thou shalt not kill', causing him to explode! Then Janet tossed Thor an expandable vibranium shield, which Thor used to contain the explosion. Got that? Sounds totally plausible, right? Good.
Now witness Thor scream like a girl: "Dieeeeeeee!"
Issues #66 and #67 have some nice Barry Windsor-Smith (or just Barry Smith right now) art, including some very psychedelic panels featuring the Vision.
There is, however, one weird perspective problem on page two of issue #66 where the Wasp is somehow standing behind Goliath/Hawkeye's leg but in front of his arm.
While the Vision is disabled, Yellowjacket uses a mind-probe to learn Ultron's weakness - it's the molecular re-arranger that they all should have known about already.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Needs to fit in gaps for Thor and Iron Man's stories.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Super Action #28, Marvel Super Action #29 (#66 is an original)
Inbound References (9): show
I remember reading this issue while walking to school...(Jr.High)...I was taken aback by the last statement that does ULTRON in..."THOU SHALT NOT KILL"...How poignant and how profound that such a simple statement could subdue such a menace in a comic book and yet it is OUR highest law by GOD...Being 13 y/o, this really opened my mind to the world of religion and the word of GOD...Amen Brother.
Posted by: Mean Mon | July 30, 2010 3:38 AM
Barry Smith had previously worked on a few post-Steranko issues of Nick Fury.
It's about this time that George Klein died, while also inking Daredevil. Unlike Avengers though, Daredevil would see some more artists dying while drawing it, specifically Syd Shores and Bob Brown.
Ultron's "ultimate" body was suggested by Roy Thomas, and taken from a robot on a Bob Powell cover on the 1950s Magazine Enterprises comic "The Avenger".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 9, 2011 5:07 PM
Here's a question: what's the earliest (real world) reference to Captain America's shield being made from a mixture of adamantium and vibranium? (Or, I guess, just being indestructible generally?)
In the mid-1960's, Cap's shield gets man-handled a lot. Iron Man opens the sucker up to put in some gyroscopic gizmo's in "Avengers 6," which Cap later rejects. In "Avengers 23" Kang uses some goofy enlarging ray to make the shield as big as a house. In "Avengers 34" the shield gets disintegrated by one of the Living Laser's deathtraps.
There's certainly no reference to any super-qualities to this thing. I get the sense that it's just an ordinary shield!
But certainly by the mid-80's the shield is one of those goofy things like Thor's hammer which nobody can scratch or damage.
So when does this change take place?
Posted by: James Nostack | August 21, 2011 2:54 PM
According to Scans Daily,it's first mentioned to be indestructible and composed of some bizzare alien metal in Tales of Suspense 93:
Posted by: Michael | August 21, 2011 3:06 PM
Okay, so if Cap's shield got disintegrated by the Living Laser in "Avengers 35" or something like that, in December '66, it's possible that he gets it replaced with some kind of indestructible metal a few months later in "Tales of Suspense 93," in September '67.
Since adamantium is revealed to the public for the first time in July '69, the AIM scientists back in "Tales of Suspense" can be forgiven for thinking it's some kind of extra-terrestrial alloy.
Posted by: James Nostack | August 21, 2011 3:55 PM
According to Captain America #255, at least, Cap got the indestructible shield from FDR at the same time he got the modern version of the costume with the full face mask. So he definitely had it by the time the Living Laser destroyed that shield in Avengers #35. Using No-Prize rules, I've always pretended that the shield destroyed in Avengers #35 was the one Tony gave him in Avengers #5 (since the original shield could never have been opened up to put transistors in it, it must have been a duplicate).
Also, the AIM scientists are actually correct in thinking that a component of the shield is extra-terrestrial, since it's a steel-vibranium alloy, and vibranium comes from an asteroid that landed in Wakanda.
But in terms of when all of this is actually revealed, other than the issues you guys have already cited, i don't think there's much that goes into the details until Marvel Handbook #15 that deals with the weapons and gadgets. I seem to remember that in the Byrne/Stern issues of Cap there was a lot of debate in the letter pages about whether or not to reveal the origin of the shield.
Finally, i know that in the early 2000s Kurt Busiek spent a lot of time on the Marvel newsgroup trying to convince people that the shield was not made of adamantium, despite what it said in the handbook. He maintained it was a steel-vibranium alloy, and (i think) that adamantium was created trying to replicate the process that created the shield. Knowing Busiek, i'm sure he had good reason to believe that. I'll keep an eye open for stuff related to this as i continue my readings (and i may go back and re-look at stuff i've already read since James has pointed out an interesting bit of history i may have neglected)...
Posted by: fnord12 | August 21, 2011 6:38 PM
"Using No-Prize rules, I've always pretended that the shield destroyed in Avengers #35 was the one Tony gave him in Avengers #5 (since the original shield could never have been opened up to put transistors in it, it must have been a duplicate)."
That makes complete sense in light of retroactive continuity! I was just wondering about the real-world development of that concept.
Posted by: James Nostack | August 21, 2011 7:47 PM
Am I the only one here who has always been turned on by Janet Pym?
Posted by: Joe | August 25, 2012 12:51 AM
According to Marvelmania #2 in 5/70, Cap's shield was made of "meteorite metal".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 30, 2012 7:16 PM
I'm glad that Thor and Iron Man have finally returned to the lineup, fifty issues after leaving it.
Posted by: Steven Printz | August 4, 2013 10:08 PM
"Janet also filled his subconscious brain with the phrase "Thou shalt not kill". When Ultron grabbed 'Maclain' and tried to scan his brain to find out how to build more adamantium, he instead got nailed with 'Thou shalt not kill', causing him to explode!"
Had Ultron taken a life as yet? In any event, Ultron needs to learn Hebrew and confer with the Sphinx, Moses' opponent. The word râtsach does not prohibit all slayings. Moses in official legend ordered rape and slayings.
Posted by: PB210 | September 5, 2013 8:20 PM
Later on, we learn that Ultron killed the original Human Torch's creator before turning the Torch into the Vision.
Posted by: Michael | September 5, 2013 8:39 PM
If this is the first adamantium, Wolverine doesn't have his adamantium claws yet?
Posted by: A.Lloyd | March 30, 2014 1:59 AM
Except that numerous flashbacks have made it clear Logan had his adamantium prior to FF 1- blame John Byrne.
Posted by: Michael | March 30, 2014 9:20 AM
"Later on, we learn that Ultron killed the original Human Torch's creator before turning the Torch into the Vision."
Or not, as a later retcon had Professor Horton alive and well and living in Seattle. As Michael says, "blame John Byrne". (Usually a perfect solution to any continuity issues, it's true.)
I too love and lust for Janet...but is it REALLY a good idea to be hypnotizing Hank when he's less than a year from his breakdown? Couldn't you just get the real Dr. MacLain to do it?
I suppose that Busiek's latter-day revelation (no "retcon" because this was new, but logical information) that Ultron IS, essentially, Hank (his engrams being used in creating Ultie's AI) had something to do with the explosion, too. Essentially, it's Hank telling *himself* not to kill, and at this point Ultron can't take it. Of course, once Ultie gets "better" in his subsequent rebuildings, this gets tossed out the window, much to Hank's horror and distress.
Posted by: Dan Spector | July 9, 2014 2:06 AM
In response to Dan Spector, I believe Kurt Busiek showed that the Phineas Horton who appeared was a Space Phantom planted by Immortus in order to deceive the Avengers. The real Horton was killed by Ultron.
Posted by: Steven Printz | July 10, 2014 10:45 AM
I just realized that this is the third time they've used Ultron in about a year. Ultron the Venom of the 60s' for the Avengers?
Posted by: david banes | October 23, 2014 2:59 AM
The original rejected cover to #66 by Barry Smith/Syd Shores was printed in Comics Interview #67.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 13, 2015 8:07 PM
PB210 makes a good point about that commandment. If you really break down the etymology, it translates as "Thou shalt not kill, except when it's OK to kill." Maybe the circular logic infuriated Ultron so much it made his head explode.
As for Cap's shield, the Tales of Suspense line was really one of Stan's throwaway lines, like when Professor X declared his love for Jean Grey in a single thought bubble in X-men 3. The idea of the indestructible shield didn't get picked up again until Cap 152, when Mr. Hyde tried and failed to break it. (Oddly enough, he would again try and again fail exactly 100 issues later.) It didn't really take off until Avengers 165, when Super-Count Nefaria couldn't break it. After that, John Byrne wouldn't shut up about it.
Busiek's well-intentioned campaign against an Adamantium shield never made a lot of sense. There's no reason metallurgists couldn't have accidentally created Adamantium in the 40's and simply been unable to replicate the process.
Posted by: Andrew | January 17, 2015 1:12 PM
If the electron freeway of the interenet had been a means for Ultron consciousness to travel in these early character offerings, "Thou Shalt Not Kill" may have created a negative back loop that unleashes the merciless rage of Global society. Thus reactivating Ultrons Psychopathic spark.
Posted by: Rocknrollguitarplayer | April 4, 2016 1:12 AM
That "soul food" line is really ugly.
Posted by: Time Traveling Bunny | June 26, 2016 5:50 PM
Maybe that panel with the Wasp and Goliath was foreshadowing the future bangfest that Chuck Austen set up with Clint and Jan that partly precipitated Avengers Disassembled.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | August 3, 2016 8:12 AM
"That 'soul food' line is really ugly."
Yeah, especially when juxtaposed with "brass monkey" in the narration box above. NYC-dwelling Roy was hardly insensitive on these issues, having brought T'Challa into the team and later creating his "Luke Charles, urban teacher" alternate identity, but that page definitely looks like a clunker, half a century onward.
Posted by: Dan Spector | June 14, 2017 8:36 AM
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