Study Guide

Avengers: Age of Ultron Justice and Judgment

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Justice and Judgment

Ultron: How could you be worthy? You're all killers.

 Ultron's comin' out hot. He's passing judgment on the Avengers in his very first appearance. What's more, he's actually got a pretty compelling point. Even though their victims are evil doers, our heroes are nevertheless guilty as charged. Is it justifiable homicide, though? Ultron's made up his mind. You're gonna have to make up yours.

Wanda Maximoff: We wait for two days for Tony Stark to kill us.

Now that's some serious beef. Once their backstory is revealed, we can totally see why the Maximoff twins would want to get justice for their parents. We're not entirely sure that destroying the Avengers would mean justice, though. Tony Stark does deserve some blame here, but what did the rest of the team have to do with their parents' death? It's a classic case of guilt by association.

Ultron: Captain America—God's righteous man, pretending you can live without a war.

There goes Ultron again, passing judgment. This time Captain America catches the flak. We have to say that, once again, Ultron's judgy condescension actually contains a kernel of truth. Think about it: if Ultron first worked the way Tony Stark intended him to, eliminating war worldwide, would we still need a Captain America?

Tony Stark: Isn’t that the why we fight? So we can end the fight? So we get to go home? Captain America: Every time someone tries to win a war before it starts, innocent people die. Every time.

Now let's visit the other side of the coin. How in the Helicarrier are you going to stop war before it even starts? Even if Tony's Ultron program had worked flawlessly, this would still involve arresting people for something that they might be about to do, not something that they've done already. Is that kind of pre-crime mind reading something you'd be willing to accept?

Ultron: The human race will have every opportunity to improve. Pietro Maximoff: And if they don't? Ultron: Ask Noah.

Ultron's back at the bench here, dropping some biblical judgment on all of humanity. In his defence, he's not the first one to come up with this system. With his allusion to Noah, Ultron references God's Great Flood, sent to wipe out the worst elements of humanity who weren't living good lives. Ultron sees his own plans in much the same light. We better get improving.

Ultron: I think a lot about meteors, the purity of them. Boom! The end. Start again. The world made clean for the new man to rebuild.

Here we see the goal of Ultron's judgment: rehabilitation. The first step in improving humanity is to totally get rid of all the folks who don't quite cut it. In Ultron's view, "cutting it" means surviving an apocalyptic meteor strike. It's a simple plan with just a few wrinkles that need ironing out. For example, we're guessing that, statistically speaking, this would wipe out plenty of smart, compassionate, accomplished people, and that probably a few of the worst humans would be able to luck out and survive. How would "the new man" fare in that case? Ultron's not big on those deets.

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