Joss Whedon said that emotions were the main thing at stake in his movie Avengers: Age of Ultron, and that his source of inspiration was Godfather II. Joss Whedon’s track record is far too impressive for us to be giving him advice. But, if emotion is the main thread, then there was already a goldmine available within the story line itself, in the issue of descendants. Black Widow can’t have children because of her training. Neither can Bruce Banner, but for different reasons. Ultron considers Tony Stark his father, and Vision is in a way, his son. The Avengers stories that inspired the movie (Ultron Unlimited, Avengers vol. 3, issues 19-22) showed Ultron trying to collect a variety of mental schemas to recreate an artificial lifeform, where different points of view could be shared. In sum, we feel the film could have gone into greater depth of feeling instead raising the bar with the physical challenges needing to be solved (saving the world, again).
In analyzing Volumes 4 and 5 of the Essential Avengers, one critic wrote, “in the big category, you get to watch the creators—particularly [Steve] Englehart—work out how modern comics were to be written, both the way that events took place in subplots that built to the next major crisis with one or two stories in between them…” (“CR Review: Essential Avengers, Vols. 4-5,” www.comicsreporter.com, June 4, 2012). We’ve mentioned our admiration for Englehart’s work in the past. We feel his stories are always progressing and not mired in profound psychological reflection or existential doubt.