Marvel Announces ULTRON-Spin-off AVENGERS A.I. Ongoing

Marvel's post-Age of Ultron world is still mostly shrouded in secrecy, but Friday the publisher took one step towards revealing some of what happens after the Brian Bendis-written event.

Avengers A.I. (sharing part of Mark Waid's Age of Ultron #10A.I. one-shot's title) is an ongoing series debuting in July, written by Sam Humphries and illustrated by Andre Lima Araujo, reports USA Today.

The Vision, Hank Pym, a "Doombot on the road to redemption" play key roles on the series that tackles artificial intelligence in the wake of Ultron's takeover.

According to USA Today, the aftermath of Age of Ultron has some unintended consequences for the Marvel Universe – “the creation and mushrooming of artificial intelligences who can themselves create subsequent A.I.s with increasing complexity and power without mankind's assistance.”

The series is reportedly about “the future coming too far and technology evolving faster, and the philosophical conundrum about man vs. machine."

"It's a Pandora's Box situation – once you fire that bullet out of the gun, you can never put it back," Humphries told the daily national newspaper. "The Marvel Universe within the blink of an eye is being colonized by A.I.s who may or may not have positive feelings about the way humanity has been treating them for the past 100 years."

However, he added, "the brave new world of A.I. contains some hostile elements, but it is not a monolithic, anti-human threat. It is a thriving society with many divergent points of view — some who very much wish to live in peace with humanity. It is not a black-and-white situation."

But a new Avengers group is “self-formed” to deal with this new Marvel Universe reality, “more as an interface than an interventionist organization,” says Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort.

The group includes Pym, The Vision, Ultron's son Victor Mancha, that aforementioned Doombot, and a new character Alexis and Monica Chang, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Bringing the Vision back to prominence is key to the series, said Brevoort.

"He comes back after having transformed himself, after upgrading himself, and now that he is in the age of artificial intelligence in the Marvel Universe, he has a new role to play," added Humphries. "He's not just a bridge between humanity and A.I. but he is a leader. All of a sudden, he's not just the robot in the room — he's an A.I. in a world of A.I. and humans."

Of additional note in USA Today’s story:

The new character Alexis is "in one of the most advanced robot bodies on Earth," Humphries said. “She is a super intelligence who has also ‘fallen’ from the virtual world of the A.I.s, and her role in the birth of this age of artificial intelligence and her role moving forward remain a mystery to the Avengers.

Brevoort identifies the as-yet-unnamed Doombot – who is given a new body by Pym but with a micro-black hole implanted on his chest in case he gets outta line - as a potential “breakout character.”

"He simultaneously gives you the opportunity to be big and operatic and Doctor Doom-like, and to also be intimate and small ad fun and funny in an inappropriate sort of manner."

"He's still Doom, he's got all the ambitions and drive and delusions of grandeur and sense of superiority of Doctor Doom, but he doesn't have a kingdom or an empire or the means and resources," Humphries added.

Finally, Humphries is importing Monica Chang to the Marvel Universe proper from Ultimate Comics Ultimates, which the writer exits in May, but this version won’t the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the 616. Instead, she’s part of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s artificial-intelligence program “and has been anticipating this A.I. evolution for a while.”

Look for more details soon...

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