One of the most disappointing things about Avengers: Age of Ultron was how frankly... dumb the titular villain’s plan to destroy the Earth was. As it turns out, though, Marvel initially considered giving him a much more epic weapon to take on the Avengers.
Artist Phill Saduners recently took to his personal blog with a number of sketches and detailed renders depicting the Hulk and Iron Man battling—I shit you not—Mega Ultron, a gargantuan humanoid robot made up of all the drones that Ultron deployed during the battle in Sokovia.
Saunders explained that while the concept for Mega Ultron was ultimately cut for some legitimate logistical reasons, he was so inspired by the idea that he took it upon himself to fully illustrate it:
Ultimately (and I think for the best) it was rejected, likely because as cool an image as it is it doesn’t make a great deal of tactical sense over an overwhelming swarm of bots, and probably would have taken more bots than would have been realistic for Ultron to produce! The concept was cut before I was half-way through the image, but I was having so much fun with it I decided to complete it on my own time, so I guess it you could call it “fan art.”
Give yourself a moment to really take in all of the details in Saunders’ illustration, because it’s freaking amazing.
While giant robots are nothing new for superheroes, there’s something inspired about the idea of Ultron making himself bigger and stronger by pulling his disparate selves together, given how he spends much of the film waxing about cutting the strings that connect him to humanity and his father Tony Stark. It’s also charming and Steven Universe-y as hell to see the little Ultron antennae protruding from Mega Ultron’s fingertips.
Unfortunately, Mega Ultron only exists in another universe where someone at Marvel latched onto this idea and (rightfully) insisted that it had to be in the film. Alas, we live in this darkest of timelines where, um, Ultron’s plan literally amounted to lifting Sokovia up into the air and then dropping it back down like the temperamental child he was.