The best laid plans of mice and men in Spandex often go awry. Such is the case in the new trailer for "Avengers: Age of Ultron," Marvel's summer superhero sequel pitting Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the gang against one of their own well-intentioned creations.
Directed by Joss Whedon and set for release May 1, "Ultron" takes its name from a sentient android designed by Iron Man, a.k.a. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), to help keep the world safe from apocalyptic threats. "This vulnerable world needs something more powerful than any of us," Stark says at the beginning of the minute-and-a-half video, which you can watch above.
Unfortunately, Ultron (James Spader, via performance capture) has both major daddy issues and a different take on saving the world: For him, it means eliminating humanity via lots of explosions and swarms of robotic drones.
Iron Man's major miscalculation puts him at odds with his fellow Avengers, particularly Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and apparently the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), who is seen trading blows with Stark and his oversize Hulkbuster armor.
While "Age of Ultron" looks as though it will continue to explore the Avengers' personality clashes, the new trailer also underscores a theme that often arises in superhero sequels: whether the world needs its so-called heroes, and whether they're doing more harm than good.
Of course, given that Marvel and corporate parent Disney have superhero movies lined up through 2019, you can probably guess the answer.