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As Endgame plans to launch on April 26 with a near three-hour runtime, there's likely to be tons of action and story to keep everyone on the edge of their seats. Because of the lack of knowledge provided, information can only be speculated based on the trailer and teaser on what will happen. Theories from time travel to Tony Stark's death, one theory that I want to mention is the return of Ultron, who was the MCU's big bad in the second Avengers film. From the appearance of Marvel's characters to subtle hints in MCU films, here are some reasons why Ultron could come back. This is all speculation and has not yet been proven.
The first Avengers villain, Loki, has been the villain in all three Thor movies and two Avengers movies. Loki has also met with various other characters such as Laufey in Thor 1, Thanos in Avengers 1, and the Grandmaster in Thor 3. By the way, he's also a pretty wanted criminal on Earth for trying to attack Earth. Aside from being a fan favorite, it's safe to say Loki has had his share of experiences throughout the MCU's timeline.
Thanos had his first appearance during the post-credits scene in Avengers 1, where the Other explains to him that facing the Avengers would be the same as courting Death, to which he turns and gives a grim smile. In Avengers 2, Thanos places his hand in the Infinity Gauntlet and says he'll "do it" himself in the post-credits scene, indicating his grand entrance. We even see his full self, suited up and nutsack-chinned, when Ronan meets with him for failing to retrieve an Infinity Stone in Guardians of the Galaxy. This, as well as the prison inmates and Guardians knowing that Gamora is Thano's daughter, we know that most if not all of the Galaxy knows of Thanos.
With Ultron, he existed for a few days before his "death" by Vision at the end of Avengers 2. More importantly, this is the first and last time we see him in all of the MCU. It's odd that Ultron is the only Avengers villain to be featured like this, as Loki and Thanos have had some presence prior to Endgame. Remember that this evil AI had promised the "Avenger's extinction," which they basically were when Captain America 3 rolled its credits. It's because of this, that the group of heroes were unable to fight together against Thanos and his army Wakanda, and why Tony Stark ended up alone than with the rest of his heroes. The question asked is why do other villains get more presence than Ultron? Why is it that Loki and Thanos have been recurring characters as a side or main character, but not Ultron, who only ever gets his named mentioned after his big movie? With the other Avengers villains never truly being eliminated, it's hard to say that Ultron could come back simply because he has very small screen time.
Loki's goal since the beginning has always been to be a ruler after failing to surpass Thor. In Thor 1, he conspired with the Frost Giants to kill Odin and take Asgard's throne while Thor was banished. Loki used Thanos' army to make the people of Earth submit to his rule and crashed the party at Berlin, Germany, forcing people to kneel for him. At the end of Thor 2 and beginning of Thor 3, Loki has become a ruler after having said to place Odin on Earth and taking his place as King of Asgard only to be replaced by Thor. Loki goal was short-lived, but it's easy enough to understand he wanted to rule.
Thanos' goal was originally for him to please Lady Death by taking as many lives as possible. MCU Thanos' goal is to bring balance in the universe after seeing his own planet perish due to overpopulation and scarcity of resources. With this goal, he planned to wipe out half of all life so all of life would not have to face what he faced. It's clear that he couldn't let anyone know and instead tasked certain individuals with finding objects containing Infinity Stones to complete his goal, coming from Ronan and the Power Stone to Gamora and the Soul Stone. In the end, he got what he wanted at the end of Infinity War with a single snap.
With Ultron, it seems a bit cloudy. He was created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner as a peacekeeping program against threats to Earth. As he was born, he realized that humanity needed "saving," which meant destroying all of humanity so it could no longer harm itself or others. Of course, the good ole' Avengers had to stop him from doing so. With motives, we also have to focus on where Ultron came from: The Mind Stone. The stone itself did not give him a negative outlook on life, but he was born from it, nonetheless. He and Vision were created by the stone and are total opposites. Both were born using power from the Mind Stone, both are badass AI, and both had the idea of protecting and destroying life, meaning Vision is on the side of Life and Ultron isn't. It's because of Ultron's opposite that Ultron himself may not actually be gone from the MCU, but rather Vision did something to him that no one actually knows. There are hints in Avengers 2 and the Endgame teaser that also hint to this, and Ultron's possible reemergence.
As we know, Vision is on the side of Life and Ultron isn't. At the end of Avengers 2, he and Vision's last encounter in a forest around Sokovia. Of course, Ultron created many forms of himself in different robotic bodies and just as we saw him take control of the bot that activated the booster in the church, we saw him trying to escape in the forest. It is suggested that this was the last Ultron bot and that we saw the last of him. After all, what we saw was Ultron lunging at Vision followed by a flash of light in the forest. This was the last we saw of him in Avengers. It could mean because Vision cares for life, he could have left Ultron in a state yet to be uncovered while leaving him unable to complete his mission of ending life.
As far as information goes, it was never stated that Ultron had actually been destroyed by Vision just implied. In Thor 2, we see Loki die at the hands of Kurse, but return in the next Thor movie as a fake Odin. At the end of Infinity War, Thanos was nearly killed by Thor, but will return in Endgame. Who's to say that Ultron, a mechanical being, won't come back for a second run?
Another clue to his return is the use of the Mind Stone. His mind was created by using Loki's Scepter, which contained the Mind Stone that Thanos now has. In Infinity War, Vision and Wanda argue about destroying the stone embedded in his head only for Bruce to mention that Vision's mind is made up of Jarvis, Ultron, Tony, Bruce, and the Stone, also adding that all of the bad parts can be separated from his main body. Saying this implies that Ultron's influence with the stone could mean he is actually still inside it from when Helen Cho creates his body in Avengers 2. The only question would be: Does Ultron's mind exist in somewhere in Vision's body or the Mind Stone, and could the Avengers somehow reawaken him?
4. 'Endgame' Teaser
For a brief second, 20 seconds into the Endgame teaser, there shows a bright red light shining above Hawkeye. Recalling all we know of MCU villains, Ultron is the only character to have this red glow. There has been the Aether in Thor 2 that was red, but it turned out to be the Reality Stone. Scarlett Witch wears red and shoots red energy, but was turned to dust by Thanos' snap. Ant-Man wears red, but there would be no need for him to glow red because it would just ruin his ability to be unnoticed.
Upon first sight, we see Hawkeye somewhere underground, shown by the light above and behind him. We also see objects protruding from the ground walls that are either large roots from trees or bent pieces of steel all around him. His surroundings are dark and blurry due to the camera focusing on his face, but it almost looks like dirt and foliage that has grown inside of the area. You may ask, why do his surroundings matter?
In Avengers 2, Ultron picks up the city of Sokovia and pulls it out of the ground to use as a meteor to destroy the planet. Sokovia is blown up and now there is a massive crater in the Earth. In the end, Vision meets Ultron just outside the crater in a forest, where there is nothing but trees surrounding them. The red light shining on Hawkeye could be from the head of Ultron, where Vision rendered him immovable by destroying his body and instead left his head buried just on the edge of the crater where Hawkeye found him.
These are just four reasons why I believe Ultron could return in Avengers: Endgame on April 26. No matter how real or loose these reasons are, this is all just speculation and theory. I am hyped to see Endgame and hope that all of those who read this watch it as well! Marvel is never clear on any information for their movies, so if this true and Ultron does come back, that would be awesome!