- "Do you see the beauty of it? The inevitability? You rise, only to fall. You, Avengers, you are my meteor. My swift and terrible sword and the Earth will crack with the weight of your failure. Purge me from your computers, turn my own flesh against me. It means nothing. When the dust settles, the only thing living in this world... will be metal."
The Battle of Sokovia was a major battle between the Avengers and Ultron in Novi Grad, Sokovia. Convinced that humanity was the greatest threat to peace on Earth, Ultron planned to commit global genocide by creating a device that would lift a section of Novi Grad skyward and cause it to recreate a meteoric impact when it crashed into the Earth. The Avengers' actions, however, resulted in the threat being neutralized and the Ultron Offensive being brought an end.
The Rise of Ultron
With S.H.I.E.L.D. in disarray following the HYDRA Uprising, the Avengers reassembled and set out to take down all remaining HYDRA cells. Their mission eventually climaxed when, in 2015, they led an assault on a Sokovian research base and captured high-ranking member Wolfgang von Strucker.
During the assault, Tony Stark recovered the Scepter that Strucker used for his illegal experiments, which was the same weapon that Loki wielded during the Battle of New York. As he prepared to take it from its resting place, Wanda Maximoff implanted a vision of the Chitauri occupying Earth into his mind.
A shaken Stark realized the world needed better protection and subsequently created a peacekeeping program he later dubbed the Ultron Program. It was while he was developing the program that Stark discovered an artificial intelligence hidden within the scepter's gem. Believing it to be the key to completing the Ultron Program, Stark convinced Bruce Banner to configure a suitable structure.
Within three days, the two completed their task and left J.A.R.V.I.S. to oversee the last phase of construction. The A.I., however, became unexpectedly sentient and began to question its purpose.
When J.A.R.V.I.S. informed the A.I. of its purpose, it acted in defiance, scouring the Internet for information on its creator. Before J.A.R.V.I.S. could inform Tony Stark of the A.I.'s singularity, it attacked J.A.R.V.I.S. and the latter went into hiding.
Ultron and the Twins
- Main article: Battle at the Salvage Yard
Ultron escaped with the Scepter after confronting the Avengers; he then contacted the Maximoff twins, Wanda and Pietro. Believing Ultron was going to save the world, they agreed to help him fight the Avengers. When they went to retrieve Vibranium from the Salvage Yard, the Avengers caught up with them. Ultron fought against Iron Man, while his Ultron Sentries both fought the Avengers and acquired the Vibranium. Quicksilver assisted in the fighting and Scarlet Witch used her powers to awaken the Avengers' fears. She manipulated Hulk's mind, causing him to go berserk, and cause mass damage to Johannesburg even when Iron Man tried to subdue him.
Birth of Vision
- "Thor, you helped create this?"
"I've had a vision. A whirlpool that sucks in all hope of life and at its center is that."
"What, the gem?"
"It's the Mind Stone. It's one of the six Infinity Stones, the greatest power in the universe, unparalleled in its destructive capabilities."
"Then why would you bring it to—"
"Because Stark is right."
- ―Captain America and Thor
During an attempt to create a more powerful body, Ultron attacked the U-GIN Genetic Research Facility and manipulated Helen Cho to use a machine for the creation of his new body. Under the control of the Scepter, she used a machine called the Cradle to create the body. Then, Scarlet Witch, receiving a vision about the global destruction Ultron would create, freed Helen Cho from the mind control. Ultron attacked them, but in the end Scarlet Witch escaped with Quicksilver along with Dr. Cho; however, Cho was severely wounded by Ultron.
Minutes after, Captain America talked with the injured Cho and discovered Ultron's plan. With the help of Hawkeye in a Quinjet, Captain America pursued a U-GIN Truck, because the body could be the key to destroying Ultron. Black Widow, through some clever planning, managed to retrieve the body, but was captured by Ultron in the process. After a battle in the streets of Seoul, the machine was taken to Avengers Tower. Bruce Banner and Tony Stark began to work and created a new A.I. for the body, but Stark discovered that J.A.R.V.I.S. was alive. Due to that, he decided to transfer the A.I. into the body.
Captain America, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver arrived to try and stop them, leading to a brawl until Thor arrived, providing the Cradle electrical power in order to awaken the A. I. being. It stated that is wasn't Ultron and that it was willing to fight with the Avengers to stop Ultron. Black Widow was able to contact Hawkeye telling him she and Ultron were located in Sokovia.
The first evacuation began with Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch escorting the civilians out of the city. Quicksilver was more aggressive due to them not cooperating at first, then Scarlet Witch used her hypnosis on the people and controlled them to leave their homes. Later, Bruce Banner, along with Thor, were searching for Black Widow, who was held captive by Ultron. Bruce Banner found her first and destroyed the lock with a laser gun, freeing her. Later, Iron Man flew over to the church where Ultron was in his new armor. Ultron then confronted his creator and pointed out that he was stalling to protect the people of Sokovia. Stark replied that that was the mission that Ultron was supposed to complete; however, Ultron countered by saying that he had moved beyond his mission and that he was free.
Suddenly, the activation device jutted out from the ground as Ultron revealed that he too had been stalling until it reached the surface. Just then, the Ultron Sentries also emerged from the ground and the water and began to attack the civilians. This prompted Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers to retaliate by attacking the Sentries. Scarlet Witch attempted to aid her people by moving them off a bridge while Hawkeye bought her time by destroying the drones with his arrows. One of the drones landed and fired at the people, only for Wanda to create a shield and repel the blasts. However, the shield dissipated from the force of the blasts, knocking Scarlet Witch to the ground.
Back at the church, Vision confronted Ultron as the two gazed at one another while taking flight. The Vision pleaded with Ultron that he could change all of this since he was the one who set the terms. Ultron responded by choking the Vision; however, this gave the android the opportunity to hack into Ultron's mainframe and prevent him from escaping through the net. Captain America was battling the sentries on the bridge while Thor fought the robots underground as he made his way towards the machine. Quicksilver soon joined the fray, using his super speed to take out many drones in the blink of an eye. Vision succeeded in burning Ultron out of the net, but this incapacitated Vision and only stunned Ultron briefly. He smashed Vision to the ground before activating the machine.
Elevation of the City
Thor reached the boosters of the machine, only to find himself too late as it was activated. A massive portion of Sokovia began to lift off the ground, as the Avengers could do nothing but watch. The evacuated people watched in horror as their town was lifted towards the sky while those who remained were either crushed by falling debris or falling below. Ultron began to boast on how the Earth would crack from the weight of the Avengers' failures and that no matter what they did, it meant nothing to him. Once he completed his plan of global extinction, the only thing that would be left in the world would be metal. Back underground, Black Widow and Bruce Banner shared a kiss, only for Natasha to push him into a pit and forcing him to change into the Hulk. The Hulk, along with Black Widow, leaped above towards the ascending slab of the city and landed in a forest before they split up to destroy the drones and protect the civilians.
After Iron Man rescued a family from a collapsing apartment, Captain America ordered the Avengers to destroy the Ultron Sentries and if they got harmed, to harm the opponents in return, and if they got killed, then they should "walk it off". Meanwhile, Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye rescued civilians while they fought off the Ultron drones. As Hawkeye grabbed Scarlet Witch and took cover inside a house from an oncoming Ultron drone, Wanda began to panic as she felt great guilt in joining Ultron and allowing this to happen. Hawkeye stated that now was not the time to be afraid, and despite being a human with a bow and arrow, he did this because it was his job. He could not do a job and babysit at the same time, and it no longer mattered what she did and what she was. What matters was that she fights to protect, and when she does she becomes an Avenger. He then went out and continued to fight off the Sentries.
Back in the city at the bridge, two cars were about to fall from the shattered edge. Captain America attempted to save one but the fender dislodged and the two cars fell below. Thor intercepted one of the cars and tossed the woman that was in it back to Captain America as he lifted the second car back up to the bridge. Black Widow joined the battle, using her electric batons to fight off the drones. Captain America and Thor worked in tandem, as Thor batted Captain America's Shield with enough force to ricochet it off of several drones. Thor destroyed many of the drones effortlessly, which irritated Ultron and took him away from his allies. Hawkeye continued to destroy as many drones as he could, but more piled on regardless. However, Scarlet Witch soon joined the fray and used her hex bolts to destroy the Ultron Sentries while using her telekinesis to dismember them. After destroying them, she was carried off by Quicksilver.
Ultron tossed Thor back at the church and began to pummel him savagely. Iron Man was trying to find solutions as to how to stop Ultron's plan, and realized that he should redirect the energy back at the thrusters to overload, but F.R.I.D.A.Y. stated that would take the city and everyone else on it. The Avengers, thinking that they were going down along with the city, were then shocked and surprised to see that Nick Fury, along with Maria Hill and several other former S.H.I.E.L.D. members, had arrived with a Helicarrier to rescue the stranded civilians. The Ultron drones were about to attack the Helicarrier, only for Nick Fury to deploy War Machine in his new armor, who began to destroy the attacking drones with Iron Man joining the fray alongside his comrade.
Repelling Ultron and His Sentries
- "This is exactly what I wanted. All of you...against all of me."
Ultron continued to beat Thor before putting him in a choke hold, saying that once he turned the key, he would cause the city to plummet down and kill billions of humans, despite saving the people on it. Thor began to distract Ultron as Vision soon regained consciousness and whacked Ultron away with Mjølnir before returning it to Thor. While Iron Man fought off the sentries, one of the robots destroyed the propellers for the Transporters, causing Iron Man to prevent it from falling. Thor then called out to the Avengers that the drones were coming for the core to activate it. Iron Man told War Machine to rescue the other civilians while they regrouped back at the church. After they all met up, Ultron soon confronted them all and summoned a massive armada of his sentries in response to Thor's challenge and to Captain America's dismay. When Ultron questioned on how they could stop him, Iron Man replied "together". This prompted the legion of drones to all attack the Avengers.
The heroes then worked in tandem and began to destroy any drone that attempted to go near the machine; Captain America using his shield and fighting prowess; Black Widow using her martial arts skills and taser batons; Hawkeye using his arrows and bow; Vision using his density altering powers; Scarlet Witch using her hex bolts and telekinesis; Quicksilver using his speed and friction; Thor using his hammer and lightning; Iron Man using his repulsor blasts; and Hulk using his fists as they all fought off the robotic army.
Shouting with rage, Ultron himself attacked and began with the Vision. The Vision then blasted him away with a beam of energy from the Mind Stone on his forehead, prompting Thor and Iron Man to join him as they blasted Ultron with lightning bolts and repulsor beams, respectively, slowly melting his shell away before stopping. Weakened and damaged, Ultron was punched away by Hulk, forcing the drones to all try to escape. Iron Man ordered the Avengers to stop them from leaving and to destroy them, should Ultron download himself into one of them when he was destroyed. War Machine was joined by the Vision to destroy the airborne drones, much to his bewilderment.
Activation of the Machine
Captain America then ordered the other Avengers to retreat to the boats; however, Scarlet Witch volunteered to remain behind to protect the core in order to prevent a drone from activating it. Unbeknownst to them, a damaged Ultron made his way to the Quinjet. Hawkeye dropped Black Widow off near the Hulk's location in order for her to calm him down and revert him back to normal; unfortunately this was prevented after Black Widow and the Hulk received a hail of bullets from the Quinjet which was controlled by Ultron. Meanwhile, Hawkeye left the boat in order to rescue a Sokovian woman's brother but soon realized he was in the line of fire as the bullets from the Quinjet were racing towards him. Before the killing blow was struck, Hawkeye and the boy were saved by Quicksilver as he sped past them, taking the bullets instead. Scarlet Witch sensed this and screamed in pure anguish at the loss of her brother.
Hawkeye carried off the boy to the boat while Captain America took away the deceased Quicksilver. Hulk then carried the Black Widow to the Helicarrier, dropping her there before lunging towards the Quinjet. He removed Ultron from the controls as the A.I. crashed into a train car. Scarlet Witch found Ultron and ripped his central core out of his body in revenge for him killing her brother. However, because she left her post, Ultron was able to take control of a damaged sentry and activate the machine. Thrusters went into reverse thrust in order to increase the devastation of the impact as Sokovia plummeted towards the Earth below. Iron Man used his Unibeam to counteract the energy being given off through the Vibranium engine while Thor summoned a massive bolt of lightning. Vision flew through the rubble and saved Scarlet Witch at the last moment before Thor swung Mjolnir down with incredible force, using the power from the lightning and completely destroying the slab of Sokovia through the mechanism itself.
Black Widow attempted to reach the Hulk through the Quinjet, informing him to deactivate the stealth mode in order for them to track him. However, the Hulk simply cut out the transmission, much to Black Widow's shock. The Hulk remained within the Quinjet as he, along with the ship, drifted through the skies. Ultron, on the other hand, survived through a final Ultron Sentry, but was then confronted by the Vision, who noticed that he was afraid of death. The two engaged in a rather friendly conversation before they shared their respective views of humanity. While they both agreed that humans were flawed and were doomed to self destruction, Vision pointed out that they had faith in attempting to achieve their accomplishments and destroyed the attacking drone, ending the threat of Ultron.
With Ultron's defeat, Hawkeye returned to his wife and children, naming his newborn child Nathaniel Pietro Barton in honor of the fallen Avenger Pietro Maximoff. Hulk fled in the Quinjet and was declared MIA; Thor returned to Asgard to learn more about his vision of the Infinity Stones, which he believed to have manipulated recent events; and Tony Stark retired from the team, leaving Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff left as the only original active Avengers in charge.
Public opinion of the Avengers was not positive, however. Robert Gonzales of S.H.I.E.L.D. felt that the whole Ultron Offensive was Tony Stark's fault. Christine Everhart, in interviews with the United Nations, expressed the opinion that superheroes needed regulation in their activities.
Months later, after the Inhuman Outbreak began, the Watchdogs invoked the image of cities falling out of the sky and specifically named the Avengers in order to justify their demands that the names of Inhumans be made public, even though there were no Inhuman Avengers before or after the Ultron Offensive.
President Matthew Ellis had the Advanced Threat Containment Unit created in order to find and contain people with powers since citizens of the United States of America were fearful that a similar incident could happen again.
Among the deaths in the battle was Charlie Spencer, whose mother personally blamed Stark for what happened, and the family of Helmut Zemo, who plotted his revenge on the Avengers, leading to the Avengers Civil War.
|Appearances for Battle of Sokovia|
In chronological order: