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In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ultron goes to Ulysses Klaue to get the Vibranium he needs to forge a body for himself and Vision so why did he simply not go directly to Wakanda. He had access to the world's entire internet and the information stored on it. He could have gone there and easily managed to get enough Vibranium to make his entire fleet of robots Vibranium bonded. So why does Ultron go to a criminal who got lucky instead of Wakanda?

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    The rest of the world remained in blissful ignorance of Wakandan wealth, why would Ultron be any more aware? – Liath Apr 30 '18 at 14:29
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    "...to forge a body for himself and Vision..." I don't think Ultron was building Vision as Vision. Vision's body was originally meant to be Ultron's body, right? So he wasn't building a body for himself and Vision. – Kevin Workman Apr 30 '18 at 18:45
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    "He could have gone there and easily managed to get enough Vibranium..." What makes you think it would be so easy? – Kevin Workman Apr 30 '18 at 18:45
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    The world believed that Wakanda is a country of farmers. Having a strong presence online, and a very fast Internet connection would throw their cover away. They are kind of "reverse China": their citizen can probably access to almost any part of the world wide web, while outsiders are kept away from (and blissfully ignorant of) the Wakanda Wondrous Web. – Taladris May 1 '18 at 1:10
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    Wakanda was perhaps the most strongly defended territory on Earth, with an absolute ban on the export of vibranium; Klaue was a mercenary with a ton of the stuff, Ultron had all the money in the world, and was not a fool. – Beta May 1 '18 at 1:12
31

Ultron waged his war against humanity from the shadows, and Wakanda would have been a significant threat

For the majority of his conquest, Ultron had chosen to operate behind the scenes. He wasn't sweeping the streets killing off people, but rather setting up a plot to destroy humanity. The Avengers and any relevant governments/institutions for which he was targeting were certainly aware, but in almost all cases he chose subtler movements, concealing his larger plan, and avoiding all out war on humanity. His original goal seems to have been nuclear destruction, but when that failed, he devised the alternate plan we see him carry out.

To that end, if there's anyone in the world he'd want to avoid coming after him, it'd be Wakanda itself. As we've seen, Wakanda's entire technological structure is centered around Vibranium, and it's safe to say they know everything humanly known about the metal. This includes not just it's strengths, but also it's weaknesses. Vibranium is the threat to the world because of its capabilities and durability, so his plan is already at risk simply by using the substance for which they are so protective. To extend that into an outright invasion/assault on Wakanda itself would be virtually suicidal.

EDIT: A quote from Age of Ultron, to affirm that Vibranium was known by at least a few on the outside to have come from Wakanda (and so by extension, we can strongly suspect Ultron knew):

Tony Stark: If this guy got out of Wakanda with some of their trade goods...

Steve Rogers: I thought your father said he got the last of it?

Bruce Banner: I don't follow. What comes out of Wakanda?

Tony Stark: The strongest metal on earth.

  • Do you have any evidence Ultron knew that Zealand’s existed as a technological powerhouse? Or even that he had considered it anything more than a random country? – Edlothiad Apr 30 '18 at 14:44
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    @Edlothiad There's sufficient evidence in The Black Panther that while Wakanda does exist in the shadows, they are connected to the world at large by some means. They were extensively involved in global intelligence, not just through physical spies, but in communications monitoring as well (the museum heist for example), which implies tapping, which implies some connection to the global network. It's no stretch to assume that Ultron as an AI had supremacy when it comes to communication invasion. – Mwr247 Apr 30 '18 at 14:51
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    @Edlothiad And lastly, his knowledge of Vibranium, how to get it, who it came from, and where it came from, and that he chose to get it from Klaue instead of just going there himself. All these facts heavily suggest that he was well aware. Otherwise, he wouldn't have chosen to rely on traceable interactions with another human and risking his plan to acquire it at the added cost of the sale. – Mwr247 Apr 30 '18 at 14:54
8

I agree with the above that going after the vibranium would have been a bad idea if Ultron had known, but I disagree that he would have even known it was there.

Ultron had access to the entire internet, and by extension probably a lot of government agencies as well (although not nuclear stuff - thanks Jarvis!). With the entire world not knowing Wakanda was sitting on a giant stockhouse of vibranium, why would Ultron have this information if all he has to go on is the collective intelligence available via Earth's computers?

It is true that Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, and others knew about the existence of Vibranium in Wakanda; no one knew that there was tons of it. When learning of the existence of the metal Ultron was likely able to find out:

  • Vibranium existed
  • It was the strongest metal on earth
  • Its only known source was Wakanda
  • Cap's shield was made from it
  • Klaue was known to have stolen some of it

As far as Ultron, and anyone else, knew of it vibranium was just some super rare metal that happened to be in Wakanda somewhere. At that point you have two options. Either try your luck mining Wakanda and hope you find some, or hunt down a known dude that you are pretty sure has some. Given that Ultron did have a timetable (Avengers closing in) you have to assume he went with the safe option and went after Klaue.

5

Even if Ultron was aware of the presence of Vibranium in Wakanda, he likely would not know what form it was in. The logical conclusion would be that the bulk of it was in ore form; after all, the world knew Wakandans to be largely pastoral instead of the technological powerhouse it really was.

Ultron likely had neither the knowledge nor the time to process and refine it himself, making Klaue's smuggled shipment of processed vibranium much more attractive.

3

In Black Panther, Agent Ross tells Klaue that Klaue got all the Vibranium in Wakanda, and Klaue laughs. Unless Ross was playing Klaue, that tend to indicate that the US government, and arguably the majority of the world, thinks that there is no more Vibranium left to steal. If that was the information they had, that was information Ultron had.

2

In Black Panther, Ross mentions that Klaue stole all of Wakanda's remaining Vibranium. Klaue invaded Wakanda before Avengers: Age Of Ultron, so according to the world, Klaue stole all of the Vibranium in Wakanda leaving only small quantities behind. So Ultron went to him directly as he thought the same too.

  • This is a nice answer but could be improved if you edited in the relevant quote from Black Panther and some evidence that Klaue did invade Wakanda before Avengers: Age of Ultron. Although thinking about it the last point should be obvious because otherwise Klaue would not have been able to sell Vibranium to Ultron. – TheLethalCarrot Dec 20 '18 at 16:55

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