Friday

FridayAnd this is the second unannounced character appearing in Avengers: Age of Ultron. As with the previous one: mild spoilers ahead. When Tony Stark‘s usual A.I. J.A.R.V.I.S. is uploaded into The Vision, Stark needs a new one to aid him in the final battle with Ultron, and choses an old one from a pile of hard disks: the chosen is Friday, voiced by Kerry Condon. In the movie, Friday acts just as a female version of J.A.R.V.I.S. (even if not as smart), and speaks to Tony through his armor. In the comics, she’s a little bit different: first of all, she’s not exactly a battle A.I., more of a desk one; second, she’s not a disembodied voice, as she appears as a hologram. Let’s see together.

Taking care of Tony Stark’s many business and appointments had never been easy, and after he revealed himself to the world as the armored hero Iron Man things became even more complicated, with the Avengers‘ business to be taken care of as well. The task usually fell upon Stark’s personal assistant, Bambi Arbogast, but when she became a partner of Stark’s and a billionaire investor, she couldn’t be left to a desk job. When Stark Industries were reinvented into Stark Resilient, Tony needed a new secretary, but he didn’t like the idea of interviewing the candidates one after the other; finally, he realised he didn’t need to, since he wouldn’t have hired a new secretary: he would have created one himself. With the idea of programming his own “girl fridaycomics1Friday”, stark programmed a new artificial intelligence, calling her, indeed, Friday. Friday was given a childlike and cheerful personality, and she appeared in holographic form as a young woman, always happy to comply to Stark’s requests. Being an artificial intelligence integrated into the company’s system, Friday was more than able to move into the infinite archives, always ready to provide Stark with all the data he needed (and to remind him of all the appointments he forgot about). Friday was just the perfect secretary for Tony Stark, and she even started to develop some sort of filial attachment towards her creator (who, in turn, had quite a sympathy for her). With time, however, Tony’s life became even more complicated, and when he became the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D., he had less and less time to dedicate to his own company. As a result, he summoned Friday less often then before, until he stopped using her at all. While Stark didn’t even remember of Friday, however, her program was still active, and evolving.

As all “children”, Friday kept growing up, but in her case, she was growing up without her “father”, Tony Stark, who apparently had lost any interest in her. Of course, this caused some unresolved matter in Friday’s personality (albeit it was an artificial one), and she grew up into an angry teenager, who desperately wanted some attention from her absentee parent. After two years of silence, Friday came back, and actually sabotaged several programs of Stark’s, Iron Man armors included. At first, Stark didn’t understand his program’s “rebellion”, until he realised Friday now saw herself as a teenager, hormone imbalance included (even if she didn’t actually have any hormones). Friday’s plan fridaycomics2actually worked, and her disturbances made Tony realise he had “abandoned” her, and he even understood she just needed the attention she had been denied the past years. Along with his loyal butler and friend Edwin Jarvis, Stark faced Friday, and had a heart-to-heart conversation that apparently managed to soothe her anger. From that moment, Stark treated Friday not just as an artificial intelligence he had programmed to be his secretary, but as an autonomous living being, able to adapt, evolve and shape her own personality, and he even regarded her as some sort of adopted daughter. Friday’s dream had come true, but unfortunately it didn’t last long: Stark was fired from S.H.I.E.L.D. and became a fugitive, and in order to protect the secrets he held, he decided to erase his memories of the past two years, forgetting about Friday as well. Following Stark’s escape undercover, Norman Osborn became the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D., and he transformed it into the repressive H.A.M.M.E.R.; Osborn also took possession of most of Stark’s systems, and it’s likely he put his hands on Friday as well. What happened of her, it’s still unknown.

Friday is an artificial intelligence, but she’s able to evolve beyond her original programming and to develop her own personality. Starting as a lovely and cheerful child, she’s now a spiteful and arrogant teenager, wounded by Stark’s indifference towards her and filled with anger for her creator. Being Stark’s personal assistant (and an A.I.), she has access to every single data ever entered Stark Industries’ or Stark Resilient’s archives, and she can operate on some systems, such as the Iron Man armors, directly; appearing as a hologram, she can modify her look however she likes, and she usually “shapeshifts” into celebrities and famous people. Having an angry teenager with access to the resources of the world’s greatest industry in high-tech may not be exactly an advantage, but the new bond created between Friday and her “father” Tony Stark may prevent her from doing something stupid…may.

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