Age of Ultron
By: Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Bryan Hitch, Brandon Peterson, Carlos Pacheco, Butch Guice, Alex Maleev, David Marquez, Joe Quesada (artists)
Format/Source: single issues 01 – 10; my copy
For years the heroes of the Marvel Universe have lived in fear that the artificial intelligence known as Ultron would one day evolve to fulfill its desire to wipe out all organic life and take over the Earth — that day has arrived.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a comics-related post, lol. Seems fitting though that my latest comics post coincides with the final issue to the Age of Ultron series (which apparently was years in the making) and me completing my midterms (sort-of).
Anyways, I was initially not going to check out this series: I already had a number of series that I was following via my pull list, I didn’t need another one. I was hearing a lot of buzz about this series but I figured since I’m still relatively new to the comic book world and the Marvel Universe, I would pass. You know what got me into picking up this series though? The holographic cover on issue one =P And once I read issue one, well, I had to find out what happened next. Contains some spoilers ahead!
I’ve heard that the reception of this series has been mixed given that some of the references/outfits are dated and the continuity with other series are out of sync (i.e. this is Peter Parker’s Spiderman, not the current Superior Spiderman, etc.). As someone who still considers herself relatively new with comics and haven’t fully delved into the various, major story arcs in the Marvel Universe (I know of many of them, but I’ve only really read stories from the Asgard-Latverian war, the Winter Soldier arc, Asgard-on-Earth arc) I did not mind this and pretty much treated this series as an alternate universe sort of story to begin with.
A pleasant surprise in this series was that time travel is involved! I did not expect that but go figure it would up the ante on how to face Ultron. I did however became concerned around issues 8/9: the story was becoming too big, new problems arising with time continuum was altered big time and new bad guys popping up. I found myself wondering how were they going to be able to wrap everything up neatly given that this series only had 10 issues. Solution? A new series coming out later this year, lol.
What I really enjoyed about this series was seeing a number of the Marvel superheroes as I’ve only been following a select few. Despite of the direness of their situation, I appreciated that we got a bit of humour/snappy lines here and there from Tony Stark, Nick Fury, Red Hulk and one other character I shall not name because it’s just too spoilerish =P
For the first half of the arc, I really enjoyed how balanced the “screen time” was on the major Marvel characters–Captain America, Tony Stark, Peter Parker, Black Widow, Nick Fury, etc–but it got a little dull at the latter half of the series because the reader more or less follows Wolverine and the decisions he makes. Granted, if there’s anyone who’s going to serious mess up the multiverses/time-space continuum, it’d be Wolverine but I wanted to see how Captain America et al. fared on their side of the mission too before everything went all timey-whimey. Susan Storm wasn’t nearly as prominent, in my opinion, to make up for the fact that Wolverine was pretty much the one making the decisions on how to correct course.
Plus, who knew that Tony Stark would be the voice of reason in the alternate timeline?
As a standalone, I enjoyed Age of Ultron. It placed the Marvel superheroes in an end-of-the-world situation involving an enemy who was essentially created by one of their own. I wished the focus in the latter half of the series was more spread out, as opposed to following only Logan and Sue Storm, although I can see why the creative team opted to follow these two (the series would definitely not conclude in 10 issues if they also followed Captain America and co. on the other end of the spectrum before the time lapse). Time travel stories are never perfect because there are so many variables involved but I enjoyed reading and finding out how everything unfolded.