The world is in ruins, and humanity is struggling for survival. The Avengers, along with every other surviving superhero, are being hunted by the new world order. Many have died or have gone missing, while those still alive have resorted to ruthless measures. Ultron has taken over the world. That’s where this comic begins.
The Age of Ultron crossover event is thankfully smaller than Avengers vs. X-Men was last year, and Fear Itself the year before that. There will be a total of 10 or so tie-ins, and the event itself is only 10 issues long. I didn’t originally plan on picking this up, and I know next to nothing about this event save for what was in this comic. I also don’t know much about Ultron himself. The shiny cover, and my otherwise small pull list convinced me to give it a shot, and I wasn’t’ disappointed.
The first issue of AU is very good. It mostly focuses on Hawkeye performing a rescue mission in the ruined streets of New York. It does a great job at explaining everything you need to know about the Age of Ultron without any direct exposition. One issue in and we already know a good chunk of the remaining superheroes, and how Ultron has affected their lives. It also sets the tone for this event perfectly.
The art is also good. The establishing shots do a great job at setting the general atmosphere and tone for the comic. New York is underneath a hovering blue techno dome of some kind, and all its skyscrapers are in ruins. Hawkeye’s facial scars suggest that he’s been in brutal combat situations, and his stern expressions add to his war-hardened fighting style. There’s also a nice scene where the building everyone’s in is shaking violently, emphasised by double lines in the art, yet it’s still easy to see what’s going on.
For someone who knows little about this event though, there’s a big question I have to ask. Where does this take place in relation to the main Marvel Universe? Sure, most characters have similar costumes to their current main universe counterparts, but Spider-Man is obviously Peter Parker and not Dr. Octavius (he dresses and speaks like Peter). If anyone who’s reading this review knows this, please let me know.
This is a great start to what could be an awesome event. In some ways, it feels kind of like the X-Men event Age of Apocalypse, but with one mini-series and one writer rather than five or six, it will probably feel a lot more focused. If any of this sounds appealing, you should check this comic out. Besides, you can’t go wrong with shiny covers.
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The general theory is that Age of Ultron is an Alternate Universe. An AUAU, if you will. I’m sure its exact placement in the timeline will be made clear, but I’m also sure it’s not going to be part of the mainstream continuity, so it doesn’t make much difference.
But yeah, this was quite good. We’ll see if Bendis can keep it up, though. His events almost all had good beginnings, before slipping into mediocrity.
Yeah, either that or the events end up going way overboard. Seige was good until Sentry started going nuts, and then it was just weird. And then there was Secret Invasion – everything that happened in the main event could have been told in half the time.
So while I’ll be giving this series a chance, I’ll likely drop it if it goes downhill. I wouldn’t mind having a year off of big event comics.