Age of Ultron 8 feels a little weird when you realize that Ultron has no effect in this issue. Ultron’s creator was killed in the past in issue 6, and since then we’ve seen little but how the world turns out without Hank Pym. It’s an interesting comic, but it’s not as good as the first six issues.
This issue does a good job exploring exactly what has happened to the world. It’s possible that this Marvel Earth is even worse off than Ultron’s rule. There are even fewer heroes left, and the ones that remain are hardened, merciless and fight among themselves even more than the main universe. Tony Stark in particular seems to hate what is left of his existence. Morgana Le Fay has become a serious threat to world security, which is interesting considering she’s not often used in the main marvel universe.
As interesting as this universe is though, it feels a bit too familiar. This butterfly effect storyline has been done in a number of other Marvel events, including Bendis’s own House of M. Not to mention that there are only two issues left in this event, and there’s no indication on exactly how this is going to wrap up. If Ultron has any kind of effect on this world, it isn’t made the least bit clear, which is odd considering the name of the event is “Age of Ultron”. This is the second alternate timeline we’ve had in one event, and it’s a bit much. While these aren’t major flaws, they do hold this issue back.
The art is good for the most part. The environmental details are interesting, and they help set the mood for this alternate timeline. This universe’s hellicarriers have a neat look to them. They’re kind of reminiscent of last year’s Avengers movie, but they have a more aggressive, war-like appearance. Facial expressions are good, and there’s an interesting glance between the alternate versions of Wolverine that could be hinting towards their advertised fight in the next issue. On the down side, the fight scene at the end is hard to follow, and Le Fay’s hair appears to be green in most panels when it’s supposed to be purple.
This is a decent comic, and if you’ve been enjoying Age of Ultron so far, you’ll likely enjoy this too. That said, it’s not as good as AU 1-6 were. It almost feels like a second act that should have already ended, not that it feels slow or overly long. It’s also still not clear exactly how this is supposed to affect the Marvel Universe.