Or – “Oh, Well… That Wasn’t What I Expected.”
After four relatively lackluster issues that clearly took place in an alternate timeline/pocket dimension/what-have-you, issue #5 sudden flipped the script on the Age Of Ultron, making what was a pretty standard post-apocalyptic bit of blah-blah-blah into something with potential. What does the future hold for our heroes? And, more importantly, what does the PAST have to say for itself? Your Major Spoilers review awaits!
AGE OF ULTRON #6
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Brandon Peterson/Carlos Pachecho
Inker: Roger Martinez
Colorist: Jose Villarrubia
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Tom Brevoort with Lauren Sankovitch
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously, in Age Of Ultron: Years ago, Henry Pym created Ultron, an artificial intelligence that eventually became a terrible threat to humanity. Now, Ultron has taken over the world, ending society as easily as you or I might clean out the garage. Only a few heroes remain alive and upright, and all of them have gone to ground in the Savage Land, where Nick Fury has created a safe house full of technology for just such an emergency. One of his treasures: Doctor Doom’s time machine, with which he intends to travel forward and stop the threat of Ultron once and for all. Wolverine, on the other hand, has traveled BACK in time to take out Ultron’s menace at the point of origin… by MURDERING HENRY PYM.
I KIND OF DIDN’T EXPECT TIME-TRAVEL…
The revelation that Ultron was masterminding things from the future was a pretty lackluster reveal for me, but I have to say I feel silly in not realizing that the heroes would be using a time machine to rectify the situation. With a team of heroes in the future, though, Wolverine forced Spider-Man and Hawkeye to send him BACK in time to the past, before Ultron’s creation. He quickly finds that he’s not alone, however, as the Invisible Woman reveals herself immediately after their arrival in the past, intending to stop Wolverine from carrying out what she believes to be murder. (Of course, anyone who’s read anything in the Marvel Universe knows that the best they’d do is create an alternate reality where events proceeded differently, but I’ll give them credit for upping the ante.) Carlos Pacheco’s renditions of Sue and Logan are truly impressive, while Brandon Peterson handles the future-shock of Nick Fury’s squad arriving in the future and setting off to confront their robot overlord. The balance between the two time-frames is a subtle one, unusually so for Bendis, marred only occasionally by his usual self-indulgent dialogue quirks.
…BUT I’M NOT SURE THAT’S A GOOD THING.
While the heroes in the future quickly find themselves out of their depth (the sight of an Ultron-converted New York City is pretty shocking, with technological doo-dads as far as the eye can see), Sue and Wolverine talk and talk and talk about the morality of what’s going to happen, arriving just in time to see Hank Pym reverse-engineering the Ultron matrix from examining Dragon-Man. (This is, by the way, a brilliant bit of plotting that I liked quite a bit.) The future team is overwhelmed by Ultron’s about 2/3 of the way through the book, and not heard from again as we focus on the past, and the story ends with a moment that’s surprising and expected all at once. With 60% of the story behind us, it seems like Age of Ultron is finally getting into gear, but I’m somewhat disappointed that at the use of both Wolverine and Sue in this issue. He’s back in his “by any means necessary” vibe, while she is indecisive and weak-willed throughout their conflict, eventually revealing herself to be too emotionally weak to support the side she has been arguing…
THE BOTTOM LINE: HAD THIS SHOWN UP LAST YEAR, IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN BETTER RECEIVED…
After the first four issues of this book amounted to little more than a decompressed prologue, I was surprised that last issue was as enjoyable as it was. It was still overly talky and full of plot-point-necessary stalling, but it set up something different than what we’d seen in previous world-spanning crossovers. Age Of Ultron #6 is likewise an improvement, with Pacheco and Peterson both delivering work superior to Bryan Hitch’s first couple of issues, while Bendis manages to surprise more than once, delivering a decent reading experience, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall. More and more, I’m starting to wonder if this series isn’t going reboot part of the Marvel chronology to better support the Marvel NOW! initiative, but either way, the book is improving…
DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!