REVIEW: Age Of Ultron #8 (of 10)

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Or – “Every Life Makes Ripples…”

Wolverine must have never seen an episode of Doctor Who, because he’d know that you can’t mess with a fixed point in time.  After his world turned to madness, the Canucklehead traveled back in time to murder Henry Pym before he created Ultron, but things are not as simple as all that.  (They never are…)  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

AgeOfUltron9CoverAGE OF ULTRON #8
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Brandon Peterson
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Tom Brevoort with Lauren Sankovitch
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously, in Age Of Ultron: In the world twenty minutes into the future, The Avengers and Fantastic Four have been overrun by the artificial servants of Ultron.  Wolverine traveled back in time to murder Goliath before he created the robot monster, but the premature death of a key member of the Avengers left the world unrecognizable upon their return…  Can Logan and the Invisible Woman fix what once went wrong, or will they never leap back home?

TONY STARK ALWAYS EVOLVES INTO A TOOL…

The arrival of Wolverine and Susan Storm in the alternate present last issue led to them being taken into custody by an alternate version of the Defenders (the team seen in the promotional material, featuring the scarred versions of The Thing, Captain America and such, as well as The Wasp as a new Captain Marvel) and they have been taken to the Helicarrier, where they’re held captive by Iron Man, who likewise has gone through a few changes.  The scarred, half-cyborg Tony Stark believes that they’re double-agents sent in my Morgan LeFey, and strangely spends a lot of time explaining how their world got to this state to someone he believes to be a turncoat.  The biggest problem with the issue comes in that dialogue, as the conversation between future-Stark and future-Logan takes up the bulk of the story, with some snarling, some posing, and cameos by alternate versions of heroes like Professor X, The White Queen and Doctor Strange, all of whom get a panel or two to identify themselves and show how they’re different from the heroes that we know from the 616 core-timeline.

KIND OF OVERWHELMING.

That does lead to a lot of exposition, a lot of quick bits of dialogue, and an interesting showing by Doctor Strange, the leader of the Defenders.  Of course, it being a Bendis book, we get some of his trademark Doctor Strange spells, including a couple taken from the utterly-goofy sounding “Scroll of Wabawab”, which, I’m told, gives love a bad name.  As the issue ends, Morgan LeFey attacks with a squadron of strange mutated half-Doctor-Doom/half-Loki hybrids, and things end with what seems like the death of this timeline, with next issue promising a battle between Wolverine and Wolverine, with the costumes indicating that future-Wolverine #1 (who actually traveled in time) will be facing 616-Wolverine, with brown-suit future-Wolverine #2 somewhere in this issue, leaving us with three Wolverines in play.  I’m hoping that this all his a huge payoff (other than bringing Angela into the Marvel fold, thank you) in the next couple of issues, but in any case, I expect we’re probably looking at a miniseries or two set in the future Age Without Ultron before the end of 2013…

THE BOTTOM LINE: FEELS LIKE WE’RE TREADING WATER HERE…

The pacing of this series has been utterly jacked since issue #1, with the first three issues containing a lot of meandering and mystery-building, leading to a pretty phenomenal couple of issues leading into this weird dystopian Avengers Of Future-Past world.  There are some nice moments here, especially for Susan Storm, but overall the issue is filled with posturing and talky-talky the leads directly into a massive ultra-battle whose scope is hampered somewhat by a lack of consequences.  Still, it’s a good looking issue, with Brandon Peterson giving us some interesting alternate takes on characters we know and love, and even with weird pacing, there’s some nice science-fiction stuff going on in the issue.  Age Of Ultron #8 continues the inconsistency that has made this series such a difficult read, but delivers above-average work in a solid chapter than earns 3 out of 5 stars overall.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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