Or – “Can It Live Up To The Hype?”
Marvel editorial has promised this book will change everything, that we’ll be talking about this book for years. Given where last issue left off, that seems like it might be hyperbole, but how much could one issue really change the status quo? Your Major Spoilers review awaits!
The story comes full circle.
The art teams are good.
Multiple artists=fragmented issue.
Just a setup for the next big thing.
What’s the big deal about Angela, again?
AGE OF ULTRON #10
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist(s): Alex Maleev/Bryan Hitch & Paul Neary/Butch Guice/Brandon Peterson/Carlos Pacheco & Roger Bonet/Tom Palmer/David Marquez/Joe Quesada
Colorist(s): Paul Mounts & Richard Isanove
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Tom Brevoort with Lauren Sankovitch
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Age Of Ultron: It’s all Wolverine’s fault.
AS BEFORE, UNEXPLAINED FIGHTY-FIGHTY.
We open “some months” in the Marvel U’s past, with Henry Pym in his secret underground laboratory, receiving a strange coded message from the future and/or the past, or probably both. He is stunned to find a recorded message from himself on the tape, and our story suddenly smash-cuts forward to find the Avengers invading the fortress of the Intelligentsia. This issue suffers from a serious case of attention-deficit disorder, bouncing from bit to bit, as we find that the bad guys have somehow gotten their hands on a piece of alien technology: the armor of “a spaceknight.” (It’s clearly not ROM, but his appearances in Tony Stark’s crazy-board in issue one make more sense now.) The battle goes poorly for the villains, as battles with a full-fledged Avengers team do, and they’re ready to surrender when the armor suddenly flares to life with a mind of it’s own: the artificial intelligence known as Ultron. While I’m glad that there is finally an explanation of what caused him to be more powerful, this revelation feels like it had no buildup, and is quickly thrown aside in the chaos of the issue…
CHEAP TRICKS TO BUILD SUSPENSE.
A large chunk of the issue is devoted to an annoying bit of storytelling, as Ultron pounds on the Avengers, while Hank Pym repeatedly speaks over his comm-link, repeating “Almost there!” over and over again. It might have worked in live-action, cutting back and forth from action to Hank trying to upload a virus to Ultron, but here it feels very much like unnecessary padding in a series utterly FULL of same. Ultron falls, and we get a very sweet moment between Wolverine and The Invisible Woman before all hell breaks loose. The timestream, it seems, is broken, thanks to that stupid Wolverine, and many of the time-traveling stories past are references, from Bishop’s future to 2099 to the time The Thing dressed up as Blackbeard. As the issue ends, we get some vignettes of the future (including The Beast reverting to his old pointy-haired ape mode), including the appearance of what seems to be regular Galactus arriving in the New York of Ultimate Spider-Man, and some naked girl floating in space, calling herself an angel.
THE BOTTOM LINE: NOTHING BUT A SPRINGBOARD…
In short, this “big finale” is nothing more than the setup for another new era, as so many of Marvel’s event-comics have been before. There are some intriguing bits in here (like what may or may not happen to the Ultimate Universe, and the appearance of Richard Rider in the same panel as the Guardians of the Galaxy, making me wonder about his actual fate), but mostly it’s a mish-mash of half a dozen big ideas that don’t have a whole lot of connection to one another or to the reader. If you’re interested in EVERYTHING that happens in the Marvel Universe, a big fan of Angela, or someone who likes big swathes of fighty-fighty, this is your book. For me, Age Of Ultron #10 is disappointing, albeit not unexpectedly so, and all its shocking reveals were pimped well ahead of time, leaving it with a muddled 2 out of 5 stars overall. I have little fear in saying that this will NOT be a book that has people talking for years, as it will quickly be subsumed by the next world-wide catastrophe crossover and forgotten…