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!

SUMMARY

Pros
The story comes full circle.
The art teams are good.
Cons

Multiple artists=fragmented issue.
Just a setup for the next big thing.
What’s the big deal about Angela, again?

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

READER RATING!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (19 votes, average: 1.37 out of 5)
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AgeOfUltron10Cover

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…

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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16 Comments

  1. Oldcomicfan
    June 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm — Reply

    Since the days of Crisis on Infinite Earths and Secret Wars, “Event” comics have always big big on hype and fall down on delivery. Universe Changing Cataclysms aren’t, or if they are, it’s only temporary, until some other editorial or writing team comes along and changes everything back. So… are you really disappointed that Age of Utron didn’t really deliver on all the hype? Especially since Marvel started advertising ANOTHER universe altering event series before the ink even dried on this one?

    • June 20, 2013 at 6:54 am — Reply

      Yes, I am disappointed. That is why, in my review, I stated that I was disappointed. I am not necessarily SURPRISED, but that’s another matter. This, by the way, is why, once again, I stated that I was not necessarilly surprised.

      Any other clarifying questions?

      • Patrick
        June 20, 2013 at 10:41 am — Reply

        Maybe I am just reading into things a bit too much… but Matthew, somehow I get the feeling that you might not have been totally surprised. :P

        • June 20, 2013 at 11:32 am — Reply

          Are you disappointed that he was not necessarily surprised?

          Or, are you surprised that he was disappointed?

          Or, are you surprised that he was disappointed but not necessarily surprised?

    • Michael
      June 20, 2013 at 10:51 am — Reply

      I think the big difference with AoU vs. most other “Events” is that this is, IMHO, the most egregious example of padding. It’s as if the series got a green light for 10 issues and Bendis only then realized that he had enough material for 4 issues. If that.

      Further, there’s things like hyping the holy heck out of Joe Q’s returns to doing pencils for ultra-secret pages. That turned out to be the ending that’s been talked about for months (Angela jumps to the Marvel Universe).

      Then there’s the set-up for the new Avengers AI title that has no buzz that I know of from a writer who has no buzz that I know of.

      And then there’s the “Galactus take a roadie to the Ultimate Universe” miniseries. Unless Galactus is gonna meet Guh Lak Tus I’m not sure that many people are gonna care about it since the Ultimate U is on its last gasps outside of Ultimate Spider-Man.

      I’m still amazed that else written by Bendis tied in, even if it was for an issue or two of the alternate universe a’la House Of M.

      So it’s not so much that anyone’s surprised that AoU didn’t live up to the hype. It’s how horribly it missed that everyone’s talking about.

      IMHO.

  2. June 20, 2013 at 12:00 am — Reply

    I think this is a way for Marvel to soft retcon a lot of stories.

    End of Ultimate U., Spidey 2099 to the present, return pf dead characters, etc….

    • Gary
      June 20, 2013 at 5:29 am — Reply

      Agreed

  3. joe
    June 20, 2013 at 6:35 am — Reply

    I really enjoyed the series on the whole. I was always excited to read the next chapter, and I did get a little tingley tearing open the stupid polybag on the final issue.

    That said, after #9, I didn’t really see how they could end the story to my satisfaction in one more issue. I was pleasantly surprised at first. I thought it was an exciting battle and a clever time travel plot point. The virus opening another virus and all that.

    And that’s where I choose to end the story; exhausted Wolverine indulges in a much needed nap. The universe breaking stuff was dumb. At first, I was fine with a simple end to a complicated story, and then the crack happened and I thought “Whoa maybe this actually WILL be something really special.” But no. It was just more junk. To be continued junk.

    Issue 1 to halfway through issue 10 is a very fun popcorn read. It’s a cool time travel story. Just let it be that.

  4. ssmetzer
    June 20, 2013 at 6:52 am — Reply

    I agree. It’s too bad the story didn’t end with the destruction of Ultron. The “time ripple” felt tacked on to me. Why Marvel feels one event book must lead into another event book is beyond me.

    • June 20, 2013 at 7:02 am — Reply

      Because it works, it has worked, and it continues to work. I am confident in saying that #10 will be the top-selling book for Marvel, if not the industry, this month…

  5. mark
    June 20, 2013 at 6:55 am — Reply

    Zero star.. waste of the time I spent downloading it

  6. June 20, 2013 at 9:30 am — Reply

    Yes, it’s possible that I’ll be talking about this for years…but not for the reasons Marvel hoped. What a stupid mess of a series. The few highlights (Luke Cage’s bravery being high on my list) don’t make up for the redundancy, the over-use of Wolverine (shocking), and the pointless resolution.

  7. JoeM
    June 20, 2013 at 3:43 pm — Reply

    The Angela review didn’t really do much for me. My thought was… Hmmm, I wonder if she is someone. I few hours later I got the gumption up to check wiki and figured it out.

  8. Mark
    June 20, 2013 at 6:12 pm — Reply

    my personal made up favourite ending:

    Hank Pym secretly builds a team of heroic Avneger Ultron’s to Battle Ultron Prime on the day of disaster that leads to the Age Of Ultron. They arise from a secret bunker in Avnegers Mansion, fight Ultron as the heroes are losing to him, beat him,and then self destruct ala T2 ending to avoid Ultron tech ever being use again. It is then revealed Hank Pym has developed new Pym particles that bend time as well as space, and he goes to live in the distant future to work on building a new AI that will benifit humanity…..

  9. June 21, 2013 at 5:12 pm — Reply

    Couldn’t agree more. I’d probably be a little more generous bearing in mind the art. But the story sucked big time. I was hoping it was going to go all meta and have Sue Storm travel back and get Wolverine to execute the Marvel writers so the issue disappeared in my hands.

    What the hell was that flying behind Angela? Surely they didn’t crack the DC universe as well so that giant flying head that was after Lobo escaped?

    This had all the hallmarks of writing by committee where everyone’s idea gets used. I’d love to really know what was going on when this was created (supposedly two years ago).

    I come away from every Marvel event saying “Never again!” and yet – like a moth – I’m drawn back.

  10. Michael
    July 2, 2013 at 9:02 pm — Reply

    And I still say my “Age Of Ultron: SPECIAL EDITION!” which consisted of Wolverine thinking about something or other while crossing a room (hey he could’ve been crossing the room to board the Time Platform!) in only 32 pages was a winner of an idea!

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