Or – “Perhaps #11 of 10?”

In the final analysis, Age Of Ultron was pretty much a whole lotta nothin’.  Though there was a cool sci-fi premise at play, the slow build and utterly deflating resolution didn’t do it any justice, and any power that it might have had was blunted by its distance from the current status quo of Marvel.  Will this issue be the one that redeems the whole mess?  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

SUMMARY

Pros
Lovely character work.
A good rationale for the new series.
Cons

Ridiculous numbering convention.
Wonky art…

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

READER RATING!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (10 votes, average: 2.30 out of 5)
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AgeOfUtron10AICoverAGE OF ULTRON #10 AI
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Andre Lima Araujo
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Lauren Sankovitch
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Age Of Ultron:  The decision to murder Hank Pym before he created the evil robot Ultron was probably not Wolverine’s finest moment, as it took his dystopian crapsack future and replaced it with an even more dire and horrible dystopian crapsack future.  Only through the intervention of a younger Henry Pym did the situation actually get resolved, and the consequences to the timeframe have been dire.  Now, the heroes have to deal with the fallout of things that they really don’t understand, and the entire world wonders:  What happened to Henry Pym?

ORIGINS AND OMENS.

I wasn’t sure what this book was going to be, based on the sketchy solicitations, and I was VERY surprised to find Mark Waid writing the book.  We start with an epilogue of the AoU, ending with the revelation that Hank may have finally lost his $#!+ forever, as we find him sitting nearly catatonic, in tiny form, on the floor of his lab.  Things quickly transition into an origin story, one that doesn’t seem familiar at all (though I admit to not knowing Henry Pym’s old origin well enough to tell you what has or hasn’t changed.)  This one does Pym a couple of serious favors, recasting him as a wild-eyed dreamer forced to play dull to fit in, and gives him an utterly charming, equally ephemeral grandmother who serves as his muse as a young child.  The scenes of young Hank interacting with his family are quite well-written, but serve to underscore the tendency for Marvel to turn everyone who is even vaguely smart into a polymathic super-genius.  (See also:  Bruce Banner, Reed Richards, Peter Parker, everyone whose character description includes the word “intelligent” who debuted before about 1973.)

A NICE NEW TAKE ON HANK.

Fortunately, I’m able to overlook that, based on how neatly Waid’s story repositions Pym as a functional Avenger again, giving him a fun attitude and sending him into action using his powers in fascinating new ways, i.e. making his ants giant to deal with a train crash, and rapidly switching back and forth from Ant-Man to Giant-Man in mid-air.  Artist Araujo does good stuff with the domestic scenes, but when we get to the moments of Giant-Man in action, he isn’t quite as adept, with his Hank Pym seeming thick in the middle with the slim neck of a teenager, and never looking far from ridiculous in costume.  These artistic concerns are troubling, given that Araujo is going to be handling the art for Pym’s new book, Avengers AI, especially given that the cover art as solicited seems vastly different from what we’re getting here…

THE BOTTOM LINE:  COULD ACTUALLY DISPEL THE SPECTRE OF YELLOWJACKET: WIFE-BEATER.

All in all, I like the Henry Pym we see in this issue, and I believe him as the man who had the brilliant idea that outsmarted Loki back in the day, with his dark Elfqueen back-stabbing and wife-slapping days finally behind him.  (Really, after 30 years, we can probably let that story go, no matter what Mark Millar thinks about it.)  Age Of Ultron #10 AI really could have been titled “Hank Pym #0”, or at least had a title/number that made any sense at all, especially since, other than a brief mention of the things that may or may not have changed in the timestream, this is pretty much a whole new story spinning out of the AoU, but still is strong enough to earn 4 out of 5 stars overall. This issue actually makes me want to check out Avengers AI, and does a lot to help me forget what a bad taste Age Of Ultron left in my metaphorical mouth…

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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7 Comments

  1. Mike
    June 30, 2013 at 1:17 am — Reply

    I gave it two stars. While the issue was well written, and I can only hope they FINALLY stop dragging Pym through the mud for the wife-beating incident (and really, if they’re going to continue that, why not do the same with other male characters who’ve done the same, if not worse?), I’m just more and more disillusioned with Marvel for using the tired old shtick of “events” to tell a story while continuing to ignore continuity or changing anything in the status quo. It’s just the same old same old at the end of the day, ad nauseum.

    • June 30, 2013 at 11:14 am — Reply

      Remember: Henry Pym and Peter Parker have struck their wives exactly the same number of times…

      • Michael
        July 2, 2013 at 8:58 pm — Reply

        Pete ain’t married. Never happened.

        • Mike
          July 4, 2013 at 12:59 am — Reply

          OMD and BND was pathetic, continuity breaking, headline-grabbing garbage created simply because JoeQ couldn’t comprehend that maybe characters can actually evolve and grow.

        • July 4, 2013 at 1:42 am — Reply

          I got an Amazing Spider-Man Annual that says different…

  2. July 1, 2013 at 5:47 pm — Reply

    I almost didn’t pick this up because AoU left such a bad taste in my mouth. As a long-time Pym fan, however, I couldn’t resist; I was NOT disappointed. We’ll see how things move forward, but this was a fun, smart look at one of Marvel’s longest-running and worst used characters.

  3. gon
    July 3, 2013 at 1:39 am — Reply

    i just read it, first, along all the AoU i was asking myself where this actually begins and where it ends, in the end all the AoU is something that could happen but in the end did and did not, ok now right to this issue, it was great, really great, and even an inspirational (to the reader) one, this issue gave me a great end of the day

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