Age of Ultron: Book One

One of the older but less utilized characters in the Marvel universe is that of Ultron.  The metallic menace first appeared in a Marvel comic back in the late 1960’s as the creation of Avengers genius Hank Pym.  Storylines have come a long way in the last 40+ years and this latest bit of pop culture literature features Ultron in his, or should I say “its,” own book.  Don’t expect a hokey game of cat and mouse with the humanity-hating robot chasing Marvel’s favorite super team.  This is one dark tale.

A dark tale indeed, however, before we get to the content, let’s see who the creative force is behind Age of Ultron.  For starters, the writer is none other than Brian Michael Bendis.  Bendis is of course credited with work on landmark series such as House of M and one of my personal favorites, Secret Invasion.  Joining him is artist Bryan Hitch who worked on DC’s JLA as well as designs for the 2009 Star Trek film.  The pair work well together, though I will say some of the expressions drawn on a character’s face are unfitting if nothing else.  For instance, one nameless bloke gets his jugular invaded by an arrow while his face relays a look of curiosity instead of outright fear or pain.  This happens more than once.

As for the content, Age of Ultron provides an entertaining enough premier issue to get the ball rolling, but it’s not without its flaws.  We join a very fractured and fatigued Avengers team that is anything but assembled.  It looks to be in the near future and bears an uncanny parallel to the Terminator films.  I see multiple Ultrons controlling both the skies and terrain and all I can keep thinking of is ‘Skynet’.  Yes, the post-apocalyptic environment is nothing new, but it’s the hand we’re dealt here.

Meanwhile, Hawkeye is the focal point as far as heroes are concerned and the spotlight does him well.  The archer extraordinaire excels at kicking ass and taking names as he throws caution to the wind and starts taking care of business not too long after the book begins.  The problem is, if you have not been keeping up on things in Marvel lately, you’ll be slightly lost.  Why does everything look like a nuclear warhead struck?  Why are the Avengers beaten to a pulp and in hiding?  When did Ultron multiply?  I expected more Ultron, not more Ultrons.  A little background would’ve been nice.

One of the high points in the story has to be the closing image, which I will not completely reveal, but it’s a very sobering picture of one of our heroes.  It is this final bit of artwork that sets quite the tone for the next issue.  Overall, this debut issue did not win me over.  However, with that being said, that final page may just be enough to sway my wallet and I to jump in issue #2 when the time comes.





1 Response to “Age of Ultron: Book One”

  1. Brian White

    Yeah you have me completely lost on the Marvel universe right now. It’s in the war-torn future?