Marvel’s latest crossover event is here but is it worth the hype?
Synopsis: Ultron has evolved to fulfil its desire to wipe out all life on earth and only a small few are left to stop Ultron. The Age of Ultron has begun.
Good: Going into the book I expected what is normal for the first issue of any event, all set up. Instead author, Brian Michael Bendis decides to open the book with Hawkeye rescuing a fellow Avenger after the invasion begins. I really liked this approach because it skipped right to the moment I was waiting for. The desperation and destruction of what this invasion has caused.
This book was well balanced with story and action, with the first half focused on Hawkeye’s mission to rescue a friend and ally. The second half of the issue provides a great story that shows the reader how much all of these heroes have changed. Amidst the character development, the rescue mission is by far the best, as it leads to Hawkeye getting another ally in this battle against and Ultron. It also shows what kind of a threat Ultron and its army truly is.
In the second half of the book it was surprising and interesting to see heroes like Luke Cage threaten to both kick Hawkeye out of the group for rescuing a fellow Avenger as well as giving up on that fallen Avenger. It was enjoyable seeing these characters so desperate and worried about Ultron that they were ready to give up on a friend just to stay safe.
The dialogue was written well in two instances. There were some funny lines between Hawkeye and his rescuee and also some great serious conversation between Hawkeye and Luke Cage. One of the best parts about this book was how it could switch between being funny and grim.
The art by Bryan Hitch looks incredible with a highlight being the visual representation of when Ultrons forces arrived. When they attacked the building with their blasts, the style that Hitch puts into it looks fantastic. It gives the panels a more interesting look and makes them feel more alive.
The characters were rendered with expertise, while the scenery looked really grim. The intricacy and the destruction was also done very well. The comic ended on a really great image. ****SPOILER ALERT**** the position that Captain America was in just added to the feeling of despair for the whole book. To such a strong character looking both hopeless and desperate helps set up Ultron as the threat he really is.
Bad: The book neglected to show how Ultron took control and built his army. It is something important that should have been concluded. I imagine in later books Bendis will go into detail with what happened but there should have been a flashback to give the reader an idea of how it all happened. In the end I prefer the way Bendis went with the story, no setup, but I should point out that this could leave other readers wanting more or worse, disappointed. A setup-less approach could cause problems for readers new to comic books as they may not know a lot about Ultron. It works for fans who are familiar with the characters.
Overall: With fantastic art, a strong story and great dialogue, Age of Ultron is off to a great start. Even though it may cause some confusion or problems with new readers, I absolutely enjoyed the first entry and I’m very excited for the next book. The best part about crossovers is seeing all of these heroes work together in situations they don’t want to be in. Age of Ultron works by showing how horrible the world has become and how much many of the heroes we all know have changed. I definitely recommend picking up the book and think Bendis and Hitch are off to a fantastic start.
Which character would you like to see make an appearance in Age of Ultron? What were your thoughts on the first book?