Reading Order (as stated on Event Card)
All main titles and tie-ins will be released between March and June 2013. The two epilogues will be released in July 2013.
Set in an apocalyptic future, Ultron has returned to earth, and ruined it, using his superior technology to enslave the mankind. Certain villains do as Ultron commands and get higher privileges but at the end of the day Ultron rules. Most of the heroes live underground whilst thinking of a way to rid the world of Ultron. Amongst these heroes are Captain America, Luke Cage, Iron Man, and Emma Frost. Hawkeye is with them, but he's willing to go out into Ultron's world if it means saving his friends. The event follows the heroes plan to prevent Ultron from ever returning from the future, and the consequences of these actions.
This is a detailed plot summary of the issues involved in this story arc, including tie-in issues, and is ordered from the Reading Order list.
WARNING: THIS SECTION WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS!
Ultron has taken over the world, and left it in ruin, and in an apocalyptic state. Hawkeye is heading to a hideout that belongs to Hammerhead and Owl, and advises a girl to run away whilst heading there, killing many guards in the process. Hawkeye walks in on a couple of goons mistreating a woman, and tells them to leave her, eventually killing them. It's not long before Hammerhead and Owl realize they have an intruder, and when they guess it's an Avenger plan to sell him to the big guy (Ultron). Whilst going through more of their goons Hawkeye finally finds who he's looking for, Spider-Man. Spider-Man has been tortured and can't thank Hawkeye enough but Hammerhead and Owl blast in.
Suddenly a bunch of Ultron's turn up, and demand that all humanoid life evacuate the premises. Owl and Hammerhead aren't happy as they appeared to have a deal with Ultron, but that doesn't stop them from attacking. Hawkeye manages to escape unnoticed with Spider-Man, but Hammerhead and Owl don't appear to be as lucky.
After more thank you's from Spider-Man, Hawkeye leads the way to an underground bunker where a group of heroes are hiding out. He is greeted abruptly by Luke Cage and She-Hulk who aren't happy to see them. Iron Man reluctantly uses tech to establish that they haven't been infected by Ultron, but She-Hulk is still worried in case they were followed. Emma Frost however confirms that they weren't, and Hawkeye is surprised to be thanking her. Hawkeye, and Cage have a mild argument over how they should live, and Hawkeye is upset that the rest have given up. Iron Man explains that they have no plan, and when Hawkeye asks who's fault that is, Iron Man says that Captain America is working on one, but Cap doesn't look to be coping well with the current situation.
As Ultron's are passing destroying things in their path Black Widow is attacked by a random man with a gun. The man keeps asking her to remove her hood, and show what she's hiding. Black Widow removes the hood to show one eye badly disfigured, but the man still insists on trying to rob her. The man is however shot by Moon Knight, and he and Black Widow talk to each other through sign language with Black Widow stating that, “I had it,” and Moon Knight saying, “sure you did.”
As the Ultron's continue to attack human that won't submit Black Widow and Moon Knight enter one of Nick Fury's hidden hideouts, but due to entering at different points Black Widow almost attacks Moon Knight. They find out that the hideout was the one that Fury used during the Skrull Invasion (Secret Invasion). When Moon Knight asks if Ultron knows about this Black Widow says that Fury never wrote anything down, so there would be no trail for Ultron to follow. Black Widow finishes by asking Moon Knight to help her destroy Ultron, which Moon Knight agrees to.
Meanwhile Spider-Man is in the underground hideout that is currently occupying 7,000 heroes. He reveals his name stating that secret identities don't mean anything anymore. Whilst saying that he woke up one morning to find the world had gone to hell he's asked about what he saw. A flash back shows Peter waking up and going through New York with flames around, and at the end of his recollection he asks if it was just in Manhattan. After finding out that the whole world is most likely under Ultron's control Peter says that he's happy he's with them. Iron Man then asks how he got kidnapped and another small flashback shows how, with Peter mentioning that his Spider-Sense didn't even go off. After saying that Hammerhead and Owl were going to sell him to Ultron Luke Cage asks why Ultron needed them to do that, and not just take him himself. After being told by Iron Man that the plan was to survive, Peter says that that's not something, until Captain America comes in stating that they finally have a plan.
Invisible Woman (Sue Storm) puts Franklin to bed saying that everything will be okay, before getting summoned by Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards).
Franklin then wakes up to a screaming Val who's watching a message from the Fantastic Four which says that something has gone catastrophically wrong.
The Fantastic Four return to Earth hearing that it's been attacked by Ultron after hearing from Black Panther that it's the end of the World. They arrive on Earth to find Medusa dead, and Sue is frantic about finding the children, but when they go deeper into the rubble they're attacked by Ultron's.
Franklin and Val continue listening to the message, with Human Torch (Johnny Storm) telling them that death isn't the end.
Johnny goes head first into the Ultron's in what Sue classes as suicide, whilst Thing (Ben Grim) helps smash a way out, but before being able to escape Johnny dies.
Franklin and Val continue to listen to the message this time with Ben telling them that he feels responsible for why Doctor Doom is evil having been a jerk to him when younger.
After escaping Ben sees Doom's cape and assumes he's behind it, but when the figure turns and removes Doom's mask it is revealed to be an Ultron who states that Doom fell, and attack Ben, killing him.
Franklin and Val continue listening to the tape and Reed tells them that cause he's a man of science he doesn't believe in hell, and that how does a father say goodbye to his children (all written on cards).
Reed tells Sue to run whilst containing many Ultron's, but although Sue escapes the Ultron's self destruct killing Reed. Sue is then found in the rubble by She-Hulk tells her that they've lost everything, which Sue disagrees with (whilst looking into the sky).
After the message is finished Val wonders why there wasn't one from their mum, Sue, to which Franklin replies that there was, where she said they'd see her again, and not to worry. The holographic device that showed the message then reverts back to Reed giving them their lesson with Val asking Franklin about what they'll do now.
Luke Cage and She-Hulk argue over who's going to do a certain thing, that cultivates in Luke punching She-Hulk and carrying her over his shoulder.
An hour earlier the superheroes in the underground bunker are discussing, and reminiscing over lost allies before Captain America comes up with a plan that involves selling one of them to Ultron. During this Tony goes on to discus why Ultron would bargain for super people, and during that Hawkeye argues that it's all Hank Pym's fault for creating Ultron in the first place. After deciding that selling one of them to Ultron is the only plan they have Luke and She-Hulk argue over why they should be the one to be sold, with She-Hulk getting to be sold, but Luke says that he'll be the seller then. Wolverine argues that he should be the seller, but Cap argues that he's much more value to Ultron and that Ultron would strip him down for his Adamantium to use as parts. After this Cap decides that the rest of the heroes will be moving to the mutate village in the Savage Land. The issue then jumps back to Luke carrying She-Hulk and taking her to Ultron's.
Red Hulk (Thunderbolt Ross), along with Taskmaster, and Black Panther spying on a bunch of Ultron's. Red Hulk jumps into gear smashing one of the Ultron's and ripping it's head off, but is attacked straight away. He throws the head to Black Panther, and Black Panther and Taskmaster run off, after Red Hulk tells them to. Black Panther and Taskmaster are however caught in a blast and after checking for a pulse Taskmaster leaves with the head realizing that Black Panther is dead.
Luke is brought by the Ultron's to a highly technological place where he finds to his surprise that he isn't dealing with Ultron whilst selling She-Hulk, he's dealing with Vision.
Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus) reminisces over how he cheated death and became Spider-Man taking over Peter Parker's body when he is visited by Iron Man, who feels somewhat responsible for this apocalypse, being the tech guy that let it happen. Iron Man tells Spider-Man that Horizon Labs is still intact and that he can get him tech that Max Modell had at Horizon to send Ultron to The Negative Zone, adding that the plan that Luke's teams working on is grasping at straws (see Age of Ultron #3 for that plan). Spider-Man tells Iron Man that this is still not a forgone conclusion, but agrees to help.
With the help of Quicksilver Spider-Man travels to Horizon Labs where he works on a plan. He is attacked by Ultron's but is able to get his Spider-bots to attach to them and put them under his control, with them sprouting tentacles like he had whilst Doc Ock. This however doesn't go to plan and the Ultron's regain control with Spider-Man having to go to the original plan of getting the device to send them to the Negative Zone, but the device is destroyed by the Ultron's before he gets chance to use it.
Spider-Man manages to get into an underground passage where he meets Iron Man and Quicksilver telling them that he'd failed, but Iron Man consoles him saying that it's okay. Spider-Man then thinks that death is trying to get him, but that with the people that he's with that he'll defeat death.
Luke Cage asks to talk to Ultron then asking if Vision is behind this, but Vision replies that Ultron can hear him as Ultron is controlling from the future, which shocks both Cage and She-Hulk. She-Hulk then says that she's heard enough and throws Cage saying that he needs to tell Iron Man everything he saw whilst battling the Ultron's before one of them kills her. Other Ultron's also follow Cage who fights back saying that it's for killing his wife, and child, as well as friends. Cage continues to fight but is eventually cornered.
Meanwhile in San Francisco Black Widow and Moon Knight are still in Nick Fury's secret bunker, with Moon Knight waking up from a bad dream, saying that the world had ended and he was trapped in one of Fury's secret bunkers. As they go through his paper work they find that he has a secret bunker in the Savage Land, then Black Widow gives Moon Knight a piece of paper that stuns Moon Knight, as they have to find a way to sneak out of the city and go to the south pole.
The other hero's that are being lead by Captain America head over the skies of New York, and spot a nuclear blast, which shocks them as they believed She-Hulk and Cage to be in that area.
Meanwhile in Chicago Red Hulk catches up with Taskmaster, asking him where he was heading, to which Taskmaster replied that he was gathering Ultron tech and getting out of the city. Red Hulk then says that he doesn't trust him and smashes through him.
8 Days Later the hero's have made it to the Savage Land where they find an abandoned Quinjet, and when Cap asks Wolverine and Emma Frost what they sense they say that they sense nothing. They then spot someone on a hill and find out that it's Ka-Zar, who leads them to were he lives. Emma, and Wolverine get a funny feeling as they both notice that Cage is within, with Emma saying that he's survived a nuclear blast, and Wolverine saying that he's dying. Emma then says that he piloted a plane here and crashed miles out dragging himself to the shore. After Cap asks about She-Hulk with no reply Emma continues to say that Cage has learned Ultron's secret, and that the reason no one can get to Ultron is cause he's in the future, using Vision as a conduit. Emma then says that he wouldn't let go until he told them what they needed to do next. Then Red Hulk, Black Widow and Moon Knight but in saying that they need to find Ultron and wipe him from existence, saying that thanks to Nick Fury that they know how.
Wolverine and Sue Storm have traveled to the past and have stolen Nick Fury's flying car (see Ultron #6). Both Sue and Wolverine think of what's happened to them at the hands of Ultron and what they must do, with Sue explaining the Butterfly Effect. The car then breaks down and go to a S.H.I.E.L.D. substation to get a new battery.
When they get into the substation Sue's shocked at how old it looks, and after Wolverine tells her that it'll be older than she thinks and why. They split up, but just before Sue reminds Wolverine of the Butterfly Effect and that he shouldn't do anything drastic.
Wolverine then thinks about what he's going to do to Hank Pym before seeing something shocking. Wolverine finds a creature in a tank, and after it reminds him of Weapon X he decides that he's not going to stand back and let this happen, breaking the tank, but not long after the creature attacks him. Wolverine tries to get what the creatures put in him, and after he finds it familiar, and sees what he spits up he realizes it's the Brood. Wolverine fights off the Brood before seeing something shocking, that there's a Brood Queen, and it's adapting to survive after it's young die, and Wolverine questions if he caused that.
Meanwhile Sue finds a S.H.I.E.L.D. surveillance room that's watching over all the hero's and is shocked. Sue notices all the place that S.H.I.E.L.D.'s watching over, and finally finding Hank. She notices that Reed was with him, but knows that he wasn't there long as she remembers that day at the Baxter Building. Sue then takes the surveillance to the Baxter Building and sees what she remembers which include her having a fight with Reed, and thinking of quitting the Fantastic Four. Wolverine fights off the Brood before seeing something shocking, and at the same time Sue remembers how at that time she was wanting to be a heroine, a wife, and a mother, knowing what they must do. Sue communicates to Reed telling him that he's being monitored. Whilst Sue sees the younger Reed she realizes that she's got to do whatever it takes.
Wolverine and Sue meet outside and Wolverine puts the battery in with Sue asking if that's blood Wolverine's covered in. Wolverine thinks of how Sue's right and that they have to be careful as he's already put his foot in it, whilst Sue think of everything she's lost. Whilst Wolverine tells her that they'll play it safe she says that they'll do whatever it takes.
Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) comes to the rescue of a man, grabs the man and carries him off to safety, avoiding being attacked by the Ultron's that have arrived.
Elsewhere in the British Museum a woman called Dr. Faiza Hussain, who's better known as Excalibur is healing the injured when Carol arrives, recognising that the person she is with is Computer Graham. After Carol complains about this man possibly turning into an Ultron, Faiza explains that he wouldn't be able to enter if that was the case and gets Graham to tell her his story.
Graham then goes to tell her how he was a computer coder in the 80's, and realised he had a power that allowed him to go inside games.
Faiza then asks Graham if he can still do it, with Graham replying that he doesn't think so. Captain Britain (Brian Braddock) then steps in saying that he has faith in him, also asking a girl named Melanie to hand out food whilst he takes a child to Faiza for healing, which Melanie agrees to. Brian then goes to talk to Carol, and Graham saying that they need to have a little talk, which the Black Knight (Dane Whitman) isn't happy about being left out of. Mel then asks Dane to help he distribute the cans, as she can't use her power of kick them all over the place as they'd get dented.
Carol, Brian, and Graham go to a room to talk, where Carol asks why the Black Knight is sitting out, which Brian replies by saying that he's not ready. He then asks Graham what he knows of going on, then going into telling him briefly what happened. Carol then goes to say that if the Avengers hadn't arrived by now that that would make them the Avengers. Brain then asks if Graham will help them, which Graham agrees to, but states that he doesn't know if he'll be as much help as Brain hopes he will. Carol then goes to ask why Dane can't help, to which Brian says that Dane is in the possession of the Anti-Excalibur, and that if he gives it one more inch he'll be worse than Ultron. Just as Carol is about to ask who else they have, Melanie says that she'll help.
Back in the sick room Brian asks Faiza for a world, dubbing her Captain Britain saying that he may die fighting Ultron, but that Captain Britain must live on.
When they reach St. Paul's Cathedral, finding all the Ultron's, Carol rips two big chunks out of a wall, tossing one to Brian, and keeping the other for herself. She then tells him to do a Steve Rogers, and they both chuck the pieces of wall at two Ultorn's head's caving them in. Also as Melanie kick's grenades at Ultron's Graham enters the main Ultron, fighting the Ultron from within. Meanwhile whilst trying to save Melanie, Brian gets killed. After noticing that Graham is weakening Ultron, with him excreting energy, she absorbs it, and returns it to Ultron, killing it, and herself.
Back at the British Museum Dane asks if they are okay, and Faiza replies that they aren't, and that they will need to continue the fight for them.
The Defenders in the New Now
Follow-up / Avengers A.I.
A new ongoing series debuting in July 2013; written by Sam Humphries and Andre Aruajo. Avengers A.I. takes place after the events of Age of Ultron where the world has been colonized by A.I.s who may or may not have positive feelings about the way humanity has been treating them for the past 100 years.