There's been a lot of discussion over AGE OF ULTRON as the series progressed. There's no denying that the series has indeed "changed everything." Or at least it has made some major changes in the Marvel Universe. By now, you should have had enough time to read the issue since there will be some SPOILERS below.
When Ultron's "attack" devastated most of the Marvel Universe, it seemed time travel was the only key to saving the world and those that had already perished. The problem was, it didn't quite work out the way they planned. As some of the heroes went into the future in order to fight Ultron, who caused the destruction from there, Wolverine traveled back into the past (with Sue Richards trying to keep an eye on him) in order to kill Hank Pym before he could actually create Ultron. The result was time and the universe broke.
We saw some fissures in the Marvel Universe as a result. This means there will be some interesting crossover possibilities.
In AGE OF ULTRON #10, we even saw an image of Ben Grimm as Blackbeard the pirate. This sort of touches on something we've brought up since Beast brought the original X-Men from the past into the present in the pages of ALL-NEW X-MEN. The idea of time travel in the Marvel Universe didn't allow you to actually travel into your past. So when the Fantastic Four traveled back (in issue #5) and Ben was mistaken for Blackbeard, that didn't really happen. This was also fully explained to Ben by Reed in MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #50, when Ben tried traveling into the past to give a slightly younger version of himself a serum that could have cured him because his current body had become too comfortable with his rock-like state. When he arrived in the present, he was still the Thing and that's when Reed told him traveling back simply creates an alternate reality.
If this is the case, why did we catch a glimpse of Ben as Blackbeard? How can the original X-Men make a difference in the present? How could Wolverine have changed the past to fix the present?
These are some of the things that can be explored now. With time broken and the fissures existing, we can see more happen because of it (like Spider-Man 2099 somehow arriving in the present perhaps). We will also see the X-Men of the future travel into the present to discuss the problem with the X-Men from the past being in the present...
The other big outcome was the fuzzy line between "universes."
Somehow Galactus ends up in the Ultimate Universe. You may recall there was an Ultimate version of Galactus (even if many of us are trying to forget about it). The possibility of these universes crossing over also paves the way for the sequel to SPIDER-MEN with our Spider-Man and Miles Morales. If you read the first miniseries, you know there was a bit of a cliffhanger and we've all been wondering when we'll find out more.
Then of course there's Angela.
She did not seem too happy to find herself in the Marvel Universe. She pretty much vowed to get to the bottom of things. Having a character from the Spawn/McFarlane universe could mean possible crossovers with other publishers. It might not be too likely but at least it will be interesting to see how Angela and the Guardians of the Galaxy interact.
What does all this mean? That's the big question and the fact that we may not fully know all the answers makes this a bit exciting. Comic universes should definitely have firm rules and guidelines but you have to admit allowing those rules to bend a little gives the opportunities for different types of stories. As long as crazy events or crossovers don't happen all the time, this could be just the right kick in the pants to make what is currently an exciting time in the Marvel Universe even more exciting.
The final big question I have is once characters start to realize things have suddenly started changing, will Wolverine get the blame for being the one to break time?