Why Age of Ultron Hasn't Hit the Mark... So Far

WARNING: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS FOR AGE OF ULTRON #1-3!

I was really looking forward to this event for a few years now, and ever since it was teased way back in Avengers #12.1 (April 2011) I felt that this event couldn't come sooner. After a long wait I started to feel that this event may never come out, but just shy off two years following this point one issue the series has finally hit the shops, and I question has it been worth it?

Length

Now I know that it's a little early to criticise the entire series, with only three out of the ten issues haven been released, and seven still to come, as well as the tie-ins, but in my opinion this series is too ambitious length wise. The previous big event at Marvel was Avengers vs. X-Men, which lasted twelve issues, which was way too long. Avengers vs. X-Men was considered by many as a disaster, but in fact I felt it wasn't a bad story, just that it was spread over too many issues, and had way too many tie-ins, which lead to it being slow and boring most of the time (luckily Age of Ultron isn't quite that long, and doesn't have as many tie-ins). If you look at the better crossover events in Marvel like Siege and Civil War, neither have near as many issues as either Avengers vs. X-Men or Age of Ultron, with Civil War having seven issues, and Siege even less with only four, and both of these series were brilliant, and if they were longer I'm sure they'd be a bit slow.

Like Avengers vs. X-Men, Age of Ultron is too long

Story So Far...

So far the story has consisted of Hawkeye saving Spider-Man (revealed to still be Doctor Octopus), and took him to an underground bunker, where the remaining superhero's live. Captain America finally came up with a plan that involved selling She-Hulk to Ultron, making a shocking discovery (won't spoil that).

As you can probably tell from that summary the story hasn't been the most entertaining one in the world, and in fact it's been rather slow. The first two issues basically showed the superhero's mopping about their situation, and not knowing what to do, and even when Cap does come up with a plan it takes half an issue to explain it, which slowed that particular issue down, although I was happy that the series was finally making progress. The second half of issue three was however very good, and exciting, with Red Hulk (Thunderbolt Ross) attacking an Ultron and removing it's head, giving the head to Black Panther and Taskmaster to run away with. At the same time however this sequence had very little dialogue, meaning that it didn't last long. Although I've got all these complaints about the construct of the story so far my main complaint is the fact that we've had not backstory to how this all happened, and how Ultron suddenly took over the Earth, apart from certain superhero's recounts (Spider-Man and Fantastic Four) of seeing the world go to hell. I do however think that the backstory will get told in Ultron #1AU, although I hope we also get some proper backstory in the main series.

Ultron Rules

Tie-Ins

Ultron #1AU Cover

Now there have only been two tie-ins released so far, Superior Spider-Man #6AU, and Fantastic Four #5AU, but I already start to question the necessity of these tie-ins. To be fair both tie-ins weren't bad, and both good to a certain extent, with fun and unique stories, but I still question were they necessary? Most tie-ins to comic book events don't actually do anything for the overall story, and although some actually do, there are many against that one that don't, but mugs like me continue to try and get as many tie-ins hoping that they help develop a certain part of the story a bit more.

Anyway the tie-ins in this so far are no different, with Doc Ock trying to control the Ultron's in Superior Spider-Man, failing, and all of the Fantstic Four apart from Sue Storm getting killed by the Ultron's whilst Sue and Reed's children, Franklin and Val watch a goodbye video. As I said both of these issues were fun, and entertaining, to a certain point, but they didn't really do anything to help the story as a whole, and although you could say that's a good thing as it doesn't ruin the main story, they still could have made the issues achieve something small that helps with the development of the story.

Future tie-ins include, Ultron #AU (which I already mentioned), Avengers Assemble #14AU &15AU, Wolverine and the X-Men #27AU, Uncanny Avengers #8AU, Fearless Defenders #4AU, and Age of Ultron Epilogue, all of which beside the Epilogue, and Ultron#1AU I believe will also do nothing for the series, but I hope that I'm wrong (even though I won't be getting all the tie-ins).

Best Part About the Event So Far

The best part about this event so far is easily Bryan Hitch's artwork. I know that you can argue that he hasn't really been used properly on this series, drawing mostly rubble, but I think that his artwork has been astonishing and easily the best thing about the main series, as well as the event. His art has been nothing short of phenomenal, and although some may argue that his work on The Ultimates, The Ultimates 2, and Fantastic Four (Fantastic Four: World's Greatest & The Master of Doom) I personally feel that some of his best art has been featured in this series so far, as the entire scenery (even if most of it's rubble) is beautifully detailed, and the art on the characters, and action is simply stunning as well as dramatic, and I can't really fault anything about his art. His art also feels like you're watching a movie, as it's so lifelike, and the character emotion is brilliant, with everything looking perfect. The bad news however is that Hitch is only working on the first five issues (with only two left), and after that the series will have Brandon Peterson, and Carlos Pacheco doing the artwork, with Marvel's Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada drawing the final part of issue 10.

Future of this Event

What do I see in the future of this event? Like Avengers vs. X-Men, I expect that this event will be brilliant in the long run, and that it will have some really exciting, and shocking moments throughout. I do however still have some fears that this series will continue to be slow and mundane, and nothing more than a reason for Marvel to have an event, but my faith in the series outweighs that, and I really expect that this series will be remembered as a fantastic series that had a horrific start. Also from the events in the last issue, I expect that the next issue will have some dramatic events, and from the preview it looks to have more action than the series has had so far, and I hope that the series continues to have plenty of action, whilst also actually developing the story (which as I said has been the big problem).

SUBMIT OR PERISH_

Thanks for taking the time to read this feature and please feel free to leave a comment expressing your thought on this topic, and what you think of Age of Ultron so far.

Please have a look at my reviews for Age of Ultron #1-3 (links below).

30 Comments
30 Comments
Posted by broo1232

You've pretty much summarised everything I don't like about it or do like about it but mostly for me it's the length of it.

Posted by thanosrules

I am leaning more towards "liking" this event than you, but you make very valid points. Historically, I have been really easy to please when it comes to these types of things...

I like how the story has had me "emote" for the characters. I felt horrible after the events in Chicago... and the FF story was heart-wrenching...

The Superior story was great - it was my first Superior issue, so I wasn't biased by anything else. I like that character, yet his over-confidence will be his undoing... quite the opposite of Peter.

One question about the FF issue... when they pan back to Val and Franklin... weren't they "anchored" to the Earth in time/space?

Where did the Earth go? Or am I "reading" too much into it? ;)

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@broo1232: Yes, it is way too long.

@thanosrules: Fair enough, we wouldn't be unique if we all though alike. I liked the last issue, but besides that it's been slow and not really explained much, but I hope that issue 3 is a turning point for the series.

I enjoyed both tie-ins, but didn't see the necessity for them.

Never thought of that, good question. I think they were anchored to earth, but in a different time (634 years, 8 months, 3 weeks and 4 days prior to AoU (although may be wrong, that's how I interpreted that )).

Edited by Teerack

AoU doesn't hit the mark because the event was pushed back two years. sure they added in a tie to explain it's Doc Ock as Peter and to explain why Invisible Woman is there but they didn't even bother changing the main comic. Peter still acts like Peter which is just lazy. Emma frost can read minds which is hilarious because of how wrong it is.

There is also the fact that the whole event is remarkably transparent. Three members of the FF were killed, Emma said Scott died, Black Panther died, Doom died, and Black Widow had her face ruined. I mean there is no way this whole event isn't going to be undone at the end with some kind of timeline twist. In fact the only lasting effects of this event might be them killing Vision again which is a huge mistake, and if not Vision someone will probably die to change the past in some self sacfrafising way. #original #event

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@teerack: Very good points, never thought of some of these, but they are all on the money, and I personally have felt that unless it's undone that it will ruin the continuity of future series (considering this is meant to be canon).

Edited by thanosrules

@johnkmccubbin91 I heard it wasn't canon... Apparently I heard wrong. If it is, like @teerack said, it will be magically undone by time travel or the infinity gems or something.

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@thanosrules: Bendis apparently said it was canon (but I may be wrong). Yeah probably, as when Peter eventually gets his body back ton's of people should be dead (for one thing).

Posted by BlueLantern1995

Good blog.

Posted by johnkmccubbin91
Posted by TheAcidSkull

awesome write up.

Posted by johnkmccubbin91
Posted by KRYPTON

Informative

Posted by johnkmccubbin91
Posted by New_World_Order

Interesting.

Edited by johnkmccubbin91
Edited by New_World_Order
Posted by AlForeigner

I fully agree with you here, you've pretty much hit the nail on the head. Three issues in to this series I gave up, I'd rather offer my time to other more interesting titles than this one, I still love Brian Hitch's artwork...probably the only thing I like a lot about AU.

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@alforeigner: Thanks. I'm at least getting it till issue 5 (Hitch's art), but may leave the title if it remains to be poor, although I was hopping to get the entire series so probably will continue.

Posted by AlForeigner

@johnkmccubbin91: I might consider getting the trade paperback when it comes out though, it mostly depends on what happens in the next few issues and what people make of it. If the series turns out to be good at the end I'll get it, if it remains poor then I perhaps won't see the point in getting the trade paperback.

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@alforeigner: That's what I'd recommend people to do so far, as it's not really worth the investment in case it continues like this, but if like AvX it becomes good overall it'd be worth getting in trade.

Posted by Luminus

By now, you would have read Age of Ultron #6. What I don't understand is why Susan Storm thinks the children are dead, when it's clear they're floating in a spaceship over the Earth. In fact, as soon as the Fantastic Four landed on Earth in the FF tie-in, she's pining for the children after she just left them on the ship. Wolverine mentions that they are dead, while he's trying to kill Pym, and Susan doesn't correct him and seems to agree with the statement. What's going on? Did I miss something?

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@luminus: I assume that either they've dead in the mean time, or that she just assumes that they're dead, as there's no real way that she could know. Either way it's a good point, and should be mentioned.

Posted by Lvenger

Very nice write up. I agree with your points. Haven't been keeping track of this horrible event myself since it looks very generic and dull in all honesty. And my perception hasn't changed so far. The Superior Spider-Man tie in was good though.

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Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@lvenger: Thanks. You've not missed much. The Superior Spider-Man tie-in was good, I just feel that continuity wise it's off as Ock still being in Spider-Man's body doesn't feel right as he acts like Peter, but besides that it was an interesting issue.

Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee

AoU is enjoyable if you pretend it isn't canon. Because with the way it's written, it isn't. It's really just some kind of "alternate timeline future," or so it seems.

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@arturocalakayvee: Yeah but even at that it's slow and after being half way through not much has happened.

Posted by Lvenger

@johnkmccubbin91: That was one of my gripes with that issue. Gage wrote SpOck very well, much better than Slott has but when he had SpOck pretend to be Peter, it was just too good because it sounded a lot like Peter rather than SpOck pretending to be Peter. That was one of the biggest flaws of the issue.

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Edited by johnkmccubbin91

@lvenger: Yeah I agree with this as Superior's been dull (although I surprisingly liked the last issue). Have you read Yost's Avenging Spider-Man as that's much better?

Posted by Lvenger

@johnkmccubbin91: Just one issue provided for by a friend on here. But I've been following it and I agree it's the Superior (pardon the pun :P) title to Slott's one. Greater character development, much more fun stories and less focus on Peter's spirit.

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Posted by johnkmccubbin91