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Age of Ultron #1 - Book One Review

4

It has finally begun. The heroes are facing their biggest threat. In other words, it's a messed up world for them.

The Good

We've been waiting a while for AGE OF ULTRON and as soon as you open the comic, the story is already underway.

When it comes to starting a story or event, there's a few ways to do it. We've seen the previews and teaser images. We know it's a desolate world with Ultron in power and the heroes trying to defeat him. What we didn't know is how it all started and how the world got to that state.

All stories should have a beginning, middle and end but I love that we're immediately thrown into the fire. Maybe it's due to the wait, but I don't want to see a slow build where the world gets turned upside down. There are, of course, disadvantages to starting off a story this way but it adds a sense of mystery and suspense. And let's be clear, this isn't taking place in the near future. This is today in the Marvel Universe. In other words, holy crap!

From what we originally saw, Hawkeye and Spider-Man are in the middle of the action. I'm absolutely loving Matt Fraction's HAWKEYE to pieces but this isn't a story for the humorous Clint. We get to see Hawkeye like we don't often see him. And it's glorious. The guy has a bow and arrow. What can you do with a bow and arrow besides shoot people in a painful way?

This is just one area Bryan Hitch's art looks great. It's a gritty world full of gritty action. The kid gloves are off. What I really dig is how Hitch changes up the angles from panel to panel. Whether it's a zoom in on a piece of tech, a panned out view of a room full of danger or seeing a behind-the-head view of the action as Hawkeye is about to fire a crossbow -- it all looks good.

The other joy is in seeing who else is going to appear. What other characters will Bendis throw at us and how are they affected by what's going on.

The Bad

While the story already begins with the Age of Ultron underway, there is a slightly slow build until the action kicks in. We get a look at the surroundings and it takes a few pages for the action to start up. The momentum of the story does build from there.

The fact that this story has been hyped for so long may work against this first issue. Readers will be expecting quite a bit, if they're even opened to jumping into yet another comic book event. Because it's Bendis and Hitch, we can definitely expect a payoff but seeing a world this devastated also ensures things will 'get better' eventually.

With the story jumping right into apocalyptic world, there isn't an actual introduction to the characters involved. When they appear, there's no time for the backstory. The average comic reader will be able to take all this with no problem. We've seen stories in alternate worlds, timelines and realities before. New readers will feel as if they've missed something since there isn't an introduction to how the world came to this state. We can assume all will be explained. Hopefully the newer readers will be hooked enough to stick around to find out.

The Verdict

AGE OF ULTRON has finally begun. Without seeing the trigger that caused the Marvel Universe to become devastated, there are definite pros and cons with the first issue. We don't get bogged down by seeing the events take shape. The opportunity to jump right into the action is here. At the same time, we have no idea how it came to this state. There is a nice sense of mystery along with a feeling of despair seeing the heroes and world like this. The art and action gets intense and you will feel the need to want to know how all this came to be. Bendis has started another ambitious story. It's not just anyone that can cause such devastation to the Marvel Universe without explaining it step by step. We can assume big things are coming. We're already getting a glimpse of the craziness we can expect. Was AGE OF ULTRON worth the wait? With everything Bendis and Hitch throw at us in this first issue, the answer is yes.

79 Comments
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Posted by mikeclark1982

will this be the only marvel event this year besides thanos? 

Edited by DH69

not a big fan of the "already in progress" begining but if thats the only flaw you found thats good enough for me, besides i've always been a fan of flashbacks in stuff like lost and the current arrow series so if they do that, and can traslate it into comic form well, Hitch will stay in my good books.

@mikeclark1982: and god no, its marvel.

Posted by broo1232

Can't wait for this so excited!

Posted by DarkxSeraph

The problem with starting in medias res is that in such a large and 'ambitious' arc, starting off with NO EXPLAINATION whatsoever will work against him. The only thing carrying it to the 1st issue sales is going to be the marketing blitz Marvel put out.

At the very least, some seeds should have been scattered out in the involved books as to hints of what could be happening before springing the event. But, hey, it's Bendis doing what he does best: making a desolate Marvel.

Posted by DH69

@DarkxSeraph said:

The problem with starting in medias res is that in such a large and 'ambitious' arc, starting off with NO EXPLAINATION whatsoever will work against him. The only thing carrying it to the 1st issue sales is going to be the marketing blitz Marvel put out. At the very least, some seeds should have been scattered out in the involved books as to hints of what could be happening before springing the event. But, hey, it's Bendis doing what he does best: making a desolate Marvel.

like i said if they show some GOOD flashbacks, they may be able to pull it off. But in regard to your seeds comment there have been several planted and shown in the last 2 years or so.

Posted by Cavemold

@mikeclark1982 said:

will this be the only marvel event this year besides thanos?

No they got somthing planned in the winter. And this 4/5 makes it easy not to buy.

Posted by Trevel8182

I used to like variant covers before I realized it was another shitty business practice to make more money, like having huge comic crossover year after year ugh, at least the heroes fighting each other again for stupid reasons.

Posted by DarkxSeraph

Eh. If they did in two years before the event they might as well not have done it at all. You have to keep it fresh. I'd say two to three months before kick off, and revist them. *shrug*

Honestly, I don't plan on reading this. This type of story is going to be some big hooplah, then fall short, then in six months after it ended, it won't have mattered. Marvel needs to STOP the big once-a-year events and get their House in order first, in terms of characters and smoothing out all hiccups, before they start pulling this Bendis drivel again.

Posted by Johnnyjavavee

Marvel makes it WAY too expensive to be a Brian Bendis fan. I wanna read his avengers but there's so many comics that it's too taxing to figure out the order to read them in. and now even after the reboot he has three books coming out at the same time? pass.

Posted by Cap10nate

I'm a big fan of stories starting in medias res and showing flashbacks. We all know that Ultron was going to take over the world as it was the main premise of the story as well as being familiar with all the characters, so I am glad that we didn't have an issue or two of exposition that is unneeded . I've been looking forward to this for a long time and can't wait to read this tomorrow.

Posted by DH69

@DarkxSeraph: preaching to the choir, im usually just b****ing and whining every time marvel reveals an upcoming event, hell all the teasers they release drive me crazy, and they usually follow this formula, 2-3 months of build up, then the event "THAT WILL CHANGE THE HISTORY OF MARVEL FOREVER" hits with 3-4 issues that actually showcase how this different and finally the last 3-5 issues are nothing but an endless fight scene where the heroes win with plot armor.

but the ultron fanboy in me is giddy as a school girl with a sugar rush.

Posted by Mezmero

What's up with the gold Ultrons? Are they Goldtrons...?

Posted by DH69

@Mezmero said:

What's up with the gold Ultrons? Are they Goldtrons...?

they may be human, in a preview for one of the next few issues, red hulk knocks ones head of and blood and a spine fly out.

Posted by PhoenixoftheTides

The heroes are facing their biggest threat until the next mega-event comes along next year ;). I'll tune in just to see what happens, but am not seeing anything that different in this reality from the other apocalyptic futures. Might still be fun.

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Posted by Fastblender

So we have "the Age of Ultron underway" and a "story jumping right into apocalyptic world, *where* there isn't an actual introduction to the characters involved." but also "a slightly slow build until the action kicks in. We get a look at the surroundings and it takes a few pages for the action to start up."? Reads like cognitive dissonance. Also, the comic is called Age of Ultron. It's unnecessary to start each section of the review stating so.

Posted by Blood1991

I was going to try and avoid a big event, but I can't NOT read a Hawkeye centric story.

Posted by dondave

Bendis has been doing a good job on All New X-men and with Bryan Hitch on art I'm definitely picking this up

Posted by CrashBang

I'm avoiding this simply because it's an event and Marvel does way too many of them. I've been so proud of DC for avoiding them so far (although they have done a few too many crossovers) but already Marvel have thrown one at us.

So no, I'm good. Maybe I'll get it in trade later. Maybe.

Posted by alex6166

I saw a foil cover last week at the comic book shop. I don't know if it was for sale or not.

I wonder who did that first cover with the ball of energy.

Posted by -The Renegade-

Bendis is on fire lately. Def. picking this up.

Edited by SHAZAM117

I'm really still on the fence if I'm going to get into this event or not. I'm still somewhat confused as to what they mean by this is happening "now" or "today" in relation to what's happening in Hickmans New Avenger and Avengers. I suspect some time travel or alternate reality play here.

Posted by 3rdrocket

@dondave said:

Bendis has been doing a good job on All New X-men and with Bryan Hitch on art I'm definitely picking this up

This

Posted by dondave

@SHAZAM117: Beevroot and Bendis have explicitly said that it's not an alternate timeline or time travel that's why it such a big deal

Posted by sora_thekey

Hitch's art... It just doesn't do it for me. I find it hard to focus on... (That's the best description I can come up with.)

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Posted by LifePool

Pass, maybe I'll get the omnibus when its all over, considering its any good.

Posted by JamDamage

The only thing I haven't really liked by Bendis was Invasion. It's not that it was bad, it just was that good. Other then that, the guy hasn't let me down. He's impressed me more times then not and some of his titles are my favorites. I still can't believe Moonknight was cancelled. That book was debateably the best book monthly. I'm psyched for this tho. Hitch is the shit also. Widescreen action.

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Posted by ccraft

Cool robot!

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

@mikeclark1982 said:

will this be the only marvel event this year besides thanos?

nope. there's another one involving zombies i think.

Posted by JakeN7

@Cavemold said:

@mikeclark1982 said:

will this be the only marvel event this year besides thanos?

No they got somthing planned in the winter. And this 4/5 makes it easy not to buy.

So you don't buy issues that don't get a perfect score?

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Posted by YoungDoctor

This story to me sounds a bit like Kang Dynasty/Kang War from Avengers volume 3 #41-55.

Posted by Danial79

I will only believe this is NOT a future/alternate reality if it bleeds over into every other title that's currently out. Does anyone know if that's happening? (I don't read solicits)

Posted by SHAZAM117

@dondave....Bendis is notorious for unexplained continuity controversy in MARVEL U. That's why I'm thinking of steering clear of this.

Posted by skooks

Heard the first six issues will ship thrice monthly, then the rest will ship twice monthly. Double-shipping irritates me enough so I am doubly out on this book. I'll wait for the trade.

Posted by StMichalofWilson

@Mezmero said:

What's up with the gold Ultrons? Are they Goldtrons...?

I think it has something to do with the Phalanx

Posted by Gambit1024

I'm gonna wait for what the community has to say about it before I make the buy. Honestly, I hate that I'm kind of looking forward to this story.

Posted by MSzekeresh

While I never buy them I must confess I am a huge fan of the "baby covers" and AOU is no different.

Posted by TheAmazingImmortalMan

I can't wait to read this!!!! I'm a fan of Bendis and I love the art.

Posted by lifeboy

Thst robot is a female robot. I dont see a pEn! $.

Posted by DJ1107

@Gambit1024:

Well your probably not going to buy it then. Knowing how the community generally loves to hate event stories good or not.

Posted by RoastedRay

I'm just scared to try this. Marvel's last few "Events" have really blown and I don't want to waste more of my money.

Posted by Dabee

Gah! I'm going to have to wait until Thursday because of this snow. Is it bad that I'd rather school be on just so I could get this? Eh, it's a tough decision.

Posted by Gambit1024

@DJ1107 said:

@Gambit1024:

Well your probably not going to buy it then. Knowing how the community generally loves to hate event stories good or not.

They're generally correct. Marvel hasn't had a big event worth reading in years. The last one I can recall was either Civil War or Annihilation. The fact that I can't stand Bendis as a team-book writer certainly isn't helping the cause either.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Maybe its just the historian in me but I'd have loved to see the "trigger" that put all this into place. Oh well, still interested!

Posted by Queen's Halo

Biggest threat my ass! And seriously you know it's just like AvX - just read the issues where someone dies and the last one to see how Marvel has managed to screw up their universe again. 

Posted by MrArrogant

@Danial79: There'll be special almost "point one" type issues labelled with "AU"; i.e Superior spiderman 6AU, Fantastic four 5AU etc. What I noticed though is that these books have been upped in price! What was once a 2.99 book like Fantastic Four has it's tie in issue placed at 3.99! I'll be buying the main book but passing on these tie-ins for sure.

Posted by DMXN

I just can't believe this is earth 616, and not some alternate universe. I am not against the idea of Ultron conquering New York, but the strange thing is the behavior of characters. Luke and She-Hulk even attacked Hawkeye and Spider-Man for coming back, among the survivors we see Sue (invisible woman), Ben (the thing), Wolverine, Beast and Captain America, and I don't think any of the characters would have just given up on Spider-Man, and could just left him there to die, no matter what was happening.

Posted by mcauburn

The the Spider-Man in this meant to be Peter Parker or Doc Ock? It sure reads like it's meant to be Peter Parker, but then that means the whole Age of Ultron happens before they switched minds.

Apart from that it seems just ok so far.

Posted by TheAcidSkull

@DMXN said:

I just can't believe this is earth 616, and not some alternate universe. I am not against the idea of Ultron conquering New York, but the strange thing is the behavior of characters. Luke and She-Hulk even attacked Hawkeye and Spider-Man for coming back, among the survivors we see Sue (invisible woman), Ben (the thing), Wolverine, Beast and Captain America, and I don't think any of the characters would have just given up on Spider-Man, and could just left him there to die, no matter what was happening.

well George This was seriously a bad issue, and i mean a really bad one, and i was so excited for this.

so disappointing :(

Posted by lmothander

@mcauburn said:

The the Spider-Man in this meant to be Peter Parker or Doc Ock? It sure reads like it's meant to be Peter Parker, but then that means the whole Age of Ultron happens before they switched minds.

Apart from that it seems just ok so far.

Or it happens after he gets his mind back from Doc Ock... No one really thinks that is going to be permanent. Or its just another example of screwed up continuity...

Posted by Gambit1024

So I picked it up.

Nothing happened. Like, yeah, the world was established, but after that, there was nothing.

Disappointed, but the art is very pretty, so I'll stay tuned for that. Also, what's up with Tony? He looks like Tron Guy.

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