AGE OF ULTRON was a series I wanted to like. From the beginning, you could see just how ambitious this story could be. Earth in the Marvel Universe had been utterly affected by Ultron's attack. We saw incredible changes and devastation with the promise that this was a story happening NOW and its affects would be felt.
With the final issue here, we see how that will be the case.
All the pieces fall into place here. How can the destruction of New York City and the deaths of countless main characters be reversed? There is a way, as we've seen slowly building the last couple issues. Brian Michael Bendis ties it all together. The how is explained and it's not just a simple bandaid placed over what happened. As Marvel promised, there will be affects trickling off from this. There is a big one seen towards the end, actually a couple things happen towards the end that will carry over into other books/series.
During one crucial moment, even though we know things have to work out, there is a high level of tension. Just because we think we know how it has to end, doesn't mean it will. There are many great artists on hand for this issue. Normally I have huge issues when the art changes but it doesn't feel like the usual distraction. Perhaps it's because you get pulled in, looking at each page carefully to try to catch any underlying clues or details about what could result from all this.
This may be a series better read once collected. Partly in part of the delay in getting released in the beginning along with the numerous different directions the story took, it felt like this was all over the place. There were moments when readers weren't sure if there was an overall plan or outcome prepared. For a story with ULTRON in the title, we didn't see very much of him. This story was more than just about Ultron. A lot of what we saw almost feel unnecessary now with the way things were resolved. It's understandable to see the destruction and death in order to get a scope of how big a problem and threat was present. The inclusion of Wolverine being thrusted to the center of the spotlight also felt weird.
This isn't to say the series didn't have a purpose. It appears it will be changing the way things move forward in the Marvel Universe. It just didn't seem necessary to have it be told over ten issues. We were introduced to different things in the different time periods and now that it's over, it didn't really feel necessary.
Will AGE OF ULTRON change everything? It appears that it will. There has been some debate over the direction and purpose of certain elements of this series. We now see where it's been leading to. Brian Michael Bendis has opened the door to future storytelling possibilities in the Marvel Universe. That is the important thing about this series. It is the key moment that will allow different stories to come. The Marvel Universe has been affected by this story. It will be interesting to see how it pays off. You have to commend the series for the ambitious nature it took on. Ten issues may not have been needed but I am deeply curious to see what will result from Bendis' story.