What should I read before Age of Ultron?
Opted for Avengers #1-6 (vol. 4) and that Moon Knight series that came out last year. Sounds like those are the stories which actually tie directly to Age of Ultron.
I remember picking up Ultron Unlimited back when the first trade came out when Busiek was still on the book. Good stuff.
@Reignmaker: I think that you have most of them already but here is the list of my favorite Ultron stories.
- Ultron Unlimited - Avengers Vol. 3 Issues 0, 19-22. Shows Ultron as a completely ruthless monster and definitely shows what he is capable of doing. Great story as well.
- Annihilation: Conquest - It is a great story about Ultron taking over the Kree galaxy after the Annihilation war. It is a good story but not as good as Annihilation or Thanos Imperative as cosmic stories go. It is a story like Secret Invasion that is a lot better if you read the tie-ins as well as the main book.
- Moon Knight Vol. 4 Issues 1-12 - The story doesn't focus on Ultron as the villain, as the Ultron is inactive. However, it is a direct lead in to the Age of Ultron and I really enjoyed the story.
- Mighty Avengers Issues 1-6 - Story in which Ultron takes over Tony Stark's body/armor and nearly destroys the world using Stark's satellites. The only issue that I have with this story is that Bendis's dialog gets a little overbearing at times. It is like watching one of those cop shows like Law and Order where they go around the room and each person says one comment. The story itself is pretty good, it's just one of those things with Bendis's team books with the dialog.
- Avengers Vol. 4 Issues 1-6 - This is the other story that is directly leading into Age of Ultron. Like Moon Knight, the story isn't really about him either. He is the catalyst for the story but it mostly revolves around Kang and select characters from the future. The problem with this story is that it is another Bendis team book so the dialog can get tedious at points and it is drawn by Romita Jr. I am not a fan of his work. The way he draws faces can be strange at times. There are some interesting things about the story though. It prophesies the event of the Ultron War, one of the scenes shows possible futures in which it shows Stark in the black and gold armor he sported in Marvel Now (I wonder if that was just a coincidence or that armor has been in the plans for quite some time), and finally the future characters commented on how much they hate Bucky (he's Captain America at this time) for what he did (which has never been elaborated) and comments on how he will get what he deserves. I wonder if this is something that will be referenced again or if it will just be forgotten. As a huge fan of Buck, I hope that is forgotten and Bendis doesn't try to ruin my favorite character.
I am really looking forward to this event. I think Ultron is one of the best villains there is. The only thing is that they are making him so powerful with the Adamantium body and the ability to have his consciousness anywhere and everywhere, it is getting to the point where he almost has to beat himself or they need to stretch a plot device in order to make the heroes win. I haven't read any of the older Ultron stories other than Secret Wars (I didn't add it to the list since there really isn't any character development for him there although it is an awesome story), but these are my favorite stories with Ultron. Ultron Unlimited is one of my favorite story arcs and probably number two Avengers story arc behind Red Zone.
Those are two bad-ass pictures
@Reignmaker: That pic is a cover from Annihilation: Conquest. If you haven't read any other Marvel Cosmic, it may be hard to jump into because none of the characters are ones that you see on a normal basis. I would suggest reading Annihilation first because it will introduce a lot of the characters and it is one of my favorite Marvel stories.
Cap10ate's post is pretty solid. Once you're caught up and ready to read Age of Ultron, I posted a reading order on my blog: Age of Ultron Reading Order
So far it's been pretty crazy!!
***SPOILER if you're not caught up to #5*** I'm just fuzzy on how the present can be so messed up if Ultron is controlling things from you know when... Did he change something in the past too??
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