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Age of Ultron Verdict?


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Initial post: 3 Jul 2013 09:22:44 BDT
Culleton says:
So with Age of Ultron over, what did we all think of it?

As Marvel "Events" go, it hasn't been the best, and I have seen on various other forums that it's polarised the fans somewhat. I quite liked it, but the ending has left me a bit puzzled and thinking "is that it?"

After an explosive start, which didn't really explain what happened, we were just thrown into the aftermath of Ultron's "invasion". We discover that many heroes are dead, including Thor and the Hulk. That was a shocking revelation - two of the most powerful heroes in the MU are not going to feature in this!

After a lot of twists and turns aside, it turned into a bit of "Wolverine and Sue Storm Show" for a few issues, but this was ok with me. The message was clear - what are the implications of going back in time and re-writing history?

I'd seen this done before, years ago in 2000AD during Judge Dredd's City of the Damned storyline, so I figured that this was going to be the only way to stop Ultron. However, this time, there were some severe implications, itself making for an interesting storyline.

Some more time-travelling twists and turns, and suddenly the MU is back to normal. Almost.

I'm sure there will be revelations and plots surrounding the space/time continuum to follow, but here's a couple of issues I have:

1. I would have liked to have seen the actual invasion part of it. How did Thor, Hulk and others die? This would have made for epic panels for our eyes to feast on I'm sure.

2. With the superior intellect of Ultron, how did he and his sentinels not detect the survivors as they sneaked aorund the ruins. This is a minor plot hole in my opinion, and it was explored in some cases, but not all. Black Widow for example, was able to sneak about with sentinels mere yards from her, without too much hassle.

3. The alternative reality with magic defeating technology was an interesting plotline. I would have liked to have seen more of that.

4. I'm still confused slightly by the time travelling repercussions, but this is merely down to my meagre intelligence. Multiple re-reads will probably sort this all out.

In summary, I thought it was good. I probably liked it more than AvX which I thought was not so good. I'm definitely interested in the repercussions, although the introduction of the Angela character from Image Comics (brought across by her creator who now works for Marvel) doesn't float my boat seeing as though she's going to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy, which is definitely not my thing.

I'd be interested to see your opinions on Age of Ultron...

Posted on 3 Jul 2013 09:51:59 BDT
Adam Jemmett says:
I thought it started really strong. We are thrown in at a point where the bad guy wins, and that was all we needed to know really. But I can see what you mean about the 'Wolverine and Sue Storm Show', though the repurcussions of their actions was really interesting. I liked the idea of time being a living organism and too much time travelling breaking it (we already had a lot of that with All New X-Men amongst other tiles that have currently escaped my mind).

I get the feeling of 'huh, is that it?' with issue 10 and most of it felt like an advert for new series rather than an ending. As with the time release virus, if Pym had now put one in Ultron why did they wait till tat point to do it. Why not activate it before he killed al those people in Slorenia way back during Busiek's run?

All in all though, I largely enjoyed the events but felt that the second half of the story was not as good as the first half.

Posted on 3 Jul 2013 11:28:28 BDT
Culleton says:
That's a good point about the time-release virus, Adam. Whilst it was a good idea, Pym could have made it so that it released much earlier. Although Marvel continuity would have been severely messed up had they gone that way, so it made sense in a way.

Posted on 3 Jul 2013 12:20:12 BDT
Adam Jemmett says:
I suppose so yeah. And we now have a world without Ultron, wonder how long that will last? Lol!

Posted on 3 Jul 2013 13:57:18 BDT
Culleton says:
At any rate, the aftermath will be interesting. Rips/tears in the spice/time continuum, multiverses colliding, Ultimate Spiderman appearing...what's next for Earth's Mightiest Heroes?

I believe the Avengers are going off planet in upcoming story arcs. Might be time for Norman Osborn to attempt another hostile takeover bid.

Posted on 3 Jul 2013 19:00:29 BDT
I Hate Bendis!I Hate Bendis! I Hate Bendis! I Hate Bendis! I Hate Bendis! I Hate Bendis! I Hate Bendis! Isn't that the way these threads are supposed to go? I'd take that alternative 'Defenders' line-up over Hickman's Avengers any day of the week...

Posted on 4 Jul 2013 16:34:36 BDT
Last edited by the author on 24 Jul 2013 12:15:51 BDT
Culleton says:
I actually dont hate Bendis. His work so far has been decent enough. I also loved Siege too.

I never understood why there are so many BMB haters.

Anyway, he did a good job on AU, it just wasn't perfect, that's all.

Posted on 7 Jul 2013 20:39:19 BDT
Chief. says:
Ive read every big Marvel event since before most people believed big events existed (I was there for Atlantis Attacks, Secret Wars, Acts of Vengeance, Operation Galactic Storm, Evolutionary War. Thats right - I'm old!), and AoU was easily one of the most disappointing thus far.

Alot of the modern crossovers - anything released since House of M - have been a disappointment, but this was the worst. The first issue was actually pretty good, Ultron is a great villain and it appeared the stakes couldnt have been higher, but in the end none of it mattered, it was all put back to normal with the usual 'time travel' excuse, and the event appears to have literally zero lasting effect on the Marvel Universe overall.

AoU pales in comparison to the Perez/Buseik 'Ultron imperative' from the late 90's in terms of both quality and scale. Its shocking that in nearly 20 years that a celebrated writer like Bendis couldnt do better, although personally I think the vast majority of Bendis Avengers work has been utterly mundane.

Posted on 8 Jul 2013 14:39:18 BDT
Culleton says:
Chief, good post. I always value the opinions of those who've read way more than me. Whilst I'm probably in your age category, give or take a few, I'm playing "catch up" with the MU. I haven't read the classics you've mentioned in your post above, but after Age of Ultron I do intend to delve deeper in the Ultron back stories.

Thanks for list of "older" stories to read.

Posted on 8 Jul 2013 19:08:02 BDT
Adam Jemmett says:
Busiek's Ultron story is really really good. It will be interesting to see what, it anything, come out of AU in the long run

Posted on 8 Jul 2013 19:23:11 BDT
I haven't read all of it yet as I decided to abandon trying to collect the single issues and wait for the graphic novel. However, where I left off Wolverine and Sue Reed-Storm had returned from the past to an unfamiliar future so I'm not quite sure where's it's all leading. And honestly I'm not sure why the "epic" is relevant to the Marvel universe at all. I mean it doesn't seem to effect any of the marvel now titles....

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jul 2013 11:27:59 BDT
Culleton says:
It all becomes clear. Kind of. The alternative future was really interesting for me, where magic triumphs over technology and the Asgardian Gods had abandoned the Earth. This concept requires further exploration, in my opinion.

Posted on 9 Jul 2013 11:52:10 BDT
I'm not a fan of these event books. They seem like cynical marketing campaigns to me. And it galls me that Marvel make you pay through the nose for inferior product that culminates in what is essentially an advert for more comics.

My verdict: Age of Ultron made Secret Wars look like a masterpiece. In fact, it made me go back and read Secret Wars and it is indeed superior in many ways.

AoU started really well and then just sputtered out like a damp squib, leaving me feeling like Bendis had foisted a cynical hack job on his loyal readership. I wonder if his original vision was hijacked by Marvel editorial, as this whole Ultron thing was teased way back in Bendis' Moon Knight run (underrated).

I love Bendis' early crime stuff, including Sam and Twitch, plus most of his collaborations with Maleev and Powers, too. His Daredevil run is probably the best sustained runs in comics ever.

It's a shame his more interesting, creator-owned stuff clearly takes a back seat to the banal mainstream superhero fare he's churning out at the minute. How many books is he writing anyway?

Plus, I just picked up House of M TPB, which is better that AoU in every way. Seems for AoU Bendis provided an inferior facsimile of himself.

Posted on 10 Jul 2013 22:25:46 BDT
Chief. says:
B.L Cullerton:

I'd highly recommend the Buseik/Perez Ultron Imperative in particular. This was Ultron at his most horrendous - he invaded an eastern European country and killed every living creature all the way down to insects, before turning them all into cyborgs. I'd also recomment the Kang Dynasty as another especially brilliant story from that period.

Alot of the very early crossovers werent really anything special and can be very expensive to pick up. Secret Wars is great fun, even though it was only written to sell a line of toys.

Posted on 11 Jul 2013 00:21:59 BDT
CDComics says:
Yawn... Make Mine Independent

Posted on 12 Jul 2013 20:06:56 BDT
Chief. says:
Independent generally doesnt do superheroes very well. If you want superheroes then mainstream is still, and probably always will be your best bet.

Posted on 16 Jul 2013 09:26:47 BDT
Culleton says:
I'm just re-reading Age of Ultron and it doesn't get better with a second reading. Again it starts well, and there are elements that are cool, like the bit about Ultron controlling things from the future and using Vision as his conduit in present day. But then it gets a bit boring. And rushed.

I am learning that these events are getting sub-standard. I won't be getting all-out on Infinity, and I'll just get my regular comics. Two events in one year? What's the point? Oh right, money.

Don't get me started on AvX.

Posted on 16 Jul 2013 12:21:32 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 Jul 2013 12:23:46 BDT
A perfectly competent "undo the apocalyptic future" time travel story - albeit one with a drawn-out first act - with absolutely zero in the way of twists, surprises, new ideas, or anything remotely memorable about it. Hard to give any weight to from the outset, given that it had been planned for some time and was so easy to shuffle around the publishing schedule, and the conclusion bore that out.

And not NEARLY enough actual Ultron.

Posted on 16 Jul 2013 17:11:10 BDT
jSearle22 says:
I cant stand Bendis' events anymore. however his character work on books like all new X-men and ultimate spider-man make him great. Daredevil End of Days is a masterpiece and I will definitely be buying the trade. but the events just seem to always start off with promise and then drift in the second act into setting up future story lines rather than actually having a good story.

Posted on 16 Jul 2013 19:37:22 BDT
Ghostgrey51 says:
These are all most useful, constructive and informative posts...Thor dead again. And a re-write of history, and another 'Age of..'. I'll be giving it a miss

Posted on 17 Jul 2013 15:08:49 BDT
Chief. says:
Its no Age of Apocalypse.

Now theres a series that did have an impact and was well written.

Posted on 19 Jul 2013 15:33:51 BDT
Sam Quixote says:
Age of Ultron was AWFUL! It was a disjointed, nonsensical story that leapt about in time in lieu of a real plot. The ending was arbitrary and could've happened in any Marvel series whenever, it didn't need to be the coda to AU. Moreover AU is basically an overlong prologue to the new Marvel Event, Infinity (scripted by Jonathan Hickman and will probably lead into ANOTHER Marvel Event).

Posted on 22 Jul 2013 09:15:43 BDT
Culleton says:
With the revelation this weekend that the Avengers 2 movie is subtitled "Age of Ultron" I must admit I groaned, but thankfully Joss Whedon allayed my fears by stating that is has no resemblance to this year's event, other than the title.

It was interesting to find out that Pym is not in the movie either, so speculation about who creates the movie version of Ultron is abound. Rumours are that it's Tony Stark. The fanboys must be going mental!

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jul 2013 17:00:34 BDT
Chief. says:
There was a story a few years back when Ultron infected Starks armour.

There was also another story called 'The mask in the Iron Man', in which Starks armours artificial intelligence became so advanced that it transcended to being an actual intelligence and tried to kill him.

Personally I'd rather see Hank Pym as the creator.

Posted on 23 Jul 2013 10:46:20 BDT
Culleton says:
Chief, I've read that story. After your top tips for the Busiek story, I stumbled on the Mighty Avengers #1: The Ultron Initiative, written by Bendis, which I purchased straight away. It's better than Age of Ultron, at least.

It's strange that there's an Ant Man movie in pre-production, yet Avengers 2 has a non-Pym created Ultron, and what was the point in showing Thanos at the end of Avengers if they're not going to use him until probably Avengers 3 now?

It's all very confusing.
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Discussion in:  comics discussion forum
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Initial post:  3 Jul 2013
Latest post:  8 Aug 2013

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