C&C Comic Review - Avengers: Age of Ultron
We take a look back at the series that inspired the Movie
By Steven Carter
In light of the recent release of Avengers: Age of Ultron in the cinemas, and given that the comic collection is on the store for ½ price, I have taken it upon myself to review said comic from which the movie was named after!
The comics were released back in 2013. Written by Brian Michael Bendis and Illustrated by Bryan Hitch, the comic series came at a time of great change for Marvel. They were undergoing a huge revolution in story telling, controversial decisions were being made to major characters in their roster. Wolverine was just about to lose his healing factor, Peter Parker had “died” and Dr Octopus had taken over his body and Captain America was in all kinds of trouble, stuck in dimension Z. It was indeed a time of great weirdness…
The first few frames of issue 1 set a very bleak scene. New York is in ruins but amid all the destruction, lies a colossal fortress-like structure, towering above everything else. It all looks very much like Days of future past. This won’t be the last time we will see comparisons between the two stories either. Ultron has already won. The world has finally bowed to his superiority and many heroes have fallen in the wake. Only a few core members remain alive and we pick up one of them in the form of Hawkeye on a self-sanctioned rescue mission.
The mission was successful but only just. Barton and Spider-man escape with their lives barely intact. They find the rest of the heroes in their hideout, where the only plan of action seems to be to survive. The first few issues really had me drawn in. The artwork had a very gritty feel to it and matched the dark plot lines. Hawkeye’s rescue mission was equally dark, saving Spider-man from Hammerhead’s gang, plenty of violence and gore to be seen! Seeing the other heroes reduced to a barely organised mess, with no plan other than to stay out of sight and survive was very interesting to me. Tony Stark seemed the worst of the bunch, reduced to very low tech gadgets and no armour, he came across as very unsure and vulnerable.
Then comes the plot twist which drags us back to days of future past. TIME TRAVEL!!! It turns out that a future version of Ultron has orchestrated the attack in the present day, prompting the remaining heroes plus Nick Cage to take the fight to future Ultron. Wolverine disagrees and thinks the best way to sort the problem is go back in time, Terminator style and kill Ultron’s creator Hank Pym thus getting rid of the whole concept of Ultron once and for all. What could possibly go wrong?! I guess Wolverine never saw the Back to the future films...
I had rather mixed views about this section, Iron Man and Captain America’s plan seemed rather flimsy at best about attacking future Ultron, but maybe their situation was dire enough that it seemed to make sense to them. When Wolverine goes back in time, I did like the change in art style. The colours were a lot lighter and the drawing style harked back to the 60’s Jack Kirby style.
The repercussions resulting from Logan’s actions in the past are by far the strongest part of the book. The reality that Logan is faced with is a fascinating one. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers but Tony Stark is by far the best character. Gone crazy with power and
super paranoid to boot. It is clear that this reality is far worse than the one Wolverine had left behind and he has to set about escaping that world, yet still come up with a solution that avoids bringing about the Ultron apocalypse!
I enjoyed the journey that Age of Ultron took me on, however I couldn’t help feeling that the ending was a bit anti-climatic. It just kinda fizzles out. The solution that is eventually implemented could have easily been thought about had the heroes spent about 5 minutes more mulling over the options laid out in front of them but then again, we wouldn’t have much of a story on our hands would we? Nevertheless, I found myself just reading through the final issue to simply get the storyline done, not because I cared about what happens next. There were some great twists in the middle which I could tell was what Bendis REALLY wanted to write about but the ending just seemed a bit of an afterthought which is a shame. Therefore, Age of Ultron as a comic series gets -