It’s a story that’s been hinted at for years – a future in which Ultron has taken over the earth. In “Age of Ultron” No. 1 from Marvel Comics, writer Brian Michael Bendis drops readers right in the middle of the carnage, as the Avengers appear defeated and in seclusion, with New York overtaken by some type of robotic monstrosity.
Brilliant double-page spreads by Hitch set up the desolate world. In the first issue, the point of view is primarily Hawkeye’s. As the issue proceeds, the reader sees the depths of hopelessness to which even the Avengers have sunk.
Ultron is an artificial intelligence created by Avenger Hank Pym. It has come into conflict with the Avengers on numerous occasions, each time upgrading its systems for the next time around. In “Age of Ultron,” it appears Ultron has evolved to the point where it may be able to fulfill its objective of taking over the earth. This first part of the 10-part series sets up a world in which Ultron is the ultimate power.
Hitch and inker Paul Neary, as the creators of the “widescreen” look in comics that dates back to “Authority” and “The Ultimates,” re-create that type of look here. The detail of the destroyed city is among the issue’s high points. Starting in the middle puts the reader into the mystery; how that mystery is peeled back over the future issues of “Age of Ultron” will measure how successful this event will be.
The foil cover will be seen by some as a gimmick, but it’s a gimmick I enjoyed. Using a special cover to draw attention to a special storyline – especially when it doesn’t add to the price – is something that I’m OK with.
Some may question where this fits in the overall world of “Marvel NOW,” but I’m willing to wait and see. Everything doesn’t have to be spelled out in the first issue, nor every question answered. For me, “Age of Ultron” has set up an intriguing beginning with the Avengers at a low point. I’m willing to stay on board to see where it goes. “Age of Ultron” No. 1 is on sale now, no. 2 goes on sale March 13.
- Matt Price