I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from Marvel’s new event Age of Ultron, but after the disappointing exposition of Avengers vs. X-Men I was setting the bar pretty low. Given that last year’s event, which started the whole Marvel NOW! universe, this new event is Brian Michael Bendis’ attempt to wrap up his storyline with The Avengers. After the first issue, I have to admit that I was hooked.
I always considered AvX more of the Mortal Kombat of the Marvel Universe, but this new event really sets up a dark and completely dystopian present. Within the first page of the title, you know that it is set in the present but this isn’t the New York that you already know. As far as first issues go, especially with Marvel, they drop you into the middle of the action and will catch you up a bit later on in the series. Given that it is a 10-issue mini-series, they have some time for exposition later on.
The story focuses on a smaller but more day-in-the-life of our normal heroes in this reality. Hawkeye is making his way through the apocalyptic landscape that used to be New York and the average street criminal runs the city. However, they need to pay off Ultron in order to keep doing what they wish to be doing. Apparently, the bounty on any members of the Avengers team is quite high.
Without getting into too much of the plot, the comic definitely has a point and truly sets up the series with a dark and hopeless look at our present. So we have to know that something happened in the past to allow this present to happen. Hawkeye is the main focus of this issue and could be of the series, but the person they know to lead them is somewhat out of commission.
The issue does beg so many questions and they are cool questions that you want to know what happened in this universe. I found Bryan Hitch’s artwork in the comic to be quite up to par that you expect with a title. This was a major improvement over the John Romita Jr. artwork of the whole AvX storyline of last year, which was a major flaw in the title.
After the first issue, you know that this is something that will have no major impact in the main Marvel Universe because you have a sense that this could be an alternate reality, so the major impact could be nill. With that being said, I still find this book quite fun and intriguing as you wish to find out how New York, or even the world, got this way. I suggest before issue #2 comes out next week, you need to catch up with this first issue now.