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Age of Ultron #2

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Pencils by Bryan Hitch

Inks by Paul Neary

Colors by Paul Mounts

Review by Adam Shaw

 

Like many of you out there, I am skeptical about event titles. Often times they needlessly spill over to countless other titles where they don’t belong. They can leave a bad taste in your mouth; somewhere between pennies and that disgusting Japanese fermented bean gunk known as natto. Hopefully, Marvel’s Age of Ultron won’t be one of those books. (There will be tie-ins, but they aren’t going to affect the current ongoing stories in your books.) I picked up issue number one last week, and to my surprise I thoroughly enjoyed it. Bendis was quick to grab us and pull us into this Ultron dominated world with very little exposition.

Issue number two takes a turn from the action and fast paced story telling of last week’s installment, and instead slows things down and begins to flesh out what went down. Bendis also shifts the focus in the first half of the book over to the west coast of the United States. As we might expect, things aren’t so different from coast to coast.

Black Widow and Moon Knight serve as the centerpieces of our time in San Francisco. The world has changed and even these two heroes show a lack of concern to help others. Black Widow doesn’t even attempt to save a group of humans or distract the robots attacking them. There has to be long lasting effect to any sacrifices made. Dying for people that will just as soon die tomorrow or shoot you in the back is no longer an option. If you are going to die you better be taking this sumbitch Ultron with you.

The second half of the issue is back in New York and the heroes listen to Spider-Man tell his recollections of events so far. I was always amazed at Spider-Man’s ability to never give up, even when things are at their lowest. He is always an inspiration and you can see the strength of Peter Parker shining through. I was holding out some hope that this might be Peter, but Dan Slott has tweeted that this is indeed the superior Spider-Man. I’d like to remain skeptical. (Slott’s been known to throw out misdirection in his tweets. Besides he’s said it is the superior Spider-Man, not Otto.)

By the end of it all, I don’t feel like the issue progressed much story-wise, as it acts as a setup for the bigger actions to come. Although, Bendis’s dialog and the interaction between the characters helps to convey the deep state of despair in this world.

With regards to the art in issue two, I felt things were a little off. Occasionally, some of the characters poses felt a little unnatural. It was like some of the limbs were angled slightly off; throwing off the perspective and making them look flat. I did, however, enjoy the continued use of a more subdued color palette.

The Verdict

Hmm. I’d say this is a soft buy. The art wasn’t my favorite, and despite a slower pace, issue number two sets the tone and continues to setup the Age of Ultron. Issue three looks like it will be picking things right back up, so why miss out on some key dialog this issue?

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5 Responses

  1. Julio

    I REALLY enjoyed the 1st issue but this 2nd one was a big disappointment. Not sure what I was expecting but it wasn’t what was provided. I still enjoyed the art but the story…meh. At the end, it was predictable as to what the plan will be going forward. I really hope my prediction is wrong so that I am surprised as opposed to just reading something expected. All that being said I find myself staying with the story till the end…so far.

    On a side note…what’s up with hawkeyes arm in the one large panel for the 1st issue? Com’n Man!

  2. Walt

    Can’t disagree with any of this, Adam. I did enjoy the first issue more than I thought I would and I didn’t mind going back to follow Spiderman before he was kidnapped – but it was slower and the art was “meh” (Cap’s pose on the last page had me staring at it trying to figure out what the hell posture he was doing). But, if you’re gonna follow this thing through to the end, don’t miss an issue just because it has some exposition.

  3. Adam Shaw

    Julio and Walt,

    Thanks for reading. I found it really hard to write this review, just because I am so impartial to it. Such a turn from last issue. And yeah that last page was like something out of a zombie movie or what not.

    -A

  4. Bobby Shortle

    I’m with you guys. I’ve been somewhat of a Bendis acolyte the last few months, but this issue feels a little flimsy in terms of story. Things that could have been told in a page are told in 2 or 3 and thats not what the first issue was like at all.

    I didn’t notice the art weirdness, but thats because I am just much less likely to notice things with the visuals.

    Great review Adam!

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