Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils by Bryan Hitch
Inks by Paul Neary
Colors by Paul Mounts
Review by Adam Shaw
Just like with my review last week of issue #2 I am remaining skeptical about event titles and Age of Ultron. The story is progressing, but it feels like it should be chugging along a little quicker. This was a complaint I had with the second issue, and in fact most of my complaints from last issue still stand for this third installment.
Last issue suffered from some wonkier art with characters posed at slightly awkward angles. In this issue the art is definitely a step up, but there is still some room for improvement. Simply put, it feels rushed. I don’t know whether it was intentional or not, but there are a lot of repetitive panel layouts that bring a slightly monotonous flow to the book. If you’ve been reading it, then think of J.H. Williams III and what he has done on Batwoman. Now think of the exact opposite, and you will have the layout of Age of Ultron issue #3. I may be over-simplifying and being a little harsh, so I apologize that for.
As I mentioned above, progression has been a real issue for me so far. In the end it might all pay off. I love the slower pace that Hickman is taking over in Avengers, but we only have ten issues to work with here. When I look back at events like last year’s AvX, I feel like it was too long and drawn out. Quicker pacing and possibly a shorter run could have made the series more engaging and less stressful on the old pocket book. So far, I feel that Age of Ultron may be suffering from some of the same faults. In particular this issue could have easily worked in 10 pages. While I don’t think I could place blame on Hitch, Bendis has several needless double-paged spreads in this issue.
I don’t want to come off as sounding like a complete curmudgeon, because there are a few redeeming qualities of this issue. Through the dialog we get to see a little bit more about how much this event has really sucker-punched and taken the fight out of our heroes. Bendis has sprinkled a little humor in various places to keep us engaged. However, if you really want to see just how much the world and heroes have been affected by Ultron, then you should pick up this week’s Superior Spider-Man #6AU, and Fantastic Four #5AU. Both of those issues carry a lot more heart to them.
Again Age of Ultron is a soft buy, if you are an avid event comic reader. If you haven’t been impressed so far, or if issue #2 left you with a sour taste in your mouth, then pass. The slower pace continues this issue without much reward for the reader. I honestly need more time to think about whether I want to keep spending four bucks an issue (40 total!) for an event that seems to be dragging its feet. The repetitive layouts do little to keep the reader involved.