Ultron #1AU Review
Written by Kathryn Immonen
Art by Amilcar Pinna
Letters by VC’s Joe Caramanga
Cover Art by Kalman Andrasofzky
Reviewed by Steve Seigh
Now that Marvel’s Age of Ultron event is in full swing, we’re starting to see more and more of these AU issues popping up on our pull lists. Ultron #1AU finds us being introduced (or reintroduced) to Victor Mancha, a member of the underage super hero team The Runaways, and unfortunately, the android son of Ultron. Once upon a time, Ultron, built Victor to infiltrate and one day kill the Avengers. As you can imagine, things didn’t pan out the way Ultron had hoped, and Victor has been on the run ever since. Ultron #1AU has us running alongside Victor’s Back to the Future Part II-looking high tops, as he scours what’s left of his city. Like a true hero, Victor is out searching for any children that might have survived Marvel’s most recent world ending scenario. With an Ultron on patrol around every corner, there’s almost nowhere to hide. What exactly is Victor’s part in all of this and what can he do to help? You’re going to have to read Ultron #1AU to find out.
Maybe it’s just me, but unless you’re already familiar with Marvel’s kid superhero team, The Runaways (2003-2009), you might find yourself at a bit of a disadvantage while reading this particular book in the Age of Ultron series. Victor provides a strong enough narrative throughout the issue to pull you into his plight, but unfortunately, the supporting cast leaves something to be desired. While it’s obvious that Kathryn Immonen has got a firm grasp on the Victor character, I think the book would have been better served if he were not surrounded by faceless nobodies. Each time I found myself enjoying Victor’s narrative the pacing would suddenly become interrupted by go-nowhere questions, posed by of one of the book’s supporting cast.
I also had quite a bit of trouble warming up to the art of Amilcar Pinna. While the book still feels set within the Age of Ultron event universe, the characters are often appear gawky. What’s more is that the colors feel just a bit too bright to carry the weight of the book’s dire circumstances. It’s not to say that everything has to be all doom and gloom (the art in Fantastic Four #5AU was certainly cheerful), I just found the color palate to play a bit dull in a world where chaos and destruction reign supreme.
The exciting part about Ultron #1AU is that it poses a few interesting questions of its own. After his long absence in the Marvel Universe, to what end will Victor be a part of this event? Will he be the one who saves us during the final hour? Is this perhaps Marvel’s way of planting the seeds for a new Runaways series in the not-so-distant future? Or perhaps will Victor somehow finally succeed in the purpose he was crated for by bringing about the destruction of The Avengers? These are all things you can ask yourself, but unfortunately won’t be able to answer, until the Age of Ultron event comes to a close this June.
It depends. We can’t see it now, but the Victor character could soon become very important (if not detrimental) to the entire Age of Ultron event very soon. While this has been the weakest of the tie-in issues that I’ve read so far (and I’ve read them all), it’s my hope that Victor will have his time to shine further down the line. I will always take some more Runaways action in any way that I can get it, and this feels to me like the beginning of something much larger. With any hope, the excitement surrounding this book will prompt Marvel into launching a full-scale return to the beloved series The Runaways. Perhaps you think I’m reaching a little, but I’m aloud to hope, right?
This review was written while listening to the album Tramp by Sharon Van Etten.
This review was written by Steve Seigh – Executive Editor of Talking Comics. You can hear Steve on the Talking Comics podcast, as well as find him on Joblo.com where he writes a featured column called Ink & Pixel. His Twitter handle is @dead_anchoress.