I’ve grown increasingly annoyed with Marvel Comics Age of Ultron over the last 4 issues, but I knew this day would come. An exposition filled, dialogue heavy issue that sets up the remaining 4 issues. After such a slow pace that means this issue can’t be terrible right? We’re halfway through this, is it good?
Age of Ultron #5 (of 10) (Marvel Comics)
This issue takes place during two timelines and three different locations. It opens 6 months ago, when the world wasn’t run by Ultron and a few of the Avengers came upon Vision. From their talking we learn Vision is where Ultron’s takeover started and it’s all due to Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic and Hank Pym’s boneheaded decision to turn him back on. At least we get some answers. The remaining pages sets up the main plan which will send the heroes into the future and possibly the past.
This reads like filler.
As bad as this series has been over the last few issues this issue isn’t completely worthless. The plot is finally moving forward (although once the heroes do get into the future I won’t be surprised if they don’t do much more than walk around for three issues), but at least it’s something. It says something when your expectations have been reduced to such low states that an issue like this isn’t suicidally bad.
”doomed and depressed…” how I feel about this series.
That said, there’s a lot of vapid talk for talking’s sake, and that’s not good. The characters fall into the usual “What if we go back in time” and “Let’s go into the future, but he’ll know we’re coming” circular conversation. In some cases the writer can make dialogue like this sing, but here it reads like writer Brian Bendis phoned it in. He hits the usual points heroes always make which makes it kind of shocking to read considering most of these heroes have time travelled before. It’s as if nobody seems to want to speak from experience all of a sudden.
The issue then inexplicably cuts to Austin, Texas to feature Doris and Phillip and show us Austin is being taken over by Ultron. They haven’t fled the city yet, but all this doesn’t seem to fit thematically speaking. Did Ultron only recently reduce New York and Chicago to rubble? Why not Austin? Those cities look as if they’ve been decimated for years, yet Austin is just now being taken over? And who the hell is Doris and Phillip? I Googled them and can’t seem to find African American characters by those names in the Marvel universe. Most likely they’ll pop up later, but Bendis does us no favors in this issue to explain who they are or why we’re seeing them.
Who the hell is Phillip and Doris from Austin?
Honestly, read what Tony says here. It’s circular babble!
Bryan Hitch does an okay job this issue, although his strong suit isn’t to draw characters standing around talking that is for sure. Maybe the Austin scene was only introduced in order to give him a two page panel to draw more rubble and Ultron destruction? I’m not a fan of the cinematic panelling he’s done here either. Take a look below,
The panels are so thin it’s actually hampering the quality of the image. It gives you a sliver rather than a cinematic picture. This is an example of your eye wanting to move down, but then you realize there’s a smaller picture to the left you have to look at first. It’s a bit jarring and I’m not sure about the intention of the composition. I suppose to allow an epic sweep of an image?
It’s the end of the world, but hey, let’s act like it’s Christmas morning!
- The plot thickens…for once!
- Hitch’s style doesn’t lend to this type of comic
- Circular babble
There are instances where comics read better when collected, but I don’t think this will be one of them. I’m more than certain these first five issues could be read within 20 minutes given how light on dialogue and plot they are. It doesn’t help you can skip over so many pointless rubble shots. Luckily this issue doesn’t have so much filler imagery, but much of the dialogue reads as if it’s filler. It doesn’t do much more than explain the anxiety of the heroes we already knew they had.
Is It Good?
No. It’s not the worst issue of the series, but it’s certainly not good.