Secret Wars has been out for a good month now and there have been a lot of neat ideas introduced since. One of the more interesting is the dead zone where prisoners are sent. A place where symbiotes, Ultron robots and Marvel zombies dwell. It’s a nasty place, and this issue explores it further, but is it good?
Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies #1 (Marvel Comics)
This issue opens with Tigra running through the jungle as she’s being chased by Marvel zombies. The inner monologue does a great job explaining why she’s there and how she’s actually happier where she is now rather than outside the zombie/Ultron deadzone. It’s a nice way to convey just how bad it is for the characters, even though this is supposed to be the worst place imaginable. The zombies are introduced nicely as they rush her and we get a good sense of the status quo.
Doom is not only God but he took the metric system too! Proof it’s godly?
The first half of this issue feels like a great summary to the zombies and Ultron robots as writer James Robinson uses Tigra to pull us into the battle between them. From there we get a recap of Ultron’s perception of his reign and how he took over too. The final eight pages introduce Hank Pym of the olden days and set up what this series is really going to be about. Robinson does a great job with the dialogue as he and his ex discuss why he’s being sent over the wall. This sequence adequately sets up the areas, albeit in a very verbose way. One might argue it’s an info dump and quite the pace killer, but given the action and awesome splash pages that came before it it’s an entertaining change of pace.
The one negative for me with this title is the pace/flow of the story. It’s good but also very different and it throws off the narrative a bit. It’s as if the book is two books in one. It works in a sense as it connects Pym to Ultron and then goes on its merry way, but it’s also divided right down the middle of the book instead of peppering in the two elements. A minor quibble though to say the least.
Gorgeous double page spread.
Speaking of the splash pages, Steve Pugh outdoes himself here with some truly epic scenes worthy of framing and throwing on your wall. We get some amazing shots of Ultron taking on the Avengers (and winning) and the Marvel zombies look spot-on from their original counterparts. You haven’t seen sagging stomachs with protruding intestines quite like this, folks. The pages are also laid out nicely with a good change of pace when needed and nothing is a sight for sore eyes.
Nice symmetry here to connect the two.
Is It Good?
This is a great first issue as it introduces the two sides and its protagonist well. One might imagine where the story is going based on who the protagonist is, but there are so many balls in the air it’s going to be refreshing to see how this book surprises you in the issues to come.