Age of Ultron #2
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Bryan Hitch, Paul Neary, and Paul Mounts
The short of it:
Man, San Francisco is just about as messed up as New York, the only real difference being that New York has Ultron’s Citadel. A lone woman walks through the wasteland, through the wreckage, over the mountains of corpses. Ultron’s fly through the sky in patrol, but she is disrupted by a man with a gun wanting everything she has. She isn’t one to take crap though, as when we see the face of the woman who was once known as the Black Widow, there is a hideous scar that almost seals one of her eyes shut. She taunts the man, and seems primed to take his weapon before gets a bullet in his head. The sniper? The man named Moon Knight. On the way to a safe house, Widow passes by survivors…as the Ultron’s slaughter them. It’s hell, but Nick Fury had safe houses everywhere, and that’s home now. This place filled with Fury’s paranoia and paperwork, with a wall full of pictures of heroes and villains, notes, but nothing overly specific. Really, if not for a few of the pictures (Ikon, Rulk, She Rulk, Victoria Hand, Future Foundation Sue Richards) I’d guess, like the characters do, that this was from the Skrull Invasion plans Fury had laid out. They aren’t sure where their next stop is, or if anyone else is still alive, but if they have to die, they’re taking Ultron with them.
Meanwhile, in Central Park, Spider-Man reveals to everyone that he is, in fact, Peter Parker. Given that his costume is now made up of pants and gloves, it’s not as if he had a choice. Everyone has questions about how he got captured and what exactly he knows, but as for answers? He woke up to the end of the world, New York in chaos, and got right to work as Spider-Man. He sees someone flying, and is promptly knocked out. Wakes back up as a prisoner of Hammerhead and Owl. Not many believe that they were actually going to ‘sell Spider-Man to Ultron’, given how the robot has just slaughtered his way across, at least, America, but apparently they had done it already. Now they just need a plan.
And their broken leader may just have one.
What I liked:
- Another absolutely gorgeous issue, just like last week. The art team knocks it right out of the park, as the devastated cities are just insane to look at. It’s like the post-Culling America from the Age of Apocalypse, but from the hands of Bryan Hitch.
- Fury’s base and big board were nice. I always love these big easter eggs like the board, as it makes me think of Rip Hunter’s blackboard. Plus, of course Fury has a secret base that they can use. If he didn’t I’d be insulted.
- Man, Widow’s eye almost made me think it could be someone else. Big time scars and battle damage are the best things to come out of events like this.
- The dialog is great. If there’s any part of the writing to praise, it’s that. Characters are solid, speech is great, I just wish the pacing was on par.
What I didn’t like:
- Nothing. F’ing. Happens. People die, devastation is shown, and a little background is given, but for the most part, not a single damn thing happens.
- Bendis loves any time he can put Spider-Man in a book and not even have the mask as an option. It was mildly entertaining in the Ultimate universe, but it’s just been obnoxious in the core Marvel universe.
- I don’t believe for a second that Captain America is this broken this fast. As jaw dropping of a visual as it is to see him completely broken down into a hole of emoness, it just doesn’t feel like Captain America.
- For four bucks I want more content than this. Especially with two issues in two weeks.
Man, what the hell happened to Widow’s eye? For that matter, how did she wind up in California with Moon Knight while everyone else is in New York?
In the words of Mike, “Age of Ultron 2….nothing happens. Sad part is it is very well written nothing.”
Bendis is a great character writer, and he has great ideas, but this series is going a long way to remind people that, well, he can’t pace an event to save his life. He spends so much time letting Hitch sell the story with his art that he completely forgets to give readers some sort of real context. Or even any real conflict.
This issue and last issue would combine together for an oversized 7.5.
This book, so far, has felt like Bendis wrote a graphic novel and now Marvel is breaking it down to sell as single issues. As opposed to collecting the single for a trade.
This is all going to end with a dead Hank Pym, isn’t it?
The art team wins this book so far, two issues in, and both have looked beyond amazing. Bryan and the Paul’s are doing all the heavy lifting and making this book so much more epic than the writing has it presented. I’d say to keep an eye on these guys, but ‘s Bryan Fucking Hitch. If you don’t have eyes on him, you live under a rock.
Tags: Age of Ultron, Black Widow, Brian Michael Bendis, bryan hitch, Marvel Comics, Marvel NOW! (All-New Marvel Now!), Moon Knight, Reviews, Spider-Man, Ultron