Age of Ultron #6
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Present art by Brandon Peterson and Paul Mounts
Past art by Carlos Pacheco, Roger Martinez, and Jose Villarrubia
The short of it:
Years ago Wolverine walks out of a cave in the Savage Land, and he is not alone. Sue Richards tagged along invisibly, but that doesn’t keep her hidden from Logan’s nose. She changed teams at the last minute, abandoning the assault team on the future in favor of trying to help the angry little man on a mission of preemptive murder. Why? Because he makes a hell of a sales pitch. Love your kids? Hank Pym’s robot is the reason why they’re going to be dead. Would you kill someone that was going to kill your kids? Hell yes you would. But before Sue can fully agree, well, no, she definitely agreed, otherwise she wouldn’t be there, but holy crap, it’s a young Nick Fury! In a flying car! And Logan STEALS IT!
That’s when, in the FUTURE, the others come out of the same cave and realize Sue bailed on them. She was the stealth part of the mission! Devalue her powers by saying they don’t fool robots! To America!
Well, back in the past, where the cool kids are, they’re also America bound, because Pym is in a lab monologuing while looking at the unconscious Dragon Man. About how his biggest contribution is the Pym Particles that made he and Janet into super heroes, but it will never be what makes him rich. That he wants to be the man who created the future of artificial intelligence, to help shepherd the world into an amalgamation of technology and humanity, and you can even see the look on his face when he creates the idea in his mind that will soon become Ultron. Perfect time for Logan to show up, let his claws out, and start ominously threatening the man’s life.
Perfect time to go back to the future as well, as it lets the book splice together the action of the Avengers in the future with Logan versus Hank. By the end, more than one Avenger shall fall, and nothing will ever be the same again.
What I liked:
Stealing a car from young Nick Fury. Awesome.
Logan is the best part of this issue. Bendis writes the hell out of him, and at no point does he ever break from the character we all know and love. He’s a man who knows that something extreme must be done, and that for as much as everyone else thinks there is another way…he remains the realist.
Pym’s monologue about artificial intelligence, his own legacy, and the future of mankind is one of the best written Hank Pym moments I’ve come across in years. It’s just a shame that such a moment was followed up by claws to the face.
Carlos Pacheco turns in a solid job on art here, which should really surprise nobody. He’s a hell of a talent.
What I didn’t like:
I miss Bryan Hitch. Not to knock on the artistic abilities of Peterson and Pacheco (I’m a big fan of Carlos, and I’ve never had an issue with Brandon’s work), but to go from Hitch to anybody just doesn’t feel right. Especially from him on his own, to two artists that don’t look similar to him, or even each other.
Alright, I do have an issue with Brandon’s art in this issue. He does a fantastic job with the Ultron elements in what I presume to be future New York, but his work on the heroes themselves is lackluster. Sketchy faces, weird body shapes, and it just really wasn’t what I wanted to see after five issues of Bryan Hitch.
For as much as I loved how Logan was handled, his talk with Pym is awful. He’s planning to execute the man and not screw up, why not actually say “The AI you just concepted is going to destroy the world, and you’re not going to be talked out of doing it, so I have to kill you”? Instead he tries to be super vague about it and speak in confusing statements.
Why wouldn’t Hank just shrink down? Obviously these claws hurt, why get bigger and give him more of a target?
The future stuff just sorta happens. It’s cut to frequently enough to keep it in your mind, but it just jumps ahead a lot. It feels padded out.
You know what has never made sense to me? Characters calling the Invisible Woman “Sue Storm”. Like, I get Hank saying it to her since he’s from far enough in the past that I doubt she and Reed are married yet, but modern Iron Man? Really? He seems like the kind of person that would definitely call her Sue Richards.
I want Nick Fury’s car.
As much as I like New Fury (I mean, I don’t love him, but I don’t hate him), nothing beats Fury Classic. Nothing.
The spoilers for this issue, the two big deaths, have no impact at all. In both cases we know the characters are just fine after the Age of Ultron, which means that they get short and sweet temporary deaths for the sake of shock value. No different than Bucky and Thor during Fear Itself.
So if you send Quicksilver ahead to scout, why is he back with the group who has no knowledge that would come from his scouting?
Sue really did herself no favors in this issue. Everything boils down to her and her feelings, but the moment isn’t really sold at all.
Come to think of it, there are probably a lot more than just two deaths in this issue, but Peterson’s art on the future team doesn’t make anything overly clear.