Age of Ultron #3
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Bryan Hitch, Paul Neary, and Paul Mounts
The short of it:
It’s the end of the world and Luke Cage has to beat the crap out of She Hulk. Why? Because an hour ago the surviving heroes were trying to come up with a plan of attack as we were treated to the names of some of the casualties. With the knowledge of Spider-Man almost being trade bait they think they have something, see what kind of barter Ultron is looking for. See what he offers, and maybe, see if they can’t learn from the situation. Tony Stark, not Iron Man, does his best to psychoanalyze the genocidal synthezoid before Hawkeye says what every reader everywhere is thinking. Screw Hank Pym for inventing Ultron in the first place. But it isn’t his fault, and that’s where the giant holes in logic appear in the brain of Tony Stark. Anyway, they need volunteers, and that boils down to Luke and Shulkie, because you don’t send Wolverine out to get scavenged for adamantium.
In Chicago there’s another team assembled to try and stay alive, not unlike Widow and Moon Knight in San Francisco. The Chicago team? Taskmaster, Black Panther, and Rulk. Waiting for a chance for Rulk to go rip an Ultron’s head off, but he didn’t move fast enough. A squad arrives and Rulk does his best to stop them as his allies escape with their prize, but nothing goes quite according to plan.
Just ask Luke Cage that as the Ultron’s have accepted his request to make a trade and are leading him to a tower for discussion…where he meets the bot in charge…
What I liked:
Hawkeye asks the question everyone is thinking, “Why aren’t we blaming Hank Pym?”, and despite the response he gets, he makes a damn good case. Everyone thought Clint was an asshole for going to get Spider-Man, but nobody wants to give Hank Pym the finger for creating our robotic overlord?
Hitch’s art remains the selling point of this book. Marvel really dodged a bullet by going with a top tier art team to try and mask the awful pacing of this book.
Cool reveal at the end, should have seen it coming, but totally didn’t.
There’s a lot of great dialog in this book, and it’s easily the strong point, but unfortunately it’s also the best written parts of the issue. Not the story or the pacing, just the dialog.
What I didn’t like:
Black Panther gets two sentences before getting killed. That just isn’t right. The Black Panther is not a fodder death!! Outrage!
Why the hell is T’Challa in Chicago anyway? And teamed with Rulk and Taskmaster? That does not make sense.
Another issue, another glut of nothing happening. This book lacks any sort of actual pacing, it’s just multiple pages of nothing happening followed by a cool moment and then more pages of nothing happening. It’s like a Lord of the Rings movie.
I feel like I’ve spent twelve dollars on three issues to read one really padded issue. My buddy Matt put it best, “If the Age of Apocalypse was this decompressed, X-Men: Alpha would have taken six issues to get off the ground. That one-shot set up a world and eight titles and covered more angles than three issues and spin-offs so far.”
Of course all the heavy hitters are dead. Having someone with tank strength would really hurt their whole ‘hide and pout’ gameplan.
Tech isn’t usable and that’s why Tony isn’t armored up, so why is he wearing something glowing blue like it’s electrical?
“It’s not his fault”? Really? That’s the excuse for Pym? It’s not his fault that he built Ultron and programmed it with his own brain patterns? Sure, he didn’t know this would happen, but if you’re going to assign blame anywhere I figure the first comment should be “Fuck Hank Pym”.
I don’t believe Luke Cage could punch out She Hulk, even if she wasn’t trying to stop him.
Black Panther is allowed to say ten words before dying the most pathetic death I have ever seen a superhero die. He broke his neck falling into the ground. Pathetic.
Monica Rambeau survives and Carol Danvers doesn’t. There’s something just wrong about that.
Is it just me or does Bendis write a very impotent Captain America? Lots of ideas, no action. Not just here, either. He never really used Cap as an aggressor, more of a reactor who needs to reach the most extreme breaking point possible before he’ll get angry.
I may not really like this series at all, but I can say one thing about it….it’s infinitely better than Fear Itself. Sure, FI had stuff actually happening, but what was happening was so bad that I would have given anything for it to tread water as horribly as this series has been and just waste time.
Here’s to something happening next issue! Maybe! Possibly! One can hope and dream! As it stands I feel like I’m reading the overly decompressed temporary future of the Marvel Universe, with no belief at all that anything I’m seeing will be reflected in actual books in three months time. It’s a bridge to a new status quo, and just get on with it already, because the post apocalyptic bridge where nothing happens isn’t that scary, especially when you know that armageddon isn’t waiting on the other side.
Tags: Age of Ultron, Avengers, Black Panther, Brian Michael Bendis, bryan hitch, Luke Cage, Marvel Comics, Reviews, She-Hulk, Ultron