Review: Ultron #1AU by Kathryn Immonen & Amilcar Pinna

Ultron #1AU

Written by: Kathryn Immonen
Art by: Amilcar Pinna
Lettered by: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Published by: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99

Note : This review is for the digital version of the comic available from Marvel on Comixology.

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Summary (contains spoilers): In devestaed Los Angeles, Ultron’s son Victor Macha is bringing children to safety at one of the Runaways’ old hideouts. Victor is having a hard time because he believes that if he uses his machine abilities, he will just help Ultron’s victory. He doesn’t tell any of his new found friends about his background because he is afraid they won’t accept him.

We find out that the other Runaways were all killed by Ultron and that Victor had stored digital versions of them in his memory banks, but these files seem to be corrupted since they seem to telling him that he needs to become more machine and less human.

The Ultron drones attack, killing some of the kids that Victor had saved. Victor realizes that “fighting like Ultron doesn’t make me like Ultron” and that both his human and machine sides must work together for him to do any real good in this world. The issue ends with Victor blasting several Ultrons determined that if this is the end, he will go down fighting.

Review: I have to admit, this isn’t what I expected to read in this comic. I really thought it was going to be the story of how Ultron took over the world. I had just assumed Victor was being used by Ultron the same way Vision was in the main series.

Instead, we find out how Ultron’s son Victor is trying to help the world in his own small way during his father’s devestation. This makes the title of this book very misleading, but it was a great comic, so I am willing to ignore that.

I was a huge Runaways fan, so this was a great way to check in on how Age of Ultron had affected them. Victor was always sort of my least favorite Runaway, but this issue did a great job showing how he was trying to keep that teams legacy going. I especially loved when he freaked out about someone else wearing Molly’s hat. It was a real strong character moment.

One thing this issue did great was showed us exactly how Ultron’s attack was affected the civilians in the Marvel universe. I did think this issue went a little overboard at one point when they talked about how many pieces one of the characters had been blown in to.  But, at the same time, it wasn’t just disaster porn, I was really bummed out by the loss of the character. Even though these were just one-shot characters who we will never see again, I felt a strong connection to them very quickly.

I also loved the open-ended nature of the ending. This story was about how Victor’s view of himself and the world was evolving. This made a terrific counterpoint to how Ultron evolved to take over the world. To a certain extent, whether Victor won or lost that battle against the Ultron drones in the end just didn’t matter; Victor already had his victory. It would be nice to see this tie into the main Age of Ultron miniseries, but I doubt that is going to happen.

I don’t know Amilcar Pinna’s art too well, but I did think he did some terrific work here. All the characters had very distinctive looks, which really helped make me feel like I was reading real people and not just throw away characters that I shouldn’t care about. I also liked the subtle lines on Victor’s arm when he was interfacing with machines. Little details like that are always cool to me.

I do think that continuity wise this kind of contradicts Avengers Arena, since he mentions Ultron killing Chase and Nico, but that has been a reoccurring issue with Age of Ultron not quite fitting with the other Marvel Now comics (Superior Spider-Man is the biggest offender there). I know Age of Ultron is supposed to have a vague timeline, but that kind of thing always distracts me while reading a comic so I had to mention it here.

So far, the tie-in books for Age of Ultron have all been great. The AU numbering and limited number of tie-ins has definitely helped me feel like I wasn’t forced to buy them. And the main mini-series has been picking up a lot of momentum the last few issues too (FINALLY!).

I really think that if Marvel can bring this all together into a solid ending this might be one of the best crossovers I’ve ever read. If you are a Runaways fan or just curious to see more about the Age of Ultron, this book is definitely worth buying.

Final Score: 8.5: Not at all what I was expecting to read in this comic, but that turned out to be a good thing. This was a really good comic!

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