Review: Age of Ultron #8 By Brian Bendis and Brandon Peterson


Age of Ultron #8

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Art by Brandon Peterson and Paul Mounts


The short of it:

Tony Stark now has the digitized memories of Wolverine and the Invisible Woman and is more than a little amazed at the fact that he has an entire alternate timeline in front of him for his viewing pleasure. He’s going to spend the rest of his life studying this, but he wants to know if it’s real. His psychics, Professor X and the White Queen, do some explanation to say why they are definitely not clones or shapeshifters or anything of the like. Iron Man wants this under lock and key so he can go interrogate the prisoners without the Defenders getting involved. He’s got a lot to say to Wolverine, about murder, about the world he created by killing Hank Pym, about the things that could have been done to talk Hank out of it.

The Defenders aren’t happy, and they want access to the prisoners, but what do you know, instant refusal. Logan really just wants to hurt the guy who sliced him up, but Thing wants to see Sue so he just breaks rank and thrashes in. So the Defenders charge head on into the Starguard Carrier and start beating the crap out of everyone while Ben yells for Sue. Seriously, at one point Wolverine starts yelling at him to crush a guards head like an egg. Of course, Sue escapes invisibly before they can ‘rescue’ her.

Le Fey, and her army of flying Doombots, attacks. Emma blames the Defenders, Tony blames Logan and Sue for being obvious secret threats. Big time fights happen, people possibly die, nothing really matters, but our heroes manage to escape during the fight! Of course, given what Le Fey manages to pull off…is there anywhere to escape to?


What I liked:

  • I’d almost forgotten what Xavier looked like in a wheelchair. It’s good to see the classic used again.

  • Le Fey’s army of horned Doombots was kinda awesome. I won’t slag it.

  • Brandon Peterson’s art was a lot better this issue. People looked normal, for the most part, and there wasn’t any of the weird body designs that I’d noticed in the last few issues.



What I didn’t like:

  • I’m not sure how Wolverine took one glance at Iron Man and realized he’d been cut in half. I figured he was just going maskless in his armor and saw no indication that he was hurt. Kinda felt forced when they could have done a visual showing the damage.

  • I can’t see Ironman, especially this version of him with his grim and gritty dark overlord angst, saying “Full-on nutballs”. Total moment killer.

  • Man, this Iron Man is the king of hindsight, “You never considered anything else? A time-release virus?” Well isn’t that a great idea, too bad nobody bothered to suggest it when Wolverine was looking to go back in time and kill Hank Pym. Seriously, he gives Wolverine a lecture on how he could have done things without killing Pym…oh for fucks, that’s going to be how this book ends, isn’t it?

  • They just happen to travel back to the present just in time to watch the altered timeline fall to little pieces? What are the odds? Seriously, what are the odds that they leave the end of the world, try to stop the end of the world, and then arrive right back at a BRAND NEW END OF THE WORLD?

  • The last page cliffhanger should be jaw dropping as you wonder what will happen next, but I just hope everyone died so it’s over.


Final thoughts:

So the Defenders are positive that Wolverine and Sue are Skrulls in disguise, but Iron Man is certain that they’re magical agents of Morgan Le Fey. In fact, for all the “SKRULLS!” angst of last issue, Skrulls aren’t even really mentioned in this one. I get that they disproved that possibility, but the jump from one to the other is just…you accept it because you have to, not because it’s a good one.

Everything is just too damn coincidental, not the least of which being that Morgan Le Fey just happens to show up after not being mentioned at all last issue, and all of the sudden being the apparent big bad that nobody has seen in quite some time as she runs Europe.

I have this feeling in my gut that this book is going to end with some solution by this version of Iron Man. With someone going back in time and Ultron just getting some failsafe put in his head so that he can never be a threat of this magnitude….but he can still do the Ultron Unlimited massacre and Annihilation: Conquest.

Man, messed up timeline Wolverine really does have a longing look to give his Hooded Man counterpart. I’m shocked that there’s not a tear. He just looks so sad that…his world is falling apart? That he didn’t get revenge? It’s not overly clear.

This altered timeline is like a bad Exiles arc. I keep expecting the Gambit led Weapon X to show up and start killing people.

The trick to getting an alternate reality to catch with readers is to show them how things branched. Well, we know Hank died, creating the branch. But what led to this? Last issue I felt like the Kree-Skrull War went differently and led to this Iron Man led technopolis, but this issue paints us a picture of a world split down the middle between science and magic, with Tony leading the science against the evil magic. And for some reason Colonel America hates him now, but they don’t bother to explain that.

This issue is just way too convenient. The story unfolds like neatly set up dominos falling over in the shape of something that Brian Bendis has a clear visual of while the rest of us are just waiting. Normally I wouldn’t mind this, but there’s so little context given from one issue to the next that I don’t even care what the dominos are anymore. I just want them knocked over so that I can see the final image and then go back later and try to figure out why he used the pieces he did. Because, as it stands, Secret Invasion was better put together, because for as much as I loathed it, I was never actively confused by it. This book comes across like it was written by someone with ADD that couldn’t stick to writing one story, so he kept making it into new ones.

Overall: 5/10

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