Age of Ultron #2

by Tori B. on March 13, 2013

Age of Ultron has been in the making for years, and now that it’s here, we were all waiting with bated breath to see if all this waiting was going to turn out to be a great Marvel event or if it was going to be absolute garbage. It’s certainly not garbage at this rate.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis | Artists: Bryan Hitch & Paul Neary & Paul Mounts
Cover: Hitch & Neary & Mounts | Publisher: Marvel
It’s been a while since a comic event has been so gripping that the anticipation for the next issue is almost grueling. The world that Bendis has created is apocalyptic, with its decimation of all humanity at the hands of Ultron, its honestly frightening, because given the world that’s been created over the many years at Marvel, this is the most likely scenario for how humanity would go (forget zombies and all that fun stuff). All of New York is at a loss, but none more so than its heroes. And this is where Age of Ultron becomes strikingly intriguing to read. Every single hero is at vulnerability, they’re struggling to survive and have so much as accepted their fate that to continue to survive will be miracle enough. It’s haunting.
The cast of heroes remains to grow into a solid ensemble though. Yes, some of these characters are big name heroes that serve to draw the crowds in, but it seems like Bendis writes them well with purpose this time around and they’re honestly there to add something to this entire situation not just be there for the sake of being there. This second issue starts off with Black Widow and Moon Knight as they make their way through a destroyed New York. They have no idea about the others and are also doing their best to get by. Their interaction is on par and never once detracts from the seriousness of their predicament. (Plus it’s Black Widow and Moon Knight, which in itself is already cool).
There’s also a lot of focus on Spider-Man, that’s okay. That’s an old adage isn’t it, that the more you love a character, the more willing you are to see them get beat up more? Who knows. But yes, ol’ Peter Parker(??? I'm not entirely sure which Spidey we're dealing with here, AoU is in continuity, but ???) said so himself, he’s been through a lot of crap—it makes sense that he goes through some more. Which oddly instills the odd sensation of preservation among a reader, for all the crap he goes through, he’s always made it, and he’s still true to being that good of a guy (whaddya know there’s still morals in stories) and it’s no wonder Bendis describes him as the heart of the Marvel Universe. But listed as the cast are all characters who are undoubtedly survivors, they’ve been through insanely tough moments already and have somehow survived, so it’s going to be interesting to see how they survive from what could be their lowest point.
The art is still in perfect harmony with the direction that this story seems to be taking and major props to the art ensemble of Hitch/Neary/Mounts for pulling it off. Everyone is looking appropriately stubbled and haggard and the shading is gritty, but isn’t so dark that it’s impossible to make out what everyone is doing. There are also a lot of good panels that show New York either destroyed, or in the process of being destroyed, that’s not over done. There’s a splendid panel where Black Widow and Moon Knight are staking out at an old hideout of Fury’s and there’s a bulletin that Fury made that really hit home with all the pictures of many of the characters to exist—how it’s such a huge universe and as once-again Spider-Man put it, “7 000 heroes in New York… that’s all that’s left…” and it’s a shocking revelation.
 But they’re all fighters and there’s always hope. Hope doesn’t show until the last page, but it finally does, and to wait for the next issue to see just what they’re going to do provokes both feelings of exhilaration and anxiety.

Our Score:


A Look Inside