Age of Ultron #1
The Age of Ultron is here!!!
Or is it? I can't tell because I'm not savvy on how the MU multiverse works. It looks like Ultimateverse but I assume it's 616 cause I don't know any better. Anyways, a splash page sets the scene and we're in the middle of the suck. Ultron rules over all of humanity or just New York? (Does the MU exist outside of NY?) I dunno I'm just nitpicking because the story didn't tell me.
Or maybe it did and I missed it.
If I channeled my inner Whedon, I'd say the set up was very Days of Future Past-y and the scoobies are all gone. Not a bad set up, kinda derivative but I'll give Marvel a pass cause they do alternate timelines like DC does alternate universes.
Meanwhile, Hawkeye is on a mission to see how many guys he can shoot in the eyes. His aim isn't as cracked up as it used to be, so he misses a lot and hits them in the neck instead. I'm reading Hawkeye's monthly and he doesn't seem to be so fast and loose with killing but these are hard times so I assume that's why he's upped his game. Hawkeye does a nice job of raiding the place and rescuing Spider-man before he's sold to Ultron by the bad guys.
Mission accomplished and the two return to the underground hideout the rest of the Avengers use in times of Crisis. It was a big risk and the other heroes aren't happy about it but Hawkeye would rather die on his feet than his knees for the greater good. Besides, Captain America has lost all hope now that his shield is broken. I've seen him make due with shield replacements before but I guess this was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak.
Not a bad issue per se but there's nothing really good about it either. The action sequence is engaging enough but the whole in medias res approach leaves more questions than answers and makes it difficult to engage the characters or sympathize to their plight because this technique makes everything seem formulaic. Other people have drawn parallels to House of M and I probably would too if I had access to those old floppy's of mine in storage.
I can fill in the blanks as to why Hawkeye is illin to kill and Captain America has abandoned his way but when I do that I realize how cliched the narrative is going to be. The heroes are defeated, their will is broken and now they have to overcome this crisis in confidence and their questionable new motivations. Will they be able to resolve their moral dilemma of whether or not the ends should justify the means in time?
The more I think about it, the more I hear Stewie Griffin asking about Brian's novel:
My last issue with this issue, is the price. $3.99 for 23 pages is fucking steep, especially when it's this decompressed with all those pretty splash pages. Am I using the term decompressed here properly? I'm not sure but I know that it's too rich for my blood. I would pay $3.99 for more pages, or denser storytelling but not this kind of pacing, even though Alan Davis is one of my favorite artists.