The Ninjabot

New Age Outlaws: Age of Ultron Begins

Posted on March 9, 2013 at 2:23 pm by Tyler Waterman

As a general rule, I go a long time before I start to formulate my opinion on a major comic event. This is one of my most adhered to geek rules, because it’s been my experience that comic events are the worst stories to judge early. There have been a select few comic events that I knew right from the announcement I would love; Blackest Night and AvX are prime examples. But far more likely are the events that start off strong and then fall apart (Flashpoint), that begin disappointingly but end with a bang (Fear Itself), or that simply feel like they go nowhere at all (Brightest Day, Dark Reign).

With that being said, I’m having a hard time following my rule when it comes to Age of Ultron. We’re only one issue in, and I’m already completely hooked.

Often times I find the best stories are the ones that don’t spend a long time setting themselves up. Rather, they drop the reader in the deep end, and it’s up to said reader to figure out which way is up. Age of Ultron is very much one of these stories, and to the farthest extreme. There is no setup, no prologue explaining how we got to where we are, not even an explanation of how far it reaches. What’s worse, the opening doesn’t just leave us with no explanation, it does so in a scenario where we would most want one. Age of Ultron┬ámakes it very clear from the first page: whatever happened before, the bad guy won.

UltronNY

Yeah, the good guys probably didn’t do this.

I mention this because Age of Ultron #1 in no way matches the pace seen in most major event first issues. Rather than going for a grand entrance to the event, we get a face-paced rescue mission in a world that is in no way how we left it. Rather than a big surprise or twist at the end, we get a heartbreaking scene that sets the tone of the event rather than the plot of it. This break from the status quo is welcome, and drives home the idea of how different this event appears to be.For the most part, the first issue of any major event miniseries is typically a strong book, no matter how the entire event plays out. No matter what creative team has been given the honor of steering the event, they want to make sure as many readers are on board as possible. What this means is you can always count on the first book typically having either an early major reveal, or a cliffhanger ending, or probably both. I’m not complaining at all when I say this; we comic fans love people who can punch moons into suns or run around the Earth in under a second, we want our books to be epic!

That is definitely heartbreaking.

That is definitely heartbreaking.

Of course, we’re only an issue in; I’m not about to start declaring this the greatest story of all time just yet. But what can be seen is that this event isn’t likely to fit the standard megaevent mold, and that’s enough to garner my full attention. While the start of every story always leaves you with more questions than answers, I suspect that the team of Bendis and Hitch also wanted to establish right out of the gate that this event was going to be different. If I’m right, they succeeded, and now I can’t wait to see where they take us next.

Follow Tyler on Twitter @BatmanIncVP.

    • thejerd

      I was pleasantly surprised with one exception… the first panel. "New York City – Today". If that is the case then why are all the other books that came out at the same time not affected? Marvel can't do continuity to save their lives.

      Otherwise pretty good first issue.

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