Ultron, an artificial intelligence created by Hank Pym, has taken over. Humanity is screwed. Ultron from the future, apparently, has been using Vision, an android created by Ultron, as his conduit. (Confused? Ultron was built to become smarter than humans and made Vision himself. Vision has been a trusted member of the Avengers for a while.) Last issue, all of the heroes journeyed to the Savage Land in hopes of finding a way to stop Ultron. Black Widow, Moon Knight, and Red Hulk all have a hail mary plan to stop Ultron thanks to Nick Fury.
|Executive Producer:||Alan Fine|
|Chief Creative Officer:||Joe Quesada|
|Editor In Chief:||Axel Alonso|
|Editor:||Lauren Sankovitch, Tom Brevoort|
|Assistant Editor:||Jake Thomas, John Denning|
|Writer:||Brian Michael Bendis|
|Lettering:||VC's Cory Petit|
Months ago, in a lab with tons of random technology hanging from the walls, Hank Pym, Tony Stark, and Reed Richards look at the Vision, who is unconscious. "A while ago, too long ago, he fell during one of the Avengers' darkest hours. Ripped in half," Tony states. "This is- Look at this. This is gorgeous," Dr. Richards says. "Never seen anything like this. And I've seen some things."
Hank Pym says, "And that's why we've never been able to duplicate the technology that created him...Because we've never been able to duplicate the technology that created Ultron." When Reed says that he thought Hank had created Ultron, he replies, "Everybody thinks I created Ultron, but really I only planted the seed. So I guess it depends on your definition of creation. I created the first version of his artificial intelligence. I tried to create something smarter than us. From there Ultron took over."
"Well, I can understand you not wanting to take full credit for creating Ultron," Reed says. Then, they get back on the subject of repairing Vision. "He has a self-healing, self-realizing sequencer. He should have healed himself long ago," Tony says. While talking, his Iron Man costume starts to envelope him. "Maybe he's damaged beyond repair," Reed says.
They start spit balling possibilities and Hank Pym starts talking off subject. "Sometimes I fantasize about going back in time and telling myself never to create Ultron," he says. "And then you'd have to go back and kill Hitler. And then you might as well go back to the Garden of Eden and smack that apple out of Eve's hand," Reed states. "Where does it end?" Tony asks.
Suddenly, Vision sits up and says, "Mister Stark. Doctors Pym and Richards. You look well." Tony is obviously happy about Vision's revival.
Back to the actual time, Tony Stark looks like he aged twenty years over the span of two months. His face is a sickly shade of pale and he has various new wrinkles all over his face. The heroes are all being led through the many trees and bushes of the Savage Land by Ka-Zar. Tony Stark and Captain America are in the back of the group.
Suddenly, Tony bursts out laughing. "Ha! He builds a robot and we take it in. We make it our friend. One of us marries it. Sure! Why not? Who cares that Ultron built it using technology we can't even understand?" he chuckles. (Tony has gone nuts. Doesn't this seem to happen in every Marvel event?) Captain America calms him down and Tony says, "Don't you see it, Cap? You don't see the brilliance? This is our fault."
Before Tony's rambling gets any more psychotic, they arrive at their destination. Cap sends out various heroes to set a perimeter and Emma notes that there are psychic barriers around the area. "Just the fact that it was built to keep telepaths out means..." Emma says. "It means that it was built well," Wolverine finishes.
Sue Storms journeys into a cave, invisible, and says, "If I was Nick Fury, where would I hide a secret..." When she brushes her hand against the wall, rock crumbles away to reveal a code lock. When she shines her light brighter, a large vault door is apparently right in front of her.
Outside, in the jungle, Captain America seems to be making small talk with Spidey when he asks, "How's your spider-sense?" Sarcastically, he replies, "Pretty good. How's yours?" Cap clarifies, "You sense any danger?" Spidey says, "That's not how it works. I actually have to be in danger--not just doomed and depressed. My doomed and depressed sense is blaring like a car horn, if that's what you mean."
When Sue climbs from the cave and reveals her findings, Cap sends Rulk in. He punches the vault five times until it combusts. When Rulk jumps through the area in which the door used to be, he is confronted by a shadowed figure. The figure shoots him in the face with an alien-like gun. Ka-Zar throws a spear at him in attempt to save his fellow hero and the figure catches it with one hand.
The figure reveals himself to be Nick Fury. The real Nick Fury, not Samuel L. Jackson. "Settle down there, Ka-Zar. You see what this did to your miscolored Hulk? I imagine it will blow your loin cloth to Wakanda," he says. When the other heroes all flood into the entrance, Fury stops them to check if they are "who they say they are" with a tablet device. When they all turn out to be real, he says, "Okay then... Welcome to the end of the world." (I love how optimistic everybody has been through the event.)
Now, in Austin, Texas, a national alert has been broadcasted on a family's flatscreen. Everything in the house seems to be peachy and not destroyed. A lady comes down the stairs of a house to find her husband questioning if they should leave. "We already heard what happened to New York and Chicago. What else do you need to--?" she asks. "The Avengers will fix this," he replies. Suddenly, they are alerted and look outside to find their tree being shot down by a laser. Thousands of golden Ultrons are in the sky, firing blasts down at the houses and streets of Austin.
In Fury's secret bunker, which is a futuristic, white space with tons of technology and weapons around it. Fury confirms that he has been in the bunker for a week (thanks for helping out against Ultron, Nick) and scolds them for taking so long to find him. (Oh, no. They were all too busy surviving to play hide-and-seek. It seems like Fury's been hiding in his bunker in despair ever since the Avengers movie. Ba-Bum!) "So what's the plan, eye patch?" Wolverine asks. "We start to procreate, build a new species, and in about 22 years, we go get the robot," he says. (Okay. Now Fury's just coming off as an idiot.)
Spider-Man notices that Fury has the Ultimate Nullifier in a cage. "We're not the yet are we?" Spidey asks. "I won't even entertain the thought. What's the plan, Fury?" Tony says. "You're standing on it," Fury replies. When Tony looks down, he is surprised to find Doctor Doom's time platform under him. "Yup. And good news too because I am almost [darn] sure that robot is attacking us from somewhere in the future," Fury says. He reveals that he saw the Helicarrier crash and got a glimpse of New York and Washington before he "hightailed it up here." (What the heck, Fury? Just leave everybody to die?)
"I was going to give whichever of you superpeople were smart enough to get up here about three more days before I went on assignment by myself," Fury says. Quickly, Black Widow and Hawkeye volunteer to go. "The plan is we head up to the robot's house in the future and unplug him for a time," Fury instructs. Tony objects, saying that the robot is expecting them after Cage's confrontation with him and it may be a trap.
"It's our only hope," Quicksilver says. (Suddenly, the only two Quicksilver fans in the galaxy started partying because Bendis finally gave him a line in an event.) "Wrong. Our only hope, sunshine, is to go back in time, before this robot was created and we cut off the hands of the guy who created it," Wolverine says. (Suddenly, the only two Quicksilver fans in the galaxy started flipping off Wolverine.) "Hank Pym created it," Cap reveals grimly. Sadly, that doesn't deter Logan. "Or we just go back and tell him not to make the thing," Valkyrie says. (Suddenly, the one Valk fan started going crazy. Sorry, I can't help myself.)
"We go back in time and tell that guy not to create the thing and we're pretty much daring him to do it," Wolverine says. "He will look at our warning as a challenge." Emma Frost and Monica Rambeau agree. (Can somebody please tell me who Monica Rambeau is?) Spidey disagrees, "If the butterfly effect on a butterfly is astronomical... The butterfly effect on killing an Avenger would be astronomically insane. Not to mention morally horrific."
"I'm willing to bet whatever happens in a [heck] of a lot better than this," Wolverine says. (Look, this is a family site. I can't just go around and start cussing in my reviews.) Wolverine asks Tony Stark, who is much like Hank Pym, what he would do if someone "shows up on your doorstep" and tells him not to do something. Stark, beside himself, asks Cap for assistance. But Cap is not quick to help.
"Well, while the book club decides what the moral thing to do is, maybe some of you want to suit up," Fury says. He opens up an entry and weapons beyond imagination are behind it. Iron Man's old suit, Nova and Magneto's helmets, Spidey's web shooters, Green Goblin's glider, Hawkeye's bow; it's practically a matter of what ISN'T in the room.
Tony Stark is pleased to find his old armor, which Fury said he gave to him in his more "cocktailish" days. "And...yes! It isn't connected to anybody's servers or communications systems. Ultron shouldn't be able to dig into it at all," Tony cries in relief. Rulk, instead, pick's up Ares' old ax. "Uh, excuse me, my web-shooters?" Spidey asks when he finds an identical pair in the bunker. "You're the only guy who can have web-shooters?" Fury asks.
"Tony, Cap, Sue, Hulk, Widow, Quicksilver, and Quake...sorry to say I'm drafting you," Fury states. Tony says that he has coordinates based on their last encounter with Ultron. Fury instructs that the rest of the heroes stay behind. (NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!) "You need my people to set up a camp and keep a perimeter around here?" Ka-Zar asks Cap. "You'll be the last line of defense if Ultron comes back around here again," Cap says.
The leaving heroes all step on the time platform and prepare to leave. "If you don't hear from us in three hours... Burn this place and head out," Fury instructs. Once they all leave on the platform, Wolverine asks, "Hey, Barton, you got any idea how to get that thing up and running again?" Clint says, "He wants to go back in time and take care of Hank Pym." Spidey says, "No, absolutely not." (Otto is so sensitive all of the sudden.)
"Start it up and let me put the world back the way it's supposed to be... And just so we're clear, I ain't askin' for permission," Wolverine states.
This issue is mostly setup for the next five issues of the story. Is it bad? No, I just hope the heroes fight a reasonable battle with Ultron soon or I'll lose it. I feel kind of cheated since Bendis is pretty much just leaving all of the less popular characters (including Spidey) behind while the regular Avengers get to have all the fun. I specifically stated in past reviews that I am excited to see the spotlight on more B-listers, and Bendis kind of crushed my hopes with one word bubble. Hopefully, the Ultrons attack the bunker and give them something to do.
I also feel kind of mixed about the cliffhanger. Wolverine has never been my favorite character. I mean, he's meant for nothing more than to be a one-dimensional guy to kill the supervillain to the end of each story. And there is no doubt in my mind that he will kill Hank Pym if given the chance. I also wouldn't be surprised if he killed Spider-Man is he tries to stop him from going back in time. Everything will be reversed in the end, anyways.
The one part that caught my eye the most was the three-pager about Ultron's invasion in Austin, Texas. It said that it is happening now, so does that mean that there are still parts of the world left untouched? Did Ultron just target the main cities first? Bendis has left me confused and I want answers soon. It's halfway though the series and I have more questions than I did at the beginning.
Bryan Hitch handles art duties wonderfully again. The two-page spread with the Ultrons invading Austin is magnificent. I am happy for the change of scenery because the many destroyed buildings in NYC were getting tiresome. It's a shame that he is leaving the series after this issue. The next art team has more of a futuristic style, so I guess it's appropriate. But I'm still sad. Like Ryan Stegman's short run on Scarlet Spider Vol. 2, good things only last for about five issues.
This is a set-up issue. A good set-up issue, nonetheless. I will also miss Hitch's art. Maybe we will see him on some Spider-Man related projects soon. Please.