In 2012 Marvel changed media forever when they released The Avengers onto the world. In their live action debut the super hero team not only saved the world but they broke every box office record doing it. And now 3 years later we get to see The Avengers assemble again in Avengers: Age of Ultron. This time around the heroes are well funded, well equipped and playing more like a team but can they hold it all together when facing off against the genocidal robot Ultron as he tries to save the world by eradicating the human race? Avengers: Age of Ultron is destined to be another mega hit for Marvel and director Joss Whedon. With the introduction of Scarlett Witch, Quicksilver, and the Vision as well as having the ultimate movie spectacular in a Hulk vs. Hulkbuster fight; Age of Ultron will once again break records and only strength Marvel’s hold on the movie medium.
Age of Ultron: The Comic
Now, that being said we aren’t here to talk about Age of Ultron the movie, no, we are here to talk about the comic that shares its name. It’s time for another comic book retrospective with Marvel Comics Age of Ultron written by Brian Micheal Bendis with art by Bryan Hitch, Joe Quesada, .and Brandon Peterson.
I’m just going to get this out of the way because I feel I need to warn everyone who is seeing the film Avengers: Age of Ultron and thinking of buying this comic. Do Not Buy Age of Ultron. Okay, now that is out of the the way let me explain. I am a massive Ultron fan and out of all of Marvel’s villains he is only behind Dr. Doom on my list. So when I saw that we were finally going to see Ultron after what seemed like an eternity and he was finally going to win, I was overrun with excitement.
The day finally came and Age of Ultron #1 was in my hands, its shiny aluminum cover emblazoned with the image of Ultron destroying The Avengers only heighten the overwhelming anticipation. I read through that issue faster than I have read any comic before it and when I reached the end of the issue my excitement immediately turned to disappointment at the fact Ultron was nowhere to be found. I figured Bendis was going to just lay all the cards on the table in issue one so I was sure the next issue would reveal the titular villain. I was then subsequently disappointed for 9 more issues as Ultron never made his grand appearance, or had an epic battle or even confronted our heroes at all. Instead we got a prolonged time traveling story that was nothing new, exciting or inventive.
Age of Ultron was a huge let down and disappointment right from the beginning. It had some cool moments in Wolverine having to kill an alternate version of himself and the reveal of Ultron in his first and most primitive for but other than those sparse occurrences I can’t recommend anyone read this comic. Its greatest redeeming factor is the comic’s art as Hitch, Peterson and Quesda draw a bleak and baron future that will make your heart seek in seeing the failure of our heroes. Unfortunately for this comic the story drags on way too long and Ultron is seemingly missing from the equation entirely. While this series did give us the heavenly Assassin Angela it did not give us the ultimate Ultron story we all desperately hoped it would.
So for those of you walking out of Avengers: Age of Ultron and thinking you want more from the infamous, murderous robot I would suggest you stay far away from the comic that shares its name sake and instead check out these other great issues (below). Bendis’ Age of Ultron will not resemble anything you have just seen in the theaters outside of the characters involved. You will get no Hulkbuster, no Scarlett Witch or Quicksilver, and instead will get a by the numbers time travel story that is seemingly missing the premier villain. Instead check out these Ultron stories as in my opinion they are a much better window into what makes Ultron an awesome and scary villain, showing just how dangerous he truly is in the Marvel Universe.
This is probably my personal favorite comic staring Ultron as it also stars my favorite super hero team The Guardians of the Galaxy.
The Birth of Ultron (Avengers #54-55 & 57-58)
Here is where you will find Ultron’s origin story, a must read for any fan of the villain. You also get the first appearance of the Masters of Evil another marvel mainstay in the villain club.
Ultron Unlimited (Avengers Vol. 3 #19-22)
With the team of Kurt Busiek and George Perez Ultron Unlimited is widely considered the best Ultron story as it shows his ruthlessness to destroy humanity and most likely what the file Avegners: Age of Ultron is actually pulling from.
Rage of Ultron
I’m recommending this one because it’s the newest Ultron story and written by my favorite writer Rick Remender, so be prepared for bleakness and brutality.
So if you really hankering to read an Ultron story and think Age of Ultron will give you a similar experience to the movie, you would be dead wrong and might I instead sugges you go with one of the comics I just mentioned. I promise you will be much more satisfied and get a better characters, action and stories featuring the next break out star from Marvel, Ultron.