Artist: Bryan Hitch
I have been looking forward to this story for ages. Ever since it was teased in Avengers #12.1 I have been really looking forward to this story, as I'm a huge fan of Bryan Hitch's art, and I love Ultron as a character. I was however disappointed to notice low ratings on this issue, and was dreading how bad it might be. I still however hope the series good overall.
In an apocalyptic future Ultron rules, and the remaining heroes live underground. Hawkeye goes on a mission to rescue Spider-Man, and runs into Owl , and Hammerhead.
I have to say this issue was nowhere near as good as I'd originally hoped for, but not as bad as I dreaded after seeing other review ratings. Brian Michael Bendis has had an all be it inconsistent run on Avengers since Avengers Disassembled. Overall I have liked his work on Avengers, especially the original series of The New Avengers, and Dark Avengers, but his two series after Siege (Avengers, and New Avengers) were very poor overall. His work on this issue was nothing short of a bit lazy, with Bryan Hitch's art doing most of the work in the story. There's also not been any explanation as to why these events have come to pass, but I'm sure we'll get that later on in the series. It is however nice that Bendis is finishing his run on Avengers the way he started it with a story that involves Ultron.
Byan Hitch's art was fabulous, and the thing that really made this issue as good as it was (which wasn't that good). I've always liked Hitch's art ever since I saw it in The Ultimates, and was very happy when I heard that he'd be working on this series. After hearing how long it took him to actually draw The Ultimates, and after seeing his art in this issue, I can see why it's taken so long to finish, as his art in this is much better than his art in The Ultiamtes. His art is simply amazing, and the detail is phenomenal. I would dread to think how this issue would have been without his artwork, as to be honest it's what's made it as good as it is. The final thing I'll talk about in the art is the cover. I'd already seen the cover before, and think the image is brilliant, showing Ultron standing over the heavy hitting superhumans, with two of the biggest getting taken out easily. What makes the cover even better is that Marvel actually made an effort to make it a bit special. The cover is shiny with the logo, and Ultron embossed (sticking out), which makes it a lot nicer.
This wasn't a brilliant issue story wise, like I already said, but it wasn't a terrible way to start a new story. I did however expect a lot more from this issue, and was still disappointed. I did like that it didn't start with Ultron in your face, and lead you into the story gradually. I say this as it's always confusing when you're put in the middle of a story, with no prior knowledge, and ton's of action going on, so it was nice that this wasn't like that. On the other hand there still wasn't enough action in this issue, considering there wasn't any explanation towards the back story either.
Hawkeye as the centre of attention. Unlike other people who find this unnecessary, I actually liked this in this issue. Fair enough it did take up most of the issue, and I would have preferred a bit more explanation as to what's actually happened, but if the story's going to start of slow, it did it in a good way. I liked that it showed Hawkeye as a man that's willing to actually go out there, and do what needs to be done. We've seen Clint take a back seat in the past, and not care about others, but in the last few years it's shown him to be a more caring character. Another thing I liked about this was that Clint knows that there is a high probability that he's going to die, but he'd rather do it for something worthy, than hide in a whole whilst his friends get torturer.
That takes me onto my next point, Earth's remaining heroes living underground. I understand that if a AI unit like Ultron managed to take over the world in this fashion that it'd be the smart move to stay underground, but surely they'd be heroic and try and save people. The thing that shocked me the most was that Captain America was with them, not helping people. This confused me, as Cap is a character that doesn't back down from a fight. I'm sure that we'll get an explanation for this over the next few issues, and I'll be upset if we don't.
The involvement of Owl, and Hammer Head in this issue was a little unnecessary. I understand why they were added, but it still was unnecessary, and took up too much space in the comic. Anyway I'll explain why they were in the comic, or at least why I think they were. They were in this comic to show that Ultron wasn't the complete killer that he's appeared to be in the past, and that if you obey him, he'll let you live (the whole submit or perish slogan to the series). Although I liked that it showed this straight from the start, I still would have preferred more time to explain other things.
The lack of Ultron. Although I said earlier in my review that I was happy that the issue didn't start with Ultron in your face, I still would have liked to have seen more of him in this issue, than we seen. He's in it very little, and to be honest his limited appearance appeared to be simply to show that he was in control, and how everyone reacted to him. From the advert for the next issue at the back of the comic, I expect that we'll see more of Ultron(s) next issue.
Overall this wasn't as bad an issue as it could have been, but if the series continues at this level it will be a huge disappointment, but I doubt it will.
This was a disappointing issue, and I expected better things from this issue. I do however still have a lot of hope in this series, and think that the series as a whole will be brilliant, and that this issue will be nothing more than a blip (although I thought that about Avengers vs. X-Men also). I would barely recommend this issue, but would advise patient people to wait and see if it gets better.