Artists: Alex Maleev, Bryan Hitch, Butch Guice, Brandon Peterson, Carlos Pacheco, David Marquez & Joe Quesada
Finally the end of Age of Ultron has arrived, and the series that I was so looking forward to, to only be a huge disappointment comes to an end. The only hope is that this issue will end the bellow mediocre story on a high, and even more so have a spectacular ending.
Time is running out, and can the events that have happened in Age of Ultron be rectified?
This was a decent issue, and an very interesting way to end the series, but it was still far from perfect, and didn't rectify the series' overall poor quality. I hate to hate Brian Michael Bendis for what he's done here, as although the last few years of his Avengers run were poor, the entire run was relatively good, having a phenomenal start. I also find it hard to hate him as his current work on Marvel NOW! although at times slightly poor, has also been overall brilliant. I do however feel that he's seriously dropped the ball with this series, and although I wouldn't go quite as strong as to say that I hated him, I will say that I am very disappointed, as well as frustrated about this series, which I initially had high hopes for, and I seriously wish I'd just left it alone. Anyway, there were some good things about this issue, and it probably was one of the better issues in the series. At the same time it felt a little anticlimactic at times, as well as also re-printing parts of Avengers #12.1, but I'll talk more on that later. There was however a lot of excitement, and suspense in this issue, something that the series hasn't given much of, and overall it was enjoyable, just not spectacular, or overly memorable.
There were a lot of artist working on this issue, with everyone from Bryan Hitch, Alex Maleev, Jackson Butch Guice, David Marquez, Joe Quesada, and more. Now due to this I won't go into detail on every artists work, but I will mention the artists who's work stood out the most, as well as my overall feelings on the style, and layout. Anyway my favourite art had to be from Hitch, as although it was just a re-print of his work from Avengers #12.1, it was still amazing, and some of the most amazing, and explosive art this series has seen. It was also much better that his art on the earlier issue of this series that he worked on, having a lot more detail. The other art that really stood out to me was the small double page from Marquez, and the final few pages from Quesada, which were both truly phenomenal, with ton's of detail, and vibrancy. I did however find the overall style of the art to be inconsistent, which is expected when many artists collaborate on the same issue, and is the reason I don't like this sort of thing. Now I don't mind montages, in Finale issues, but as this was telling the end of the story I felt it should have had as few artists as possible, or artists with similar style, as although there wasn't one artist who's work I hated, the overall style didn't allow the story to flow as smoothly as it should have.
During the last issue we saw Hank Pym being persuaded to help stop Ultron without affecting the timeline. Now we see a continuation of this as the Hank Pym of the present receives a message from his past self. Now I won't go into any more details, as to avoid spoilers, but what would happen during this was very intriguing. It also was a interesting way of setting up the end of this story, and although it wasn't the most exciting way to do it, it was still very interesting, and appropriate. Besides this I also loved seeing the current Pym's reaction to this message, as although it was as expected, it was still brilliant, and added more drama, and suspense to the issue.
As I said earlier this issue took parts from Avengers #12.1 to finish the story, adding additional text to make it look, and seem like a different encounter. Now I wasn't too sure if I loved or hated this, as although I didn't initially notice that it was nearly an exact copy of Avengers #12.1, when I found out I wasn't sure is this was a brilliant, or terrible decision on Bendis part. I say this as part of me feels cheated, having what is virtually a previous used sequence added to this final issue. On the other hand I liked how the whole story has went full circle, with it starting, and ending with nearly the exact same sequence, in the exact same moment.
We did also get to see a fight between the Avengers, and Ultron, and although I won't go into too much detail, as well as zero story detail, to avoid spoilers, I will say what I thought of the sequence. First off, finally the Avengers/Ultron fight I was hoping for in this story, and although some of it was from the Avengers #12.1 issue, I was still happy to see the fight, as well as the fact that it was expanded, with Guice continuing from Hitch's art from Avenger #12.1. The fight itself wasn't spectacular, but it was still exciting, and clever, and although it still doesn't make up for the lack of Ultron in this series, as well as the overall quality of the series, it was still nice.
Now this issue speculated that there will once again be change in the Marvel Universe. Now I will once again avoid going into much detail as not to spoil anything, but I will say my thoughts on this. Now this for me was what made this issue so interesting, and really has me hooked on what may happen in the future. I will however say that although I liked the change that was shown at the end of the issue that was drawn by Quesada, I didn't understand the need for secrecy, as although I won't say what it was, I will say that it was something that was already mentioned prior. I did however still love this addition, and felt it was perfect considering what's to come, and although I still question the need for secrecy, it was still a nice surprise, all be it, not as big a surprise as I initially expected.
WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILER AHEAD!
Now this is only me speculating, but I wonder if the events in this series have anything to do with the upcoming Infinity story arc. Now I very much doubt it, but I ask this question as there was a double page spread not long after the half way point, that had a similar smashed panel affect as the Free Comic Book Day Infinity issue had. Now this could easily be a coincidence, but with this also showing things to come, as well as the fractured timeline, it's a possibility, and although I personally feel that it is just coincidence, I felt it was worth sharing.
This was a good way to finish the series, but at the same time it didn't make up for the previous down points during the series, and overall was itself not spectacular. It did however have some action, and excitement, as well as suspense, and drama, something that the series hasn't always had. It also showed that there will be some changes coming, which has me hooked, but still doesn't make up for the fact that this was a seriously poor series. I would only recommend this issue to people who have already been getting the series, as well as others who want to get a teaser for the upcoming changes, as although you should be able to find these changes on the internet, I found it more interesting finding them out through this issue.