Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Bryan Hitch
I was really looking forward to this event, but it's been nothing but disappointing so far, and although it's had a couple of moments where it was good, overall it's been very disappointing, and I can't do anything but hope that the second half's much better.
Now in the Savage Land the hero's head to Nick Fury's base, and find none other than Nick Fury himself. Also Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, and Hank Pym work on fixing Vision months prior to the events of this series (appears to be not long after Avengers Disassembled).
This issue was better than the previous issue, and actually one of the better issues in the series so far, but the series is still not at the level of quality that I hoped it'd be at by now, and with the series being half way through, the remaining half will need to be extraordinarily amazing to make this series an overall success, something that I no longer see happening (but I still hope that it does). I don't know how Brian Michael Bendis has managed to do such a bad job of this series, especially considering he's doing such a good job on All-New X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy, and although his Avengers run was inconsistent it's sad to see it end on such a catastrophic low. The positives I can say about Bendis' writing in this issue is that he's managed to develop the overall backstory, whilst also slowly developing the future of the story. In saying that as you've probably guessed from my last statement, the progression of the actual story is still going very slowly, and although it appears that the next issue will finally have something exciting it probably wont, as each issue as left me with the feeling that the next one will be when it finally kicks it up a gear, but when the time comes it never does, which is a shame. I did however like how Bendis re-introduced Fury back into the Marvel Universe, as he's been gone too long, but I'll talk about that more later. Overall the writing wasn't bad, but the story is still slow, and I still blame the length of the series for that.
Last issue Bryan Hitch's artwork wasn't quite as good as it's been throughout the series, or in fact as good as it's been in the past period, but this issue (his final issue on the series) his artworks back at the level that I've come to expect from Hitch, and it's truly magnificent, and the best thing about the issue, which is nice considering it's his last piece of art on the series. The detail in his artwork was simply brilliant, and although it still had the very minor imperfections it was much more detailed than his last issue, and you can see that he's put a lot of effort. I've also loved the way Hitch has laid the artwork out throughout his time on the series, as it's truly marvellous, and adds a brilliant dramatic feel to the series, making it feel more alive. The emotion he showed through the characters facial expressions was also brilliant, as you could really tell what they were feeling, especially Wolverine when he was angry, which overall made the story better, and yet again more dramatic. The pieces of art that I loved the most from Hitch on this issue was the gear that Fury had collected in his bunker, as it was brilliant, and there were some real nice retro pieces there.
WARNING: FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS!
I try not to include spoilers in my reviews, but with this being at the start, along with most of it being shown in some way in the past I felt that it wasn't too much of a spoiler. Anyway, this issue opened with a sequence that takes place months prior, with Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, and Hank Pym trying to fix Vision, who's damaged. From what they said I assume this took place not long after Avengers Disassembled (which kind of questions how short a time everything since then's taken place in), which was interesting. The sequence itself wasn't hugely necessary, but after seeing the following sequence you can see why it actually is necessary. The following sequence basically had Iron Man laughing over the fact that Ultron set it up so that the Avengers would take Vision in, meaning that he could take over the world easier. This shows that it's probably the events in Disassembled that set this up, as Vision surprisingly appeared, and produced ton's of Ultron's, but due to that being the fault of the Scarlet Witch it does question if Ultron planned for that, or if Scarlet Witch is in some ways to blame for this also. At the same time it may not be connected to Disassembled at all. Anyway it was nice to get a bit of clarification as to how this started, and although it was rather obvious it was still nice.
When in the Savage Land the hero's find Fury's bunker, but with no way of getting into it Red Hulk (Thunderbolt Ross) is given the task of opening it. When he does he gets a nasty shock as he's shot by Fury himself. The re-emergence of Fury wasn't in itself too big of a surprise, as with them going to one of his bunkers it highly plausible that he'd be inside it. Anyway I was happy to see the return of Fury, and although this will most likely be a brief appearance, with him disappearing following the event, I'm still happy that he's involved, as I personally haven't seen him in anything since Siege (I think). Fury's just the perfect person for this kind of event, as with all the stuff he's seen in the past, on top of all the strategy skills that he possesses, he's the perfect person to lead a team against Ultron.
There was however still continuity problems in this issue, as Spider-Man still seemed to act like Peter Parker instead of Doctor Octopus (as he's still telling jokes when he can, which Doc Ock's not been doing), which shows that this was either written a while ago, or Bendis doesn't know how to write Spider-Man any other way, but I assume it's the earlier. This kind of makes me wish that Superior Spider-Man #6AU didn't show that Doc Ock was still Spider-Man, but I have a feeling that this story's going to end as if it's actually taken place between the series, meaning that Doc Ock would still be Spider-Man anyway. Either way Bendis should have spent a little time re-writing it in a style that Doc Ock would talk (assuming that it was written a while ago).
WARNING: FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS!
Again I don't like spoilers in my reviews, but due to there being so little to talk about, added with the fact that I found this very interesting I don't really have much of a choice. In a way this isn't really a huge spoiler, as the last issue revealed that Ultron was in the future, and ended with Red Hulk, Black Widow and Moon Knight saying that they're going to wipe Ulton from existence. Anyway, after talking through the options Fury decides to take a select group to the future to kill Ultron (as I said not really much of a spoiler), which doesn't sit well with everyone. I won't go into to much details over what was actually said as that would really spoil the issue, but the fact that Fury, and company are heading to face Ultron means that this series has a high potential of being really good really soon, but I'll wait and see, as each issue has ended with me feeling like this.
Although better than the last issue, this issue still wasn't to the level of quality I hoped the series would be at. The series finally appears to be getting better, but it's done that before, and I won't hold my breath, only believing it when it happens. I would consider recommending this issue, just for the fact that it features the return of Nick Fury, but besides that I'd still recommend waiting until the end of the series, and if it's overall good getting it in trade.