How would you feel if someone offered you a chance to see a two hour stage play featuring all of your favorite actors, and billed it as earth shattering, full of surprises, and a bargain at only $30 (plus tax)? With enough hyperbole and a look at the cast list, you’d be sold. What if half way through that stage play the entire storyline switches up, and goes in another unrelated direction. That’s fine, sure you spent 60 minutes being beat over the head with something else, but it’s a twist you can rock with. Now the play wraps up with the big reveal… a cast member that was already announced when they sold you a ticket and they only appear as a cameo. To top it off, the play’s ending isn’t really an ending, but more of a, “that was just a warm up, watch what happens next.” As you leave the theater confused, the Ushers tell you for another $12 you can come back in a few weeks to see the rest. Some call this business, I call it a “f—k you.”
AGE OF ULTRON: The Avenger’s greatest foe has finally won. In the near future, a group of heroes that aren’t really the ones you read, have to figure out how to stop him.
The Age of Ultron is the stage play and Marvel Comics is the theater, and for those who paid $2.99 an issue for this 10 part sh*t storm, my heart goes out to you. AoU was billed as Marvel’s first big event after the launch of Marvel Now, which was strange since it didn’t take place in the 616 universe. Most fans avoid these “elsewhere” or “What If” storylines because they don’t feel important, I mean if this were legit, why wouldn’t it have taken place during Marvel Now? The novelty of Days of Future Past has long worn off, so why fork over money to read about some alternate world you have no emotional connection to? Ultron wins in Earth 818… um okay cool tell me how that works out… back to reading All New X-Men. In order to increase sales and lure in readers who could care less about some alternate future, Marvel dropped the A-bomb, “Angela from Spawn is coming during The Age of Ultron along with something else really big.” AoU suddenly became a must read event that made fanboys excited. I mean this is the company that gave us Wolverine having his adamantium ripped out, Hulk being shot into space, and Cyclops going Che Guevara. When Marvel promises to give you a literary blowjob, even “Trade Paper Back Only” readers hand over their money. From issue one AoU was panned by most sites that reviewed it, but little did we know that it would get worse.
The big problem in retrospect was that the actual storyline didn’t start until the end of issue 5. That means if you were to pick up Issue 6, you would literally need to know ziltch about what happened before besides what you read in the opening liner notes, “Ultron took over, Wolverine and Sue Storm have gone back in time.” And that happened in the issue before. Marvel sold its fans five issues of story that didn’t matter; essentially milking ten issues out of something that could have easily been told in half as much time. Marvel VP and #UFB fan Tom Brevoort even went so far as to sell this miniseries as Avengers phase 3 material, stating the elements of Age of Ultron would likely be used in an upcoming Avengers movie! Unless Joss Whedon suddenly loses his sense of taste and originality, none of these lame elements will ever make it to the big screen. Marvel promised us Angela, a possible hint at a great Ultron story, and another BIG reveal. What happened at the end of Age of Ultron? Marvel comics took a sh*t in my eyes and called it GLORY!
THE EPIC PLOT: So Wolverine (people will buy anything with Logan on the cover right?) and Sue Storm (two kids and you still look good girl) went back in time to kill Hank Pym before he made Ultron (Terminator much?) but when they got back, the world was f--ked. So Wolverine does what Stewie Griffin would do—he goes back in time again to stop himself from killing Hank Pym. You with me? …So Marty Mcfly Wolverine convinces Kyle Reese Wolverine not to kill Pym. Pym agrees to still make Ultron, but this time he’ll program a time release to stop him during the moment he’s about to finally win. WOW so original!!!!!! Why didn’t you just do this two issues ago before you killed him Logan? I mean you do have the wisdom of a 200 year old man!!!! So to sum it up Marvel spent five issues giving us backstory on a world and an avengers group that served zero purpose during the climax. In the end people spent 3 bucks per issue for a convoluted Wolverine meets Terminator time travel story that ended like it always ends—Ultron loses. Bastards. So anyway, Pym does his time-release virus plan, The Avengers stop Ultron and only Sue Storm and Wolverine know what really happened. HOLD UP! This weird universe suddenly shatters like it just took a Superkick from HBK because Wolverine went back in time one too many times.
THE BIG REVEAL: Cut to black Spider-man bka Miles Morales swinging through the low selling Ultimate Universe. BAM! There’s Galactus not Ga Lak Tus or whatever they call him in that used to be cool Ultimate Universe, this is the real deal Jack Kirby “♬ Purple all on my head, don’t believe me just watch ♬” world eater Galactus. That’s the BIG reveal—Galactus is in the Ultimate Universe. OMG OMG OMG text all your friends, this is happening you guys! Oh yeah, last page Angela the person we already knew was coming, shows up and says, “Like, who brought me here? this is so not cool.” The end!!!
Yes Marvel please feed me more feces and take my money! I have to learn how this really ends, I mean I waited 10 issues, what’s another four issues, right?
I understand the comic book business is a business first. These talented men and women don’t work for free. However, when you oversell one event in order to launch a new event that will serve to jumpstart the Ultimate Universe by connecting it to the 616 Universe it comes off as a pathetic cash grab. I want someone at Marvel to explain to me why Age of Ultron was a story that needed to be told. Forget the Angela stuff and Galactus crap, why was this particular story worth the man-hours put into it? Comic fans aren’t stupid, they can tell when a writer has a gripping story that needs to be told, it leaps off the page. It’s clear by this jumbled and cliché story that this wasn’t the House of Ideas trying to tell the last great Ultron story, it was the House of Ideas trying to rejuvenate the Ultimate Comics line with hype. AoU feels like a poor man’s Flashpoint (DC’s miniseries that reset the DC multiverse into the New 52), whose only purpose was to trick the influx of new Marvel Now readers into buying their soon to be revamped Ultimate books.
What happens next? Bendis is already trying to oversell Galactus in the U-verse as earth shattering, filled with surprises, blah blah blah! Dude we just heard the same sh*t about the Age of Ultron. How about this—Why didn’t you ass clowns give us the Wolverine in Time storyline the first five issues of AoU then give us Galactus Hunger as the last five issues? Do you really need to sell four extra books that bad? Disney owns you! You’re not strapped for cash anymore guys, no need to rape the wallets of your audience and insult our intelligence.
I’m not going to go Xbox fan and bitch and moan about how I’m not going to buy Marvel comics because of one bad miniseries, I just wanted to vent because as a fan of the epic superhero event that really does redefine characters that I love. I refuse to see it evolve into this. Avengers Vs X-Men, as much as I enjoyed it, was bashed for being overly long. This means that Marvel is now showing that the new status quo is to be Dragon Ball Z long winded, and milk these events for more issues than needed. That’s a shame. I had a trust in Marvel comics, if they told me I would be blown away by a storyline featuring characters I love, I could be sure that they would deliver. That trust is gone. Many fans felt robbed by AvX, now AoU turns around and burns even more readers. The message boards are filled with the same sentiment because the fans are pissed. I hope the Marvel editors are paying attention and when they go to Comic-Con the fans need to line up to voice their discontent.
I will continue to read the three marvel comics I enjoy, but I will not be suckered into the gimmick of Ultimate Universe meets 616, hype of new characters, and I will take any “earth shattering” announcement with a grain of salt. Age of Ultron may not have been the worst mini-series ever, but the it will leave a bad taste in the mouth of fans for years to come.
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