Robb Ghag reviews Age of Ultron #3…
“For years the heroes of the Marvel Universe have lived in fear that the artificial intelligence known as Ultron would one day evolve to fulfill its desire to wipe out all organic life and take over the Earth — that day has arrived.“
In the third issue of Marvel’s Age of Ultron we start off in the ruins of old New York with She-Hulk and Luke Cage walking throughout the destruction. The opening splash page is drawn beautifully by Bryan Hitch as it shows the extent of Ultron’s dominance high above even the tallest New York skyscraper. Luke Cage (apparently with a larger plan in mind) hits She-Hulk. As he continues pummeling her into unconsciousness the buildings around them crumble from the reverberation of every impact.
We go back in time an hour earlier to the bunker of the Avengers where they begin to formulate a plan to take down Ultron. Through the course of the conversation it’s revealed that some of Earth’s mightiest heroes have fallen including Hulk, Thor and The Thing, as well as Luke Cage’s wife and daughter.
The plan they create relies heavily on this new information provided by Spider-Man that Ultron is willing to accept trades on the heroes’ lives (for still some unknown purpose). Iron Man suspects that because Hank Pym created Ultron with human needs and desires, and although it doesn’t understand those emotions, it is replicating them. They suspect that if one hero can get within the inner sanctum of Ultron’s HQ they can gather intelligence to finally destroy the monster. The heroes do what they do best and many of them volunteer to be sold to Ultron, including Wolverine. This is quickly quelled as Captain America reveals that if Wolverine went Ultron would flay the skin from his bones just to get to the precious adamantium. It’s decided that Luke Cage will sell She-Hulk while the remaining Avengers retreat to the Savage Lands in the hopes it’s one spot on Earth still safe from Ultron.
As Luke Cage carries She-Hulk into the lair of Ultron he becomes surrounded by an Ultron army. He stops them from attacking by saying “I have a Hulk. I want a trade.”
We cut to Chicago, another city in ruins, where Taskmaster, Red Hulk and Black Panther are doing reconnaissance on a rooftop. Taskmaster sees an Ultron droid 1.2 miles away and Red Hulk jumps into action. The Red Hulk grabs the Ultron droid and rips his head off. He leaps back to Taskmaster and Black Panther, but it’s too late as another army of Ultron’s shows up. Red Hulk throws the head to the two of them and begins to fight off the Ultron so they can escape. As Red Hulk battles, the buildings begin to shake and crumble and Taskmaster looks over to see the Black Panther has died from the falling rubble. Taskmaster grabs the Ultron head, leaves Black Panthers body, and makes his escape.
Back in New York Luke Cage is lead to the inner sanctum of Ultron with She Hulk in tow. As Luke comes closer he quickly realizes that he hasn’t been lead to Ultron at all, but the final splash page reveals, a half destroyed Vision. The Vision speaks and says “Luke Cage. What do you offer?”
I’m glad this issue had some more excitement to it than last, and ended with a reveal which hopefully will accelerate the storyline. I feel as though the main storyline for Age of Ultron will be fully explained throughout the pages of this book, but for a more extensive backstory I’d have to read the other eight issues of crossovers from Fantastic Four, The Superior Spider-Man, Ultron, Uncanny Avengers, etc. etc.
At this point the story didn’t draw me in enough to be completely invested in seeing how the Age of Ultron has affected the rest of the Marvel Universe. I will say though I am more interested to see how the Vision is involved and if he is the architect behind the Age of Ultron.
Robb Ghag works for an Arts & Entertainment Brokerage in Toronto Canada. An Animation and Film school graduate, he specializes in Risk Management of Animation and VFX studios throughout North America.