Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils by Bryan Hitch, Inks by Paul Neary, Colors by Paul Mounts
Cover by Hitch, Neary, and Mounts
If you feel like you started watching a mini-series a few hours in – you’re not alone. After issue #1, we quickly learned that the United States, even the world, has fallen at the artificial hand of Ultron. There wasn’t $130 worth of tie-ins to scroll through, nor was there a protracted Marvel build-up – Ultron simply is. The first issue gave us very little: a world devastated by Pym’s biggest mistake, an epic amount of destruction, heroes are down significantly in numbers, Spider-Man has been captured and released, and Cap sat solemnly quiet with his broken shield. That was really about it. The tone was overwhelmingly glib. We get a little farther this time.
On the West coast, Moon Knight and Black Widow cover each others asses by day, fending off survivors and taking what little supplies the public might posses. Holed up one of Nick Fury’s bunkers (Secret Invasion) and hoping to live long enough to deliver some playback. While most major Marvel events end up with the Avengers getting their asses handed to them before the come back and Hulk out on the bad guys, this feels more like they’re defeated and they just want to live long enough to take the metallic all-presence down. Are we all wondering about The Vision and Scarlet Witch yet?
Spider-Man is back again, sans Bendis’ usual machine gun approach to writing the smart ass wall-crawler. The tone clearly dictates less tongue in cheek dialogue, and simply a tone of grim reality. Pete is quizzed by the remaining heroes about what happened to him – I won’t spoil it for you, just be ready for that flash of white light. Across America the Ultron-bots disintegrate people on the street without hesitation, impressing the deadly ramifications to Bendis’ newest game changer. I’m a patient, lifelong Marvel fan, so suspending disbelief is easy for me, however, the one burning question is what do we make of Spider-Man’s current state. This was written pre-Superior Spider-man, so are we just supposed to run with it? It’s not a deal-breaker for me, but it does deserve clarification within the page.
The art is sweeping and expansive, using double pages in the most effective way. Once the story really kicks in and we get some origin info, I think this could be a good one.