Could this issue really be the turning point for me, your friendly neighborhood reviewer?
So yeah, if you’ve read the last two reviews, you’re aware that I wasn’t fully on board with Age of Ultron. I wasn’t sure about the pacing, or the way the vents unfolded, or where it was headed. It just felt…off. But, the thing about Brian Michael Bendis is that (and I’ve said this a hundred times) his pacing is unlike anyone else’s in comics. He doesn’t work on the same level that everyone else does, and that doesn’t always work in his favor. With Age of Ultron (so far) he’s been focused quite a bit on building up some big questions without necessarily providing the answers. Book Three is our first real attempt at answering those questions, but is it enough to keep me interested?
Well, the short answer is yes. Plot-wise, this issue followed the same thread that the other two have followed so far: Ultron has taken over, the few Marvel heroes left around are trying to come with a plan, and there are (somewhat inexplicably) a few supervillains still around who have managed to do business with Ultron. In the hopes that they can infiltrate Ultron’s operation, the heroes decided to send Luke Cage on a mission to “sell” She-Hulk to the enemy and possibly find out exactly what Ultron is up to. What he finds is a major twist in the book that could be intriguing, but could also wind up just plain ridiculous.
I won’t spoil it for you, but I was honestly rather impressed by the twist that came at the end of this issue. Big Shyamalan-style twists can turn into outright disasters in comics, but here it seems like something that was overdue. It digs deeper into the meat of the story and gives us something to think about for a week, and it broadens the implications of the story Bendis is telling here. I can’t go much further than that without spoiling things for you (more on that next week), but suffice it to say I may look back on this as the issue where things really took off. Then again, this could end up being the issue where things really went to shit.
Tune in next week to see if I was right.