Bendis has finally released the tale of the Age of Ultron that was teased way back in 2009, but is it worth the hype that Marvel is giving it? In my eyes, no!
It is a tale that comics fans have seen time and time again, our heroes battered and broken on the run from some horrific enemy that has taken over the world. What once was the shinning example of staunch heroism has become a rag tag group of revolutionaries knocking on the door to oblivion. With little hope, they band themselves together to fight the despot and maybe one day, change the course of the future by standing up and fighting in the name of humanity.
Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so.
The biggest difference to Bendis' story is that it does not take place in some dystopian future. It is plainly stated on the first page that his tale is taking place in New York City, today! Which raises the question, "How did we get here?" The tale gives no clues to that, we find ourselves in the middle of a decimated New York with aged heroes fighting drug dealers and washed up villains like the Owl and Hammerhead. To be honest, this tale only follows Hawkeye on his quest to retrieve a fallen hero and his brutality with his weapons is all that makes it interesting.
There is little substance to make the reader interested in the hows and whys of the tale, not that we are given any, and it seems like a rehash of a tale we all have read a thousand times before. There is no heart to make us feel vested in our heroes, no emotional tug that pulls you along and certainly no "wow" factor for you to want to purchase the off shoot books that will be released enmasse in conjunction to the core book!
The only interesting factor to the book is the declaration on the first page. New York City -- Today. What does that mean? The characters in the tale are older, more beaten, some have different costumes and have clearly been living in these conditions for years! So, I pose the question, "Does this tale actually take place in the Marvel 616 Universe?" Or, could this story actually take place in another one, another planet that is close in comparison to it but different? Hickman's Avengers series' has been posing the idea of multiple universes and planets colliding, so could Bendis' story actually be an alternate version of Marvel 616? What about the Ultimate Universe? It's will cease to exist soon and the rumors are that some characters will be coming to the 616, could this be their "ultimate" end? Who knows for now but it could be any of those options, especially since it is the only Marvel book without the Marvel NOW! moniker on it's cover!
All in all, this book fails to excite and intrigue the reader, posing no true reason to want to purchase the rest of the series. Bendis should have left his Avengers stories alone after he left the books, at least those felt original.