By: Brian Michael Bendis (Writer), Brandon Peterson (Artist), Paul Mounts (Color Artist), VC’s Cory Petit (Letterer)
Review: How crazy is Age of Ultron #8? “It’s insane. It’s—it’s a fantasia of insanity,” according to future/alternate Tony Stark. I’d say that’s pretty conservative. R Kelly would call it “crazier than a fish with titties.” Amanda Bynes would just do this. Though as good as those descriptions are, do any of them really do justice to the image of Morgana Le Fey flying into battle backed up an army of Dragon-riding Asgardian Doom-Bots!?!? Nah, not really. This ish is bugnuts.
Essentially this issue exists to do some world-building. Wolverine and the Invisible Woman are held aboard a Helicarrier (or ‘Starkguard Carrier’ in this case) having been brought there by Colonel America’s Defenders team. Both have had their memories harvested by the combined might of alternate Professor X and Emma Frost (they may be ‘going steady’ here, I’m not sure) and Iron Man – who seems to the Big Cheese in this America – is set on interrogating them. He believes that there’s still a chance that the two are agents of Morgana Le Fey, a neat way of allowing the book to explore the history of this timeline: “I lost half of my body in the Latveria-Asgard wars. The last time I ever saw Thor. I was ripped in half…trying to keep Morgana Le Fey from conquering this half of the world as well as all of Europe.” What a cry-baby…
Still, while that’s going on Captain…sorry…Colonel’s America team gets restless above deck and decide they want to speak with the prisoners themselves. Wouldn’t it have made sense to question them before handing them over to Stark? Well, yeah, but then Bendis wouldn’t have been able to squeeze out another fight scene. And this one’s pretty good, at least anytime that The Thing and Wolverine share panel-space; the rest of the team just kinda hang in the background looking embarrassed about their crappy uniforms. At the crescendo of the action Morgana Le Fey and her Doom-Bot hordes descend and stuff. Blows. Up. Is everyone dead? Find out next week/month/tomorrow.
I was pretty harsh on the last issue of AoU – I found it kinda nonsensical, I hated the alternate-Universe Avengers team and I though the art was indubitably wack in places. Things do get considerably better here, even if the improvements owe more to the concept’s inherent goofy charm than a firm set of awesome occurrences. It’s haphazard, but it does a decent job of selling this ker-azy alternate timeline as more than just filler even though – with only two issue left in the event before the grand finale – that’s most definitely what it is.
Brandon Peterson has also kicked into a higher gear. I can’t say I’d count myself as a fan of his work, but I did find quite a bit to like. He fares well in the interrogation and action scenes and he has a couple of grandstanding panels that stood out for me – Stark trawling through Logan and Sue’s memories Minority Report-style, and, of course, that introduction to Le Fey and her airborne armada. Bet he had hella fun drawing that. However, I still can’t get past the pretty awful costume designs for the Defenders. Stark’s is alright in a corrupted Cyborg kinda way but overall the only real highlight is Emma Frost’s tactical S&M look. Woof!
Conclusion: A place-holding diversion it may be but AoU #8 at least manages to spin an entertaining yarn; likable as opposed to lovable, still relying heavily on the singular delights of the What If? Formula. The art’s improved and the plot continues to thicken, but really…can’t we just skip to the end already?
Filed under: Marvel Comics, Reviews Tagged: | Age of Ultron, Alternate Reality, Brandon Peterson, Brian Michael Bendis, Colonel America, Doombot, Marvel, Marvel Comics, Marvel Comics Reviews, Marvel Reviews, Morgan Le Fey, Paul Mounts, Sue Storm, Time Travel, Tony Stark, Ultron, VC's Cory Petit, Wolverine