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The Next Big Thing: Age of Ultron

Simon Peter Curran 11/19/2012 News, Reviews

Marvel’s live blogs have been announcing the details and happenings on new books, events and movie releases for years and it is the source of the following. Straight from the mouths of the creators via Marvel.com.

The Age of Ultron is fast approaching with only 5 months to go until what is sure to be Marvel’s biggest, most ambitious and elaborate event hits the shelves of comic book stores and news stands across the globe! Marvel.com sat down with Brian Michael Bendis and Tom Brevoort to discuss what to expect this coming March when the Age of Ultron dawns!

Age of Ultron will be a 10-issue limited series beginning in March 2013 and running through June which is written by Brian Michael Bendis. Issues #1-5 will have art by Bryan Hitch and Brandon Peterson, and then Carlos Pacheco will be taking over for the back half of the series.

So we get that Age of Ultron will be about Ultron, that’s a given. But what exactly is he up to this time? The seeds of this story goes all the way back to the first arc of Mighty Avengers by Brian and Frank Cho, but the most direct prologue is Avengers #12.1, which was also released as a Free Comic Book Day issue.

[quote]”Age of Ultron is about Ultron, one of our biggest villains ever, finally fulfilling his destiny, which is taking the Earth. From the very first page, Ultron has taken the Marvel Universe and everything is changed. There is a shocking amount of destruction and devastation. It started in Avengers, but it’s meant to be a Marvel Universe book. It stars everyone.” – Brian Bendis [/quote]

Cutting out the journey up to the Age of Ultron could be a real coup for this series as for too long we have seen longer event series lose steam halfway through due to a lot of the action and story telling taking place very early on in the exposition of the story. But not here. In Age of Ultron we jump right into the devastation and carnage that Ultron has caused. He has already taken over and our story starts with him in place as “leader” of his new planet.

[quote]”This isn’t a story where the Skrulls are invading. We cut right to the chase. We’re already past that and Ultron is already here. He’s already put his footprints on the landscape. You’re immediately thrust into the heart of crazy events and things are going a million miles an hour.” – Tom Brevoort [/quote]

Age of Ultron Preview

[quote]”We came up with a schedule that allowed us to tell the whole story in a shorter amount of time and get to the big stuff. The last pages are so shocking that only six people in the world know what is happening. The artists don’t know. People from Marvel on this call don’t know. Some of my best friends are going to call me after this and ask me and I will not tell them.” – Brian Bendis [/quote]

Next, we were shown some preview art from the beginning of the series. Hitch knocks it right out of the park on this series: the art is stunning and has a classic disaster movie feel to it. The Marvel Universe will become a dystopian world under the rule of Ultron and that really reflects in the artwork.

[quote]”We wanted to give a unique Bryan Hitch experience, which was rather than having him draw a couple of issues and then wait, we didn’t solicit until he had all his stuff done, so you can get it in explosive fashion. It’s some of the best work of his career.” – Brian Bendis [/quote]

After some amazing preview pages from Bryan Hitch, the details of shipment were given out. Age of Ultron will be a 10-issue series that will ship three issues a month for the first two months, which is a big change from recent events like Fear Itself and AvX where two issues a month would be shipped along with a plethora of tie-in books. The back half of the series will contain two issues in May, two in June, and then an epilogue to follow. There will also be about six to seven tie-ins that will be mostly one-shots, and a couple of two- or three-issue limited series. The tie-ins will fit into the numbering of the respective ongoing series but will have AU after them, like Point One issues, so collectors do not need to leave gaps in collections should they choose not to follow this particular event.

Age of Ultron Variant Cover

Age of Ultron #1 Variant Cover

[quote]”This is in continuity. Tony Stark knew the next time Ultron came back we wouldn’t be ready. This is that time. And the things debuting after Age of Ultron are things we’re very excited about.” – Brian Bendis [/quote]

It is quite obvious as with most events that this will impact the Marvel U at large as well as the tie-in titles. With Bendis at the helm of this ship we can assume that things can only get bigger!

[quote]
“If you go back to the earliest Ultron stuff, he has severe daddy issues, even for a Marvel character, and they all have daddy issues. His logic is that the only thing standing in the way of the Earth being what it can be is humanity. I’m kind of obsessed with artificial intelligence in the real world and why people are scared of it. If there were a Marvel Singularity, it would be from Ultron. This is the moment technology takes over in a hostile way. To write a story like this is incredibly scary, because Ultron coming at us with everything he has is the end of the Marvel Universe. We’re doing it.” – Brian Bendis [/quote]

Age of Ultron Preview

Bendis then went onto say that the panel did not want to reveal on who survives the Age of Ultron. One can only hope that this will not be a cull on the same level as Ultimatum, the infamous event from the Marvel Ultimate Universe that decimated the Ultimate roster on an unprecedented scale.

[quote]”We’re hesitant to say who survives, but you can count on Vision being a pretty big part of the story. Some surprising people survive. Not everybody survived, but Moon Knight is as shocked as anybody that he does. He’s in the right place at the right time. He digs his way out of the rubble to try to piece together what has happened and what he can do about it.” – Brian Bendis[/quote]

Age of Ultron Preview

This could mean that Marvel has intentions of further shake-ups during the Marvel NOW! period.  Along with the changes brought to the Marvel Universe, specifically in Superior Spider-Man and Fantastic Four, Bendis went on to say that certain characters would become foot-on-the-ground characters for the reader. Much like the character viewpoint chapters in George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, I think this will be a great feature for the series and allow readers to get inside character’s heads like never before. Their whole world is falling apart around them and the reader has a first class ticket to the thoughts of those experiencing it.

[quote]”This ending is a whopper. And I’ll go ahead and say it: You can’t guess it. I’m involved in it and even I am going ‘Really?’ I could not be more excited for this book to hit the stands. Literally not a day has gone by over the last year where people haven’t asked me when it was coming. I know that people are looking forward to it, so to finally debut it and for it to be, I imagine, much more than people thought it was going to be, is great. It’s beautiful. It takes one of Marvel’s classic villains to a level he’s never been before, takes the heroes to a place they’ve never had to go, and ends in a way you will never guess.” – Brian Bendis [/quote]

Age of Ultron kicks off with three issues in March by Brian Michael Bendis and Bryan Hitch!

What do you think of Marvel’s Next Big Thing? Is this the end of the Marvel Universe as we know it? Sound off in the comments. For all the latest comic book news, keep it Comic Booked!

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About The Author

Hailing from the North West of merry old England. Simon is a professional Film and TV Composer. A lover of bacon and full time nerd, he is also a scriptwriter and an aspiring film maker! Batman is his moral compass. +Simon Peter Curran

  1. Sokos6 11/19/2012 at 5:00 pm

    Ultron? Not a fan. Send Wonder Man in, He'll take care of the job.

  2. Scorp_Moonopoly 11/20/2012 at 12:06 am

    Did I read that right, someone is supposed to die?

  3. Simon Peter Curran 11/20/2012 at 2:56 pm

    Its a Marvel event, it wouldnt feel right without a death!

  4. Sokos6 11/20/2012 at 3:23 pm

    I wish they would kill folks off and actually leave them dead. Too much money to be made, unfortunately.

  5. Skott_Jimenez 11/21/2012 at 10:51 am

    I love how they are totally ignoring Annihilation: Conquest here. As if Ultron 'taking the earth' is a big deal. In that Annihilation story he took over the Phalanx then he conquered the entire Kree Empire AND removed it from regular space so no one could help. I think that's a bit bigger than 'taking the earth'

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