Okay, so I do have to admit that I was excited for this issue. I know a lot of people are iffy on events and think they usually aren’t good, but it was the first event that I’ve seen! I really couldn’t help buying into it a little bit…mostly because I’m curious about it and what exactly they are going to do!
First off, can I say how much I love this cover. And no, not because of the shiny metallic-ness…I loved the image. We have crazy robot thing (is that Ultron?), clutching both Iron Man and Captain America by the face. This makes it rather obvious that Mr Robot is really powerful – you can’t take both Iron Man and Captain America down quite that easily. Then, if you look underneath them, you start to see other characters you know – Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor, Spider-Girl, Wolverine…the more you look, the more you see. And then, hiding in Mr. Robot’s head, you see a reflection of Hawkeye, bow up, ready to fire. That about sums up the entire issue right there – incredibly powerful villan, pretty much all heros have been defeated, except Hawkeye – he’s the only one left standing. He’s the only one still fighting. Also, did anyone else notice how the white lines around the top are made up of zero’s and one’s? That made the nerd in me very happy.
This first issue is a simple story (and everyone who reads here knows, I’m a sucker for a simple story if it’s done well…). Start off in a crazy looking dystopian world. Everything in New York is either damaged or destroyed. We have Hawkeye going on a rescue mission, trying to save Spider-Man (who, I think, might actually be Peter Parker…he didn’t seem very Ock-like). We run into some sort of safe-house for a rather seedy lot of people. They have somehow been paying off Ultron to be allowed to keep living as they do. Hawkeye does his thing, gets Spider-Man out, and goes back underground, where the rest of the remaining heros are hiding and kind of just want to be left alone.
Overall, this is really a set-up issue. Which doesn’t really bother me, since it is a first issue and they have a lot to establish! In terms of telling you the state of the world now, they did a lot without having to go into a mass exposition moment: We know that New York is now a pile of rubble. That there’s a new guy (thing?) in charge called Ultron, and he doesn’t let humans live freely unless they bribe him somehow, and even that isn’t a guarantee. Superhero’s are wanted by Ultron, and many are dead, including, supposedly, Thor. The rest are hiding underground and not trying to fight back anymore. Ultron can infect people with…something. We’re not sure quite what, but whatever it is makes them a very big danger. Presumably, the superhero’s of this world did try and do battle with Ultron, but failed, which somehow broke Captain America emotionally, not to mention physically breaking his shield (I thought that wasn’t possible…). Now, maybe this sort of information had already been established around Ultron in previous issues…but to me, this was all brand new. And I found it fascinating. It’s an interesting concept for a world and I want to know more about it!
Of course, this brought up a lot of questions too. The book very explicitly states that this is happening now – but now in our typical universe? Or in another universe? That isn’t completely clear. Also, how in the heck did we even get to this point? What were the events leading up to this? If this is in our universe, they have QUITE a bit of explaining to do, and if it’s in another one, we need some sort of connection to our universe. Otherwise, what’s the point? Does Ultron have control of the whole world, or just New York? And how is he controlling everything? What were they scanning for when Hawkeye and Spider-Man made it back? And what the hell happened to make Captain America, of all people, give up hope? So many questions, and I can only hope they answers these in the next few issues.
I will definitely be continuing this series! It probably wasn’t everyone’s favorite first issue, especially for a story that only has a limited number of issues – not a lot happened and there was very little explanation. But I still think in terms of setting us up and introducing us to this world, they did a wonderful job.