Thursday, 18 February 2016

Age Of Ultron Vs. Marvel Zombies #1 - Marvel Comics

Whilst on paper the idea to produce a “Secret Wars” mini-series based upon an amalgamation of two of the most successful “Marvel Worldwide” franchises published during the Modern Age of Comics may well have seemed like a good idea, James Robinson’s script for Issue One of “Age Of Ultron Verses Marvel Zombies” inevitably runs out of steam once the adamantium robots and undead initially come together. Indeed, considering just how easily the mechanical monsters plough through the putrid walking zombified remains of the Vulture, Bullseye, Stilt-Man, Sabretooth and Mole Man, it is momentarily hard to imagine just where the British writer’s narrative can go next?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the disappointing answer is backwards. For having demonstrated just how easily Ultron’s brethren can dispatch the super-villainous living cadavers, this twenty-one page periodical’s plot suddenly transforms itself into a storyline which would not look out of place within a “What If ?“ magazine by having Hank Pym’s creation “muse how things might have differed” if, having gained cognizance as Ultron-1, “he hadn’t immediately killed his ‘father’...”

Admittedly the subsequent series of flashback sequences drawn by Ron Garnett and Matt Milla, and predominantly consisting of double splashes, doubtless proved diverting distractions to this comic’s 78,646 readers in June 2015. The battle sequences explaining how a combined army of Ultron-5 and Ultron-6 versions” of the mad robot sent “the other heroes of Earth… screaming to their graves” are well worth the magazine's cover price alone, especially as this 'turn of events' is additionally influenced by the idea that “a young Dane Whitman” never “infiltrated Ultron-5’s Masters Of Evil to warn” the Avengers and “turn the tide of his first attack…”

Ultimately though “A Stranger Came To Town” is meant to be about events taking place on Battleworld, yet sadly when Robinson’s script finally does return to the ‘present day’, and Steve Pugh takes back ownership of the artwork, it is clear that this comic book’s implied promise of ghouls verses automatons has disappointingly been replaced with a rather uninspiring story about a ‘Wild West’ version of Pym being banished to “the robot domain” for creating a “clockwork mechanical man”; “Got no mind why I went ta the trouble, neither… ‘cause where I’m goin’, they aint got much use fer snake oil.”
The regular cover art of "AGE OF ULTRON VS. MARVEL ZOMBIES" No. 1 by Carlos Pacheco


  1. I like Marvel Zombies a lot, but I'm only interested in the TPB collections. If this series appears in volume 4 (assuming there will be a volume 4) I'll read it. Otherwise I'll let it pass. Sorry to sound so dismissive, Simon, but this doesn't shout out "buy me now!" to me.

    1. No need to worry about being dismissive Bryan, as this particular mini-series doesn't strike me as being terribly good - though its early days yet. The beginning is terrific but as soon as Hank 'Wild West' Pym appears it takes a dramatic nose dive imho. Still time will tell as I review the rest of this series...