What If Age of Ultron #3 coverWell, it’s safe to say that I’m pretty disappointed in ‘What If? Age of Ultron’. Instead of offering alternate versions of the largely disappointing Marvel crossover, we’ve just been getting stories about what would happen if certain Avengers had died at random points in history. For instance, in the last issue, we learned what would happen in a world without Tony Stark. Ultron wasn’t even in the story. Now, we’re given a scenario where Thor falls and some other heroes must step up and fill his Asgardian shoes.

After the God of Thunder mysteriously falls during a battle with the serpent Jormungand, an unlikely team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes assembles to take down the threats from the Nine Realms that look to overrun Midgard in Thor’s absence. Nick Fury leads Silver Sable, Microchip, Falcon, Shang-Chi, and Black Widow as they attempt to defend Castle Doom, which appears to be the only remaining stronghold on the planet, but they need someone worthy enough to turn the tide.

So what we have here really is glorified fan fiction taking place in alternate timelines, but I find that I don’t hate the most recent offering in the third issue. Joe Keatinge brought together an interesting team. Falcon, Shang, and Widow are some of my favorites, but I never really gave much thought to Microchip. To me, he was Frank Castle’s tech guy, but here we got to see him pull his weight in an extreme pinch. He reminded me a bit of Eugene from ‘The Walking Dead’ in that you wouldn’t expect him to be capable in a bind, but he surprises you.

Speaking of surprising, I really dug Natasha in her Asgardian garb. That reveal really paid off as the Widow looked stunning in her Thor pose. With this issue, she joins an elite group of heroes worthy of wielding the power of Mjolnir that includes Captain America, Miguel O’ Hara, Hulk, Beta Ray Bill, and even DC Heroes Superman and Wonder Woman. But the artwork overall in this issue was pretty good. Mico Suayan and Raffaele Ienco delivered a dark, gritty tone to match the darkness of the story and it was kinda cool to see the intense detail that they exhibited in their work. It’s like we saw almost every wrinkle on each character.

Overall, this was a pretty good story. But the fact of the matter is that this series is supposed to be ‘What If? Age of Ultron’, not ‘What If? Dead Avengers’. Again, Ultron wasn’t even in the story. The further away we get from the first issue, the less this book is relating to the premise. At this point, I’ve kinda let go of the idea that I’ll be satisfied with this title. However, unlike last week, at least we got something worth the cover price beyond a cool cover.

Final Score:

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WHAT IF? AGE OF ULTRON #3
Written by Joe Keatinge
Art by Mico Suayan, Raffaele Ienco, & Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Cover by Christopher Stevens & Jean-Francois Beaulieu