When Marvel announced their brand new ‘What If?’ series, I was stoked for it. As one of the many who were disappointed with ‘Age of Ultron’, I was hoping that ‘What If? Age of Ultron’ would have offered an alternate timeline worth getting behind. But now that the second issue has been released, I don’t think that we’ll be getting that at all.
In the first issue, we learned what would have happened with Ultron if Janet Van Dyne had perished instead of Hank Pym. It was an interesting ‘Terminator’ meets ‘Twilight Zone’ sort of tale that resulted in Ultron wiping out the entire human race, except for Pym, who he kept around as a plaything. Now, we see what would have happened to the Marvel Universe if Tony Stark were the Avenger that had died.
Remember when I said that I had high hopes for this series? Yeah, they’ve considerably lowered since reading the second issue. For starters, Ultron isn’t even in the book. Master Mold is the mechanical menace instead of Ant-Man’s angry artificial intelligence. Like the last story, the ‘What If?’ scenario didn’t start from any event from Brian Michael Bendis’ crossover event. In this instance, it was an arbitrary point in Avengers history where Stark just drops dead and his technology falling into the wrong hands is what sends the world into the robot apocalypse. It’s an intriguing idea, but I don’t think it fits in with what the purpose of this series was.
Next, I have to mention Sea Captain Wolverine. Logan has gone through many looks since I became a Marvel fan, but I’m pretty sure that this is the first time that I’ve seen him take on a nautical theme. Out of the three heroes that appear in this book, he’s the one that I believe the least. Even though Zen Hulk lacked the proper exposition to really connect with, I even bought that more than Skipper Logan.
Finally, the last thing that I have to say about this book is that it was just flat out boring. Nothing really excited me about it. I was cool with the vintage Peter Parker heroics and the idea of him leaving suburbia to be a hero one last time, but other than that, I wasn’t impressed by this issue. Seriously, Ultron wasn’t even in it. How are they going to label this as ‘What If? Age of Ultron’ without the titular villain? Hopefully the next issue brings it’s A game or else this series might be worse than the original storyline. At least some good things came out of Bendis’ work. This issue might as well go straight to the birdcage. Well, maybe not the cover since at least that was cool, but not worth the $3.99 price tag.
WHAT IF? AGE OF ULTRON #2
Written by Joe Keatinge
Art by Ramon Villalobos & Ruth Redmond
Cover by Christopher Stevens & Jean-Francois Beaulieu