With the Secret Wars upon us and Battleworld in full swing Marvel has decided to give us a look at what is outside of the Shield that keeps God Doom’s realms safe and ‘Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies’ #1 gives us quite a terrifying look at that. While we don’t get to see any of the Annihilation Wave, we do get the most basic of looks at the zombie horde and some of the origins of this version of Ultron and how he rose to power. I can see why the two sides were brought into play though am wondering why the Wave was so completely left off the map.

There isn’t much room for character development in this one but James Robinson is able to flex his world building chops by giving us multiple views of what is going on without making the book just feel like an information dump. We learn how this Ultron came to power, what the zombies are up to, that wherever Tigra is from isn’t doing well while Doom runs things, and finally that this Hank Pym, while from a Western world that is well behind us on technology, is still the tinkering genius that we’ve come to know.

I think what truly sells the book though is Pugh’s work on the art. He is able to give us scenes from different ages and worlds that have been brought together. The style is clearly the same throughout but unique enough in each so you can instantly tell which portion of Battleworld that we’re peering into.

As the pages turn we are first introduced to a version of Tigra who has been banished to this Hell outside of the Shield. Only, from her point of view she is finally free from the tyranny of Doom and even though her life is now a constant battle against the undead it is superior to the enslavement she felt before. Things are not all peachy under Doom’s rule. Using her we are given an introduction to the zombies as well as the Ultron horde and how they came to be.

Past that we’re introduced to a new Hank Pym who surviving robots in Ultron’s world are tasking him to be their champion and savior. My guess is that they want to use his familiarity with Ultron to end the being reign of terror. If only they knew that this Pym is going to be a little behind the times when it comes to working on robotics let alone leading a resistance.

While the story had a much stronger start than I was expecting, I’m still torn as to how well this will all fit together. Unless they have zombies who have the Power Cosmic, there can’t be that many who would put up much of a fight against even an original version of Ultron let alone whatever body he is running around in here. This makes me feel that the two factions might not be the best to fight one another.

Overall I was quite pleasantly surprised with how the first issue came together. It was a great introduction to the world outside of the Shield as well as whom our heroes might be. I’m still a little hesitant on saying this will be a hit for its short run but it at the very least will have my attention for one more issue.


Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Steve Pugh, Ron Garney