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Thursday, 11 January 2018

Avengers: Ultron Forever And A Decapitated Hulk (really)

Today, before I sail off into the sunset, I want to cover two Avengers books.  Don't panic -it is not the legendary Avengers Forever because what can be said about it that is original now? It's a classic and that's it.

Separate paragraph because I do not want to profane that book by mixing it with this one...Avengers: Ultron Forever.

And once you have read this might I suggest that you see what blogger Subzero has to say about the book on his Tales From The Kryptonian blog? More images and a kinder (?) review!
http://talesfromthekryptonian.blogspot.de/2016/01/alan-davis-alone-does-not-great.html


The writer was Al Ewing and the pencil art was by the great Alan Davis who was inked over (his work not his body. That would be..odd) by Mark Farmer and you get that duo on art it is going to look good.

Now I trawled the net looking for covers for issues 1, 2 and 3 but every cover was marked #001 and the number of variants was ridiculous.  I could not find covers for 2 or 3 but then I saw several people selling full three issue sets. Apparently, people with scheisse for brains at Marvel decided that #001 on each cover was a good idea? I would write "WTF?" but with Alonso and Brevoort nothing surprises me.


So you may be asking what this cashing in on the cash-cow Avengers Age of Ultron movie was all about?   Glad you asked:

THE START OF A THREE-PART AVENGERS EVENT! 500 years into the future, Ultron has won. Humanity is all but extinct - dead or enslaved by the Ultron Singularity. Now, seven Avengers are brought through time by Doctor Doom to battle the machine god for the fate of the cosmos... or die trying! It begins here - an epic adventure spanning the past and future of the Avengers!

Well, 92 pages of this 144 pager is the Ultron Forever story.  I know, you read 144 pages and think this is going to be epic. In fact, the rest of the book are reprints of a Thor, an Iron Man and a Hulk story from the periods the characters were grabbed from in this story. Cheap publishing trick. Marvel obviously did not want to pay for 144 pages of original art to cash-in on the movie so dumped in reprints.

Now, I just flicked through it again because I could not for the life of me remember seeing Ultron Itself fighting the Avengers.  He doesn't.  He is referred to and his "puppets" are confronted but the shiny guy puts in no appearance.  The main protagonist is, in fact, 'Dr. Doom' -not the real Doom of course but you will need to buy the book to get the answer to that question. When it was revealed I did sit back and star...I also uttered the words "Who the f--- is that?"  meh


So, this Dr. Doom gathers a group of Avengers from various time periods and that includes Luke Cage's daughter who is all grown up and is now Captain America.  The Black Widow, of course, because of her power level (or the fact that she appears in the movie) -the Vision grabs a hold of Black Widow as she was being transported.  Iron Man is Rhodey standing in for the alcoholic Tony Stark while Thor is the Simonson armoured version and, oh how original, we get Lady Thor thrown in so that Thor wonders "What-?!" and both later fight a much younger, Loki controlled through Ultron Thor. Got that?



 I've not mentioned the Hulk?  Well, he is the early Kirby/Ditko three toed version.  Seriously -go back to Avengers #1 (the real Avengers series) or even check out the story in the back of this book because it has no other significance really.  Oh.  The Hulk gets quickly decapitated.  Hulk dies.

Oh. Wait.  Banner's head pops out of Hulk's body, picks up Huilk's head and re-attaches it.  While Banner argues with the Hulk who does not like to be told what to do. Ahh.  Science. Or crap writing. You think I'm kidding?

I do so hope that proves my point?  I suspended my disbelief because, at that point, it was that or admit I wasted £2.00 on a trade.  You may ask if I'm being serious about that price?  Yes, people seemed desperate to move on the trades so to someone like me who has to count every penny it was a bargain.

But on to the book...it's what this post is about after all.

The cover of the trade and the panel of the Avengers appearing before Dr. Doom ought to tell you all you need to know: this was a very cheap, not that good rip-off of Avengers Forever.  It was almost as though Ewing were just lifting bits and pieces from Busiek's story and hoping that Marvel driving off all the old fans would mean the newbie 5 minute attention span 'fans' would think it marvelous and a great book.                                                                                          

Not even my sore arse was impressed.

Let's be honest here. I loved the art.  The art is the only thing that made this work at all because the visuals made it fun.  Now, Ewing wrote what was a fun read if you suspended all of your decades of knowledge of the Avengers and its members and were not actually expecting Ultron to appear in the book for a show down battle.  Golden Skull was a great character...but he was a villain and only appeared in a few panels.

There were too many questions like the year 20XX and flooded Manhattan due to the effects of global warming. Look, why "20XX" rather than 2025?  It's Luke Cage's daughter and she is grown up. Does it matter, considering the constant reboots, if the year was given?

Thor and Lady Thor fighting younger Thor...seemed like a damp squib. The writing was just messy and to me that is just bad.  I know Brevoort is a lazy git and the idea of actually doing editorial work might vex him to the point that he can only put a hat on his head three times too small (severe mid-life crisis in which he thinks that makes him look hip, young and cool and not a buffoon).

If you have no knowledge of The Avengers or their history and you switch off disbelief then this is a fun read but only because the artists make it that.  Buy Avengers Forever and you will be impressed by a real writer.

Let's not forget the end to this little story.  Captain America returns to her time and we hear the Avengers will always be there and we get a splash page that filledf me with more questions and interest than the actual story.

And that cannot be good.  But here you go....



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4 comments:

  1. Well, we don't get enough of the story to judge Ewing fairly, but either Davis or Farmer turned in some poor art, IMO. You must have kept the art you liked for yourself, because the examples here are just -- yuck.

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  2. Seems like I wasn´t the only one who immediately saw similarities with AVENGERS FOREVER. And although I pointed out the same problems with the story I gave it a much more favorable review :

    http://talesfromthekryptonian.blogspot.de/2016/01/alan-davis-alone-does-not-great.html

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  3. Was my review THAT bad? Thing is that ever since Avengers Forever the lack of imagination has resulted in its premise and even scenes from it being ripped off. I do love Alan Davis art and have done since before he became a comic super star and it was only that got me to stick with this. I'll receck your blog post and I'll add a link into my post.

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  4. ahh. January, 2016. I must have missed this as that was a very bad time for me. I would have commented had I read that. Age.

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