What will happen in the “Age of Ultron?” That’s what Brian Michael Bendis will answer in this 10-issue miniseries launching in March. Originally teased in one of Marvel’s Point One issues last year. According to Bendis, the story will see the perennial mechanical Marvel villain will realize his destiny to conquer the world. “What happens,” Bendis asked, “when you wake up and one of the biggest villains in the Marvel Universe does what he says he always said he was going to do.”
Bendis is joined by artist Bryan Hitch for the first five issues and Brandon Person along with Carlos Pacheco on the back half for a series that has what Bendis promises will have such a shocking last page reveal, that only six people in the whole world know what it is–“You can not guess this ending,” Bendis brags. While this week might be the long-running “Avengers” writer’s final issue with that series, he’ll be throwing one of their biggest villains at the entire Marvel Universe as part of 2013’s summer event.
Bendis spoke about the book’s origins in “The Avengers,” but it was never intended to solely be his “last Avengers story.” The project will take the battle against Ultron across the entirety of the Marvel Universe, drawing in characters like the X-Men, Moon Knight, etc. The story will see Ultron decide that it’s time for him to finally take over he Earth and the only thing standing in his way is that pesky humanity.
For Bendis, what’s kept the character from recognizing his destiny is that this kind of story, its scope is terrifying for a writer. Character-wise, it can be rooted in his daddy issues with creator Hank Pym, but it’s also a writing challenge because it will involve mass-scale death if the character is allowed to do what he sets out to do. Of course, he wouldn’t divulge who might not be coming out of the story alive, but did say that The Vision will be a character to watch throughout. Bendis added that this is the culmination of Hank Pym, the Wasp, and the Vision’s stories in some way. Moon Knight will be one of the survivors, and his role in the story is to be someone survived that they were able to dig their way out of the rubble alongside Spider-Man and Hawkeye. He brought up Marc Spector’s character in particular because a recent arc where Moon Knight was trying to prevent some villains from getting their hands on Ultron casings will factor heavily in the event.
Bendis also called Bryan Hitch’s work some of he best of the artist’s career, noting that the rapid-fire release of the miniseries over a couple of months will allow readers to experience his work at a more brisk clip than previous projects with which the “Ultimates” artist has been involved. All of the very deliberate artist’s pages are complete, “hoarded and stockpiled,” according to Marvel’s Tom Breevoort, noting the historical precedent of Hitch’s work coming out at what could generously be described as a gradual pace.
Speaking of that pacing, Bendis talked about how the event will be released over a brisk clip throughout a couple of months allows them to tell a tightly contained story from other summer events which tend to be spread out over months and months. Breevoort added that Bendis’ story leaps right into the middle of the big, crazy event from the beginning. The release scheduled will involve about two in March, two in April, with three in May and June with around six or seven tie-ins, plus an epilogue. While it’s launching earlier than the usual Marvel summer event, “The Age of Ultron” will be the big story for 2013 on the scale of “AvX” according to Breevoort. The rest of the summer comic releases will deal with the fallout from the book.
Ultron’s path to “The Age of Ultron,” has been woven throughout some of Bendis’ recent Marvel Now work, and the writer says that part of the tension for the story is drawn from this one consistent for Ultron: every time he goes away, he comes back smarter.
“The Age of Ultron” launches in March in print and digitally.
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