Ultron #1AU (2013)
Writer – Kathryn Immonen
Artist – Amilcar Pinna
Thus far the Age of Ultron event has not been very impressive. One thing I do like about the event is that the tie-in stories do not interrupt the books they come from. Instead there are specifically made Age of Ultron tie-in books are made based around the most popular series. However, one of these books is not based on any ongoing series. Ultron #1AU follows Victor Mancha a character from The Runaways that is the actual son of Ultron. The story follows Victor as he tries to save civilians in the Los Angeles area during the conquest of Ultron. It is tragic to see how hard things have gotten for The Runaways and the ending builds upon the despair that seems to flow in all of the Age of Ultron material.
This issue is written by Kathryn Immonen, who has worked with The Runaways in the past. This familiarity does help keep Victor’s behavior consistent with how it is usually presented. While like many tie-in books this does little to explain how our characters got into this mess, it does show how he is coping with the war. There is a good amount of tension in the book and the personalities of the rescued civilians do not help keep things calm. Sadly, there is no character development or any real impact on the main plot of the event, thus this is just an almost pointless side story. However, the ending is very exciting and it will make you want to know what becomes of Victor in this new dark world. If we are lucky there will be some resolution to these events.
Overall the artwork is mixed. The ruins of LA look pretty good, but when the story moves to the hideout the detail suffers a little. The characters generally look good, but there is something about the facial design that seems off. Despite that, all returning characters look correct and the Ultron drones look threatening. The battle scenes look intense, but there is not much action in this book. The art captures the gloom and hopelessness of the main story which helps this tale fit into the saga.
It is difficult to score this book as it does have some things working against this side story. First is that the event is a little lackluster thus it is difficult to recommend reading a tie-in to an event that is not up to the usual Marvel standard. Second, rating the art is difficult as I do not like the facial designs, but they may not bother everyone. Finally, this is the first Kathryn Immonen book I have enjoyed, all of her work I have read thus far I tend to give up on due to her sloppy style. Thus I suggest that if you are reading the main event then give this book a try, of all the tie-ins (thus far) it is one of two that I have enjoyed (the other being Fantastic Four). If you are a fan of The Runaways this title may interest you, but it does not add much to their story. Overall, it is a good book stuck in an event that leaves me unimpressed.
3 out of 5 – Minor flaws but an enjoyable read