Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Trade of The Month Rage of Ultron

Listen to The Ambassador & Pablo Gunner talk about and give their thoughts of the Avengers Rage of Ultron graphic novel.
Writer Rick Remender(@Remender)
Artists Jerome Opeña(@JeromeAOpena) with Pepe Larraz(@PepeLarraz)
Additional Inks Mark Morales
Color Artists Dean White, Rachelle Rosenberg(@rachellecheri), Dono Sanchez Almara(@Dono_mx)

This is an all original graphic novel by Marvel comics. That means it's an all new story that isn't really connected to any ongoing comics story line. You don't need to have any knowledge of any previous, current, or future comics. Just jump in and enjoy the ride. They even have the cast of characters featured at the beginning of the story. The introduction by Kurt Busiek gives you a good feel as to what you're getting into as well. What's great is that this is essentially the creative team that has done Uncanny Avengers. If you've been reading that title recently you can pick up on the subtle nuances. The title is a great suggestion as to what this book is about. 
It starts off with an old-school team of Avengers. It seems like it might be a retelling of one of their bouts with Ultron. The most odd thing to me was how personal this story seemed to be. Ultron considers Hanky Pym his father as does Pym. The same goes for Ultron with Vision. Flash forward to present day the new team deals with an extremist militant AI group called the Descendants. Vision doesn't like the way that Hank Pym deals with the situation so that puts them at odds with each other throughout most of the story. The story turns out to be the past biting them in rear end; how they dealt with Ultron back in the day. Ultron is back stronger, more technologically advanced, lethal, and angrier than ever. This is the Ultron I wanted to see in Avengers 2. Running out of options and time the team makes a last ditch effort plan. The conclusion to that fight was also odd, confusing, and slightly underwhelming at first. There's a funeral and revelation though that still has me reeling. What they did at the end of the book was so mind blowingly astounding that if Marvel sticks with this that it would change the outlook of two monumental Marvel characters for years to come. This book was brilliant not to mention gorgeous.
As I said this is the Ultron I wanted to see in the film. Ultron looked intimidating even in his old school iteration. The current day Ultron looked terrifying as were the Avengers he took over. Opeña's style looks so sleek, futuristic, and yet gritty it didn't feel like quite the right fit for the old-school Avengers sequence versus Ultron. Nonetheless all the characters look perfect. The colors, costumes, and backgrounds were a great fit for a blast from the past Avengers. The character designs were so spot on that it just worked. Vision looked as majestic and badass(language) as he did in Avengers 2. The current day art palette was a bit darker and fittingly so. Every panel, page, and spread was at its best.
This book was everything I wanted and more in an Ultron story. The biggest surprise was that is was so personal and emotionally charged. This creative team brought such a level of intensity to this book, it's characters, and detail to the world. The ending conclusions are so unbelievable I'll be feeling the effects of it for a while. This was easily the best work I have experienced with Ultron in it, and yes, that includes the movie as well as the animated show, Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, story arc. This is without a doubt a STRONG BUY.

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