Rating: 4/5 – A solid stand alone tale that delivers a better ending than the original.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
I’ll start off by saying I was pleasantly surprised with What If? Age of Ultron number one. For me the ending of the Age of Ultron mini-series didn’t match the excitement I felt at the beginning of the series. That being said, the ramifications of that event much like House of M event that Bendis also wrote, are being felt throughout the universe and look as though they will be for the foreseeable future. So it’s no surprise that Marvel is choosing to publish a What If? series around the event like they’ve done for other big story lines in Marvel’s past. This What If? “ending” of the event delivers on a more personal and scary level than the original did, which made this issue the pleasant surprise it was.
In this What If? story, Hank Pym is the last human on Earth and refuses to give up on making things right. The Earth as we know it is long gone and in it’s place is an Earth overrun by Ultrons of all different types. Writer Joe Keatinge chooses to tell the story through letters from Pym to the long dead Wasp. It’s a tragic tale and Keatinge does a great job of making you feel for Pym and the mistakes he’s made. The whole story is told in this one issue which makes it that much more enjoyable. There’s no continuation, and no more stories to be told as Keatinge delivers a solid ending that’s even more tragic than the original.
Artist Raffaele Ienco does a solid job with the visuals as his pencils give the story the gritty feel it’s going for. Although his pencils can look a bit rough at times when it comes to faces and close ups, he still does a great job of portraying emotion and feeling. As Giant Man copes with his mistakes, you can see it in his body language and actions. Ienco does a fantastic job of making Ultron as scary as he should be, not matter the iteration of him. There’s a fantastic scene with what looks to be hundreds of Ultrons on the page and Ienco is able to sell it effectively.
What If? Age of Ultron number one delivers a solid stand alone story that can be enjoyed on it’s own, even though there are four more issues to this series. If you were left feeling a bit unsatisfied with the ending of the original series, then give this issue a shot as it delivers where the other one didn’t. If you like this first issue as much as I did, you may be in for the entire 4-issue series to see where this tale might bring us that the original didn’t.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture