Not only does the film have to introduce a brand-new villain (something The Avengers didn’t have to spend time on) and three new supporting characters (with vastly different origins than their comic counterparts), and weave in ongoing events from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. while providing separate in-depth character moments for every single Avenger, Age of Ultron also has to lay the groundwork for the next two Avengers films, Captain America: Civil War, and Thor: Ragnarok. While also throwing in supporting characters from pretty much every Marvel film so far it’s something of a marvel, if you’ll forgive the pun, that Avengers: Age of Ultron doesn’t buckle under its own considerable weight.
The concept for A + X is pretty simple. It’s your basic team-up issue with one member of the Avengers working with one member of the X-Men. Broken into a main story and a back-up story (featuring a different team-up) I’ve found the series to be occasionally entertaining but also inconsistent as usually one story in each issue is far better than the other. A+X #8 marked an occasion where I liked the possibilities of both team-ups.
Although I’ve never been a big fan of Hawkeye, I really enjoyed Deadpool Team-Up and the idea of Deadpool driving any Avenger crazy for half an issue appealed to me. Despite having some nice moments as well, the story isn’t nearly as zany or outrageous as I was hoping. Hit-and-Miss.
The second story, although not nearly as entertaining, also features two heroes winding up at a poker game as the Yancy Street friends of Ben Grimm invite Gambit, over for the weekly poker game. There’s some okay back-and-forth between the characters and late twist, but it’s the less interesting of the two stories. Worth a look.
The first story involves Thor and Ms. Marvel (wearing her classic costume) taking on a long-dormant Skrull killing machine who attacks the pair when it recognizes Ms. Marvel’s powers come from Kree origins. The one-upsmanship between the mighty Thor and the mighty Ms. Marvel is a lot of fun.
The back-up story involves the Black Widow and the Wasp sneaking into Doctor Doom‘s laboratory to rescue a pair of scientists whose work Doom is corrupting to turn into a biological weapon. Complete with insane escape, quarreling scientists, and Doombots, it proves to be just as much fun. Worth a look.
With the launch of Marvel Now!, Marvel Comics gives us yet another rebooting of the Avengers (which was last rebooted only two years ago). The initial team apparently was chosen solely for their big screen appearances, although the issue teases a much bigger (but perhaps not really more interesting) roster.
For our opening issue we’re given a team of Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, the Black Widow, Thor, and the Hulk, of which only Cap and old Shellhead really are given much to do. The threat involves a weird group of aliens terraforming the surface of Mars, led by what appears to be a Jack Kirby villain that even Dynamite Entertainment wouldn’t be interested in, who have now turned their attention to Earth.
First, let me say I hate, hate, hate the obvious amount of influence the Marvel Studios films have had on this title from the get-go. Not only are we stuck with the, somewhat limiting, movie team, but the comic even finds a way to put Captain America into something far closer in style to the character’s movie costumes than I’d like.