For this issue, we’re back under Central Park in New York City where the surviving superheroes have been gathered since the start of the series. However, Cap’s back on his feet and has devised a plan to get back at Ultron – have Luke Cage pretend to “sell” She-Hulk to Ultron and then, once inside, gather some intel and do some damage. But it’s a long-shot and may even be a suicide mission…
Age of Ultron #3 is my least favourite of the issues so far. It’s kind of slow and doesn’t seem to advance the plot much. There’s 6 pages of exposition among the superheroes to decide to send Luke and She-Hulk off and 8 pages of seeing Luke knock out She-Hulk and carry her across Manhattan to Ultron’s lair – it just felt like so much padding. I like that to knock out She-Hulk, Luke Cage’s punch is so strong that it destroys Fifth Avenue, but to devote almost an entire issue to what amounts to the setup of the plan – not even the execution – is a bit much.
The side story set in Chicago with Red Hulk/Taskmaster/Black Panther was a lot better. We see more of the effects of Ultron’s invasion across America and that he doesn’t seem to have taken over the city with a massive structure like in New York but still has Ultron Drones patrolling. This sequence does three things well: affirms that Bendis has no problems killing off big characters, sets up a new plot thread that’ll likely have importance in future issues, and has some great action. At just 6 pages, it’s the highlight of this issue.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still enjoying the event, I just expected a bit more at this point – though there is a massive reveal on the last page that completely flips the story on its head so I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens next.
Bryan Hitch’s artwork is still fantastic and Bendis’ dialogue still has moments of real sparkle, especially with Taskmaster, but it’s a bit of a lull after the shock and awe of the first two issues. The AR in this comic is also lacking – there’s just the one bit on the front page which is basically a summary of everything that’s happened so far. Anyways, it’s not bad but it’s not as good either – here’s hoping the momentum picks back up in the next issue.
Age of Ultron #3 is out now at your local comics shop and online at Comixology and at Marvel Unlimited
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