Travelling Man's Blog

Review: Age of Ultron: Ultron by Travelling Man

Age of Ultron: Ultron

Written by Kathryn Immonen

Art by Amilcar Pinna

Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna

Cover by Kalman Andrasofszky

Publish by Marvel

£2.85 (Or £1.80 with Super Card Go!)

One of the things I’m still fascinated by with Age of Ultron is the way the story’s structured. For a piece with such vast scale and, we’re told, impact, its actual issue footprint is pretty small. As a result, you could be forgiven for assuming the tie-ins aren’t essential and focusing on the miniseries itself. However, the tie-in issues have been doing interesting work and this one shot is a good example of that.

The issue focuses on Victor Mancha, of the Runaways who’s a teenager, a hero and, somewhat awkwardly, Ultron’s son. Apparently destined to kill all the heroes at some point in the future, Victor has flat out refused his destiny and, in the wake of the inconceivable destruction wrought by his father, is doing the one thing he knows Ultron doesn’t want; being a hero. We meet Victor in the middle of what used to be LA and Immonen quickly shows us just how complex his situation is. Victor isn’t quite human, and as a result the Ultron units leave him alone. He’s a lone witness to the end of the world, cut off from New York, the helicarrier club and any kind of support. Most people would give up. Victor Mancha doesn’t know how.

Immonen’s a great writer and she excels at deceptively simple explorations of character. That’s exactly what this is, serving as an introduction to Victor for people who didn’t read Runaways, a reintroduction for those who did and placing him very much on the game table for the rest of Age of Ultron. There’s no sense of pieces being moved around for narrative efficacy though, Immonen instead showing us just how much good Victor’s done and how effortlessly it’s swept away. He’s a good kid, doing good work but he’s, and this is the kicker given his origin, human. He makes mistakes, others make mistakes because of him and the consequences of those mistakes look set to propel Victor into the final act of the main crossover. Age of Ultron is increasingly a story focusing around Hank Pym, Ultron’s creator but judging by this issue, Ultron’s creation is going to be just as important. It’ll be interesting to see what role Victor plays and whether or not he’ll meet his ‘grandfather’.

Immonen turns in typically impressive work here, giving emotional weight to characters that are wiped off the page by the end of the issue. She’s backed by Pinna’s art which has an unusual combination of scratchy and clean that emphasizes characterisation and emotion over action. It’s a smart combination that for the most part works very well, although Pinna’s inks and colours can make the book look a little flat in places.

All in all, this is a welcome addition to the series, and a welcome reintroduction for one of the best characters from one of the best series in recent years. I have no idea what role Victor’s playing in the finale of the series, but judging by this issue, he’s planning on making it a big one. I can’t wait.

Alasdair Stuart

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