“Age of Ultron” #5 dips back into the past with a flashback of Vision’s restoration that occurred prior to “Avengers” #19, cementing this tale as an enhanced and artificially enlarged Brian Michael Bendis-era Avengers story. The first four pages of Bryan Hitch’s art are dedicated to Reed Richards, Tony Stark and Hank Pym trying to figure out the Vision, as they wax philosophical about time-travel moral responsibilities.
As Bendis comic books go, this one is right on par with a sufficient quantity of talking heads punctuated by action. The gathered heroes march through the Savage Land, Red Hulk punches through a safe door, Ultron levels Austin, Texas and characters do a lot more talking. The three pages of the attack on Austin provide more scope of the devastation, but also seem a bit like filler. Decisions are made on how to set things right, with Captain America heading in one direction and Wolverine in another. Beyond that, there really isn’t a whole lot going on in the pages of “Age of Ultron” #5. There is, however, ample indication that things are really going to start rolling soon.
Hitch’s art is serviceable and solid, not his prettiest work, but far from his worst. Most of the page layouts cross the gutter, but Hitch has a number of panels end at the gutter, leaving room for potential confusion. Hitch has done a steady job identifying the characters in this story, but I’m ready to see what Carlos Pacheco and Brandon Peterson bring to the next chapters of “Age of Ultron.” I’m not sure this is on Hitch, but among the pieces found in the armory is Iron Man’s “classic” armor, which Tony identifies as “Mark II.” The red and gold armor with the discs on the hips, by my recollection, is actually Mark V, unless this is a bobble caused by the time-based attacks. At any rate, it was certainly enough to give me pause and take me out of the story long enough to count through the versions of the armor leading up to that one.
“Age of Ultron” #5 is a display of the collection of heroes jumping through Tuckman’s stages of team development in alarmingly quick fashion. Yes, many of these characters know one another and have fought alongside each other before, but there’s an awful lot of space dedicated to talking and game-planning. This issue does sport twenty-five pages of story, but the series continues to tease exciting developments without much delivery. Maybe future-Ultron can send us some action-packed pages.