Comic Review: Age of Ultron #10AI
Bizarrely sharing the number and name as the finale to Age of Ultron, the recently ended crossover, Age of Ultron #10AI is a kind of half-epilogue to the event and half-prologue to Avengers A.I. #1. It’s a little strange then that it’s Mark Waid who’s wrote this issue, someone who has nothing to do with Age of Ultron or the upcoming Avengers series. As a big fan of Waid’s work I was very curious to see how this would play out.
The issue focuses entirely on Hank Pym, creator of Ultron. What do you do when you find out your robotic “son” almost destroyed the entire human race? Well you decide to look back on your life. The issue spends the first half showing us Hank’s childhood and young adult life before then jumping up to date. The strongest scenes are definitely the childhood scenes. Hank is an energetic and brilliantly intelligent child. While his parents borderline ignore his talents his grandmother nurturers his abilities. She encourages his creativity while his parents, his father in particular, pressure him to create something useful. Later on we see professors once again pressuring Hank to stifle his imagination in favour of cold practicality. It’s relatable material as many people can think of times when they’re discouraged from expressing themselves. It greatly humanises Hank as a character too.
Andre Araujo handles the art which works especially well in the flashback portions. Young Hank is buzzing with vitality, he captures the youthful excitement of childhood perfectly. His work on expressions is great, there’s bags of personality to everyone in the issue. From the moody professors to Hank’s endearing grandmother. The only part of the issue that looks off is when Hank is in costume. The skintight Ant-Man costume looks a little silly on Hank but that’s much more a problem of how out of date the design is than anything else.
My only problem with this issue is that the latter segment simply shows Hank doing superheroics. After such touching and humanising opening scenes these moments feel a little lifeless by comparison. Also the issue ignores the Mighty Avengers run where Hank already reaffirmed his desire to be a hero. I wonder if it was left out as it lessens the launch of the new series somewhat as it’s built on a similar ideal. Wasp similarly is glossed over which is surprising considering her importance in his life. I feel like it’d have been a better call to spend time on these elements and instead leave out the more action-centric scenes.
Age of Ultron #10 AI is a good issue, although it’s not quite as necessary to either Age of Ultron or even Avengers A.I as Marvel would have us think. You can safely skip this and not lose anything. That said, the first half of the issue is an entertaining and worthwhile look at Hank Pym’s origins that will do a lot towards helping you empathise with him. But if you have no interest in the character, or in Avengers A.I., then it’s not quite worth checking out.