In case one hasn’t heard, 2012’s “The Avengers” as directed by Joss Whedon was one of the most influential as well as highest grossing Hollywood blockbusters of all time. It was the culmination of not only five years of film efforts by Marvel Studios, but also proved that Disney’s investment (or purchase) of Marvel Comics in 2009-2010 was incredibly wise. Its’ sequel, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” hits theaters next May, and to wit Marvel Comics is attempting to have something at the ready to offer moviegoers who feel the need to try out some comics. The L.A. Times’ Hero Complex got the exclusive on it earlier this morning (Nov. 26th). It is an “event” being told in a three issue, 90 page story called “Ultron Forever” which will be sold as three separate one shots for maximum convenience (or confusion).
Writer Al Ewing (“Mighty Avengers”, “Captain America & the Mighty Avengers”, “Loki: Agent of Asgard”) has been tasked to write the three part tale which will see a collection of Avengers from different time lines and dimensions unite to battle the ultimate version of Ultron from 2013’s “Age of Ultron” comic book series by Brian Bendis and Bryan Hitch. The first of these, “Avengers: Ultron Forever #1” goes on sale May 1st, 2015 – which is right around when “Avengers: Age of Ultron” hits theaters. It will be drawn by legendary artist Alan Davis and features the current Marvel Universe versions of Vision, Black Widow, and Thor alongside a 1960’s versions of Hulk, James Rhodes as Iron Man, the Walt Simonson version of Thor from the 1980’s, and Danielle Cage – the grown up daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones – as the Captain America of the future.
Ewing explains the plot of this opening chapter both in the original story as well as a more in depth interview at Comic Book Resources. He explains that while Vision and Black Widow have both been Avengers for a very long time and technically participated in many classic battles together, they’ve rarely interacted for a stretch of time and it seemed to be inspire him. The fact that the pair likely will chat in the film that month can’t hurt. They’re paired with the latest incarnation of Thor, who is a woman, whose identity is still a mystery. Perhaps the most interesting is Dani Cage, considering that “Marvel time” is eternal so it is rare for many young characters to grow up without some sort of time travel or chemicals. After all, Franklin Richards – the son of Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman – has existed since 1968 and he’s still not hit puberty. The version of Ultron in which they’re uniting to face resides 50 years in the future and has essentially become the unquestioned ruler of earth.
The series will continue in “New Avengers: Ultron Forever #1” and “Uncanny Avengers: Ultron Forever #1”, because apparently just selling it as “Avengers: Ultron Forever #1-3” would have been too simple or would have been even more lost in the clutter of the other dozen crossovers Marvel is doing next year (such as “Secret Wars”, part three). The aim to hook in fans from the movie is noble, but the very appeal of a story like this is more intended for longtime fans than incoming ones. Regardless, Ewing is a vastly under rated writer and Alan Davis’ artwork alone is worth a few dollars an issue, so it could very well prove to be a gem. At any rate, 2015 looks to be the year of alternate world versions of every superhero ever at both Marvel and DC Comics, and it will remain to be seen how well this line wide nostalgia trip works out.