Avengers: Ultron Forever #1 Comic Book Review

Avengers Ultron Forever #1 CoverAvengers Ultron Forever #1 Cover
  Time Travel. Avengers. Ultron.  Dr. Doom. Hulk Smash...these are the immediate takeaways from the new Marvel Comic book Avengers: Ultron Forever #1 that hit store shelves in April, 2015.  This is an obvious marketing ploy to appease both Avengers comics fans and Avengers movie fans just prior to the release of the new Avengers movie Avengers: Age of Ultron which hits theaters on April 30/May 1. Ok, so we have the movie connection, but is the comic book any good?  In this reviewer's mind, that question has only one answer:  YES!
Avengers Assemble in Ultron Forever #1

Avengers Assemble in Ultron Forever #1

What is good about this comic?  Many things, some of which we will mention later in our Spoilers Section.  First, this is an obvious homage to the Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco's great time-travel/alternate universe opus, Avengers Forever (1998-1999).  In that mini-series, Avengers members from the past, present, and the future (as well as an alternate universe's timeline), were all gathered together to save reality.  In this new time-traveling Avengers comic book, a group of Avengers is also gathered together by...mild spoiler alert here...  
Avengers Ultron Forever Poster

Avengers Ultron Forever Poster

Dr. Doom!  Or someone who looks, sounds, and sort of acts like Doom.  The true identity of this Doom is left in the air for now.  Regardless of who this Doom may or may not be, he gathers Avengers with his Time Platform.  We are introduced to a new Captain America from an unknown year in the future (Danielle Cage, daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones), Thor Odinson from a time before he lost Mjolnir, the new, female Thor, the present-day Black Widow and Vision,  Iron Man (when Jim Rhodes, not Tony Stark, wore the Mark 4 Armor), and an early version of the Hulk from before the Avengers formed. Doom explains (after being attacked...and that attack looked cool, especially the two Mjolnirs hurtling toward him), that he gathered them together to combat the "Ultron Singularity" that has taken over the world of the far future. One of the things this review likes to see in comics is when an editorial reference is made to an event/person/thing in a past issue, the editor (in this case, Tom Brevoort), informs the reader.  Here, when the Ultron Singularity is mentioned by Doom, Black Widow confirms that fact, and the reader is informed via the editorial reference box that the Widow knows this from Avengers (vol. 5) #31.  Good Job Tom Brevoort!
Avengers Ultron Forever #1 Attack Doom

Avengers Ultron Forever #1 Attack Doom

So, with the initial introductions dispensed with, these Avengers agree to follow Doom's plan to attack the future Ultron and his means of controlling the world.  At this point, the story and action takes on an almost Golden Age or Silver Age (thinking more of the old JSA and JLA books) feel, as the Avengers split into several different groups to attack several different objectives.  This is not a complaint, but this reviewer wonders if the writer, Al Ewing, intentionally invoked the spirit of writers past when he decided to split the team as this was a common plot device in the olden days for superhero team books.  Anyway, being a comic book, predictably, things do not go well for our heroes as...major spoiler alert here...
Iron Man (Jim Rhodes) in Armor #4

Iron Man (Jim Rhodes) in Armor #4

  We see several of our heroes seemingly die (and in the Hulk's case, that could really screw up the time stream).  One facet of the last part of the book that was particularly enjoyable was the interaction between the three Thors.  Oh, yes, as male Thor and female Thor team up to assault Ultron's HQ, they are met by Ultron's Thor (for lack of a better name), who first appeared in the aforementioned Avengers (vol. 5) #31.  Again, the connections between this Avengers: Ultron Forever book and the events of the recent Avengers series written by Jonathan Hickman are done quite well.  Though the bit of foreshadowing Ewing put into the Black Widow's comments about screwing up the time line if anything happened to Hulk, was a bit obvious. This comic is cool for several reasons:
  1. We meet the future female Captain America and her presumed arch-enemy, the Golden Skull. Both of them enjoy their first appearances here, though the baby version of Danielle Cage first appeared in The Pulse #13 (2006), and was seen a lot during the Skrull Secret Invasion.
    Female Captain America (Danielle Cage) in Avengers-Ultron Forever #1

    Female Captain America (Danielle Cage) in Avengers-Ultron Forever #1

  2. Time Travel. This is just a great plot device for comic books, and when done well (as Busiek did with Avengers Forever) this thematic device rocks.  The sense from Avengers: Ultron Forever #1is that Al Ewing is doing it right.  Just enough past connections and just enough time travel mystery to keep the drama going
  3. Ultron and "his" Avengers. We first saw these future imperfect versions of the Avengers in Avengers (vol. 5) #31, where they kicked regular Avengers butt, and here they are again.  Ultron has always served a very effective recurring Avengers villain.
  4. The art by Alan Davis is great. 'Nuff Said!
  Who should read this Avengers book?  Any fan of the Avengers, any fan of comic book time travel stories, and anyone who likes seeing Ultron as a bad guy.  Avengers movie fans who are not really familiar with the comics and the various past versions of the Avengers we find here, may be confused by all the comic book history references...just saying...but they have a great movie to look forward to. We are very much looking forward to the next issue of Avengers: Ultron Forever.  

About the Author

Roger Lee

Roger Lee is a life-long comic book and sci-fi aficionado. As such, he fell into the habit of writing about the superheroes and sci-fi scenarios that he reads in the comics and books and sees on screen. Since writings on superheroes need to be shared, he has written for web audiences for years. His writings have appeared on www.comicshistoryguy.com, www.comicbookmovie.com, www.bamsmackpow.com, and now in superheroreviews.com.