There's More Than Zombies vs. Robots in Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies #2'

by Gregory L. Reece

5 August 2015

Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies is about more than an army of Ultrons battling an army of zombie supervillians, as cool as that sounds on its own.
 
cover art

Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies

James Robinson, Steve Pugh

(Marvel)
US: Sep 2015

I know a great idea for a comicbook when I hear one. And this is a great idea.

Take two of Marvel’s most popular crossover events of recent years and toss them together into one book. Mix ‘em up and see what happens. If the end result just happens to be a tribute to IDW’s classic Zombies vs. Robots then that’s all the better. Put talents like James Robinson and Steve Pugh on the book and you can’t go wrong. It’s a great idea.

The robots in this story are, of course, Ultron and his army. Comicbook robots don’t get much better than that.

And the zombies? The zombies are a whole cast of Marvel villains: Magneto, Electro and Sabretooth, just to name a few.

I knew when I heard the premise for this book that I was going to like it. I knew that it was going to be fun. Robots. Zombies. Good, mindless, summertime fun.

Then Marvel, and Robinson and Pugh, did something to surprise me.

Much to my delight Robinson and Pugh drop good old Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne into the mix. Not the Hank and Janet from the mainstream Marvel universe, but Hank and Janet from the Old West town of Timely and the year 1872.

But Robinson and Pugh weren’t finished yet. Not by a long shot.

They give us the country of the Deadlands, home of the zombie hordes. They give us the land of Perfection, Ultron’s robot world without human flaws. They give us something more.
They give us the land of Salvation. They give us a zombie of another sort. They give us robots of a different kind.

Hank Pym, of course, is the inventor of Ultron. Well, not this Hank Pym, but another one. Ultron did his own share of creating. He created his own android servant, a servant that would betray him and go on to become my favorite Avenger of all time. He created the Vision.

The Vision did not spring fully formed from his master’s mind. His android body was based on that of Marvel’s original Human Torch, Jim Hammond. His android mind was taken from the brain waves of the then deceased Simon Williams, Wonder Man, the same Wonder Man who would be brought back from the dead, first to battle the Avengers as a zombie and then to join their ranks as a superhero in his own right.

(Think about it. When we consider the fact that creator Roy Thomas based the character of the Vision on the ‘40s superhero of the same name, that the character is connected to the World War II era Human Torch, and that his origin’s are linked to two other important Avengers characters, Ultron and Wonder Man, a case can be made that the Vision is Marvel’s ultimate legacy character.)

Much to my surprise, Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies is about more than an army of Ultrons battling an army of zombie supervillians, as cool as that sounds on its own. Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies is a higher stakes game than that. It is about Marvel’s two greatest robots, the Vision and the original Human Torch, and Marvel’s most compelling zombie, Wonder Man.

After two issues, Robinson is still establishing characters and building worlds. When I was expecting to see just robots vs. zombies, I imagined that the groundwork would be laid quickly and the story would move at a rapid pace: rotting flesh battling A.I. killing machines. Instead, it looks as if Robinson is taking the time to lay a proper foundation, which means that after two issues the story still isn’t at full speed. Hopefully, it also means that there are even better things to come.

Steve Pugh is also excellent here. His zombies are frightening and decayed; his Ultron army, shiny and menacing; his heroes, fine-lined and heroic; his flashbacks, cool and retro.

I know a great idea for a comicbook when I hear one. And this is a great idea.

Ultron and his army versus ravaging supervillian zombies. Add cowboy versions of Ant-Man and the Wasp. Then bring in Wonder Man, a Marvel zombie from way back when they were called “zuvembies”. Finally, give us Marvel’s two most important robot heroes: the Vision and the Human Torch.

What a great idea.

Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies

Rating:

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