Thursday, July 4, 2013

Avengers A.I. #1

In this review of Age of Ultron #10 AI, I talked about how I get uneasy when I see a story centered on Giant-Man (Hank Pym), because he's been so badly written too many times in the past.

That issue was a pleasant surprise, and it leads into this one - which seems to be bringing back the old crazy Hank Pym.

I may be wrong - this may be an effort to make Hank more happy-go-lucky, more eccentric - but it feels like a different character, and some of his reactions are out of character.

In the aftermath of the defeat of Ultron, Pym unleashed a program that ended Ultron - but now may have created a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is menacing the world.

To combat the problem, he works with SHIELD to create an Avengers team designed to battle these kinds of menaces - and so we get the old "gathering the team" bit - and that's where the issue struggles.

The first recruit is a natural - the Vision (one of my old favorites) - but for some reason they've given him some strange new abilities that don't really make sense. Wasn't he already powerful enough?

Other recruits include Victor Mancha, the "son" of Ultron, and - of all things - a Doombot. This is where you have to wonder about Pym's sanity, since the Doombot must follow orders, but constantly threatens death and destruction. Some comedy value, yes, but surely there are better robotic candidates. (And how does he suppose Dr. Doom will react when he finds out?)

It's vital for a new first issue to really grab the readers, but I'm afraid writer Sam Humphries and artist Andre Lima Araujo haven't managed that - yet.

The story has potential, but so far it hasn't taken off. The art is good, but a bit flat - and I don't care for the faces of the characters. They all seem doughy and child-like.

It's an interesting start, but it has a ways to go before this is a must-buy.

Grade: B-


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