If you're a comics fan, you've heard it a million times (literally. Go back and count): "This changes everything!" Marvel or DC touts some big comic event, some major character dies, Cap gets his shield broken, Batman gets a new sidekick whatever… and eventually it all goes back to normal and nothing has really changed. Marvel's upcoming "Age of Ultron" event, due to begin next March, may really change everything - but not for the Marvel universe. For our universe, specifically the American comics industry that happens to reside in it.
How? Three reasons:
1) Because Marvel is making the most accessible, self-contained "major" event since the ‘80s. "Age of Ultron" will consist of 10 issues over four months, released from March to June - yes, that's 3-4 issues a month - meaning the event happens quickly, allowing fans to read (and collect) it quickly, so it doesn't drag out over years, like "Civil War" seemed to. This is a comics event for an age when most people just wait for the trades, and while it might not work, it's definitely a step in the right direction.
2) The other part of the self-containment is that "Age of Ultron" will only have seven tie-ins. This sounds like a lot, but for anyone who has seen major event after major event derail their favorite comic series, because writers are forced to shoehorn whatever else is going on in the bigger Marvel or DC universe no matter how unconnected the characters are to the event, knowing only a few character will be effected is really, really nice. And most of these tie-ins will be one issue, with only a few being 2-3 issues. Oh sure, collecting all of "Age of Ultron" will still cost quite a bit, but it's still far more financially accessible than events of the past few years have been.
3) Bryan Hitch has already drawn all five of his issues. As in, all the pages are finished and Marvel has them. If you're not a big comics fan, you might not know how rare is it that any major artists manages to get all their work in on time, and how Bryan Hitch - whose art is fantastic and complex and obviously takes forever to draw - is one of the worst offenders. But he's done! Marvel planned ahead, and "Age of Ultron" - all of "Age of Ultron" - will come out on time! Sadly, this more than anything is such a positive step forward for the modern comics industry that it's kind of absurd.
Look, I may be reading far too much into this, but it feels like Marvel is actually doing something new. =More importantly, it seems like Marvel actually acknowledging the modern comics market and readers in a positive way. But there's one more thing that has me excited.
Marvel has said the last few pages of "Age of Ultron" are "so shocking" that literally only six people at Marvel know what happens in them. SVP of Publishing Tom Brevoort says people cannot guess what will happen in them. Now, this is probably just me, but the lack of a "This changes everything!" mantra is such a breath of fresh air that I can't help but wonder if Marvel is actually dropping that particular, constantly useless bit of hype from their repertoire. Look, we all know no matter what happens the idea of something really changing, for good, is almost nil. But something so insane happening in "Age of Ultron" I can't guess what it is? I'M ACTUALLY EXCITED TO READ THIS COMIC. Which, I imagine, is what they were hoping for.
[Via Comic Book Resources]