The Avengers are being tailed by a news broadcast filming their heroics, while they spring into battle against a terrorist group led by Firebrand. The team easily dispatches the super-villain and his minions quickly give up. Little do they know, they're being watched by a second party; the mad robot with the adamantium body Ultron. -summary
If there's a better Ultron story out there then I never read it, and I would like to believe that I read them all by this point. Never before has the killer robot been this cunning, and even worse, this vicious in his plans to annihilate mankind. Avengers: Ultron Unlimited is written by Kurt Busiek. The story arc has been recognized as a classic, and it takes place during Busiek's now legendary run in the Avengers titles. The story is held in such high regards, that it was referenced during the Avengers: Disassembled story arc, when the team was looking back on their most memorable moments during their break up. The story arc ranks very high in the Avengers mythos, and is even mentioned along other milestones and classics; such as The Kree and Skrull War as well as the Korvac Saga. This is the Avengers at their best; against impossible odds with an enemy that is capable of obliterating the entire team single-handedly. This tradepaper back collects Avengers Volume 3 issues 19 - 22 and Avengers # 0.
After the first story which really isn't all that much, it's pretty much full throttle from there. Busiek is pretty wordy in this story as he highly details every situation from character thoughts to the situation at hand. It truly helps develop the stories and the characters, and I found myself sucked into this fictional world. When you can feel the events in a story like you're there, then you know you're reading a damn good story. The action picks up with Ultron destroying an entire country, and little is left up to the imagination. The reader gets a first persons view of Ultron's warship descending from the sky, and raining laser fire on the people as if he's bringing the fury of God himself. He soon dispatches his infantry to deal with the military forces and almost everything is in good detail. The entire onslaught is reminiscent of the Terminator, since it gives off the feel as the ultimate battle between man and machine. There's one disturbing moment with Ultron standing in the middle of the chaos surrounded by scores of dead bodies. This is Ultron like never before, at least that I know of; calculating, merciless, and very dangerous. The Avengers don't even realize how much they have their hands full here.
The story has very good pacing, and the action panels are nowhere near boring. They are highly entertaining with some creative action filled moments. The Avengers also engage in battle with Ultron's ex-female mate Wartoy, now named Alkhema, and she gives the team a very tough fight. I didn't really care for this character in her first apperance way back in Avengers West Coast #90 in 1993, but I really liked her here. The battle with Ultron is even better with a nice twist. Fortunately, character development is present, and the non action filled moments are far away from being boring, and there's also a few good flashbacks that will take old school fans back, as well as bring new fans up to speed on Ultron and his past acts.
The artwork by George Perez is outstanding. There are some very nice action panels, and excellent character designs for female characters the Scarlet Witch and Firestar. However, I think the facial expressions are the show stealer, when examining the look on the Avengers faces as they witness Ultron's horrors on the viewing screen. I don't remember shooting through the book on my first read, because I enjoyed the artwork quite a bit.
Avengers: Ultron Unlimited is one story I can't really think of having any issues with. Once I got through the opening story I was hooked from there. This is a book that I have come back to several times. I highly recommend this to comic book fans.
-Gripping story, action & artwork
-With the exception of the by the numbers opening story, nothing at all.
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