Book Review The Avengers: Birth of Ultron (Marvel Ultimate Graphic Novel Collection Classic #12) by Roy Thomas, John Buscema (Illustrator)

avengers birth of ultronWitness the startling creation of one of the Avengers most deadly foes: the insane automaton known simply as Ultron.

Discover what drives this metallic menace, as it undertakes a terrifying  (a scheme that will leave the Avengers changed forever! Plus, change is afoot as two mysterious new members, the Vision and Yellowjacket, join the team. Collecting Avengers vol. 1 #54-60 and Avengers Annual #2.

From my TBR pile, when at the time of reading, the second Avengers movie (Age of Ultron) is still in post production with an expected release in 2015, exact date dependant on region.

This is NOT the book of the film. This is a collection of early Marvel comics, charting the initial appearances of Ultron (Ultron-5), plus a few additional lesser known cast members in the Avengers canon.  There’s no “original publication date” I can see for the source comics, but judging on style, presentation etc, I’m guessing they were originally published in the 1960s. Of course, Marvel have a back history of the character.

The makeup of the Avengers here is not the team set up that modern audiences are currently used to (Thor, Iron man, Hulk, Black Widow etc). There is a “New” Avengers consisting of the lesser known Giant ManWasp, Black Panther, along with the better known Captain America) and Hawkeye.

The presentation as a Graphic Novel is lovely, with the hard cover, a collection of related strips etc. I have to admit that this is not my style of Comic Strip. I am very much a fan of the later style of  Comic/G.N. with related narrative, violence and design,  where as this is from the 1960s/1970s with a much more “innocent” (retro) style of cell construction, drawing and violence.  Cells colours are lighter and brighter, exposition and story line is progressed though chunks of in-cell text explaining what’s going on to the reader. There are also occasional handy arrows guiding you from one cell to the next in case you hadn’t worked out where to go next! It reminded me somewhat of the Adam West Batman series – all gaudy colours, cheese and make believe fighting. There is also some bad alliteration at the start of each episode as to who wrote or drew what.  These are the strips I would expect to see in the weekly “funnies” and that I would be able to pass onto Nieces and Nephews as a more “acceptable” level of violence.

Several characters are introduced, such as Ultron-5, The Vision  (an android sent by Ulton to kill everyone, only to have a change of heart), and YellowJacket – yet another SuperHero character for Hank Pym to add to his other alternate characters of Ant-Man, Giant Man etc.

In summary: nice to have read as a backfill to the new Avengers movie, but not really my style of Graphic Novel

Here is one of the trailers for the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie:

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