Free Comic Book Day 2012 (Avengers: Age Of Ultron Point One)
Marvel Comics (May, 2012)
A reprint of Avengers #12.1
WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis
PENCILER: Bryan Hitch
INKER: Paul Neary
COLORIST: Paul Mounts
LETTERER: Cory Petit
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Laruen Sankovitch
EDITOR: Tom Brevoort
Spider-Woman is on a mission for SWORD to track an alien energy signature. Instead she’s kidnapped by the Intelligencia, a collection of the brainier supervillains of the Marvel universe. (Think of them as evil
(er) version of the Illuminati.) They found what they believe to be a spaceknight that crashed to Earth. SWORD alerts Spider-Woman’s allies in the Avengers and they go looking for her, and despite the villains’ best efforts the Avengers manage to find her just as the spaceknight activates…except it’s been taken over by Ultron, who disappears. After a recent trip to the future Iron Man knows they’re in a lot of trouble.
What they got right: As a teaser to the comics version of the Age Of Ultron event it works mostly well. Things are set up for what’s to come if they followed through. The heroes work together to find their friend. The art is quite good when it doesn’t try to do two pages of panels for no good reason.
What they got wrong: In the original version of this story Spider-Woman was stripped naked. Why was she stripped naked? Darned if I know and I’m not sure I want to. While that was thankfully fixed for Free Comic Book Day along with the connecting dialog the fact that they had to was bad enough. Speaking of the dialog, I’m not sure the Wizard talks like that and it’s not very interesting to read as they go back and forth between Wizard and Mad Thinker interrogating Spider-Woman (who of course still loses her mask because Bendis hates masks, or maybe one of the artists is to blame) and back to MODOK and Red Ghost arguing about whether or not to open the Spaceknight without the whole group to vote, and none of it is very good dialog.
Recommendation: If you’re really that invested in this story, get this version over the original, if only for the reduced victimization of Spider-Woman, less squicky. Personally I’m not sure it’s worth reading at all.