What’s it like to be the son of a homicidal super intelligent entity currently plotting the genocide of all humanity? I’ll have to ask my son when he’s old enough to understand what the word genocide means. Until then, we’ll just have to refer to the story of Victor Mancha in Ultron #1 (part of Marvel’s Age of Ultron story arch), written by Kathryn Immonen and illustrated by Amilcar Pinna. Overall, we have not been very happy with the Age of Ultron titles. So what did we think of this one? SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT!!!

In this issue, we are introduced to Victor Mancha, an android created by Ultron. As Victor scavenges through the ruins of Los Angeles, haunted by a message from the future that he will cause the end of the world, he comes across a little boy hiding in a pile of deris. He leads the boy to an underground shelter where several young survivors have taken refuge. There, Victor broods over being Ultron’s son and the people he lost when his father attacked. When one of the youngsters staying there discovers Victor is a robot, she freaks and Ultron’s progeny is left trying to explain that he is there to help. She is not interested in his excuses for hiding his nature. Before she can blab the news to anyone else though, the bunker is attacked by Ultron’s forces and Victor (having lost another friend) unleashes his powers on the drones.

The idea of Marvel attempting to use the end of humanity as the backdrop for a coming of age story is interesting. Throughout the issue, we kept getting the mental image of the poster for A Boy and His Dog. But, we must say that if this whole series is going to be about Victor we were misled. Considering that the book is titled Ultron, we were kind of hoping that the misanthropic artificial intelligence was going to be the main character.

Immonen tries hard to make Victor seem like a troubled young man, torn between his human and robot sides. She comes close a couple times, but most of the time Victor comes across as an Emo teen sans the funky hair and eyeliner. Also, there are quite a few captions in this issue and we have always found stories told through captions to be slow reads and hard to get into with a few exceptions. This was not one of those exceptions.

As for the art, we are presented with a palette of, more or less, flat pastel colors and simple line art. Each panel is almost completely devoid of shadows, grunge, or depth. In short, the art does not deliver the feel of a post-apocalyptic world being controlled by robots. This is unfortunate because, just as great writing can save poor art in comics, great art can save a slow story.

Age of Ultron continues to disappoint us here at Geeking Cool and Ultron #1 was no different. We suggest that you save yourself $3.99 for next week’s Thanos Rising tie-in. Ultron #1 gets .

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