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Another View: Age of Ultron #10 Part 06

Having discarded it almost immediately upon returning home with my new comics, it’s hard to remember that Age of Ultron #10 came wrapped in a black Polybag. The series began with a foil cover and ended in a Polybag. In 2013. It was a series of constant surprises, no?

It’s still somewhat unclear as to why Age of Ultron #10 was sold bagged. Ostensibly, it was to avoid spoiling the debut of Angela in the Marvel Universe, except I’m not sure that many people with internet access and a passing interest in the series didn’t know she would be in this comic weeks before it came out. The contingent of Angela fans no doubt knew it was coming as well. After all, it was officially confirmed in March and Age of Ultron #10 came out in June, three months later. So, it would be inane for that to be the reason why this comic was bagged. (Though, honestly, it still wouldn’t be out of the question since logic rarely entered into the thinking behind throwing a comic in a bag, right?)

What, then, is so special in Age of Ultron #10 that warranted a bag? The obvious contender is the moment of time ‘breaking.’ It’s hard numerous ramifications since it’s happened (including the aforementioned debut of Angela in the MU) and, depending on how much further it’s explored, could be one of the most important moments in the MU of the past decade. It was certainly unexpected and has left many wondering what exactly happened and what it means. In the context of past ‘big moments,’ I’m not sure it warrants the bag. While this has the potential for a lot of longterm ramifications, it’s not necessarily ‘bigger’ on its face than the Scarlet Witch destroying the mutant race or Captain America being shot or Norman Osborn killing the Skrull Queen or Hope destroying the Phoenix to restore the mutant race. If anything, this scene is far more obtuse and not as easily understood/spoiled; it would have been ‘safer’ to a degree without a bag than many past climactic moments in Marvel events.

Actually, an easier to understand moment in this issue is Ultimate Spider-Man running into Galactus. If you were to pick a single ‘big’ moment that stands out, that double-page spread of Spider-Man seeing the unmistakable silhouette of the World Eater would be my pick. But, that doesn’t seem worth bagging either.

Maybe there is no story reason. If there was, Marvel wouldn’t eagerly spoil their own stories for publicity in the hopes of boosting sales. Or, there would be a lot more comics in Polybags on our shelves. Maybe it was the confluence of a ‘90s character returning, the series beginning with a foil cover, and someone just thinking it would be a fun idea? Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter, because that bag was thrown out long ago and I usually barely remember that it existed. Unlike a lot of comics that arrived in shops bagged, the contents have definitely proved more important and lasting.

12 Comments

Yeah, I neither know nor care who Angela is anyway…

I can’t shake the feeling that there is some crossover coming that will further elaborate the changes in time travel rules.

Coincidence or not, a big part of much of the X-Factor series that ended recently involved time travel and a device that made it possible without the creation of divergent timelines. It made several exciting storylines possible, and I doubt no one in Marvel Editorial agrees.

the only aftermath i have seen dealing with the broken time stream is Hulk….
wasted potential there..

I asked for a pair of scissors at the register and cut AoU #10 out of its bag before I even left the store.

I think Chad has now officially talked about Age of Ultron #10 more than anyone else on earth, up to and including Bendis.

This column is great though, keep it rolling!

I think Bendis actually borrowed PAD’s “Doomlock” concept for All-New X-Men, although, he might not have dropped the name.

Could it just have been bagged to make it look more significant? For example “You already know Angela’s in it…but maybe the beg will make you think that Angela’s in it and she kills Captain America!” or “Maybe the bag will make you think Miracleman also appears in the issue!”

Or maybe it was bagged just to draw more attention to itself? A bagged issue on the stands stands out, so it is potentially good for a sales boost.

I have to agree that nothing that happened inside justified the bag, given that it had all been spoiled in previews, press releases and early reviews.

If I’m tracking Marvel’s mentality, it’s because those bags sell.

Which is why they renumber the books every time a writer changes, because a Number 1 sells. Hell I think Paul Cornell (if I’m getting the name right)’s Wolverine is renumbering after the conclusion of this story arc BUT he is staying on the book. I think the artist is changing.

I agree that the bagging of this book is unnecessary. But ultimately I think the biggest criticism I had with AoU was the solicitations–hell the covers–told you the story months in advance (same with AvX). The hell was the point? We know that everyone that died in Uncanny Avengers 14 will be back by either 16 or 17 because of the current solicitations. Can’t Marvel ask their writers to write their own solicits instead of whatever editor/intern is doing it now? We might stop reading “CHANGE THE FACE OF EVERYTHING…FOREVER!” every month, or at least the superficial BS “THIS BOOK IS TOTES AWESOME” which would, in fact, be totes awesome to never read again. $40 worth of actual surprises at the end of 4-6 months? Whoa!

If the writers are in fact doing them right now…no, I don’t believe it, nuh uh.

Everybody loves lookin’ at a thing in a bag.

The whole “time breaking” thing mostly feels similar to “Superboy Prime punching reality,” i.e. an easy out for explainging inconsistencies and continuity conflicts. Some writers may take it as an interesting point to jump off stories, like Mark Waid, but I cynically think it’s most for doing things (bringing in Angela, moving Galactus to the Ultimate Universe) without having to be creative about it.

I think that probably since the decision to bag the issue was made long before it went to press, back when Quesada was drawing the last page in order to keep it “top secret,” that once it was revealed it just wasn’t worth changing the plan. That’s giving them the benefit of the doubt. It was probably just to make it seem more important than it actually was. It didn’t matter to me, i was already following along. I just wonder what the actuall sales figures were for the last issue versus the prior ones. Did they actually go up?

Yeah, exactly. Marvel mocked the Superboy time-punch–and rightly so, because it was a dumb idea–but then went ahead and did the same thing.

How much is Bendis paying you for this? I mean this is crazy.

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