Axel-In-Charge: Waid & Samnee on "Black Widow" and the Dawn of the All-New, All-Different Era
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.
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