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Another View: Age of Ultron #10 Part 18

Age of Ultron #10 and the defeat of Ultron both answered and raised some questions, specifically regarding the Brian Michael Bendis/Alex Maleev Moon Knight series that supposedly acted as a lead-in of sorts for Age of Ultron. Well, what kind of Age of Ultron #10 obsessive if I didn’t try to provide some guidance on how I interpret these two books? A very poor one – and that’s just not me.

The big plot that consumes Moon Knight is the eponymous hero dealing with an Ultron head that he finds being sold on the black market and the man behind the whole thing, Count Nefaria. It’s never made clear where an Ultron head comes from, but that doesn’t really matter. It’s really about the superpowerless-yet-really-kind-of-crazy Moon Knight overcoming the insanely-superpowered Count Nefaria and proving his mettle as a hero. It’s also about how he’s got Wolverine, Captain America, and Spider-Man in his head. And how he gets Echo killed. But, there was the Ultron head and how it seemed to be part of the run-up to Age of Ultron, especially given the teaser on the final page of the series that specifically named Moon Knight’s involvement in the upcoming event.

In Age of Ultron #10, when Ultron is blown to pieces, his head prominently goes flying right towards the reader. This was immediately assumed to mean that the head in Moon Knight is this head. That would place Moon Knight as taking place after Avengers #12.1 and would mean that, instead of Moon Knight leading into Age of Ultron, it was actually a sequel of sorts (or does that make Age of Ultron a prequel?). (Funnily enough, when I was doing my big Bendis Avengers reread last summer, part of my goal was to put the comics in a definitive reading order and I already had Moon Knight placed after Avengers #12.1 and before Fear Itself. So, give Bendis some credit for crafting a story that seemed to naturally fall after that issue.) I don’t disagree with this view of events. After all, I’ve come to the conclusion that every comic released since Avengers #12.1 is part of the rewritten continuity of Age of Ultron #10. Moon Knight as we read it was what actually happened. If anything, the Moon Knight stuff we saw in Age of Ultron was what this series replaced, you could argue. Note the similar team-up situation in both books: Echo and Black Widow (and Black Widow even comes with a facial disfigurement!). The locations are both California, but different cities.

There is one lingering thing and that’s a panel in Age of Ultron #10 where Wolverine, after the defeat of Ultron, is seen striking at the ground with his claws, destroying something. Some have theorised that this is Ultron’s head. Given the way that it was blown off his body, it seems like it went flying pretty far, while Wolverine is clearly in roughly the same spot as when Ultron exploded – on the other side of the body from the direction that the head went flying. He’s probably just clawing at some other wreckage of the body out of anger.

While Moon Knight’s adventures did continue to Age of Ultron in a way (well, the Bendis-written adventures of Moon Knight), I would argue that that is actually the alternate version of the events of that series that we see. Of course, given my placement of Age of Ultron post-Fear Itself and pre-Avengers vs. X-Men, it doesn’t line up with my placing Moon Knight before Fear Itself. My only explanation: TIMEQUAKE.

10 Comments

“In Age of Ultron #10, when Ultron is blown to pieces, his head prominently goes flying right towards the reader. This was immediately assumed to mean that the head in Moon Knight is this head. That would place Moon Knight as taking place after Avengers #12.1 and would mean that, instead of Moon Knight leading into Age of Ultron, it was actually a sequel of sorts (or does that make Age of Ultron a prequel?).”

Wouldn’t this be bad storytelling on Bendis’ part, though? The idea under this theory is that the fate of the severed head is wrapped up in a book that had been cancelled a year earlier which had a relatively low readership. We could theorize that maybe Bendis loved his Moon Knight series so much that AoU had to lead back into it, but that seems to go against Occam’s Razor.

Plus, I am told that the appearance of Ultron’s head in Moon Knight had an ominous air about it–something about the Avengers wondering what this boded for the future. Given that this was published before AoU, that would seem to be another hint that Moon Knight was intended to lead into AoU. (It’d be nice if someone could find an interview or other online comments from Bendis which state his intentions.) It seems like you need to make a lot of mental gymnastics to conclude that Moon Knight is a sequel-of-sorts to AoU. It’s possible, but not a conclusion I’m willing to leap to.

If this makes it to 25, I’ll eat a booger.

I would prepare to eat a booger next Saturday, Bob.

Didn’t Age of Ultron suffer a huge delay. So much of a delay that Xavier had to be written out of the series because by the time the book was published he’d all been killed in Avengers vs X-Men

I would appreciate it if you wrote 25 parts to this but then went back in time to #3, changed something and then rewrote #’s 3-25.

I’ll provide the booger.

Is it possible that Bendis cribbed a plot bit from either Morrison in Final Crisis or the Bru Cap storyline where something is thrown backwards in time (as in, the Ultron head blows back in time to wherever Nefaria finds it so that Moon Knight can face off against him)?

tom fitzpatrick

January 19, 2014 at 7:41 am

I hope Bob disinfects the booger that T.P. provides. Who knows where it’s been? ;-)

Maybe we should do a pool as to how many blogs Chad does on AU? :-)

Out of sheer boredom last night, I drew up a map of the three timelines that we saw in AoU. The main thing it tracks is what happened to Wolverine and the Invisible Woman throughout the story. I was hoping that I’d learn something from mapping it out, but all I could come up with is that there are exactly THREE Wolverines running around at one point in the story.

Have fun: http://i1322.photobucket.com/albums/u571/adam_christina/AgeofUltronTimeline_zps990403d8.png

Raymond Wonsowski

January 19, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Well done, Adam, well done.

Chad said:

“I would prepare to eat a booger next Saturday, Bob.”

Well, I think we can all go home now. Chad just won 2014…

Seriously, this is the funniest thing I’ve read all year. I don’t know what that says about me, and I don’t care. I’m just reveling in the genius here.

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