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Ultron Forever #2: Review

Apr 2015
Al Ewing, Alan Davis

Story Name:

Ultron Forever: part 2 of 3

Review & Comments

4 stars

Ultron Forever #2 Review by (May 6, 2015)
This 2nd part was actually published as New Avengers: Ultron Forever #1. But the team here has no real connection with any incarnation of the New Avengers, and I suspect the same thing can be said of part 3 which will be designated Uncanny Avengers: Ultron Forever #1. The 1st issue's label Avengers: Ultron Forever #1 was at least generic enough to be true. If this was a sales ploy to bring in readers of all 3 books then it was negated by the covers and blurbs. If it was an advertisement for those books then it relies on there being 3 such titles after Secret Wars. The future AI's the Avengers met in their #31 included the Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye and Thor. We didn't see Spider-Woman then, but there was a Hyperion and possibly Captain Marvel. AI-BW wanted her freedom from Ultron in that issue too.

After Hela cursed Thor in his #373 he donned the armour in #378. Hela cured him in #382 to stop the Destroyer rampaging through Hel. Let's see if I can disentangle the various versions of Loki that have featured in recent years. The original Loki was killed by Void in Siege #4, but reincarnated as a child in Thor #617. In Journey Into Mystery #645, old Loki and Kid Loki merged producing a Kid Loki with a conscience. He was aged to late teen in #11 of the 2013 Young Avengers. Later Loki worked for the All-Mother in his Agent of Asgard series, but he was manipulated by his evil future self King Loki. In #13 he seems to gain control of his destiny, sending King Loki to the future of the changed timeline they are now on. I guess it's King Loki who has been turned into an AI occupying Thor. Uru is the Asgardian metal of which the hammer Mjolnir is made. Various other weapons and armours have been forged from it (but not the Destroyer, which is made of something even stronger). The Norn Stones were originally seen in JiM#116. They belong to Karnilla Queen of the Norns. They figured heavily in Dark Reign, eventually leading to Loki's death in Siege. I'm sure Iron Man armours were taken over by enemies before wi-fi was invented. For instance by Justin Hammer in IM#118 to #125, before Jim Rhodes took over as Shellhead. An editorial comment quotes Iron Man #188 as a reference for when James Rhodes started having trouble wearing the armour. It is true that in #188 he got headaches, but he'd had them since #179. The headaches make him increasingly irrational until Shaman cures him in #195.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Ultron Forever #2 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue Dr Doom (or someone in his armour) culled 7 Avengers from past, present and future to fight to save a future Earth overrun by Ultron.

The female Thor (from a little way in the future) and the armoured Thor from Walt Simonson's run invaded Asgard to find that Ultron has usurped Odin's place and power, and they were opposed by an AI Thor who claimed to be male Thor's future unworthy self. Future Thor stabbed male Thor with a big sword.

But now male Thor reminds his future self why he's wearing armour. In his #373 Hela cursed him with brittle bones. But she also made him unable to die to escape his agony. So the sword couldn't kill him.

Male Thor calls down lightning on future Thor, which makes him start speaking in binary. Female Thor hits him with her Mjolnir, expecting him to be revealed as 1 of Ultron's machines. But instead he spews up a digital Loki ghost. The freed future Thor says this is what became of the real Loki (which 1, readers of his current title will wonder), and he dispels his brother with the sword.

Dr Doom is watching everything that transpires. He chose this particular Thor to avoid paradox because he can't die. He doesn't care if the female Thor dies - he'll just send her Mjolnir back to pick another bearer. (Does this indicate that the slightly-future female Thor hasn't got enough time left to make an impact on the timeline before she maybe gets deleted by Secret Wars?)

Meanwhile the James Rhodes Iron Man from the past and the present-day Vision have come up against Ultron's AI versions of Captain America, Hawkeye and Spider-Woman. Unlike future Thor who was a corrupted version of real thing, these are AI replacements. Last issue our guys took out Spider-Woman, but a future Vision sneaked up and did the arm-through-the-chest trick on the current 1. This future Vision is the real deal bent to Ultron's purposes.

AI Cap tries to take over the computer system in Iron Man's armour. But Rhodey's armour is so old it doesn't have a wi-fi connection for the AI to get in via. And IM is able to take down both Cap and Hawkeye.

Then at a hint from JR our Vision reduces his density to ghost-level. AI Vision matches him. Then the Golden Avenger flies through them both, disrupting their connection, and grabs Vizh's solidified hand pulling him free. Vision is worried that passing through them will have caused Rhodey pain, but Jim says being Iron Man is always painful for him.

The watching Doom comments that he chose the JR Iron Man because his primitive armour would be immune to sophisticated attacks. But also he didn't want Tony Stark because the engineer might figure out his secret. (DD never chose Vision but got him by accident alongside Black Widow.)

He now turns his attentions to the 3rd arena with the current Black Widow, a future Captain America (Danielle Cage), and Hulk from before he helped form the Avengers. He's horrified to see Hulk decapitated - which will ruin his plan to avoid time-paradox.

The Avengers are fighting a horde of mind-controlled humans led by the AI version of Black Widow. Who has just used the future female Cap's shield to chop Hulk's head off. She hopes that the resulting changes in the past will free her from Ultron.

But our BW notices that Hulk isn't bleeding. And then Bruce Banner's head is extruded from the flesh of the green chest. AI-BW throws the shield to chop that head off too. But Banner-Hulk catches it and sends it back, slicing her head in 2. And the bio-slaves stop attacking.

Hulk manages to put his own head back on, but the Banner head in his chest remains. Bruce explains that the gamma ray machine he's been using to trigger his transformations in his 6-issue original series has unexpected and variable side-effects. In particular in #6 it gave him Hulk's body and Bruce's head. The current state is another of those weird situations.

Just then the bio-slaves start attacking on their own. And Doom muses that he always intended for this part of the plan to fail. (Answering the question I asked last time - why include Hulk on a stealth mission.)

Now it's back to Asgard where the 3 Thors confront Ultron-Odin. He bats away an attack by 2 hurled hammers and a lightning bolt from the sword. Ultron reveals his Odin power, which he gained by an Uru metal body, the Norn Stones and the assistance of Loki. But the mad god is consumed by the question of what his conquest is all for. Even the Odin-sight can't find a purpose within his own programming.

Taking advantage of Ultron's distraction Simonson-Thor throws his Mjolnir to female Thor. With the power of 2 temporal copies of the same hammer she summons the lightning that birthed the universe. And Ultron vanishes, but they can't work out whether he was screaming or laughing.

Dr Doom now watches Iron Man and Vision in Avengers Tower fight their way to the control centre of the factories that churn out Ultron's drones. Future Vision catches up with them, but current Vision destroys his future self's brain, vowing never to become that. Then they smash the main control unit of the factories.

Doom switches his attention to the 3rd strand of his plot - BW, CA and Hulk in the control centre for bio-slaves. But there is also a backup control centre somewhere, and they were supposed to sneak in and disable the system which would switch to the backup before destroying the primary. This plan has gone to pot, and they see the primary shutting itself down, and transferring control to the backup.

DD now brings all the Avengers back to his base. And he's about to send them home with a job well done. But Widow objects. She's deduced (correctly) that this is the backup control centre for the bio-slaves - now under Doom's control. The old man and the kids that Doom was 'protecting' last issue turn out just to be his bio-slaves. Also, what he sent Iron Man to blow up wasn't actually the control for the drone factories but their security system (this is presumably what DD feared Tony Stark would spot), so Doom is now master of those too.

Before the Avengers can attack him, Doom activates his time platforms to take them back to where and when he got them. But the 2 Thors use their Mjolnirs to forge their own time portal. Who knows where they'll wind up? We'll find out next issue.

Alan Davis
Mark Farmer
Rachelle Rosenberg
Alan Davis (Cover Penciler)
Mark Farmer (Cover Inker)
Rachelle Rosenberg (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)


> Ultron Forever: Book info and issue index

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