AGE OF ULTRON #3 Debrief: Angela and that Last-Page Twist

***This article contains spoilers for Age of Ultron #3, on sale now.***

joining the Marvel Universe as of June's Age of Ultron #10, as part of the "unguessable ending" in the Joe Quesada-illustrated final few pages of that issue.

We talked to Marvel senior vice president of publishing and Age of Ultron series editor Tom Brevoort about the latest developments in the story, and got some insight from him on Angela's arrival in the Marvel Universe.

Newsarama: Tom, before we get to the specifics of Age of Ultron #3, unsurprisingly, wanted to ask a bit about the big Angela news. So, just to clarify — though surely there's more twists and turns in the actual issue, is this the big, top-secret surprise from #10 that we've previously discussed? Or maybe just one aspect of it?


Nrama: Early in the issue we see a discussion among the heroes that are left about Ultron's motivation — on one hand, "he's an evil robot that hates humanity" could have likely sufficed, but it appears that there's a real effort to do something more nuanced here (and obviously the last page plays into that). How important is it that to Age of Ultron — treating an artificial intelligence as not just a menacing threat, but just as complex a character as anyone else?

Brevoort: I think you want every character in a story to be more nuanced and multi-dimensional than a moustache-twirling bad guy. Everybody is the hero of their own story, and it’s when you can shift that perspective momentarily so that you can see things from the point of view of the antagonist, that starts to make things interesting.


And Ultron in the past has had more complex shadings to what drove him — he was, for the longest time, a very Oedipal villain, wanting to kill his father and marry his mother. We’re not going down that same road again here, but it does illustrate the fact that there’s more substance and more angles to Ultron as a character than just a killer robot.

Nrama: Finally, there's been some criticism online about the pace of the first couple of issues, though on the other hand a 10-issue story seems to be designed to be built with enough room to give some parts the breathing room it needs (and wouldn't normally get). Was that in the mindset at all in constructing the first couple of issues? And given the big ending to #3 — and what we know about the rest of the story from here — is it safe to guess that the pace quickens considerably after this point?


Brevoort: We just did Age of Ultron #1 and 2 in one of our Reading Circles this past week, in which our junior editorial staff and I get together to talk about and dissect current releases, and it was interesting to see how different people came to the work and what they made about it — what they liked and didn’t like about the experience of engaging with the story where we started, and what baggage they may have walked in the door with in terms of their own expectations. It was a much wider reaction than I would have thought beforehand.

I suspect a lot of this has to do with the specific storytelling choice we made early on: to begin with Ultron already having attacked and won. That seems to have been a disorienting situation for a certain portion of the readership, one that’s perhaps kept them from feeling like they have their bearings in some way. I suspect that some of the concerns about the story moving too slowly are being driven by a feeling that there’s crucial information that we skipped by that the readers feel like they need or want to know, or that they missed.


But really, we were trying to approach this kind of large Event storyline in a different way, to give people a different experience than the other ones that Brian has written in the past, so on that level I’m not really that surprised that opinions are mixed on the pacing. What I can tell you is that Age of Ultron throughout is paced with a deliberate meter, and that the velocity of the story will change as events begin to unfold. As Brian’s indicated a few times, the story takes a sharp left turn at a certain point and goes in a direction that you wouldn’t necessarily expect — and I think that’ll probably cause some readers to feel off-balance as well, when we get there. 

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