Maybe I have been led astray by multiple writers that have wondered if there is a direction that Marvel is currently heading in, what with all the various cross-reality stories that are raising their heads in the Marvel Universe.
We have worlds crashing together within the New Avengers by the esteemed Jonathan Hickman. The walls between realities are breaking in X-Termination, sending the mainstream world crashing into the Age of Apocalypse. Meanwhile, time has been changed by the travels of Wolverine and the Invisible Woman (now there’s a team up duo!) to undo the Age of Ultron. (Not like we couldn’t see that one coming.)
Angela (of Spawn fame) is promised to appear in the culmination of the Age of Ultron, and we are all of course on the edge of our seats waiting for the Marvelman/Miracleman announcement. And we have a new Star Brand, even if it appears that he is being moth-balled already.
Yet if we read the advance publicity for Marvel’s next event, Infinity, it all seems a trifle mundane. The Avengers are off pre-emptively preventing some alien threat or other from reaching Earth, leaving the planet at the mercy of Thanos (who was a sort of good guy in the appearances leading up to the Thanos Imperative, although the various appearances since have played him as a villain).
The planet’s one hope is Black Bolt. (Oh, and the countless new mutants that are blossoming around the planet, but let’s just forget about that for a moment.) Doesn’t sound that much of a timey-wimey alternate reality fest, does it?
Then again, maybe we are just slightly jumping the gun, as I feel we have already said – Age Of Ultron? Yeah, cool story. It will all get sorted and wiped away. A fun but ultimately futile read.
I would love to see the New Avengers storyline, X-Termination and Age of Ultron all work towards one large ultimate crescendo; but then maybe I have fallen into the trap of wanting everything to be so very event-driven. I fear Marvel is just not that coordinated. At least, not in those directions.
To which, part of me sees a great wasted opportunity for a cool story. After all, is that not what we want from the Age of Ultron? A cool but ultimately disposable story? It’s hardly the death of Gwen Stacy or the birth of Franklin Richards.
Yet there would be some measure of comfort if these three tales are indeed discrete entities, unrelated and simply concurrent. Possibly even with consequences. We can hope.