I almost passed on this issue. I mean, there is no way to feel like I got my money’s worth from the first five boring issues of this series. Pointless scenes, dialogue leading nowhere, and random character deaths do not an event make. I decided to give this one more issue for one reason: Carlos Pacheco coming on as penciller. I have loved his work for years, and I figured I could give him one issue. (Brandon Peterson is pretty good too, although far more digital-looking.)
And finally! Finally stuff actually starts happening! In the future, Captain America and his super-team head for New York to take the fight to future-Ultron. This version has about a million floating heads working for him, though, so it doesn’t exactly go well for our heroes. The only character I’m sure gets whacked is Captain America, since we see his head bounce off in silhouette. But really, while the future storyline is a fun “What If” style confrontation, the real meat of the series is in the past.
Wolverine and the Invisible Woman have traveled back to kill Hank Pym on the day he comes up with Ultron. Wolvie reckons that if he kills Pym, then the robot won’t exist, and everyone will come back to life. Susan is having a hard time coming to terms with that idea, but in the end, she doesn’t stop Wolverine from popping his claws. This story basically turns Wolverine into a villain. Heroes think of alternatives to killing, especially killing good guys. Jean Grey killed this many people on multiple occasions. Wolverine himself has killed hundreds if not thousands. At best, Wolverine is a moron; killing Pym is clearly not going to fix everything, and yet it is the only option Logan can think of. Honestly, this damages his character for me.
If it wasn’t for all the interviews giving me hope for Hank Pym’s future, I’d be pretty pissed. I will say this; Bendis writes Pym better in these few pages than I’ve ever seen him do before. Pym comes across as a reasonable, rational hero trying to mark his place in history. He defends himself, but calms down when he sees Susan Storm. Now, I think a guy with growing powers could do a much better job fighting a scrapper like Wolverine, but I understand there weren’t a lot of pages for this. Overall, I’m really impressed at how well Bendis handled this scene.
The main thing that ticks me off about this series is that THIS is clearly the main story. Changing the past and creating an alternate world without Hank Pym. Wolverine turning into a teammate-killer. Why did we have to spend five issues getting to this?