After ten time-traveling, reality-shifting issues, Marvel Comics' "Age of Ultron" finally reached its conclusion this week. Love it or hate it, the issue put a definitive cap on the story presented in the very first issue of Marvel's springtime mega-event, and with Ultron defeated, Brian Michael Bendis' final chapter not only offered one of the more convincing bad guy deaths in modern comics, it also took the opportunity to change up the rules and history of the Marvel multiverse -- and unlike final issues in previous Marvel events, "Age of Ultron" #10 teased its fallout rather than directly addressing it. Here are some of the bigger questions raised by "Age of Ultron's" grand finale.
Will the shattering of the space-time continuum add more 'value' to old "Exiles" stories and "What If…?" comics?
Marvel has published a lot of reality-jumping series in the last decade, in the long-running "Exiles" or the short-lived "X-Treme X-Men" series or the ever-popular Marvel Zombies universe. Even "Dark Avengers" got in on the alternate reality game before its recent final issue. Marvel's also published a handful of "What If…?" issues offering alternate endings to some of its recent events, "Red She-Hulk" recently took a foray into an alternate reality, we have Spider-Man 2099 set to appear in the pages of "Superior Spider-Man" and Marvel's biggest alternate reality collided head-on with the 616 in the "Spider-Men" limited series. And, of course, the Ultimate Universe recently introducedt a massive new MacGuffin in the form of the Ultimate Infinity Gems. Considering the focus "Age of Ultron's" ending had on the space-time continuum, it's not unreasonable to think that some of these realities may experience a renewed level of importance in the coming year.
What do Wolverine and Invisible Woman actually remember?
Wolverine and Sue Richards were the only two characters to survive the Age of Ultron with their memories (presumably) fully intact. As the two lynchpins of setting the reality back to one, what's going to happen with the them? It's not impossible that both have counterparts in the non-AoE reality. Will one have to be killed in order to resolve a paradox? Whatever the case ends up being, we'd expect that something needs to be done to clarify how Wolverine and Invisible Woman can break the space-time continuum yet still retain their memories of the event and not fade away.
What in the world is Galactus doing in the Ultimate Universe?
Seeing Miles Morales show up in the epilogue pages of "Age of Ultron" #10 was surprising, to say the least -- although, the big surprise was seeing Galactus show up. Not Ultimate Galactus: the 'real' Galactus, which gives Joshua Hale Fialkov's upcoming "Hunger" series an unexpected twist.
As the current steward of the Ultimates, Fialkov already had plenty of pieces on the board for an epic Ultimate story, as Ultimate Reed Richards currently has his hands on the Infinity Gems. With this second link to the 616 from the Ultimate Universe, maybe readers will finally get a chance to see what other fallout came from Peter Parker's journey in "Spider-Men," and what he saw when searching for Miles Morales on the Internet.
Where will Angela's attention be focused?
Yes, Angela showed up in the epilogue pages of "Age of Ultron" in all her Quesada-pencilled glory. However, her intro was brief and her allegiance within the Marvel Universe remains unknown. We know she'll be a player in "Guardians of the Galaxy," but whose side will she be on and what are her goals? The introduction to the character gave readers a small taste of what the character's about -- she's very obviously displeased with being shunted from the Image Universe to the Marvel's -- but there's no telling whether she'll enter the Marvel Universe (and the build-up to "Infinity") as a friend or foe -- or even how her very presence in the 616 might affect the already damaged space-time continuum.
Where is Marvelman?
While the fallout of "Age of Ultron" will undeniably affect the Marvel Universe moving forward, this may well be the biggest question on fans' minds: When will Marvelman see the light of day, and is "Age of Ultron" the springboard he needs to come back? The warping of reality certainly creates the opportunity to include more characters not considered to be a part of the Marvel Universe of characters into the 616 -- just look at Angela for evidence. The debut of Marvelman/Miracleman is something fans have been waiting to see since Marvel announced it had acquired the rights to the character in 2009, and with the developments of "Age of Ultron," the potential for the character's appearance has never been higher.