By Brian Martin | Graphic/Novels Editor Published: 04/18/2013 3:00 pm EST
Marvel has released preview images from the May-shipping Age of Ultron #8, and what little there is raises plenty of questions. The first image, featuring Wolverine and Susan Richards, is obviously the cover, but it’s the second image that is of particular interest. In this double-page spread, we see an older man dressed in a distinctly Stark-looking suit of armor. Whether or not this guy is Tony Stark is anyone’s guess, but more curious are the screens suspended in the air around him. In addition to depicting several images of the Age of Ultron storyline, there are also other moments in Marvel history referenced, including Secret Wars (although I don’t recall Kitty Pryde being involved in that originally), the ill-fated wedding of Wolverine and Mariko Yashida, House of M, and what appears to be a scene from Secret Invasion. The words “Memory Engram” appear near each image, along with some numbers. This would suggest that (unless Tony or whoever that is has become a Scientologist) these historical moments have no longer occurred, existing only as fractured memories tucked away in this guy’s brain.
So what does this all mean? Did Wolverine and Sue successfully alter the fabric of the Marvel Universe? Is this going to lead to a “soft reboot” for the Marvel U. in the vein of the “New 52″, as has been speculated about for months? We’ll have to wait until June to definitively know the answers (but considering this 10-issue series just began in March, that really doesn’t seem like such a long time). Age of Ultron #8 is on-sale May 15th.
“Marvel is pleased to present your first look at Age of Ultron #8, from the critically acclaimed creative team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Brandon Peterson! To ward off Ultron’s devastation of mankind, Wolverine and Susan Storm traveled back in time and made a decision that irrevocably changed the Marvel Universe! Now the duo has come back to present only to find the world turned inside out! Wait until see who’s in charge of the world and how they’ve ascended to power! A reality-spanning choice must be made that’ll shift the course of the Marvel Universe for years to come that no fan can miss! So what are you waiting for? Head on over to your local comic shop today and reserve a copy of Age of Ultron #8!”
Brian L. Martin is an educator, writer, and amateur curmudgeon. An avid fan of novels, movies, and beer, he would much rather spend his time reading comics, a lifelong love since receiving a copy of The Amazing Spider-Man # 242 from Spider-Man himself in 1983. His favorite books include The Grapes of Wrath, Siddhartha, and The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, which is heavy enough to be considered the only real defense weapon he has in his home. He currently lives with his wife in Uppsala, Sweden.