Shut Up and Take My $5: The Flash #18

We’ve all been there: two issues in your hand, you can only afford one. What is the broke geek to do?! Sean Sorensen is here to guide you in your thrifty comics crusade by providing you with the one issue each week that’ll make you say, “Shut up, and take

Comics Primer: What You Need to Know For “Age of Ultron”

Marvel’s latest event is upon us! The “Age of Ultron” has dawned, and you have no idea what’s going on. You might have some questions like: “Who the hell is Ultron?”, “Where did this event come from?” and “Why have I not heard about this?!” Thankfully for you, I am here to answer some of your questions, and get you ready to jump into what should be a very cool event from Marvel Comics.

Who is this Ultron character?

Let’s start with the basic question here. Ultron hasn’t been seen around the Marvel U. for a while now, so some of the new readers may have no clue who he is. Ultron first appeared in Avengers #54, but he truly debuted in Avengers #55. Originally created by Hank Pym (aka Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Yellow Jacket, Golaith, or Wasp, depending on his state of mind), Ultron is an aritifical intelligence that gained self-awareness and that decided all organic life must be destroyed. With an adamantium body, he is one of the Avenger’s most powerful enemies. He is nearly indestructible, but is often ultimately bested by the Avengers. Any time the Avengers do manage to defeat him, however, Ultron is able to transfer his consciousness into a new body.

Now, I hear you. You’re saying, “Oh boy, another mad AI bent on destruction,” but Ultron is not the same as every other AI that’s rebelled against organic life. Ultron has an obsession with the Pyms and their family, giving way to some of the most interesting moments of Ultron’s history as a villain. Ultron is constantly attempting to punish his “father” Hank Pym, while having a strange oedipal fascination with his “mother” Janet Pym (nee van Dyne, aka The Wasp.) He actually created a bride named Jocasta, modeled after Janet — weird, right? Ultron also created a son, The Vision, who betrayed him and joined the Avengers to defeat him.

To summarize: Take a sociopath and give it nearly infinite intelligence, an indestructible body, and the capability to create infinite copies of itself. This is why Ultron is one of my absolute favorite villains.

Hit the jump for the full primer on Ultron!

Review: Avatar: The Legend of Korra

Earth. Fire. Air. Water. Nickelodeon’s Avatar universe is back with Avatar: The Legend of Korra and, boy, does it have a lot to live up to. From the second that Avatar: The Last Airbender ended, fans have been clamoring for more. Thankfully, Nickelodeon has finally delivered. In spades. Full spoilers follow!

In The Legend of Korra, 70 years have passed since Avatar Aang united the four bending nations and brought peace to the world. In that time, Avatar Aang has come and gone, leaving a legacy for the world in Republic City, intended to be a bastion of unity in the new world. With society and technology advancing over 70 years, the culture has evolved into a wonderful amalgam of Steampunk/1920s/Bending culture, with Republic City at the heart of this change. The creators could have easily settled into something familiar, but they were wise to evolve the world, as this new environment provides a perfect backdrop for our new Avatar, Korra.

Korra is also the definition of spitfire. She is headstrong and a gifted fighter, already proficient in earth, fire, and water bending. However, despite her being older than Aang was when we followed his journey in The Last Airbender, she lacks the calm, focus, and maturity that Aang had even as a youth, qualities that an Avatar is supposed to possess. And that is recipe for some gloriously funny interactions, such as the notable exchange when she is being interrogated by Lin Beifong, Toph’s daughter and the Republic City chief of police.

Hit the jump for the full advanced review of the series premiere!