Age of Ultron Teasers: "Who Will Return"?

"Who will return from the Age of Ultron?" That's the question posed by a pair of newly-released teaser images for Marvel's upcoming, universe-wide crossover event. The posters feature Black Widow and Red Hulk, a pair of characters with more in common than is immediately clear; aside from their red-and-black color schemes, the two heroes both have extensive military and black ops backgrounds. In the war against Ultron, it's likely that characters like these will play a significant role. The story, which has been compared to The Infinity Gauntlet and Civil War, is said to have lasting ramifications, but many have speculated that it could either begin in an alternate reality, or be retconned into one after the heroes have to employ time travel to defeat Ultron. In any event, the villain reportedly begins the first issue having already won and taken over the world. "From the very first page, readers will see the unthinkable – Ultron has won," said Axel Alonso, Editor In Chief, Marvel Entertainment. "In a world where we've learned to depend on technology to sustain us, what would happen if one villain found a way to turn it against us? In order to survive, the world's greatest super heroes will have to make drastic choices whose ramifications will be felt throughout the Marvel Universe. This is a story so huge that we're shipping the entire ten issue series from March through June so fans don't have to wait more than a few weeks between issues."

"In the vein of Infinity Gauntlet, Secret Invasion and Civil War, Age of Ultron is a massive Marvel Universe-spanning Event," explained Bendis. "One of our most famous villains, Ultron, the super artificial intelligence, has fulfilled his destiny and taken the Earth. This story touches every corner of the Marvel Universe and will have an amazing effect on things going forward. We have taken the time to do this right- everything is gorgeous, every page matters, and most of all- something I'm very proud of- is that it will be shipping at a furious pace. Every day for the last year and a half people have been asking me when this story will come and I'm thrilled to announce that it is here." So here's the thing: When they ask "Who will return from the Age of Ultron?", do they mean to ask who will make it out the other side alive, or is the idea that we might have an alternate version of some character or characters brought into the Marvel Universe from the altered timeline, a la X-Man (Nate Grey) following the Age of Apocalypse? It's worth noting, when considering whether that question seems absurd, that neither Red Hulk (who will be appearing soon in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.) nor Black Widow (slated for the Avengers sequel in a couple of years) seem in an ideal position to be "killed" right now. Age of Ultron, by Brian Michael Bendis and artist Bryan Hitch, has reportedly been in development for years. It finally arrives in March. AGE OF ULTRON #1 (JAN130627) Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS Art and Cover by BRYAN HITCH On-Sale March 2013 A.U. AGE OF ULTRON #2 (JAN130634) Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS Art and Cover by BRYAN HITCH On-Sale March 2013 A.U. AGE OF ULTRON #3 (JAN130637) Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS Art and Cover by BRYAN HITCH On-Sale March 2013 A.U.