While it’s had some interesting moments, Dan Slott’s version of Iron Man hasn’t been the solid success of other series he’s written, and The Ultron Agenda follows an especially disappointing War of the Realms tie-in. However, it starts with one of those interesting moments: Tony Stark testifying at a Congressional Hearing about his recent malfunctioning technology and the damage and deaths it caused. In a clever twist, the issue rapidly becomes how much of Stark himself is now an artificial intelligence, and indeed which Stark is the genuine article.

As has been the case for most of the series, the question of what constitutes artificial intelligence is at the forefront of the story Slott and co-writers Jim Zub and Christos Gage roll out. It incorporates several thoroughly creepy merged beings, not entirely human, not entirely artificial, almost stuck in a halfway stage, an incredible lot of posturing by both Stark and Ultron, and page after page of slapdash, rushed looking art. The sample page is by Franceso Manna on the basis of him being the only artist to draw more than a single chapter, but no artist here is going to look back on their contribution and consider it a career high.

It also speaks to the muddled ideas that the subplot of what Arno Stark is up to is far more interesting than Iron Man and Ultron having at each other. That leads into Iron Man 2020, while The Ultron Agenda ends with massive changes to Tony Stark’s life that may or may not prove interesting. That entirely depends on where Slott takes him, and on this basis hopes shouldn’t be raised.