Ultimate Spider-Man 38 (May 2003)

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It’s a lackluster finish. The issue reminds of the big fight issue with the Green Goblin, only with–in addition to Peter’s self-depreciating narration–Peter’s dad narrating it from a video tape journal.

Now, the video tape journal thing was big in the eighties. It’s a perfect device for a movie or TV show; I’m not sure why Bendis used it, instead of an actual journal (which seems more likely) here.

It does give a “voice” to the issue. Venom is a monster, not a villain. Eddie occasionally pops up, says something dumb, Peter says something quippy and the fight progresses. The narration grounds it.

As usual for Ultimate Spider-Man, even when Bendis isn’t doing anything original, he maintains a certain likability. He’s always believable, plot-wise, in the context of the series and Peter remains an appealing protagonist.

Just wish it had more meat on its bones.

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