Ultimate Spider-Man

Ultimate Spider-Man 71 (March 2005)

And here’s the rewarding turn of events. It’s entirely depressing–maybe even beyond depressing–as Peter confronts his greatest fear… he’s going to get everyone killed. Bendis doesn’t even try to end the comic on an okay note. Peter’s consumed with despondence; it’s palpable and Mary showing up to complete the bookend from the last issue just […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 70 (February 2005)

Bendis must have been going light on the Gwen mentions to save up for this issue. Here we find out Peter’s studies have been even worse since her death–he’s cutting class to web-sling the grief away. This particularly day he runs into the Ultimates–which is a little odd, especially since Bendis tells most of it […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 69 (January 2005)

I just got it… Bendis is mixing Ultimate Marvel Team-Up with “Spider-Man No More” to show Peter why he can’t give up being Spider-Man. With yet another issue with no mention of Gwen. Bendis talks around it too much. Mary can tell Gandhi jokes but she can’t talk about Gwen. If it’s an intentional move […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 68 (January 2005)

Johnny Storm goes to Midtown High. Bendis is apparently on the guest star bandwagon right now. At least Gwen gets a mention, with Mary telling Peter to snap out of the funk but he really can’t because all of Ultimate is in one. Bendis is coasting along here, not really establishing anything–he previously mentioned May […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 67 (December 2004)

Not unpredictably, Bendis uses the silliness to bring up a series topic. It’s on the last page and only for a moment, but it’s serious and the lunacy of brain swapping makes it possible. There’s a lot of funny stuff this issue–until Peter (as Logan) calls the X-Men, I hadn’t even thought of it being […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 66 (December 2004)

When a comic opens with an illustrated version of the writer apologizing for the content… well, it’s not supposed to be a good sign, right? Bendis is going out of his way to ask the reader not to take the story seriously. The story is Logan (you know, Wolverine) and Peter swapping minds. Peter wakes […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 65 (November 2004)

It’s a great Ultimate Spider-Man until the end. Bendis apes The Breakfast Club a little, putting Peter, Mary, Liz, Kong and Flash in detention. Then he flashes back to reveal what got them there, then he lets people say some things. Mostly Mary, put also Peter. It’s one of those awesome talking issues Bendis does […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 64 (October 2004)

So Curt Conners let Ben Reilly know Peter Parker is Spider-Man? Wow, Ultimate Curt Conners is really a tool. Just when he at least tries to redeem himself, turns out he’s already set more damage in motion. Bendis does some of his creative plotting, maybe to try to convince the reader Carnage has assumed Peter’s […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 63 (October 2004)

It’s as though Bendis knew he couldn’t concentrate on Peter’s mourning, so instead of he concentrates on the rage. I don’t think Peter’s ever been so angry and so uncontrolled in Ultimate Spider-Man as he gets at the end of this issue. One reads it worried he’s going to beat Curt Conners to death. Conners’s […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 62 (September 2004)

I don’t even think Peter shows up in this issue. Mary and Gwen get a good scene together, something Bendis’s two month fast forward makes problematic. It’s hard to believe they haven’t seen each other in that amount of time… not with Peter giving Gwen a message for Mary Jane. But anyway, it’s a good […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 61 (August 2004)

The best part of this issue has to be how little time Bendis gives Ultimate Punisher. There’s a fight scene–not a particularly good one, Bagley loses track of the criminal the Punisher is after–but there’s no personality to Ultimate Frank. It’s all from Peter’s perspective, even though Bendis could have gotten away with a little […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 60 (August 2004)

Bendis doesn’t have anything this issue. Well, he doesn’t have much. He introduces Ultimate Jeanne De Wolf, but otherwise… nothing. There’s a dream fight between Spider-Man and the Lizard, there’s a way too long fight–with Bagley wasting space on double page spreads–with some villain Bendis doesn’t even bother to give a name and then there’s […]

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Ultimate Six 5 (February 2004)

Just when I thought the Hairsine art couldn’t get any worse, it does. Given a huge action sequence from Bendis, Hairsine flubs it and then he somehow worsens it. There are a lot of double page spreads this issue; Hairsine produces less bad art but on a larger scale. Putting it mildly, this issue of […]

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Ultimate Six 4 (January 2004)

Well, there’s a crappy issue. More of the bad art from Hairsine and Miki and no story from Bendis. The bad guys break in to kidnap Peter from SHIELD at the end, which should be a good action scene, right? Maybe, if Hairsine and Miki weren’t drawing everything silly. And there’s an Ultimates action scene […]

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Ultimate Six 3 (December 2003)

For this issue, Hairsine and his inker, Danny Miki, all of a sudden decide they’re doing a comedy. The art is very emotive, comical and sketchy. There’s no slickness to it. It ought to work too, because it’s Peter Parker meets the Ultimates mixed with a little of the Nick Fury and Peter Parker bickering. […]

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Ultimate Six 2 (November 2003)

I remember this issue. It’s the first Marvel comic–with the text recaps–I remember having a spoiler for the end of the issue. Norman’s so nuts he thinks Peter is his son (Peter being the Ultimate Sixth). Shame no editor caught it, because it’s a good little moment at the end. There’s another good moment in […]

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Ultimate Six 1 (November 2003)

I’m not a big Trevor Hairsine fan–his Ultimate Cap is a disaster, for instance, but given Bendis’s writing of Ultimate Thor, I forgive Ultimate Six a lot. It’s an Ultimates series too, not just Ultimate Spidey (which I forgot) and Bendis has a great time writing the Ultimates. He does quite well with the character […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 46 (November 2003)

This issue is a prelude to Ultimate Six, with Bendis focusing on Sharon Carter and her take on the last time Spidey fought Doctor Octopus. Turns out Ultimate Sandman was there too. Bendis can get a little mileage out of it being an untold tale, but the comic’s fairly limp. Spider-Man’s outgoing personality comes across […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 44 (October 2003)

Bendis opens with a lot of action–resolving the previous issue’s falling out of a plane cliffhanger–but Bagley does a couple double page spreads and it flops. It’s not tense, it’s not exciting. And it seems perfunctory. This issue isn’t about action, it’s about Peter meeting the X-Men. On those lines, Peter hanging out at the […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 43 (September 2003)

Bendis redeems himself (for now) with this issue. He turns the X-Girl guest stars into a decent story. Peter’s shocked to discover other superheroes–more famous ones, maybe–admire him. It makes for a good realization. But Bendis also drops him into what’s more of a present day sci-fi adventure. It helps he and Bagley still have […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 42 (August 2003)

Thanks a lot, Bendis, I was really liking this issue–even with Geldoff’s eurotrash hair–until it turned out the whole thing’s just a set-up to bring in the X-Men. Or the X-Girls. Whatever. The issue opens with Peter heading over to confront Geldoff, who he’s heard is blowing stuff up. It then turns into Peter (in […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 41 (July 2003)

In some ways, less than nothing happens this issue. Bendis resolves the previous issue’s cliffhanger, but without a Geldoff confrontation. The name’s a Pink Floyd reference, right? Anyway, Peter, Gwen, Liz and Mary Jane run for it and basically have a talking heads adventure. It’s a comic about nothing and it’s utterly fantastic. Bendis gets […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 40 (July 2003)

What’s a Geldoff? Bendis skips Peter’s angst this issue, which still deals with the aftermath of the Venom arc. Instead, he concentrates on the practical. What’s Peter going to do about a costume? For an Ultimate Spider-Man comic, there’s actually a lot of scenes. There’s stuff at school, stuff with Peter trying to get a […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 39 (June 2003)

It’s a talking heads book and not a bad one at all. First Peter talks to Nick Fury (either Nick lies to him or Ultimate Origins is a retcon),then he talks to Eddie’s roommate, then he talks to Curt Connors. Peter’s unhappiness and indecision doesn’t make much sense until you remember he’s just a teenager. […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 38 (May 2003)

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 […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 37 (May 2003)

How many scenes do this comic have? I think four. But the second is a continuation of the first. Peter wakes up from a nightmare–one where Bagley’s art seems like Clayton Crain has CG’ed over it, which is a nightmare in and of itself–and goes to Mary Jane’s. They talk. So, scenes one and two. […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 36 (April 2003)

And, almost immediately, it gets less impressive. Bendis wastes an entire page on a really bad monologue of Peter revealing himself to Eddie (and lying to him, which at least implies Bendis wasn’t napping through the scripting this issue). It’s not a bad comic, but it’s more of Bendis taking an issue to do what […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 35 (March 2003)

Bendis compresses about two years of eighties Spider-Man comics into this issue. Peter likes the black costume, he goes on varied night out of crime fighting, then discovers the costume’s dark side and zaps himself with electricity. The zap causes the suit to release him. He ends the issue passed out, in a painful coincidence, […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 34 (March 2003)

Bendis does really well again this issue. Eddie and Peter’s friendship develops naturally, Gwen makes a fine, believable third. But then everything falls apart towards the end. Not bad enough to drag the issue down, but the narrative simply does not work. Peter’s watching his dad’s tapes and gets so upset about the Venom Project […]

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