Ultimate Spider-Man

Ultimate Spider-Man 33 (February 2003)

Brian Michael Bendis sure does like his coincidences, doesn’t he? If Mary Jane hadn’t broken Peter’s heart, he never would have found the boxes with the Venom Project stuff. Here’s what’s funny–Bendis makes it work. He gets emotionally honesty out of every scene in this issue, whether it’s Aunt May and Gwen hanging out or […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 27 (November 2002)

Bendis finishes the arc putting a gulf between Peter and Mary. They end the issue with them sitting with this big space between them, Peter too upset to talk to her. Ultimate Nick Fury just told him he had until eighteen before Fury would control him. Oh, and Peter might be upset over Harry losing […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 26 (November 2002)

Whew, Mary Jane recovered immediately. What drama. Whose idea was it to turn the Green Goblin into an evil Hulk? Anyway, I suppose this issue is all right. It seems like Bendis has good intentions, with Peter trying to showdown with the Goblin (a couple times) only to discover anger might not be enough to […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 25 (October 2002)

Really, Brian Michael, really? Makes him sound like a teenage pop star. So this issue was either written with the eventual trade in mind–since half of it is a retread of the previous issue (more on that aspect in a bit)–and the other half is a really boring chase sequence, only to end with the […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 24 (September 2002)

Another half on, half off issue. Bendis writes this great scene between Peter and Nick Fury (Ultimate Nick Fury should definitely go undercover in a high school in a Bendis written series, it’d be hilarious), but then he skips out on finishing it. He’s then got a way too fast scene between Peter and Aunt […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 23 (August 2002)

Again, not a fan of Ultimate Norman Osborn. Given I’ve never read the original series’s version of Norman Osborn, maybe I just don’t like the character. He seems like the “Saturday Night Live” version of Lex Luthor. Only one who turns scaly and green. Anyway, Norman isn’t the focus of this issue. Instead, it’s about […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 22 (July 2002)

Bendis gets a double-sized issue–almost–and what does he with it? Well, he uses about the first part, twenty or so pages, to write a full comic book. Then he uses the second half to do some more of his speed storytelling. The whole Bendis “decompressed storytelling” term is so wrong–if it’s decompressed, it should take […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 21 (June 2002)

I can’t believe I forgot the Kraven outcome. I also forgot about Doc Ock remembering Peter is Spider-Man. But I did remember, somewhat, the argument with Aunt May. Aunt May’s been something of a cursory character these last issues I’ve been reading, so it’s nice to see Bendis give her the attention she deserves. He […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 20 (June 2002)

Oh, if only Stan Lee had thought of Spidey pulling down Doctor Octopus’s pants. Bendis doesn’t do a lot this issue. About half is dedicated to Spider-Man fighting Doc Ock–I can’t remember if his victory in any way resembles the one in Amazing–while the other half goes to Kraven getting ready for the hunt. Bendis […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 19 (May 2002)

Well, I finally get my Mary responding to Gwen this issue and it’s… incomplete. Bendis cuts it off for dramatic effect, which feels wrong. It feels out of character for Mary Jane to sulk off on Peter here. This issue features more of the Ultimate Spider-Man than Bendis has shown lately. I just say Spider-Man […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 18 (April 2002)

And Bendis is back to his old pacing tricks. This issue zooms past, even if there are some good things about it. Well, not Ultimate Sharon Carter; she’s really lame. But there’s Spidey getting his ass kicked during his first fight with Doctor Octopus just like in the original (though… back when Lee and Ditko […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 17 (March 2002)

This issue might be the most content-filled one so far. Bendis has a bunch of scenes in it–he’s got the classroom scene where Gwen comes back and Mary Jane gives Peter a somewhat inexplicable dirty look then Liz Allen goes nuts. But before that scene, he has one establishing Ultimate Kraven. Then there’s a scene […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 16 (February 2002)

Recasting Kraven as a reality TV boob might have been one of Bendis’s greatest achievements (so far) in Ultimate Spider-Man. It just works perfectly. But this issue really isn’t about Kraven, it’s about some lead-up to stuff. The time Bendis takes to create “cinematic” scenes… it sort of wastes pages, yes, but it also makes […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 15 (January 2002)

This issue has some Spider-Man, even has some Spidey messing with Jonah, but it’s a really light read. Peter convinces Kong he’s not Spider-Man by taking a kick in the rear–I like how Superman always had to go through great lengths, while Kong is easily convinced. Gwen is revealed as a troubled youth–probably because her […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 14 (December 2001)

There’s a scene missing from this issue, the one where Mary Jane and Liz react to Gwen Stacy. Bendis gets in the boys’ reaction, but not the girls. Maybe, as I did, they were admiring her manly physique. Whatever Bagley was trying, he fails on her brief appearance. She looks like an Aryan She-Hulk. Actually, […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 13 (November 2001)

Who made the Mary decision? Not Mary Jane, not MJ, but Mary. Was it Bendis or Jemas? I suppose someone’s said something about it online so I could find it, but I don’t care. I also don’t care about some of Bagley’s worse talking heads in this amazing talking heads comic. It’s the confession issue. […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 12 (October 2001)

Where Lee had Peter do his homework for supervillains–research, science stuff–Bendis has his Peter write jokes. It’s a good scene, Spider-Man taunting the Kingpin with a bunch of jokes (did Ultimate Daredevil ever get mad Spider-Man outsmarted him in getting Kingpin in the most mundane way ever–I mean, security tapes? It’s like getting Capone on […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 11 (September 2001)

Bendis wastes two pages on an advertisement for a security system this issue. It’s kind of important to the story, but something we could have picked up along the way. He’s padding. He’s got a forty-five second conversation over three pages and he’s still padding. It’s kind of frustrating here because he’s skipped something. Mary’s […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 10 (August 2001)

Spider-Man meets the Kingpin… and gets his butt kicked. Amusingly, of course. Bendis makes superhero defeat humiliation amusing like no one else. Whereas Lee had defeat really hit Peter hard, Bendis just lets him roll with it, learn from it. He doesn’t give up, doesn’t even think about giving up. Finally, Aunt May is coming […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 9 (July 2001)

Ultimate Spider-Man is kind of like Death Wish. The movie, I haven’t read the book. Let me explain. When Uncle Ben dies, Peter goes after organized crime, since he’s already got the guy who actually did it. And there’s no connection between organized crime and Uncle Ben’s murder. Peter’s just doing it because he thinks […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 8 (June 2001)

So Uncle Ben’s murder doesn’t have a name? Didn’t they give him… oh, right… Anyway, I didn’t realize we were dealing with the Joker or something here. I guess it never occurred to me (in the Lee issues, the burglar exits, Bendis uses him here as a link to the Kingpin). This issue brings Peter […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 7 (May 2001)

And another half issue. Probably takes about three minutes to read. It’s not like Bagley’s art is something to be examined either, so Bendis and Marvel must have been pretty darn clear about what they were doing with this format. I mean, nothing happens… the fight finishes. Again, some interesting elements, of course. I mean, […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 6 (April 2001)

Oh, man, it’s half the best issue so far. Then it stops. How did people stand reading this comic monthly? It’s so frustrating…. Very amusing is the open at the Bugle, however, with a full Superman: The Movie homage. It immediately softens the reader, maybe so he or she doesn’t realize there isn’t a story, […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 5 (March 2001)

A two minute read. I mean, I suppose Lee and Ditko did this part of the story in two or three pages, maybe less, so it’s only appropriate it should read fast…. There’s a big logic hole here. Not really for the characters, but in what Bendis is trying to present. He flashes back to […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 4 (February 2001)

Bendis recovers this issue. Maybe not in terms of pacing (when am I going to get used to “decompressed” narrative again–it’s been way too long since I read mainstream ongoings), but definitely in terms of content. He kills Uncle Ben right after the speech, right after the “great power, great responsibility” speech. Maybe more importantly, […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 3 (January 2001)

How many pages of ads ran in these things? Because I really do not feel like I got a full issue’s worth of story. In Ultimate, Bendis has Peter wrestling as Spider-Man to earn money to pay for Flash Thompson’s hospital bills, anonymously helping Aunt May and Uncle Ben. Bendis juxtaposes this effort with Peter […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 2 (November 2000)

I have an affection for Mark Bagley, based on Ultimate Spider-Man, but apparently it’s an overall thing. I mean, when I think of teenage Peter and Mary Jane, I think of Bagley’s rendition of them. However, his art is far from flawless, as this issue frequently shows. His faces are often way too rough and […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 1 (October 2000)

What Bendis does, right from the start–which Lee didn’t do–is make Peter Parker the hero; sure, Bendis is dealing with more pages so he has more time, but it took Lee issues to form Peter Parker. Bendis does it right away here. Maybe he does it a little easily–I mean, the scene in the mall […]

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