Art Thibert

Batman: The Widening Gyre 6 (September 2010)

Maybe DC did the whole “New 52” thing so they’d never have to address the terrible developments in Widening Gyre. I’d respect them for that motive. It’s just not a bad finish, with Smith killing off a familiar DC character, but a bad issue overall. Batman breaks into the Fortress of Solitude for a date […]

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Batman: The Widening Gyre 5 (April 2010)

Oh, no, it’s another one with potential. Smith doesn’t resolve the cliffhanger–he just has Bruce running off to avoid it. Bruce and Silver in Aspen, even in the few scenes they have, is terrible. Their trip is juxtaposed against Tim Drake Robin narrating. Smith writes all the Robin narrations the same, so it’s bland but […]

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Batman: The Widening Gyre 3 (December 2009)

This issue’s easily the best and I’m not entirely sure why. It’s a romance montage–Bruce and Silver off in paradise during the day, Batman out at night. There’s some stuff with the goat vigilante, who Smith writes like Brody from Mallrats and that scene is awful… and Smith writes Silver awful and the whole thing […]

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Batman: The Widening Gyre 1 (October 2009)

Leave it to Kevin Smith to try to make Batman sound hip. He also sounds really self-aware, which doesn’t really work for the character. I was half expecting Smith to make a gay joke, but then remembered it’s the one thing DC editorial won’t allow. This issue has Batman teaming up with Robin in flashback, […]

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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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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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