Brian Michael Bendis

Ultimate Spider-Man 76 (June 2005)

The Ultimate Spider-Man all action issue. Let’s see, do we have Peter’s internal dialogue going full steam? Yep. Is Mary Jane unexpectedly in danger? Yep. Is the threat lame? Yep. First, Bendis does do a great job with the internal dialogue. Peter’s conflict over fighting Hobgoblin Harry is great. All the stuff he says? Great. […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 75 (June 2005)

Not quite a great seventy-fifth issue. It’s not bad, but Bendis is now ripping off Fight Club. He doesn’t get good mileage out of it either. There are a couple big things this issue and not Harry always having been goblin-ready. First is Peter and May having a blow out about him going out in […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 74 (May 2005)

If one believes Mary Jane’s explanations this issue–and Peter’s memory–then Bendis was laying the groundwork for the Mary Jane and Harry thing from the start. The revelation doesn’t just hurt Peter, it hurts the reader. The reader, who knows the Osborns are bad news, who know Mary Jane is the secretly beautiful smart girl wowed […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 73 (May 2005)

Eh. Bendis delves into Harry’s return, setting him up to be a teenage supervillain. He’s rich, he’s got secrets–he now remembers all the bad stuff, thanks to a hypnotically placed phrase–and he’s probably got the Green Goblin formula. It’s a waste of an issue though, as Bendis is showing his hand early. He’s delaying dealing […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 72 (April 2005)

Big time revelation this issue… Mary Jane was dating Harry Osborn (secretly) when the series started. Not sure how well this retcon fits in or if Bendis had it planned all the time. But it definitely changes one’s perspective on Mary Jane. After all the issues of Peter telling her his secrets… she never told […]

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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 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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