Mark Bagley

Ultimate Spider-Man 100 (November 2006)

Eh. So Gwen Stacy is Carnage. Yippee. And Aunt May is pretty nasty. Bendis doesn’t redeem her much, even if she has been through a lot apparently. She hasn’t been lying to Peter his whole life, just the last few years. It’s an interesting thing, making Aunt May unlikable. Has anyone else tried that gimmick […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 99 (October 2006)

I’m not sure Bendis actually does good writing this issue but he sure does go out on a high point. He establishes Aunt May as a super villain. She’s been lying to Peter his whole life. She’s a bad guy. Wow. Bendis will never stick with it. It’s too much. There’s some good stuff with […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 98 (October 2006)

Bendis should have done more with the Fantastic Four this issue. They’re really funny. The stuff with Peter calling himself “baby” in his internal monologue? Makes me hope he’s a clone not the regular character but I think it’s more just Bendis laziness. There’s another big fight scene this issue; Peter fights some black costumed […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 97 (September 2006)

Okay, great, John Dell has help from John Sibal and together they don’t ink Bagley well. I couldn’t even tell the guy in the Scorpion outfit was a Peter Parker clone. He just looked way too bland. Otherwise, the issue’s okay. Bendis is doing his rushing thing to get rid of Kitty Pryde, just like […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 96 (August 2006)

First off my apologizes to Jimmy Palmiotti… his inks weren’t screwing up Bagley’s pencils last issue. This issue makes it clear John Dell–who is solo, so no confusion–really shouldn’t be inking Bagley or Ultimate Spider-Man. He ruins the tone at times. The issue concludes the Morbius adventure, but it’s pretty slight. Ben Urich is in […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 95 (July 2006)

I’m sure Bendis and Jimmy Palmiotti are buddies but come on… no one could think Palmiotti is a good inker for Bagley. I thought Dell was weak, but Palmiotti is something else. You have these pleasant Bagley high school panels and Palmiotti makes them dreary. And the hands… don’t get me started on the hands. […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 94 (July 2006)

So the whole story with the island and the X-Men and Ultimate Deadpool is just to set up a payoff of Aunt May having a boyfriend and spending the night with him? This issue’s got some good moments. Bendis doesn’t use the TV narrative device too much (of course, when he does, it’s awful). He […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 93 (June 2006)

You know what isn’t a television show–specifically a reality television show? A comic book. Someone should have told Bendis because then I would have been saved this useless comic. Deadpool and some bad guys are hunting the X-Men (and Peter) on this island and it’s all for TV. So Bendis is cutting between the host, […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 92 (May 2006)

Did Ditko start the thing where Spidey squints and his eyes change size? They overdo it today (and have since the late eighties) but there’s a little of it here and it works. He works rather well as a guest star. Bendis has a lot of fun writing Peter play off other superheroes. And by […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 91 (May 2006)

Bendis writes first person exposition rounded rectangles–there’s just no good description for them like word balloons–for Kitty Pryde. She’s Peter’s girlfriend, after all, and she guest stars in about half the issue. Probably more. Oh, wait, Bendis never wrote those rectangles for Mary Jane. It’s a good issue and all, though the front is a […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 90 (April 2006)

Dell’s back on inks. There aren’t as many close ups so it doesn’t get too bad, but it’s not great. The faces are too sharp. It’s mostly an action issue, with cuts to Nick Fury and Tony Stark talking in exposition to explain the comic to the reader. Ultimate Vulture is a waste of time, […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 89 (March 2006)

And then Bendis gets around to introducing an Ultimate villain who I guess hasn’t had an Ultimate version yet. Even though I assumed he had one long ago. In Ultimate Six maybe? But before he gets to that reveal–which is the hard cliffhanger–Bendis gets cute. He has these storybook retellings of the issue’s main characters, […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 88 (February 2006)

I think John Dell took over inking. It has his name on the cover but not the interior credits, but the art looks totally different. There’s a long scene with May ranting about how much she hates Spider-Man (weak scene for her) and she looks totally different. As for the rest of the story, the […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 87 (February 2006)

The Flash Thompson thing is a somewhat funny distraction–Silver Sable kidnapped him instead of Peter–but it doesn’t make up for Ultimate Silver Sable being the worst villain in this comic since Geldof or whatever. Bendis tries real hard on her and her sidekicks too, which makes his failure more obvious. But this issue also has […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 86 (January 2006)

Maybe not everything should get an Ultimate version. For example, Bendis opens the issue with Ultimate Damage Control. Does there need to be an Ultimate Damage Control… probably not. But Bendis uses it for exposition and to frame his flashback. It’s okay enough. Except the arc’s not about them, it’s about Ultimate Silver Sable, who’s […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 85 (January 2006)

Good issue. Finally. The last few have been trying. Bendis still has his pacing problems, but at least the comic’s amusing. The scene where Black Cat meets Peter Parker had me laughing out loud, even if Bagley and Hanna’s art for it is weak. The resolution to the big gang fight works well too, though […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 84 (December 2005)

Wow, the pacing’s actually worse with this issue. Frighteningly, it’s not even Bendis worst pacing on Ultimate Spider-Man. The issue opens with a fight scene. There are maybe ten recognizable characters and then Hammerhead’s thugs. Bagley can’t make the fight scenes look interesting; it’s just an incompressible jumble of activity. There are occasional pauses for […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 83 (November 2005)

Still with the pacing problems. Bendis does get around to a good conversation between Peter and Mary Jane, but there’s also a lot of rubbish with Moon Knight–Ultimate Moon Knight apparently has four multiple personalities who hang out at a swing set and banter with each other–and some with the Ultimate Kung Fu duo. Oh, […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 82 (November 2005)

I forgot Ultimate Black Cat was supposed to be dead. She’s not. She’s back and she saves Peter. They make out a bit and he runs home. There’s also the fight scene at the beginning, which is rushed so Bendis can keep Hammerhead around for a while. Let’s see, Hammerhead, Black Cat–oh, Jean DeWolfe gets […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 81 (October 2005)

Ultimate Jean DeWolfe is awesome and her rooftop conversation with Peter’s great–Bendis seems to realize he needs a mentor of some kind, but never keeps anyone consistently–but the issue’s sort of a waste. Besides DeWolfe confirming the Kingpin’s read of the world is basically right and Peter should take on bad guys regardless of who […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 80 (October 2005)

Bendis is trying really hard this issue; I wonder if he realized how loose he’d been getting on Ultimate Spider-Man and decided to refocus his energies. The issue opens with Peter fighting Moon Knight, which has an ominous Elektra side story and some great banter from Peter. Then there’s some Bugle stuff, then Peter goes […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 79 (September 2005)

Everything goes fine in this issue until the end reveal. Ultimate Moon Knight has just about the worst costume design ever and it’s hard to make it through his one page without giggling. He looks like Marvin the Martian. Otherwise, Bendis skips back to the beginning of his previous Mary Jane issue and follows Peter […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 78 (August 2005)

And, like he knows he needs to do something special, Bendis tries to get his groove back with a Mary Jane-centered issue. She’s dealing with Peter dumping her and meets some great older guy who Liz hooks her up with. It’s a talking heads book at various different locations, mostly the mall and then the […]

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Ultimate Spider-Man 77 (July 2005)

There’s Nick Fury. He wasn’t watching the local news and apparently Ultimate SHIELD doesn’t care when its agents monitoring threats go missing. It’s another all-action issue, with some expected developments towards the end. Bendis does a bad job with everyone except Peter. Fury’s decisions are kind of dumb. He’s just here to deliver an ominous […]

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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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