Ultimate Spider-Man # 121 Review


Ultimate Spider-Man # 121
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade von Grawbadger
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Reviewed By: Jason Marsh Larouche
At Midtown High, in family studies, the deadline for the child-study program, Peter presents the charred remains of the animatronic infant placed in his and Kitty Pryde’s care. The explanation rests twenty-four hours earlier. The news of Liz Allen’s enrollment at Xavier’s school enrages Kitty, who disrupts a cute moment between Peter and MJ to lay the baby in Peter’s hands. Later on at the Bugle, Betty Brant is taken off the Nick Fury story by Jameson, who still restricts her to covering fashion shows due to her sleeping with Kraven The Hunter during Doc Ock’s first outing. Peter’s spider-sense tips him off to a janitor sneaking into Jonah’s office. He reveals himself to be Omega Red, still sore over his defeat at the hands of Spider-Man AND being slandered in the Bugle.
He aims to take it out on Jameson to try and earn his credibility back in the underworld. Peter interrupts this “discussion” as Spider-Man and the fight ensues. Jonah ducks behind his desk snapping shots of the pair duking it out across the newsroom (cringing at the mounting costs of damages). Spidey manages to gain the upper hand and deals Red ANOTHER humiliating defeat. Unfortunately, Jameson demands to know who he bills, Spider-Man or “his partner.” Back in the present, at the end of Peter’s explanation (sans Spidey identity switch), he says the baby was damged in the brawl. He and Kitty recieve a pity grade of B- despite what it’ll do to Peter’s GPA.
Likes:
– Old Parker luck running true to form
– Jameson’s trademark myopic viewpoint of who’s to blame.
– Spidey vs. Omega Red
– Hilarious ending, Red being pinned to the vending machine
– Accountability in the Bugle (Betty’s “indepth research” into the Kraven story months back)
Dislikes:
– How long it took to address Betty’s behavior
– Lack of fluidity in the art
– At times a little rushed
Additional Notes:
I met Stuart Immonen just last week. Seemed like a nice enough guy, which kinda made me feeling a little guilty over the times I’ve slammed him in the reviews for his non-Bagley style. I guess my objectivity was a little askewed; when you’re used to seeing a typical style on one book, it takes time to get used to changes. Well thankfully the move to put Stuart on the book has paid off. Now on to business. It’s interesting to see how Bendis can take a menace like Omega Red and put him through his paces by meeting defeat (embarrassingly I might add) to a scrawny 16 year old kid and a vending machine. Still Brian’s taking away a little of Red’s maturity and pride by showing a petty side of his character. We’re starting to see a little of the classic Jameson in the ultimate version. He’s ungrateful, ignorant, and myopic in certain areas of journalism. The web-head saves his life and he has the nerve to ask who the bill for damages goes to. It’s comical and it’s classic Triple-J. I’m still waiting to see him get webbed to the ceiling lol. The suggestive panel with Spidey ready to THWIPP seems to touch on that but doesn’t reveal if he went through with it. That open-endedness works bc you just expect him to react in that manner. As for the Peter-MJ-Kitty triangle, the parent study project was a perfect way to cement Kitty in the middle of Peter and MJ’s rekindled flame. It’s understandable why she would react to the news of Liz’ conversion to mutanthood and simple acceptance into Xavier’s school. She’s not aware of the circumstances and she’s still hurt by the events surrounding the aftermath of the Clone Saga AND that fate has a sense of irony. It’s safe to say that with the destruction of the baby that Kitty wouldn’t trust Peter with her kid as far as she could throw him…nor do I think MJ would. (Ultimate Mayday will have to wait lol). The retrospective plot is both a self-contained story and the conclusion of an extended subplot. I also like how Betty Brant is handled. No way would any publisher in reality condone one of their reporters getting personally involved with an assignment for the risk of compromising their objectivity. However, I don’t think it was smart excluding Kenny from the plot; after the major advance in his character and his spot in the inner circle, I would’ve thought they’d have Peter deal with it in some way. But I guess there was no room for that area in this issue. All in all it was a decent issue with a lot of laughs and great teen agnst as always. Good job, guys! Also, look for the audio interview that I conducted with Stuart and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN/CIVIL WAR artist Steve McNiven in the Crawlspace soon once Brad edits it a little. Later.
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