Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade von Grawbadger
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
SEVERAL WEEKS AGO. The brawl-for-all on the steps of the ESU Museum of Art between Spider-Man and Venom continues. Silver Sable and her Wild Pack intercede and manage to subdue Venom with energy weapons. Shift to MONTHS AGO, when Spidey defeats Rhino with Eddie looking on, the parasite inside him pulling at him to go after Peter as he swings away. THE NEXT DAY at school Peter and MJ chat about the battle and MJ suggests that he gets a physical for that headache he sustained during the battle. Later that night as Spidey, he confronts a mysterious flying armored individual. After an aerial fight, this “Beetle” reaches his target: Roxxon. The fight continues as Beetle steals hazardous chemicals from a hi-tech lab. Beetle escapes, Spider-Man is injured and of course believed in league with Beetle as he bolts. The NEXT DAY at the Daily Bugle, Nick Fury calls Peter to the roof to inform him that the business at Roxxon has to do with something happening in Latveria, thus upgrading this to an international incident. He tells him to keep out of it…while knowing he will anyway. Shift back to SEVERAL WEEKS AGO. Eddie’s normal (and naked) again temporarily. Peter’s migraine has intensified and incapacitates him as Sable and company make off with Eddie in their van.
TO BE CONTINUED…
- Ultimate Beetle! That was an awesome design and incredible aerial sequences, Stu!
- Nick Fury. Nuff said.
- Quicker pace
- No “Forrest Brock”
- Chronology. I’m getting a headache here, Brian.
- Where does Ultimate Beetle fit in to all of this?
- Not enough Nick
Spider-Man: Why does everything with me have to be a thing?!
RATING: 3.5/5 Webs
Admittedly, this issue’s weakness was the Ultimate Beetle angle, which sucks considering it’s such an incredible redesign. Another disappointment is not expanding the Spidey/Venom fight. I’m afraid Romita Jr.’s brawl tops yours, Stuart. Keep trying, buddy. Again, however, Beetle looks great, and Stuart’s choice to maintain the motif of Fury resembling Samuel L. Jackson was very smart. The character is almost Hitch-esque in the light-shadow balance. Bendis’ retrospective approach to adapting the Ultimate Venom story from the video game leaves one question just how long does this latest trial of Peter Parker’s lasts. Several weeks ago? Why couldn’t it have just occurred in the present? I’m not knocking Bendis’ writing ability; what this man has done with Spider-Man saved the book AND the character in general from cancellation. It’s just that while this storyline’s format is (as usual when it comes to Brian) different in approach, I’m not sure if it’s the right one.
COVER: 4/5 Webs
This ominous viewpoint of Ultimate Beetle in the middle of a rainstorm was very well composed. The way Wade inks this makes it almost look like a Bagley-Hanna work. Nicely done!