Hello. Is it the Ultimate Spider-Man Review you’re looking for? I can see it in your eyes. I can see it in your smile. This is all you’ve ever wanted, and the review is down below. I’ll admit, I stole that from somebody else. That’s not an entirely, original Brian-opening, but the review found below is totally 100% mine. Don’t judge this book by its cover though, cause the Sinister Six is nowhere to be found. You do get some good character build up before the upcoming “Death of Spider-Man” story though. So, enjoy.
Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #155
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Chris Samnee
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Art: Oliver Coipel, Mark Morales & Laura Martin
Plot: Peter Parker has gone from the frying pan to the fire after he saved New York from Mysterio and the destructive Zodiac Key. This time, he has been fired from his fast food job in the mall’s food court. After a loud, humiliating public dismissal from work, Peter receives a call from J. Jonah Jameson. This is the first time he has heard from J.J. since the news editor discovered that Peter and Spidey were one and the same back in issue 13. Peter suits up in his Spider-Man gear and swings across town to meet Jameson at the Daily Bugle, all the while bemoaning his unfortunate Parker luck.
When Peter arrives at the Bugle he is flooded with positive memories of his former coworkers. He reminds himself how much he loved working in the office and is then summoned into Jameson’s office. JJ does the majority of the talking, and mentions how the two of them “shared a life experience together.” Peter does not offer a guess as to why Jameson wanted to talk to him, so the editor confesses that he knows Pete is really Spider-Man. In a display of integrity, Jameson tells Peter that he is not going to reveal his identity to the public, despite the number of papers the secret would sell.
Jonah continues to tell Peter that he feels he owes the teenager. Peter initially refuses any favors, but then asks for his old job back so he can pay for college. Jameson, amazed that someone with Pete’s powers still wants to attend college, tells Peter that he will start putting money into a scholarship for him. Peter tells the editor he is uncomfortable talking about the situation and asks JJ for one thing – to not be fired if he misses work for Spidey-related reasons. Jameson agrees to the terms and bargains for the “Spider-Man exclusive.” The two newsmen shake hands, and the editor, in typical Jonah fashion, tells Peter to “get the hell out” so he can run his paper.
Kitty Pryde, in her Shroud persona, takes down some roller-skating gang members. Spider-Man shows up to assist Kitty with the fight. When the goons are finished off, Peter pleads with Kitty to stop phasing through the ground to run away and she stays. The two, now in their civilian garb, walk back home to the Parker house in Queens. Peter tells Kitty that their group of friends was worried about her and that he’s glad she is okay. Pete invites her inside to hang out and unknowingly walks into a surprise birthday party in his honor.
Mary Jane pulls Peter aside to give him a present which had been delivered by Tony Stark. Inside the package, Peter discovers a new set of web shooters designed by Stark himself. Peter puts aside the gift and tells Mary Jane that he loves her and will win her back. MJ tells Pete that he already has and the two kiss. Mary Jane ends the story wishing Peter a “happy birthday, Tiger.”
Hot to the Torch: I love Peter Parker as an employee of J. Jonah Jameson and the Daily Bugle. I like seeing Pete as a photographer/webmaster, or a science teacher/lab intern; anything that requires Peter to use that above-average IQ. A job as a burger-jockey may be appealing to the typical teenager, but Peter is not a typical teen. He should be challenged outside of the mask, as well as in it, and a mall food court would not be a challenge to Peter. So having Peter return to the Bugle is really positive here.
More time in the Bugle will also give us more of this new dynamic between Jonah and Peter. This was a big issue for Jonah as a character and he came off really strong. Jonah shows a lot of depth of character and that classic newsman attitude that made him one of the most famous personalities in New York. His acceptance of Peter as Spider-Man shows Jonah’s loyalty to those close to him, as well as his appreciation for all that Peter has done for him. I found his quick transition from kind benefactor to too-busy-to-be-bothered editor humorous. I wonder if the Daily Bugle edition which declared Spider-Man a menace will still be hanging behind JJ’s desk.
The return of a coupled Mary Jane and Peter also warms my heart. I resent the Amazing Brand New Day storyline even more when Mary Jane uses the classic “tiger” nickname in the end. Samnee’s version of MJ appears more similar to her look in the Amazing universe. I was not the biggest fan of Mary Jane as the shy, awkward type, as she had been drawn in recent issues.
This version of Peter Parker also has a nice look. Samnee succeeds in drawing Peter in such a way that he looks like an average teen. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought “Gee, I could pull off Peter Parker,” when I looked at Pete’s untidy brown hair, his boring brown eyes and the skinny body frame in this issue.
The Ice Cold: While I enjoyed Samnee’s depiction of the cast, as well as the little pink dragon on Kitty’s t-shirt, something about the art still felt a little unfinished. The look, which I would classify as a hybrid of a classic comic book and a Sunday morning comic strip, doesn’t feel as sharp as some of the artwork recently seen in Ultimate. That’s not to say it’s bad, I just wish there was more definition to it in some places.
Bendis has Peter use of the word “tuchis” once more, like in last issue and a recent New Avengers. I understand that he probably can’t or doesn’t want to say “ass,” but there are dozens of other words that could be swapped in so it doesn’t look like he’s just recycling dialogue. Bendis also beats readers over the head with the fact that Peter needs money for college in the beginning of the issue. This, however, was probably just to set Jonah up as more of a hero when he offers to pay for Peter’s education.
I’m alright with the fact that this is a filler issue before the “Death of Spider-Man” arc starts, but what was with the cover? Talk about misleading. We’re shown a nice picture of the Ultimate Sinister Six, but the only action we’re given is a quick spat with some Rocket Racer wannabes. Also, it irked me that Tony Stark gave Peter a redesigned set of web shooters because of my personal prejudices against Stark and his manipulative, controlling ego.
The Ultimate: There is not a lot of Ultimate Spidey action in this issue. But the character development of Jonah and the reunion of Mary Jane and Peter are exciting moments in my book. The brief glimpse of action we do get is highlighted by an artistic shot of Spidey shooting webbing straight at the panel. The bad guys hanging in a lamppost web is always a nice touch as well.
Rating: Good, character development. Meh, art and writing. Poor, action and story. 3/5 Ultimate Spidey Friends