Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ultimate Spider-Man #131 Review

Creative Team
Writer:
Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade von Grawbadger
Colorist: Justin Ponsor

Story - Ultimatum Tie-In

Review
One of the biggest gripes I have had against Secret Invasion, Final Crisis, and Ultimatum is that they all lack an emotional attachment that a reader should have for the various characters when reading the big events. Now even though these past few issues of Ultimate Spider-Man have only been meant to be tie-ins to Ultimatum Bendis has done a great job making these issue have a big event aura about them while still making it feel like an Ultimate Spider-Man story.

The great thing about these past few issues is that it has done an excellent job showing the desperation of Peter and his supporting cast as they try and deal with the chaos going on around them. Just watching Peter as he goes around trying to save as many people as possible while in his Spider-Man costume drives the point home of just how horrible the tidal wave caused by Magneto is. It is one of the times were Bendis dialogue helps to show just how tired Spider-Man is as he is trying to keep his cool by constantly being sarcastic. If Spider-Man ever took a break to get some rest and think for a moment about what is going on around him he would go crazy.

The Hulk's involvement in this issue did help to bring in some fun little dialogue as Spider-Man tries to make Hulk help him save people by trying to dumb down what he says to the Hulk. Once Spider-Man gets Hulk to help him it feels like things are starting to look up and that maybe our hero will be able to get out alive from the disaster. But as with everything in his life nothing goes as Spider-Man would like as he sees in the ruble the death of one of his heroes, which I wont spoil in this review. Things only get worse as the Hulk goes into Savage mode and all the creatures held by Doctor Strange's house come out as the barrier of was destroyed by the tidal wave. All of this on top of the involvement of Spider-Woman searching for Spider-Man and the supposed cat fight between MJ and Kitty, if we are to believe the solicit, the next issue should between wonderfully hectic.

While I have not been the biggest fan of Stuart Immonen's artwork on USM I have to admit that Immonen has given us some above average art these past few issues. And wouldn't you know it that as soon as I have gotten use to Immonen's art it is announced that he will not be doing the artwork when this title is relaunched. Still Immonen along with Grawbadger and Ponsor turn in some impressive that helps give this issue a big blockbuster feel by showing just how much damage the tidal wave caused to New York City.

Now even though I enjoyed all of the things going on in this issue I just can't help but feel that the Doctor Strange subplot that ended this issue was shoehorned into this issue in order to be able to extend this tie-in arc. The truth is that I have been waiting for an arc involving Doctor Strange and Spider-Man teaming up to stop Dormammu or another one of supernatural character in Marvel's library of villains since USM #71 involving that nightmarish experience Peter went through the last time we saw Doc Strange's house. So it just seems that this was a story Bendis meant to get to but because Ultimate Spider-Man (Volume 1) is ending after these tie-in issues Bendis placed this story in here so as to start with a clean slate in Volume 2 of this series.

Also I am a bit disappointed that we haven't seen Johnny since the first issue of this arc. I was really looking forward to the development of the Johnny and Spider-Woman 'relationship' but it seems that we are not going to get a resolution to that subplot in USM since Johnny is supposedly dead with his sister and the Thing looking for his soul over in Ultimate Fantastic Four.

Issue Rating
Story: 8.4/10 - Minor gripes outside, Bendis continues to be money on USM as he does an excellent job showing the magnitude of what Magneto has caused in his revenge for the deaths of his children.
Art: 8/10 - Immonen art continues to improve as it seems the disaster scenario caused by Ultimatum is a perfect setting for his artwork to shine.
Overall: 8.2/10 - Even though this arc ties into Ultimatum Bendis and Immonen have done a great job making this arc stand on its own.

2 Comments:

Matt Ampersand said...

It really is sad that such a great title is being affected by the whims of Jeph Loeb.

Kevin said...

@Matt Ampersand: Agreed. It just gives me another reason not to like Ultimatum outside of its horrible writing.