Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #1

By Zak Edwards
August 15, 2009 - 13:11

So, after almost a year including delays, the two men who practically invented the Ultimate Universe have been brought back to clean up Jeph Loeb and David Finch’s Ultimatum series, which was seeking to give the decaying Ultimate line a chance for revival by killing as many characters as possible.  But that debacle is over and the greatest part  about it is Brian Michael Bendis has decided to do what we all should have done, practically ignore Ultimatum.  Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man is almost exactly like Ultimate Spider-Man, retaining its highly enjoyable and fun feel that is great for all sorts of people.


The new number one picks up six moths after the events of Ultimatum put a huge tidal wave through New York City, killing millions of people.  But New York is back and, thanks to a couple of very nice looking landscape shots by artist David Lafuente, runing smoothly.  Its running so much like the old New York (on the verge of a Futurama reference, but I will try to avoid it!), that it feels like barely anything has changed at all.  The fact the setting has changes so little for this series stands as a estement that the problems of the Ultimate line which required such a massive amount action to be taken, were not because of Ultimate Spider-Man, but practically every other book in the line.  Of course, those six months have brought some changes, a couple of which made my jaw drop, but many seem to be complications which are only natural for that amount of time to pass.  Bendis plays the series strengths for this issue, mainly Peter Parker and a bit of his supporting cast.  Unfortunately, Mary-Jane is only briefly seen and many of the kids at school are absent as the issue takes place within the Parker household where Aunt May, Gwen Stacey, and Peter are all trying to carry on as normal.  It is in these scenes where things really show how Bendis is carrying on as if nothing happened.  It’s the little things, like Peter asking to sneak his costume into the next load of laundry, or the banter between the three characters in classic Bendis style.  And if all this wasn’t enough, the recently introduced Mysterio has showed up to cause some major upsets, starting with him swooping in to get the literal drop on a major character who may not be joining Peter Parker into his further adventures with a lower issue number count.  So there is set-up for some big things while retaining the tone and strengths of the original series.  This issue puts any worries about the series aside.

David Lafuente has only one major flaw I can find in his work and it’s fairly minor but completely annoying.  Spider-Man’s head is a perfect circle, perfect!  It’s like the thing was drawn with a compass.  And it’s not like Peter Parker’s head is circular, just Spider-Man’s.  And it gets to you, like a thorn in your foot or a splinter or that feeling on your face when you know you have a pimple coming and there is nothing you can do about it but touch your face all the time.  Something Mr. Parker is probably experiencing under his Spider-Helmet.  But besides this, Lafuente has the skills with both character expression and comedic timing as well as a handle on darker action sequences to really make this title be all it can be.  While I will miss Stuart Immonen and all his gorgeous action sequences, it is nice to have someone whose talents can really highlight the more mundane points of this series.

8/10    For Spider-Man, everything’s back to normal.  That’s a very good thing.

Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25

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