Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #16.1 Review

By Zak Edwards
November 12, 2012 - 17:36

I have a hard time with these Point One issues.  They feel like less of an attempt to get new readers (their intention) and more of an excuse to get people to buy an extra issue of something they’re already reading (well, also their intention).  Of course, when the issues are as good as this, I have less of a problem with them.  Ultimate Spider-Man’s been having problems with this whole “United We Stand” crossover event and the series has always just generally been better on its own rather than trying to interact with other books in these superficial ways.  This issue is a great case-in-point: Ultimate Spider-Man is back to its own devices and manages to pump out a personal story with strong characters and big implications.  It’s this type of writing that this book benefits from, not the showboating of the big events.

And the strong characterization here is Betty Brant, a reporter for the Daily Bugle that follows Spider-Man’s trail all the way to Miles Morales himself... almost.  Betty may miss the mark, but Bendis doesn’t waste a panel, one piece of dialogue, to tell the story of how she gets there.  These Point One issues are supposed to get new readers by telling the story so far, and Betty’s investigation goes through the major story points pretty succinctly without boring those who have read every issue in the series.  If last month made me worry the series has passed its prime, this one makes me excited for where it will go after it finally gets back to what it does best.  Oh, and that last panel will probably put your stomach in your mouth.  Betty’s digging into the past has found a much bigger, much older threat!

On top of all this, the issue is brilliantly illustrated by David Marquez, whose style reminds me of Sara Pichelli’s pencils but with a little more shine.  Thankfully, he seems to be sticking around for at least one more issue, and I could not be happier.  His style is confident and character focused, much like the story itself.  His panelling is brilliant as well, particularly the silent two pages of Brant looking around the apartment, which uses the floor plan as a sort of visual anchor to the entire sequence.  It’s brilliant and simple, and Marquez’s work has enough detail to make things interesting and believable while remaining clean and clear.  This is as close to a perfectly drawn issue as I can think of.

Grade: 9.5/10    Why can’t all books be like this? Y’know, good.

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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