Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 Review

Written by Brian Bendis
Art by David Lafuente

The question as to how to review this comic is troubling. On the one hand, it's basically Ultimate Spider-Man #134 repackaged with a brand new number one. Same great taste, all new look. On the other hand, it's the exact same product with a shiny #1 and a new $3.99 pricetag.

With Ultimates Avengers, I didn't really have a problem with the pricing. The old books rarely came out and I don't honestly expect this one to be monthly either. With Ultimate Spider-Man, it's been a 133 straight issues of delay free comics that saw it bi-weekly for most of it's run. Upping it to $3.99 is a much tougher pill to swallow for me when the book, while consistently great, never really outright wows me anymore either.

Price woes aside, like I said, take Ultimate Spider-Man pre-Ultimatum and those Requiem issues, time skip 6 months into the future and you've got Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. Reads as well as it did before and the art, while different than a Bagley or Immonen, is still top notch in terms of clearity and expressiveness.

I think most people will be immediately sold on this "new" comic when they read the first few pages of the issue which show Peter flipping burgers for his new job. The dialogue and narration here is top notch and, much like the entire issue, is Bendis bringing his A game to the book.

One thing of interest is that Peter is now dating Gwen Stacy, aka, the Carnage clone. It's an interesting twist, especially since they are living in the same house, but is also one of those time skip cliches that leaves you asking what happened between him and Mary Jane and why does Gwen now like Peter, who she thought of as a brother previously (I'm guessing Carnage symbiote influencing her personality to 'want' Peter)?

There's also the Ultimate Hood, as I'm calling him, mystery character that stopped a crime here. He didn't set of Peter's spider sense when he was watching Peter and the cops at the scene of the crime, so I'm not sure what to think. Maybe a clone? He didn't display any powers other than super strength and maybe agility. Smart mouthed as well with a sense of justice.

Verdict - Check It. Overall, I enjoyed it quite a bit, but it's mostly same old, same old for Ultimate Spider-Man. Sorry, Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. Add a $1 increase in price to the book and I'm almost tempted to switch to trades for it. However, it's still the same, consistently good Ultimate Spider-Man we loved prior to Ultimatum, so feel free to jump back on with no worries.

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