Comic Book Review: Ultimate Spider-Man #101

Bendis deserves plenty of praise for his work on Ultimate Spider-Man. The Clone Sage story arc has been nothing short of brilliant. I absolutely love the story that Bendis is weaving over the past several issues. Bendis has the reader totally stunned and completely unknowing of what is going to happen next. This title is a blast to read and I fully expect Ultimate Spider-Man #101 to be another fantastic read. Let’s hit this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Mark Bagley
Inker: Drew Hennessy

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: This issue begins with Carnage/Gwen Stacy attacking Nick Fury’s spider slayer warrior drones. Nick radios the Tinkerer back at the Triskellion and orders Tinkerer to figure out how to take out Carnage. The Tinkerer responds that the drones were designed to take down Peter Parker not other types of metahumans. The Tinkerer instructs the drones to open fire. Richard Parker tells Peter to not move Aunt May. Peter leaves May with Richard and jumps out of the house and demands to know what Nick Fury is doing. Peter tells Nick that his Aunt is having a heart attack. Nick responds that Peter is under arrest. The drones blast Peter a couple of times. Nick tells Peter to stay down.

Suddenly, the Fantastic Four appear on the scene. Carnage and the Thing start fighting. Sue rushes into the house to help Aunt May while Reed locks grapples with Carnage. Sue places a force shield around Richard and Aunt May and walks out of the house with them. Sue tells Peter that she is taking May to a hospital and that Richard is coming with her.

The Tinkerer radios Nick Fury and tells him that he has got the correct power signature on Carnage and is ready to take it out. Fury gives him the order and the drones blast carnage. There is a big explosion and when the smoke clears we see a naked Gwen Stacy. Gwen then passes out. Nick then tells Peter that he is under arrest. That Peter no longer gets to be Spider-Man. That Peter is at the center of the biggest genetic disaster since the Hulk. That they have to clean it up now. That Peter didn’t do anything himself. That is was all the work of Peter’s clones.

We cut to Oscorp where Peter’s clone is talking to MJ. The clone tells Mary Jane that he injected a substance called “Oz” inside of her. Oz is what made Doctor Otto Doctor Octopus. It turned Norman Osborn into the Green Goblin. That it was inside the spider that bit Peter. The clone says that now MJ can’t get hurt. That they can now be happy together. Suddenly, MJ transforms into a giant red demon Bigfoot looking creature. End of issue.

The Good: Ultimate Spider-Man #101 was another excellent read! Bendis just keeps the ball rolling in this issue. I am really impressed how Bendis has been able to deliver so many wonderfully entertaining issues in a row with this Clone Saga story arc. The story just keeps getting better and better with each issue.

Ultimate Spider-Man #101 was nicely paced. The battle scene was frenetic and the entire flow of the story was charged with nervous energy that had the reader quickly turning each page in anticipation of what was going to happen next. Bendis manages to suck the reader into the story. The tension spills off the pages and grips the reader.

As always, Bendis serves up some well crafted dialogue. This has always been one of the biggest strengths of this title and this issue is no exception. The strong dialogue makes this issue enjoyable to read and gives the story a nice flow.

Bendis is really piling it onto poor Peter Parker. His father has returned. Gwen Stacy returns and then turns into Carnage. Aunt May denounces Peter and then has a hear attack. Nick Fury tells Peter that he is the biggest genetic disaster since the Hulk and can no longer be Spider-Man and is now under arrest. All hell is breaking loose and Peter is being overwhelmed by an avalanche of events far out of his control. Bendis does such a delightful job of putting Peter is seemingly hopeless situations in order to show of Peter’s true heroism and his ability to overcome anything that is thrown at him. The bigger the test, the bigger the hero Peter becomes at the end of it all.

I liked the appearance of the Fantastic Four. Right now, Peter is so overwhelmed that he could really use some honest to goodness friends who have his back. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that these friends don’t mind standing up to Nick Fury.

The final scene was an excellent hook that makes the reader eager to read the next issue. The clone injected Mary Jane full of the Oz serum. Nothing good can come from that. And then the final double page splash shot at the very end was shocking. I mean, seeing Mary Jane transform into a monstrous red demonic Bigfoot-esque creature was definitely something I was not expecting to see! I loved it. Bendis just keeps cranking up the insanity on this title. The reader simply never knows what is going to happen next on this title. Bendis is weaving a story where absolutely anything and everything can happen at any moment.

Bagley’s art is slightly above average. I’ve never been a big fan of his style. However, Bagley does enough to deliver art that does its job and doesn’t get in the way of Bendis’ story.

The Bad: No complaints at all.

Overall: Ultimate Spider-Man #101 was a fantastic read. Bendis is working his magic with the Clone Saga and this is definitely one of the most entertaining comic books on the market. I’m surprised at how Bendis has been able to take one of the worse story arcs from the 616 universe and transform it into on of the best story arcs in the Ultimate Universe. I can’t recommend this title enough. If you enjoy a that old school style Peter Parker before he grew up and got married then you will love Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man.