Comic Book Review: Ultimate Spider-Man #115

The Revolution hasn’t been that impressed with the last several issues of Ultimate Spider-Man. And I’m certainly not digging Stuart Immonen’s art on this title. Immonen is a talented artist, but I do just not like his look for this particular title. At any rate, Ultimate Spider-Man has been such a consistently good performer ever since the first issue that I have a hard time believing that Bendis isn’t going to quickly right this ship and get this story arc back on track. I’m optimistic that Ultimate Spider-Man #115 will deliver a fun read. Let’s hit this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade von Grawbadger

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Kong over at Kitty’s house doing trigonometry homework together. Suddenly, a newsflash comes across the TV announcing that SHIELD has arrested Spider-Man. Kitty tells Kong that she really appreciates his friendship, but that she has to go right now.

We cut to Peter in a SHIELD cell while Carol Danvers questions him. We slide over to Norman Osborne in his penthouse with his attorney. Norman laughs at the news report of SHIELD arresting Spider-Man. Norman’s lawyer tells Norman that he needs to turn himself into the police. Norman responds that he is going to help the FBI and the White House bury Nick Fury. That they will reward him for helping to bury Nick Fury.

Norman tells the lawyer that he needs his money. The lawyer says that he is not going to help Norman. Norman accuses the lawyer of stealing his money. Norman threatens to kill the lawyer if he doesn’t give Norman his money.

We shift back to Carol talking with Peter. Carol wants to figure out what she is going to do with Peter after she deals with Norman. Carol then asks Peter for any and all information about Norman Osborne. Peter explains that it is real simple. Osborne is nuts and has injected himself with Goblin serum. That Norman even injected his son with the Goblin serum.

Carol then gets a phone call from a SHIELD agent that Norman’s attorney has been found dead. That SHIELD’s eye in the sky can track Norman’s power signature from the scene of the crime. Carol hangs up the phone and suddenly, Kitty busts onto the scene. Kitty phases Peter through the floor of his cell.

Kitty and Peter then fight their way out of the Triskellion. Carol then cuts off Peter and Kitty’s path with a bunch of SHIELD agents. Carol tells them that she did not arrest Peter. That she had Peter in protective custody and was trying to use Peter as bait to get Norman to come out of hiding.

Carol is then informed by an agent that Norman has been tracked to the Trump Tower. Carol orders a team of SHIELD agents to be deployed to that location immediately. Carol tells Kitty and Peter that they are now SHIELD agents for the day and to join the strike force against Norman.

We cut to Norman at the condo of his accountant. Norman accuses the accountant of working with Norman’s lawyer in stealing all of Norman’s money. Suddenly, SHIELD and Spider-Man bust onto the scene.

Spider-Man starts kicking Green Goblin’s ass. During the fight, Spider-Man runs out of web fluid. Green Goblins throws Spider-Man out of the window of the building. Kitty and the SHIELD agents then blast Green Goblin with their guns. Green Goblin then falls out of the window of the building. We see both Green Goblin and Spider-Man falling down to the ground. End of issue.

The Good: Ultimate Spider-Man #115 was a fun read. Bendis turns in a nicely paced and plotted issue. The story moves with a pleasant flow. Bendis mixes things up a bit and gives us an enjoyable blend of drama and action. And that is often Bendis’ Achilles heel as he sometimes rambles on way too much as he falls in love with the sound of his own voice and the plotting and pacing of the story suffers. Not so with Ultimate Spider-Man #115.

Bendis serves up some well crafted dialogue. As long as Bendis doesn’t get too talky, I find his snappy banter to be a great fit for Ultimate Spider-Man. Bendis writes a great teen-age Peter Parker. And out of all the various Spider-Man titles, I dig Bendis’ version of Peter the most. Bendis really gets Peter’s character, what makes him tick and what makes him so special.

The banter between Carol and Peter was some of the best in this issue. That scene showed off Bendis’ nice sense of humor. And a good sense of humor is critical on a title like Ultimate Spider-Man where Peter has to deal with a life that is rather dark and traumatic. Peter’s sense of humor keeps the reader from getting too overwhelmed by the depressing aspects of this title.

I dig how Bendis is handling Carol’s character. Carol comes across as strong and confident, yet still makes mistakes that Nick Fury would probably never make. Carol as the head of SHIELD is a neat departure from what we have over in the 616 universe. I hope that Carol gets a chance to be the head of SHIELD for a decent length of time. Plus, utilizing Carol as the Director of SHIELD provides the opportunity to really do something drastically different with Carol’s character compared to the 616 version of her character.

I liked the scene with Kitty and Kong studying together. It has been fun watching Kong’s character morph from dumb bully to a big softie who has a good heart. Kong continues the tradition of strong supporting characters on Spider-Man’s titles. I definitely dig the move by Bendis to split up Kitty and Peter and to pair her off with Kong.

I always enjoy the menace that is the Green Goblin. Norman Osborne is a classic Spider-Man villain and always creates an interesting storyline whenever he appears on the title. And Bendis gives us a pretty nice brawl between Goblin and Spider-Man at the end of this issue.

The Bad: The mystery of Nick Fury isn’t as compelling as seeing Carol running SHIELD. We have already seen Nick go underground over in the 616 Universe. So, seeing Nick pull a similar stunt in the Ultimate Universe lacks any real impact or intrigue.

Immonen and von Grawbadger deliver some artwork that is just average at best. I’m just not a real fan of Immonen’s style of art. I find it to be a bit dull and drab.

Overall: Ultimate Spider-Man #115 was a fun little read. After a couple of sub-par issues, Bendis cranks it up a notch and appears to be getting this Green Goblin story arc on track. Even though this story arc isn’t the best stuff that Bendis has given us on Ultimate Spider-Man, I still find this title to be by far and away the best Spider-Man title on the market.