The Revolution always enjoys the latest issue of Ultimate Spider-Man. I really dig the nice simple purity of the Spider-Man that Bendis is giving us on this title. Ultimate Spider-Man is free from all the mistakes and slip-ups that burden the 616 version of Spider-Man. Bendis manages to give us a fun title that is a blast to read each and every month. There is no doubt in my mind that Ultimate Spider-Man #106 is going to be another great read. Let’s hit this review.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Mark Bagley
Inker: Drew Hennessy
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with the Wrecking Crew cleaning up the Parker household and the other homes damaged by the huge brawl a couple of issues ago. Peter goes into his house to grab his spare web-shooters and his spare costume. While Peter is packing his stuff, he is completely dreading having to call Kitty Pryde and tell her that they are no longer dating.
We cut to Peter and MJ visiting Aunt May at her hospital room. Aunt May is surprised that Mary Jane knew that Peter was Spider-Man this entire time. They are watching the news where a reporter talks about “Spider-Man Mania” that is sweeping New York City in the wake of the Spider-Man DVD that was released a little while ago, Spider-Man’s fight with the Green Goblin in Queens (fabricated by Nick Fury to cover the events of the Clone Saga) and Nick Fury coming out and giving public support for Spider-Man.
We shift to Kingpin watching the same news cast. Fisk is irritated and asks his assistant why he is showing him this news cast. Kingpin’s assistant informs Kingpin that he recently purchased a company called CG Enterprises who in turn owns C and C Licensing. And C and C Licensing owns the global rights to Spider-Man.
That the Kingpin has a nine months window for merchandizing to capitalize on Spider-Man’s popularity. Kingpin orders his assistant to take any sublicense offer and any media offer. To flood the town with Spider-Man merchandise. To run it into the ground.
We then shift to Peter putting on the Spider-Man costume and grabbing MJ and web-slinging them across town to the Baxter Building. There, Mr. Fantastic runs some more tests on MJ to make sure she is all right from the events during the Clone Saga. While Reed is running the tests on MJ, Peter goes to the Daily Bugle to see if he still has a job.
We cut to Peter talking with J.J. Jameson. J.J. tells Peter that he is fired. Peter responds that his Aunt had a heart attack and his home was destroyed. That is why he didn’t come to work. J.J. tells Peter that he can keep his job. Peter then asks for a raise and more hours.
Ben Urich then asks Peter if he saw the fight between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin near his house in Queens. Peter says that he did see the fight. J.J. tells Ben to take pictures of Peter’s destroyed house and run an article about Peter’s witness to the fight.
J.J. then tells Peter he can have a tiny raise and he can work the weekend edition. Peter thanks J.J. and comments that J.J. is an awesome guy and Peter doesn’t know why everyone thinks J.J. is such a jerk.
We then cut to Kingpin and his men meeting with a costumed mercenary. The costumed character tells Kingpin that he kills people. The Kingpin doesn’t believe it and says that the costumed guy is working for the police as an undercover agent. The Kingpin takes out the costumed guy and pulls off his mask. It is Shang-Chi. Shang-Chi then manages a dramatic escape.
We shift to some of Kingpin’s thugs tracking down Shang-Chi to the roof of the building. Suddenly, Daredevil appears on the scene and takes out Kingpin’s thugs. Daredevil then tells Shang-Chi that he is putting together a group and Shang-Chi would be a perfect member.
We cut back to the Baxter Building where Mr. Fantastic announces that all of Mary Jane’s test results came back normal. MJ then tells Reed about her terrible nightmares. Sue Storm says that it is typical to have post-traumatic stress and that MJ should probably see a therapist.
We then shift to Mary Jane and Peter arriving at school. Matt Murdock approaches Peter and says he wants to talk. Peter tells MJ to go into the school. Peter recognizes Matt’s voice and knows that he is Daredevil. Matt then tells Peter to suit up at Spider-Man and meet him at eight o’clock tonight. That they are going to kill the Kingpin. Matt then walks off.
We cut to Peter and MJ in class. MJ writes a note to Peter asking him if he called Kitty yet to break up with her. Peter writes back that he has not. MJ writes that Peter is just making it worse for Kitty. Peter writes back that he knows that fact.
Suddenly, the principal walks into the room and says that he is here to introduce a new student to the class. That this student is famous. We see Kitty Pryde enter the classroom. Peter is stunned. End of issue.
The Good: Ultimate Spider-Man #106 was another good read. Bendis delivers a nice slower paced issue that gives the reader an opportunity to catch their breath and get set and ready for the next big story arc.
And what a cool story arc we are in store for. Daredevil forming his own band of urban “Marvel Knights” heroes in order to take down Kingpin for once and for all. This should be one action packed and exciting story arc. Kingpin is a classic Spider-Man villain that the reader loves to hate.
Plus, this gives Bendis the opportunity to give some attention the ultimate versions of certain characters that we haven’t seen much of before. Shang-Chi is a great choice for Daredevil’s team. I have always liked the 616 version of Shag-Chi, so I’m certainly psyched to see Shang-Chi appear in this story arc. I hope that Bendis can do a good job with Shang-Chi’s character.
I would imagine that Daredevil will also recruit Moon Knight, Black Cat and possibly Electra to round out the rest of the team. This cast of characters should certainly provide for some entertaining chemistry. I’m definitely interested to see how Daredevil can co-exist with Spider-Man. Given the fact that the last meeting between the two was less than pleasant, I’m curious to see if Daredevil has changed his stance on Spider-Man’s decision to be a masked vigilante.
I love the fact that Kingpin owns the rights to Spider-Man’s likeness. How pleasantly ironic is that? This is just another way that Bendis is able to create plotlines designed to annoy Spider-Man and to make his life difficult. You know that this is going to drive Peter crazy once he discovers this fact.
Bendis drops a big bomb on the reader with the ending of this issue. I definitely didn’t expect to see Kitty transferring into Peter’s high school. I love it. Bendis has a real talent for constantly putting Peter in one uncomfortable position after another. And this one is certainly an extremely awkward position for Peter to be in. This should prove to be a rather entertaining plotline. I’m looking forward to seeing how Peter handles this dilemma.
As always, Bendis serves up plenty of good dialogue. I always enjoy Bendis’ snappy, fast paced and witty dialogue. It definitely is a good match for a character like Spider-Man. Plus, Bendis has a real knack for writing conceivable and realistic dialogue for teen-agrees. Bendis must spend a lot of time in malls eavesdropping on teen-agers in order to get the lingo down right.
And Bendis’s strong dialogue allows him to create wonderful chemistry between the various characters. It also lends to wonderfully well developed personalities. All the characters on Ultimate Spider-Man are fully fleshed out and seem so realistic. It helps to get the reader attached to Peter and Mary Jane.
The Bad: No complaints with this issue.
Overall: Ultimate Spider-Man #106 is another solid read. Bendis has put together something extremely special with his run on Ultimate Spider-Man. The fact that Bendis has been on this title for over one hundred consecutive issues is a real accomplishment in and of itself. But, add to that the fact that Bendis has made this title a consistently good read each and every month during his entire run and you get a run that is certainly historic.