Comic Book Review: Ultimate Spider-Man #107

Ultimate Spider-Man is a title that The Revolution always looks forward to reading. I know that many people think I just love to bash on Bendis. And that is completely not true. I loved Bendis’s run on Daredevil. And I think his run on Ultimate Spider-Man is one of the greatest runs on a single title in the history of comic books. I am confident that Ultimate Spider-Man #107 is going to be another good read. Let’s do this review.

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

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

Synopsis: We begin with Kitty Pryde being introduced to Peter’s class. The teacher asks the class if they would like to ask Kitty any questions. All the students have a million questions for Kitty. She shows them her mutant powers. All the students think it is really cool. Except Liz, who is jealous. Liz tells Kitty that Kitty thinks she is better than the rest of them. That is why mutants call themselves Homo SUPERIOR.

Then Jessica Jones, from the school’s newspaper begins taking pictures of Kitty with her cell phone camera and asks her about her relationship with Spider-Man. Jessica asks if they are still dating or have broken up. Kitty can’t take it and phases through the wall and out into the hallway and runs out of the school.

Flash and Kong argue about who gets to ask Kitty out on a date. The teacher then yells at the class for making Kitty feel cheap and a freak and unloved.

We cut to Peter and Mary Jane walking by the high school’s football field. Kitty is sitting by herself in the bleachers. Mary Jane asks Peter if he had asked Kitty to transfer to their school. Peter says he didn’t. Peter then goes to talk to Kitty.

Kitty doesn’t want to talk to Peter. She yells at Peter for not breaking up with her in person. That she came to the hospital when Aunt May was injured and saw Peter kissing Mary Jane. Kitty says that she absolutely blasted Professor X for not erasing the knowledge that Peter is Spider-Man from Aunt May’s mind. That since that blowout, Professor X asked her politely to leave. So, now Kitty is living with her mom who moved eight blocks away from Peter’s high school.

Peter thanks Kitty for her concern about his secret identity, but he doesn’t want Aunt May to not know his secret identity. That sometimes you have to take responsibility when things happen. And that is what Peter is doing.

Peter then says how he thought Mary Jane was going to die. That in that moment he realized he had made a huge mistake. Kitty snaps that Peter is calling her a mistake. Kitty phases through the bleachers and leaves.

We see Mary Jane at the bottom of the bleachers watching the entire scene. MJ grabs her hand as it stats to shake and tremble and transform into a slightly clawish looking shape.

We cut to Peter sitting by Aunt May’s bedside at the hospital. Peter looks at the clock and thinks how he is not going to bother going to meet Daredevil at 8:00. But, curiosity gets the better of him and Peter gets into his Spider-Man costume and web slings across the town.

Spider-Man hides out on the building next to the rooftop where Daredevil is holding his meeting. Spider-Man sees Daredevil with Dr. Strange, Iron Fist, Shang-Chi and Moon Knight. Daredevil then sense Spider-Man, looks at him and motions for Spider-Man to come join them.

Spider-Man leaps over to the rooftop. Spider-Man says “Hi” to everyone. Spider-Man then tells Daredevil that he said he wanted to kill Kingpin. Spider-Man says he is not going to kill anyone. And if Daredevil and his group decide to go ahead and try to kill Kingpin then Spider-Man will go to Nick Fury and tell Nick about Daredevil’s little group and their plan to kill Kingpin.

Spider-Man then asks what is the plan other than killing Kingpin. Daredevil mentions that since Shang-Chi got exposed, that Kingpin is still missing his assassin bodyguard otherwise known as his “fist.”

Shang-Chi can’t do it since he has already been exposed. Iron Fist can’t do it since Kingpin knows him. Spider-Man can’t do it since Kingpin knows him. Dr. Strange can’t since he is on TV all the time and plus he isn’t enough of a tough guy to pose as an assassin bodyguard.

So, that leaves Moon Knight who readily agrees to do it. Dr. Strange says that he can give Moon Knight some enhancement spells o give Moon Knight a little boost in appearance and power. Once Moon Knight infiltrates Kingpin’s operation then they can break the back of Kingpin’s day to day operation.

We cut to Iron Fist telling Daredevil’s entire plan to infiltrate the Kingpin’s empire to someone off panel. Iron Fist wants to know if they have a deal since Iron Fist isn’t going to go back to prison for anyone. The person off panel turns out to be Kingpin who responds that if what Iron Fist says is true then they most certainly have a deal. End of issue.

The Good: Ultimate Spider-Man #107 was a solid read. It was certainly nothing great, but it was still better than average. Spider-Man #107 was pure set up for the new story arc involving the Ultimate Universe version of the Marvel Knights taking on the Kingpin.

Bendis is continuing his excellent plotting on this title. Taking center stage is the new story arc involving the Ultimate Marvel Knights taking on the Kingpin. But, we also have the plotline involving the love triangle between Kitty, Mary Jane and Peter. This plotline will probably simmer for a while until Bendis investigates it at more depth at some point in the future.

And Bendis also teases the writer with another plotline involving Mary Jane still suffering from the effects of the Oz serum. This should make for an interesting story arc at some point in the future.

And the best part is how effortlessly Bendis segue ways from one story arc to the next one. And how seamless the various plotlines are mixed into the story. It is a sign of a writer who is a strong plotter and that has a clear long term vision for his title.

The addition of Kitty Pryde to the mix at Peter’s high school should prove excellent fodder for lots of teen drama. Bendis knows how to stir the pot to keep Peter’s life exciting and having Kitty at his high school will definitely spice things up.

Bendis does an excellent job showing the different reactions by the students to having a celebrity mutant in their class. You get the anti-mutant reaction in Liz. Then you get the fawning sex starved reaction of the two jocks in Flash and Kong. Then you get the typical petty high school girl gossip mongering in Jessica Jones. Part of what makes Ultimate Spider-Man so great is Bendis’s excellent feel for the high school setting. Bendis does a great job capturing the various types of characters you see at just about every high school.

And the scene between Peter and Kitty was just nasty. Kitty really laid into Peter and let him have it. And, to be honest, Peter deserved it. He didn’t handle the situation with Kitty very well at all. And then Peter compounds his problems by using the word “mistake” as if Kitty and his relationship with her was just one huge mistake. Wow. That is not what a woman wants to hear after a guy dumps her for his old girlfriend.

The cool thing about all of this is how realistic it is. Peter is just a high school kid and still doesn’t know how to handle women or serious relationships. The way Peter handled the entire breakup with Kitty is pretty much how I handled my first couple of girlfriends. It is clumsy, dumb and awkward. But, it is all part of that learning experience.

I liked the teaser that Mary Jane is still showing signs of the Oz serum still in her system. This should make for a great story arc in the future. And what is Mary Jane going to transform into? The same Bigfoot type creature as before or something different?

This new story arc concerning Daredevil’s loose confederation of urban heroes taking on the Kingpin definitely has some potential. Kingpin is a great villain and Bendis has created a wonderful history between Kingpin and Spider-Man. The feud between the Ultimate versions of Spider-Man and Kingpin is even better than the feud between the 616 Spider-Man and Kingpin.

I dig the heroes that Bendis has assembled. Moon Knight, Spider-Man, Iron Fist, Shang-Chi and Daredevil are Marvel’s top urban based heroes. And even though Dr. Strange isn’t an urban hero, he has always been an off-beat hero who has always associated with these urban heroes. Dr. Strange also adds a little diversity in the style of hero and also gives this group some serious firepower.

Bendis creates some fantastic chemistry between the Marvel Knights. I dig how Spider-Man and Daredevil have no love lost for each other. I also like how crazy Bendis is writing Moon Knight.

The best part about this Ultimate Spider-Man #107 was the bomb that Bendis dropped on the reader. And Bendis has a real knack for delivering huge hook endings. This issue was no exception. We learn that Iron Fist is a traitor and divulges our heroes plan to Kingpin. I didn’t see that coming at all. I love it. This should definitely crank up the intensity on this story arc.

Now, for the record, I think that in the end Iron Fist will show that deep down inside he is a hero. I’m pretty sure that Iron Fist will eventually realize the mistake he made by partnering with Kingpin because of his fear of going back to jail. Of course, this could all be a part of our heroes’ plan.

As always, Bendis crafts plenty of fine dialogue. Bendis is the master of the witty banter. Some people hate it. Others love it. I don’t like it on every title, but I do on this one. You just can’t have Spider-Man without snappy banter.

Plus, Bendis gives each character their own unique voice. Each character is well developed and a big reason for that is Bendis not writing generic dialogue for each character.

Bagley’s artwork is all right. I’m not a huge fan of his style, but it gets the job done and is still slightly better than average.

The Bad: The pacing of Ultimate Spider-Man #107 was a little slow as there wasn’t much action and we got mostly a bunch of dialogue heavy scenes with not much going on at all. But, as I said before, this issue was a set up issue for the new story arc, so I wasn’t all that surprised by the slow pace.

Overall: Ultimate Spider-Man #107 was a dependable read. It wasn’t great or anything out of the ordinary. But, it was still solid and certainly laid the foundation for what should be a rather exciting and action packed story arc. Bendis continues to make Ultimate Spider-Man Marvel’s most reliable read on the market. And the fact that Bendis has done it for so long is just incredible.