Ultimate Spider-Man #130 Review

Creative Team
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade von Grawbadger
Colorist: Justin Ponsor

Story – Ultimatum Tie-In

Bendis continues to prove that while he may have become a big name through his work on the Avengers title and House of M/Secret Invasion events he is most at home in Ultimate Spider-Man. I continue to say this every month when Ultimate Spider-Man comes out but I believe that Bendis true strength is in solo titles like Ultimate Spider-Man and Daredevil. The thing that makes USM such a great title since the first issue is that Bendis is not tied down by any other continuity other than the one he has made.

If nothing else Ultimate Spider-Man #130 has me question why Bendis wasn’t the one to write Ultimatum? After all he, along with Millar, is the creative architect of the Ultimate Universe. He has already had run’s on everyone of the Ultimate titles, except for the Ultimates but has written that team within the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man. I kind of wish that Bendis would have taken time of from writting New Avengers for a while so to allow him a couple months to write Ultimatum. Than maybe we wouldn’t have gotten the mess that has become Ultimatum under Jeph Loeb.

But that is another topic all together. The strength of this issue, as with all good Spider-Man comics, is the drama around Peter and his supporting cast. Bendis showing how Peter and his supporting cast deal with what has happened in the aftermath of the tidal wave that struck New York. Unlike in Ultimatum, this issue was all about the drama and how all the people are dealing with the disaster that has struck their city. Peter’s reaction while trying to save everyone felt like a real reaction and not forced. The reaction Peter gives after going back to the cab to save the driver, after saving the passenger how fell out of the cab, only to realize that he was to late to save the driver felt real and drives home the affect how big the disaster is. It also shows that death is something Peter is still a teenager who may be over his head trying to save as many people he can only to realize he can’t save everyone. It was a great scene seeing Peter feel helpless in this type of situation. I can’t wait to see what Bendis does now that the Hulk is thrown into the mix with Spider-Man.

Also I thought that the subway was well done. It is good to see Kitty still play the part of the hero even though she is not an X-Men. I hope that Bendis starts showing more of Kitty acting as the hero in future issues.

I also thought the Gwen being afraid of death thing work well in this issue. It is understandable after being killed and then being brought back that Gwen is the one most afraid of the whole situation and the one that worries most about if Peter is okay going into the heart of the disaster. It will be interesting to see were Bendis takes this sub-plot in future issues and see how Peter and the gang help her get over her fear or at least come to terms with it.

The best part of this issue was seeing how Aunt May deals with the cops knowing about, at least somewhat, the connection between Peter and Spider-Man. It is only a natural progression of the story after all the crazy stuff that has been happening at the Parker household that eventually the cops would figure out that there is some sort of connection between the Parker’s and Spider-Man. The only thing I am worried about this plot thread is that the detectives that interrogated Aunt May are going to die at the end of this storyline as casualties of Ultimatum. But for now we will just have to wait and see were Bendis goes with this plot point.

I will be interested to see how Spider-Girl’s meeting with Aunt May will go since she still does not know about Spider-Girl being Peter’s clone, at least I don’t think she knows. Also I hope that Johnny is okay, since in Ultimatum #1 he looked like he was casualty of the event, so that we see more Johnny/Spider-Girl interaction. I just want to see Johnny’s reaction to when he finds out that she is Peter’s clone. That should be a classic scene. I kind of hope the scene goes a little like this:

Johnny: Hey Pete! Why don’t you introduce me to Spider-Girl?
Peter: Ah, I don’t think that is such a good idea.
Johnny: Come on man. I told you I want to meet a nice girl and they don’t get nicer than Spider-Girl.
Peter: All right man. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Hey Jessica!
Jessica: Was up Peter?
Peter: I like you to meet Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four.
Jessica: Hey!
Johnny: Hey!
Peter: And Johnny this is Jessica Drew. My female clone.
Johnny: Whhhhaaaaaaatttttttt? (anime faint)

Hopefully we get that scene sooner than later.

Now I got to give credit to Immonen for turning in his best issue of Ultimate Spider-Man to date. Before this issue the best issues have been were it is hero vs villain. But in this issue he shows that he has improved a great deal in drawing the dramatic moments. And his two spread pages in this issue were fantastic. He did a nice job replicating Finch’s artwork from Ultimatum while still giving the two visuals his own style. While I am not a fan of his 12-year old looking Peter and some of the cast, he is showing a great deal of improvement.

Issue Rating
Story: 9.6/10 – As much as I may not like his work on the Avengers titles Bendis work here on Ultimate Spider-Man continues to be head over heels his best work.
Art: 8/10 – Immonen did an impressive job showing how horrible the tidal wave disaster is and how various characters are handling the situation through his artwork.
Overall: 8.8/10 – No matter how bad Loed’s Ultimatum has been it is great to see that Ultimate Spider-Man is unaffected by that supposed big event. And USM continues to be one of the best comics on the market.