Comic Reviews: A Double Dose of Spidey!
Ultimate Spider-man #160
Well, we’ve finally reached the final part of the “Death Of Spider-man” event that has been running through the pages of Ultimate Spider-man and Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates. While the latter title has been hurting from it’s lack of involvement in the event, Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley’s title focusing on Peter Parker has never been better. It’s a shame that after this issue, he’ll no longer be Spider-man.
Yep, Peter Parker does kick the bucket in this issue. But he goes down swingin’ defending his Aunt, Gwen Stacy, and Mary Jane from Norman Osborn, the final member of the Sinister Six that Peter hasn’t beaten. This was a pretty powerful comic, with a lot of great moments (I especially liked the part when Peter and Mary Jane see each other, and Peter’s way of getting her to safety).
Bendis is very much on his “A” game here, but the issue would be nothing without Mark Bagley’s pencils. Every punch is felt, and every emotion is right there on the page for you to see. The anguish on Aunt May’s face at the end of the issue was extremely gut-wrenching. This issue could very well go down as Mark Bagley’s best.
While I may not be sticking around for the NEXT Ultimate Universe relaunch this September, I will say that I’m very impressed with the way that Bendis and Bagley exited the character, and gave Peter Parker a hero’s death. Of course, the real Spider-man is still alive and kicking.
Carnage #5 (of 5)
Another book to (finally) reach it’s end this week is Carnage. When we last left good ol’ Kletus Casaday, he had used his symbiote to take control of one of the armored guards that were threatening to re-imprison him. This issue finds both Iron Man and Spider-man fighting him off, as well as Shriek and her doctor finally confronting one another. While I’m definitely glad this series is over, and I’m pretty sure I enjoyed it, the extremely long delays between issues are pretty much guaranteeing the fact that I’m going to reread all of the issues at some point. Putting this book out on a bimonthly schedule absolutely killed its momentum, but I like Zeb Well’s writing and absolutely love Clayton Crain’s art, so hearing that the two of them will next be bringing us Carnage, U.S.A. makes me very excited. I just hope it’s not a bi-monthly title again.