Review: Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man 159
The Ultimate Universe whirls towards the conclusion of the Death of Ultimate Spider-Man in this issue, as Peter Parker fights off the Sinister Six. Peter was severely injured two issues back, and arrives home just in time to see Bobby Drake thrown through a window and the Human Torch snuffed out. It’s up to him to defend his neighborhood and his life from the Six.
This issue is mostly consists of one giant fight scene, so not much can be said about the plot. There are some exhilerating moments for sure, when Aunt May arrives at the scene I was pleasantly surprised by her response to the situation. The fight does have some cool moments, and Bendis’ dialogue and narration does a good job of showing desperation. Everyone is freaking out in this issue for one reason or another and it never feels overdone or unvalidated. Peter gets understandably bitter in spots, straight up insulting his enemies instead of his usual jokes. This shift shows how Peter is really hanging by a thread in a lot of these scenes.
When the fight was over, I felt there was a moment of relief too. Bendis builds up to a climax and knows how to set the reader at ease, only for something worse to happen a moment later. Yet, on a whole, it didn’t feel like much was accomplished in this issue. That’s fine, comics need these issues to get from one place to another. Though, it would have been nice if Gwen could have been more involved, rather than just commentate on the scene while everyone ignores her.
The art achieves a lot of the same desperation that Bendis put in the writing. Bagley does a good job of summarizing the scene in the opening pages, making sure that readers who join in late to the party have a good idea what’s going on. Peter appears beat up bad, staggering through most of the panels. His costume is torn apart and like it could become shred with one more punch. Bagley’s art doesn’t appeal to me all that much, the faces are too similar and there are one or two awkward shots, but it’s not bad by any means. He worked on more than a 100 issues of this comic, and designed most of them. All the villains have a good presence when they show up, and they each look intimidating.
Ultimate Spider-Man has one issue to go before we find out if Peter dies or not, and right now, it doesn’t look good for the wall-crawler. Despite the lack of much surprise, this issue transitions well into the next, where we’ll finally see if this arc really is as grim as its title implies. However he does it, we can only hope that Bendis sends Peter out with respect.