ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #130
What did the
I’m going to go against the grain here and say the following:
Despite my best instincts, I’m enjoying “Ultimatum.” There. I said it. That feels good. Now, I’ve dropped most of the “Ultimate” titles one-by-one over the past several years. “Ultimate FF” was always hit-or-miss, “Ultimate X-Men” never seemed different enough from the “regular” X-Men to be special, and while “The Utimates” Vol 1 and 2 were masterpieces, Vol. 3 was such a train wreck I didn’t even finish buying it. But “Ultimate Spider-Man” is the gold standard; it was always the strongest book of the line in terms of storytelling and consistency. I was worried that would change with the departure of Mark Bagley (say what you will about the man’s work; I like it and the Bendis/Bagley run on USM is one for the ages on terms of longevity alone.) Immonen, of course, came onto the book and didn’t miss a beat. And now we have an “Ultimatum” crossover. You know, I think the “Ultimate” style of major-event might work in many ways that “regular” universe events do not. “Regular” universe events always promise “big changes”. Rarely do we get any real “big changes” or “lasting changes”. Nothing really catastrophic. But there’s a sense with “Ultimatum” that anything goes; as these are not the “regular” versions of the characters, anyone can die. As this is not the “regular” universe, anything can happen. Conceivably, they could wipe “Ultimate” New York off of the face of the map. I mean, they could do that in the “regular” universe as well, but they probably wouldn’t. They could kill “Ultimate” Spider-Man and replace him with “Ultimate” Spider-Woman, and it would probably work. (We’ve already seen what happens when they try to replace major heroes in “regular” universes. See: Ben Reilly, Azrael, Ollie Queen Jr., Kyle Rayner, all four Supermen… Hell, fans wouldn’t accept it when they replaced Wolverine’s SKELETON. let’s face it, there are very few Wally Wests out there.) I think the ad-campaign for “Ultimatum” is very telling. They ran an ad in several books this week with an “Ultimatum Death Check List”, crossing off the names of characters who are going to die. This is a massive, catastrophic event that will leave a huge body count in its wake and have real, lasting effects on the “Ultimate” universe. Of course, with the numbers dropping on readership for that universe, the question becomes “if a tree falls in a forest, and nobody’s around to hear it, does anybody care?” I understand that. But just because not as many people are reading it, doesn’t mean the stories aren’t good. Now, this event isn’t going to make me pick up any other titles; I’m only reading USM and the “Ultimatum” book, and that’s how it will remain. But I’ve warmed up the concept, and Bendis still writes the best Spider-Man since David Micheline. Slott comes close, but Bendis gets Spidey like nobody writing today. And Immonen’s art is, as always, dynamic and exciting. I like Bendis’ Spidey swinging around in a catastrophe the likes of which you usually only see in a “What If…” book. So, although I thought I’d hate it, I really enjoyed this issue, and I’m really enjoying the “Ultimatum” books that I’m reading. USM remains my desert-island comic. Excelsior!
Art: 5 - Excellent