It’s hard to believe, but the release of the Ultimate Spider-Man Annual has now become an annual treat. Something to actually look forward to. An annual that means something for the title. The previous Ultimate Spider-Man Annuals have been written by Brian Michael Bendis (of course) with art by Mark Brooks. The first annual really jumped out at us as it focused on the relationship between Peter Parker and Kitty Pryde. A story that meant something in the greater continuity of Ultimate Spider-Man and a touching tale of teen superhero romance.

Now, with Annual #3, we’re treated to not only another tale of teen romance, but a new artist that is the real reason why I’m excited for this issue. As discussed in our interview with Bendis, this annual focuses on the relationship of Peter Parker and Mary Jane and addresses the sex issue. Will they or won’t they? It’s easy to giggle over this story idea, but I’m really quite interested to see how Bendis handles the touchy issue, which I’m sure will be filled with humor but also a touching, serious take on the situation.

But who cares about the sex. We got our hands on the first few pages of the annual and have provided them below for you to see what I’m about to start gushing about.

Look at that art! Who is the artist? Why it’s none other than David Lafuente. Seemingly out of nowhere, Lafuente will definitely be a name you will want to keep track of. You may have seen his work on the Patsy Walker: Hellcat series recently from Marvel, as well as a few things here and there. But it’s this work on Ultimate Spider-Man that will cause people to take notice. His ability to draw Peter and Mary Jane in a way that really drive home the fact that these are teenagers. His facial expressions and storytelling allows the art to interact with the story in a fresh and classic way. Lafuente’s use of clean lines makes each page clear and yet detailed enough to be impressive art. And look at his Spider-Man! Again, this is a Spider-Man that is obviously a kid. Graceful and fast, but scrawny and teen-awkward. Don’t get me wrong, Stuart Immonen is doing great on Ultimate Spider-Man, but if he had to move on… well it’s obvious that Lafuente could step right in. I just look at the last page of art below, and that car and the fluidity of motion in the action sequence. It blows my mind how good this art is.

So when you head to the comic store — make sure you pick up Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3. Even if you don’t read Ultimate Spider-Man, just to see an up and coming artist and be able to tell people that you heard about him back before he got huge.

Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3 Interior Art


  1. I do like the pencils, but I think that if this is the issue that people stand up and take notice of LaFuente, he’ll owe a lot to the inker and colorist.

  2. If this can be a somewhat of a jumping on point ill get it.

  3. I picked up the first few issues of Patsy Walker: Hellcat just for the art (couldn’t stomach the story, so I dropped it), but this should be absolutely fantastic! Can’t wait!

  4. The USM Annual is like a little mini christmas

  5. I’m not Ultimate Universe fan, but I’ll be reading this.  Lafuente’s art is just incredible.  I hope he lands on a big book sooner than later.

  6. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not loving the art from these pages. it looks a little too manga-esque to me. Not that it’s not technically well-done – I can appreciate the storytelling and the way he’s layed out the ‘talking heads’ page works very well – but I’m not into the faces or the Spider-Man. It’s almost too cartoony. I’m on board for the issue certainly, but I don’t think the art is the bee’s knees judging from these previews. Maybe my mind will be changed.

  7. That’s one of the things I’ve always loved about the annuals is seeing the new look of Ultimate Spider Man.  Mark Brooks doing the first one blew me away.  I had hoped to see him take over the book when Bagley, however Immomen is doing a fantastic job.  I can’t wait to read it and enjoy the story and a new artistic point of view.

  8. I love love love this artist and eagerly await the day that he becomes famous enough that I can remember his name, instead of calling him Hellcat Guy like I do now.

    This issue sounds like a nice counterpoint to one of the series’ best, #13, which I am astounded to suddenly realize was 115 issues ago.

  9. I’ve been very nervous about USM for awhile actually. With the problems of Bendis in the regular Marvel universe right now, it seems like USM has suffered from writing problems as well. (see my latest review to see why I didnt like USM! *PLUG*)

    Anyways, I have been looking forward to this annual however. People do laugh when it comes to the topic of the annual, SEX! But to me I think Bendis will handle this tastefully and it’ll probably be the most heart warming issue that comes out of the week. The art however is a mixed bag for me. When I see the pages of just MJ and Pete they look great, but I dont like Lafuente’s take on Spider-man in general. But we’ll see on the whole annual to judge the art fully.

  10. This article reminds me that I really wish Mark Brooks was the usual penciler for USM, though this guy’s work is pretty good, as well.  But I have loved the art on the USM annuals.

  11. I guess I’m the only one who wasn’t in love with Mark Brooks, though I am excited that we successfully cloned Mark Bagley.  Strange that we didn’t hear more about that on the news….

    Love these Lafuente pages, though.

  12. Love those pages as well. This should be an excellent issue. 

  13. I dunno…the art is technically well done, but I don’t see anything stand-out about it. Pretty much jest generic manga-esque art. The fact that his Peter and MJ look about 12 years old might make a sex issue a little creepy.

  14. The art looks amazing and from the Bendis interview Ron did the story sounds A+.  You can find the preview art with dialogue here

  15. Can’t wait for this one!

  16. im excited for this its about time they picked up on this question i mean questioning readers want to know

  17. @conor: Come on, you don’t like Bagley’s stuff?  He is doing a weekly on your guy, and your other guy…how can you not like his stuff?

    I might even like Brooks more than Bagley…but Bagley is so freakin’ good! 

  18. Where did I say I didn’t like Bagley?

  19. I like the pages, but I think they owe a lot to the colorist.  Beautiful sunset-drenched skylines suffuse all of the action shots. 

  20. My bad, I misinterpreted your comments above.


  21. Looks like "Spider-Man: 007"

  22. his action scenes are as fluid as a good cartoon, love how young he makes Spidy look.  this’ll be great.

  23. i dont like the look of his peter parker at first glanse. im sure its probably nothing. but apart from  that the art looks fantastic.