Review by: akamuu

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Avg Rating: 3.7
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Size: pages
Price: 3.99

In celebration of the restart of the Ultimate Universe, I’m in the midst of rereading all of my Ultimate Spiderman trades.  Bendis’s writing there is so crisp, clean, and enjoyable.  I sat down to read the first one, and came to in a daze after book eight, thinking “Damn this man can write his balls off.”

Sadly, that Bendis took a vacation from New Avengers.  I had to check the minutia to make sure this book wasn’t written by Chris Bendis, or Brian’s cousin Phil Bendis (who makes lovely raspberry tarts, but terrible comics).  No, this is Brian Michael Bendis.  And it’s not just that he’s phoning it in, it’s that he’s got spotty cell phone reception, and is being easily distracted by some better, more interesting story he’s working on (probably the new Ultimate Spidey).  His usually stellar dialogue seems like he took random movie cliches and some old action scenes from his previous comics and cut and pasted them together without looking. 

Gone is the mopey Captain America complaining about dirty dishes.  Absent is the Spiderman/Jessica Drew interaction.  This is all just Bendis flipping through plot points to get to an ending.  And that’s not the direction his talent lies in.

It also doesn’t help that this issue was apparently colored by a blind two year old with Photoshop.  I think this is another example of Bendis not caring about this title.  The art on Ultimate Spider-Man #1 is divisive (personally, I think the head on the Spidey suit is all wrong), but I don’t think you can argue that it’s an intentional art choice.  It’s meant to get attention.  No attention at all was paid to the artistic direction of this book.  Immomen’s pencils aren’t exciting, but they’re also not horrible.  They certainly don’t deserve this coloring job.  It’s as though this entire issue was thrown together five minutes before deadline.

Story: 2 - Average
Art: 1 - Poor


  1. Phil Bendis and his amazing tarts sound delicious right about now.

  2. @TNC: I think I have a new band name.

  3. Good review. Particularly with New Avengers I’ve felt like Bendis has been phoning it in/pasting in scenes from movies and tv shows for a while. Not that I’ve read more than a few issues in the past few years, but that’s the impression I’ve gotten. The issues I’ve read really disgusted me; they seemed very lazily written. Yet two of the iFanboys have it on their top 5 list. I’m still awaiting a reviewer who can give me good reasons as to why this series is still so fantastic.

  4. I can’t be seen purchasing this comic in the daytime. It’s why I come back on thursday nights to buy it as well as other comics I wouldn’t have bought *ahem*witchblade*cough*.

    I kid.

    But seriously I didn’t see a coloring issue in this book at all. I don’t know where you’re getting this, perhaps it might just be Akamuu’s copy because mine is pretty decent.

  5. Really? You give Immonen (who was half of Ultimate Spider-man for half of its existence thus far… with, in my opinion, worse coloring than what’s being done here) a 1 rating?? I think you’re just attacking the book and not truly judging it on its merits. At least when it comes to the art, I mean, I agree that Bendis is on a downswing, but how does that effect the art? Would you prefer The Bad Times of the Long, Long Ago (or like a couple months and earlier) when Billy Tan was on this?

  6. @ captbastrd: I’m not judging the art on the writing, I promise.  I think it’s very lazy.  It didn’t show any flair for any particular character, and there wasn’t a signle panel where I didn’t wrinkle my nose.  I’m not a Billy Tan fan at all, but I certainly liked his art better than the art on this issue.  And, to be clear, I’m only talking about the art on this issue.  The last couple of issues had art that hovered around a three for me.  But this issue really felt like it was thrown together an hour before deadline by people who, while really talented, were not up to the task of making this issue look (or read) good (or well).


    @mangaman: fly your New Avengers and Witchblade flags, high!  As someone who works in a store, I don’t judge people by what they buy.  I mean, I judge whether I’ll follow their advice on comics (a guy who buys only Tarot: Witch of The Black Rose, and Betty and Veronica’s opinion will probably not sway me to pick up a new title) I certianly don’t judge them as people.  One of my coworker’s favorite artists is Rob Liefeld.  It takes all kinds of tastes to keep the comic industry going.


    As for the coloring, I find it drowns the pencils.  It is possible that, for this issue, the pencils were crap, so they needed to gloss over everything with these blobs of color.  But, as a general rule, I like colors that enhance the pencils, not obscure it.  And I feel that, lately, many of the Marvel titles have been oversaturating the books.

  7. Also @captbastrd: In the review, I said that Immomen wasn’t the reason the book got a one, it’s Dave Mccaig’s colors.  Immomen would probably have been given a 3 or so if this issue was in black and white.  Maybe more.  It’s tough to tell with the coloring job.

  8. Ahh you see? Now you’re getting somewhere. That’s something you should have said in your review. Thanks for

    Btw, I only Bought witchblade because every now and then I get a free copy of a backissue that I don’t own for the number of issues I purchase at my LCS.

  9. typo correction: *Thanks for elaborating on that.

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