Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #22 Review

Almost two years ago Peter Parker died fighting some of his greatest villains in front of his house. Months before this, a young kid named Miles Morales was bitten by a radioactive spider giving him amazing powers. Miles is new to the hero life but with the help of old and new friends he is learning that “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.”

Page 1

The “Venom War” story arc concludes in this issue. Mile Morales must face his ultimate threat, Venom. When Miles hears that Venom is attacking the hospital that his mom is at with his father, he races to take out Venom with his parents lives on the line. Can Miles do it? Or will he learn the painful lesson Peter learned?

Page 2

I wasn’t a fan of Ultimate Spider-Man. I know I’m the one person who didn’t see it as revolutionary when it first came out. Over the years I did pick up Ultimate Spider-Man and started to enjoy it, then came, the “Ultimate Clone Saga” which promised to introduce Ben Reilly to the Ultimate Universe. One of my favorite Spider-Man characters was coming to the Ultimate Universe. They had me! But then they pulled the carpet out from under my feet and I walked away from the book. I did pick it up again the last year of its run, only to have Peter killed, and replaced.

Page 3

I gave Miles a shot and I’m glad I did. This isn’t my Spider-Man, but I enjoy it. The first 22 issues really work together to tell the journey of a kid given incredible powers and the shaping of a young man.

This issue was just spectacular! Brian Michael Bendis is at his best here. This story hits all the emotional beats without taking away from the action. The script reads like a movie, where Bendis masterfully pulls at your heartstrings. This is a fine art. Bendis takes us on this action packed adventure ride and just when your adrenaline is pumping at full force “pluck” the emotional heartstring is pulled and you feel for Miles, and then “BOOM” you get kicked in the gut with the action.

Page 4

I’m a fan of Venom from the 616 universe. I grew up with Eddie Brock terrorizing Peter Parker. But now in the 616, Eddie isn’t Venom, Flash Thompson is. Venom started out as a villain then walked the line as an anti-hero, and now he is really a hero. The Venom book is great right now, but I miss the fear that Venom struck into readers in those early days, and Bendis trumps that with the Ultimate Venom. This Venom is just monstrous. There is no line here, Bendis Venom ate the line and wants more. The way he breaks through the hospital saying “Give me my Spider-Man!! He’s nothing to you!! He’s everything to me!! He’s mine!!” sends chills, and lets you know how truly disturbed Venom is in the Ultimate Universe.

Page 5

This is Sara Pichelli’s last issue as artist and she does a near perfect job. I think it is because Pichelli has these moments where her art is so perfect, that when we get anything less than that it shows. Where as with another artist it might blend in more. If you look at the first page in the book she does the bricks and other building details so perfectly that it almost looks like a picture, which continues on the first two panels of the second page. Then you get to the third panel and the tree kind of looks like a fake plant from a doctor’s office. But then she pulls you back in with the last panel and the close up of Miles eye, and the emotion that pours out of it is just sensational. I hope the new artist can capture the emotions as well as Pichelli does.

Page 6

The art and the story compliment each other so much. Pichelli and Bendis have found a rhythm where the two work in tangent with one another, yet can tell the story on their own. Just as I said, Bendis' story reads like a movie. Pichelli’s panel layouts give the book a cinematic feel. Benids’ script tells us how terrifying Venom is, but Pichelli’s art brings that message to life, presenting us with this image of a huge monstrosity. Pichelli’s Venom is right out of a horror film, giving the character that intimation and unpredictability that made the 616 Venom so awesome when I was growing up, then shoots it with steroids and rabies.

Pages 7 & 8

The final few pages of this issue really tug at the heart and just have you feeling for Miles in the way that you did for Peter Parker. In just under two years Bendis and Pichell have created the perfect legacy character for Peter Parker. If anyone isn’t reading this because it’s not Peter Parker, I highly recommend you give this title a shot. This isn’t Peter, but all the things that made you love Peter over the years are in this book without it being repetitive.

That is what I think about this book. Let us know what you think in the comments.

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