Comics : Ultimate Spider-Man Scriptbook

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Book of the Month Club

This review was first published on: 2007.

Background...

This is a book of scripts of Ultimate Spider-Man comics. All the scripts are written by Brian Michael Bendis.

In Detail...

Ultimate Spider-Man Scriptbook
Aug 2004 : SM Title
Find ISBN 0785115293
Editor:  Jeff Youngquist
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
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Review

This standard-sized TPB contains the scripts for four issues starring Ultimate Spidey. They include: Ultimate Spider-Man #1/2 (Wizard 126), Ultimate Spider-Man #13, Ultimate Spider-Man #45 and Ultimate Spider-Man Super Special #1.

Each scripts is introduced by a couple of pages of notes by BMB himself, and the whole book receives a couple of page intro and a couple of page of footnotes. Other than that, the vast majority of the book is simply the printed type-written text of the script as supplied by BMB to Mark Bagley and the other artists.

In General...

I got nothing at all out of the scripts. I didn't enjoy reading them particularly, and they weren't particularly enlightening. I enjoyed the underlying stories, but reading the scripts seemed kind of like visiting the Louvre museum in Paris and spending your time walking around examining the sewers and ventilation shafts.

Perhaps a better example would be: Going to see the new Transformers movie while wearing a blindfold. Without Bagley's fantastic art, the scripts are dull and lifeless. Perhaps a budding comic plot writer might find some hints and tips in here, a sense of style which could be imitated. But as enjoyment, the book left me entirely cold.

By far the most interesting parts were the introduction notes. I would have found this far more valuable if it was a complete set of all USM covers, each associated with a page of summary (who appeared, what happened) and a page of notes from BMB. In fact, you could have used a 1/3 size cover and squeezed each issue onto a single page. Then 128 pages would have covered nearly all the appearances of USM including team-ups and major guest appearances. That would appeal to me. But this didn't.

Overall Rating...

Sorry Brian Michael and friends. I loved the comics, but I really can't see the value of a book like this. It has very limited appeal. I guess it was cheap to produce, and in 2004 fans were buying anything with BMB's name on it. But it really is a "buy, glance, file" sort of book. I can't offer more than a couple of webs, even though I feel bad about it, knowing how much work these scripts represent.