Comics : Ultimate Spider-Man #14

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This review was first published on: 2004.


Peter has just spilled the beans about his secret identity to Mary-Jane, a major deparature from Bendis from the original Lee/Ditko relationships between the Spider-Man supporting characters.

So, how is Bendis going to top that?

Well, let me start by warning you that like last month, this is a plot development issue. There's no Spidey, no battles, just a whole swag of dialog and a couple of new characters... and one little surprise at the end.

In Detail...

"Doctor Octopus"
Ultimate Spider-Man #14
Dec 2001 : SM Title
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:  Mark Bagley
Inker:  Art Thibert
Cover Art:  Mark Bagley
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 Reprinted In: Komikai Ultimate Spider-Man (Promo Reprint) #14
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man 2: The Official Movie Adaption (TPB)
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Ultimate) #3
 Reprinted In: Ultimate Spider-Man Reprints (Hardcover) #2
 Reprinted In: Ultimate Tales Flip Magazine #8

First up, Pete's teacher tells the class that their next assignment is about super-heroes. That sets everybody talking about mutants and such like. Of course, in Unlimited, whey you say "Mutant", you have to say "just like the Nazis treated Jews" in a parrot-like fashion. *sigh*.

Out of the blue, Gwen Stacy turns up on her first day at her new school. Devastatingly Hip in leather and lays down her version of Mutant philosophy to a stunned audience. This ain't your Daddy's Gwen Stacy, the alpha female of the College - surrounded by drooling guys. Nah, this is a loner Gwen Stacy, projecting way too much uncompromising attitude for ordinary things like friends, or even hangers-on.

[Of course, originally, Peter met Gwen and Harry at College, not High School... but of course, originally, Peter met MJ in ASM #42 - so let's just say that it's all different now and leave it at that.]

Meanwhile, Otto Octavius had an accident a while back... an arm-grafting, eye-enhancing accident. Seems that the government took him into care, but instead of healing him they decided to see what interesting effects his forced grafting develops. This is a nice Bendis twist, but of course Doc Ock doesn't see the plus side. Let's just say, he ain't happy, and he shows it.

Then there's more teenage dialog at the pep session before the school football match. MJ and Peter hold hands. Hmm... this ain't your Daddy's Mary-Jane either... the untouchable, no one man could satisfy me MJ. This is more your home-making, tender-hearted MJ. Hmm... that's gonna confuse things, if MJ and Gwen have swapped personalities!

And the final suprise? Well, Kong of all people, Flash's heavyweight sports jock pal, is having strange ideas about Peter Parker and Spider-Man... could they be one and the same...?

In General...

The Verdict: Bendis is always good. Some nice angles on the original story.

Personally, I don't think that Ultimate needs to keep going. I would like to see this book canned. Why? Because I want Bendis back on the mainstream titles. Ultimate Spidey is too good, and it's distracting people from the main continuity thread.

This Ultimate Spidey stuff is fun, sexy, fresh, clever, original, and devastatingly effective, judging by reader response. It's annoying me. Let's have a new Spider-Man team-up title featuring Bendis, instead of this off-track stuff.

Overall Rating...

I'm tired with the Ultimate concept. I really like the book. I'm going to do the right thing, and rate the book.