Comics : Ultimate Spider-Man #160

Staff Only
Edit Review
Edit Title

This review was first published on: Aug 2011.

Background...

Spider-Man has saved Captain America’s life by pushing him out of the way and taking the bullet that was meant for him by an assassin. As Spider-Man lies bleeding Captain America and the rogue agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. take off and leave him behind. When Spider-Man regains consciousness he starts to make his way to the hospital but he sees the Green Goblin, Kraven, the Sandman, the Vulture and Electro fly past and decides that following them would be a better idea.

When he catches up with them at his very house he sees that the Goblin, along with the Human Torch and Iceman, are down for the count. Even with his bullet wound Spider-Man takes on the remaining villains and manages to hold his own until Aunt May shows up and shoots and kills Electro, whose powers then take out the Vulture and the Sandman. The only problem now is that the Green Goblin has woken up and is ready to finish this.

In Detail...

Ultimate Spider-Man #160
Nov 2011 : SM Title
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:  Mark Bagley
Inker:  Andrew Hennessy, Andy Lanning
Lettering:  VC's Cory Petit
Colorist:  Justin Ponsor
Executive Producer:  Alan Fne
Publisher:  Dan Buckley
Chief Creative Officer:  Joe Quesada
Editor In Chief:  Axel Alonso
Senior Editor:  Mark Paniccia
Assistant Editor:  Sana Amanat
Staff Only
Issue
Review

Mary Jane is frantically trying to call Peter on her cell phone because she is really worried about him. Sitting in her room by herself isn’t helping anyone and when she sees a bright, electric flash go off over the neighbor’s roofline out of her window, she knows something is happening to Peter. She tries to rush out of her home to go to him but her mother stops her, saying she can see her boyfriend tomorrow. That “tomorrow is another day.” MJ is forced to stay home.

Back at the main event just as the Green Goblin’s fists come smashing down, Spider-Man grabs Aunt May and Gwen and leaps to safety. This sort of excitement and acrobatic maneuverability is more than Aunt May is used to and she repeats “Oh My God” as they go flying through the air. Back on solid ground Spider-Man turns to Gwen and tells her to do whatever she has to do to get Aunt May out of there. Looking down at her shirt Aunt May notices a lot of Peter’s blood.

As the Green Goblin jumps towards them Spider-Man launches himself at the Green Goblin and lands a powerful left punch to Norman’s face, sending blood and fangs flying everywhere. Spider-Man knows he’s in a bad position what with him bleeding all over the place and fighting alone so he tries to wake up Johnny for some assistance. Johnny does actually come to and turns on his flames.

Now it is the Human Torch versus the Green Goblin as Spider-Man takes a much needed breather. The Torch puts everything he’s got into the Goblin and with a huge fiery blast the Goblin is the only one still standing as a powered down Johnny falls to the ground and slips into unconsciousness. Spider-Man now realizes that it probably would have been better to have revived Iceman instead of the Human Torch thinking that Bobby’s ice powers would have worked better against the Goblin.

Now the Green Goblin is really at full power, glowing a bright white. He rains down some fireballs but Spider-Man dodges them all and then smacks the Goblin around with a blue mailbox. Spider-Man inquires about what the Goblin’s plans are after he kills him as he throws the Goblin into a jet of water from the busted hydrant he used when fighting against Electro earlier.

The Goblin tells Spider-Man that nothing really matters except for Spider-Man’s death. While a weakened Spider-Man on his knees watches as the Goblin slowly approaches, out of nowhere a large truck driven by none other than Mary Jane comes racing in and slams into the Goblin as Spider-Man leaps out of the way.

Thankfully the truck had airbags because otherwise Mary Jane probably would not still be alive. Spider-Man pulls her out of the truck, thanks her for the help and then tosses her through the air into a web net that he made just after his throw (sort of dangerous). The Green Goblin pulls himself out from under the front of the truck and tells Spider-Man that is it God’s will that he should die. Spider-Man picks up the truck, slams it down onto the Goblin and tells him to shut up.

As the Goblin threatens Peter’s family Spider-Man smashes the truck down again causing it to explode, sending him flying through the air, landing on his neck. Johnny has come to and rushes over to Peter telling him that the Goblin is definitely not getting back up. Mary Jane also comes running over and says that they need to get Peter to the hospital but there’s no way that they can more him because of his neck injury.

Gwen and Aunt May now come running over to Peter and Aunt May falls down to her knees next to her nephew telling him to hold on. Peter tells her that it’s OK because he saved her. He couldn’t save his Uncle Ben but he could save her and that’s all that matters. With tears in all of their eyes Peter closes his eyes and passes away.

Johnny puts his ear to Peter’s chest and without saying anything everyone knows it to be true. Aunt May goes into hysterics crying about losing Peter too. Gwen comforts her as Mary Jane holds Peter’s lifeless body.

In the explosion wreckage that is still burning, the bloody body of Norman Osborn hangs down between pieces of twisted metal and a small grin creeps onto his face.

In General...

So this is it. Spider-Man versus the Green Goblin. And only one of them will be left standing. Since it has been talked about everywhere and the name of the storyline is the Death of Spider-Man, it’s a pretty safe bet that Spidey isn’t going to make it. Tear.

The Green Goblin attacks and Spider-Man jumps out of the way saving Gwen and Aunt May at the same time. The two of them fight for awhile until Spider-Man gets the Human Torch to wake up and sends him after the Goblin, only this time the Human Torch’s powers not only don’t work against the Goblin but now power him up in the process. Spider-Man is now forced to fight a more powerful adversary but with the help of Mary Jane who drives a truck straight into the Goblin, he doesn’t have to for very long.

After making sure that MJ is safely out of the way, Spider-Man smashes the remaining truck repeated into the Goblin which causes it to explode sending Spider-Man flying through the air and landing on his neck. With the Goblin now defeated everyone comes running over to Spider-Man’s body. He manages to hold on long enough to share a very poignant moment with his Aunt May about how he has saved her even after he wasn’t able to save his Uncle Ben.

After Spider-Man dies a small smiles creeps onto the face of Norman Osborn who is still in the remains of the truck wreckage.

Overall Rating...

I loved the moment near the end with Spider-Man and Aunt May where Spider-Man is thankful that no matter what happened that he was able to save his Aunt’s life. The entire reason he uses his powers for good in the first place was because of the guilt he had over the death of his Uncle Ben and how he could have prevented it if only he had stopped that burglar when he had the chance. Now he had the chance to save his Aunt and he did everything in his power and then some to stop the Green Goblin from harming her and he prevailed. It was a perfect ending for the Spider-Man mythos.

That being said I had a huge issue with this book, which prevents it from getting 5 webs . Two issues ago the Human Torch, using his flame powers, was easily able to best the Green Goblin, but here now, the Human Torch’s flames are no longer effective and manage to power him up. What the hell happened? Someone should have caught that big plot hole and done something about it.

Also the fact that this issue was bagged was a missed opportunity. I realize they bagged it so that people couldn’t read the book before they actually purchased it but I remember when a bagged comic usually came with a whole bunch of extra things like a poster or a couple comic cards or something. Here, it’s just a bag to stop the looky-looes from finding out what happens inside without first throwing down some coin. The Death of Superman comic, which was bagged, had a poster and a black armband and a bunch of other stuff in it - here, nothing. At least the price of the comic wasn’t higher than usual.