Comics : Ultimate Spider-Man Super Special #1

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Last month, we say the final issue of the Ultimate Marvel Team-Up series. Looks like Brian Michael Bendis couldn't let us go without saying goodbye. The Super Special is the big swan song to that series.

In Detail...

Ultimate Spider-Man Super Special #1
Jul 2002 : SM Title
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Artist:  Alex Maleev, Al Milgrom, Art Thibert, Ashley Wood, Bill Sienkiewicz, Bret Weldele, Craig Thompson, Dan Brereton, Dave Gibbons, David Mack, Frank Cho, Jacen Burrows, James Kochalka, Jason Pearson, Jim Mahfood, John Romita, Sr., Leonard Kirk, Mark Bagley, Michael Avon Oeming, Mike Gaydos, P. Craig Russell, Rodney Ramos, Scott Morse, Sean Phillips, Terry Pallort, Walden Wong
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Ultimate MTU) #3

Spidey swings across town and stumbles upon a fight between what turns out to be some vampires and a guy called Blade. Well, I'm guessing it's him, for his name isn't given. Blade kills the vampires and then scares the living crap out of Spidey when he says he'll eat his heart for breakfast. After which he leaves.

Cut to Peter Parker, sitting on his bed, telling about what happened to Mary Jane. He says, you're the only person I can tell stuff to. Mary Jane is the only one who knows his secret identity. He tells her of another weird thing.

We see Elektra, assembling a gun on a rooftop. She wants to assassinate some guy. Spidey stops her. They fight, Elektra tries to kill Spidey but suddenly she runs away.

Peter and Mary Jane are surfing the internet. They find info on Elektra and her supposed target. The guy she tried to kill is General Tappart, guilty of genocide. Peter questions whether he did the right thing when he stopped Elektra. They argue about it. Mary Jane suggests, maybe he should go see someone who has a little more experience.

Cut to Hell's Kitchen, the office of Nelson and Murdock. Spidey is swinging by the window. Several hours ater, DareDevil meets him at a rooftop. They talk, Spidey is nervous and tries to be funny. DD asks about his age, he says 26 at first, but it's 16. DareDevil says Spidey is in over his head, he's too young and too silly to live this life. He should go home and come back in 5 to 10 years.

Another switch, this time to a classroom. In one week they are supposed to come in and they will be a super hero. An oral presentation is expected. Of course, Kong and Flash are making fun of it. Mary Jane looks at Peter, smiling, like saying I know what you're gonna do. But Peter walks away, not knowing what to do.

On a big video screen, we see Captain America. Spidey is on his way to the Fantastic Four. The security systems of the Baxter Building capture him and after a little study, which includes reveiling his secret identity, Reed Richards sets him free. They argue a bit. Then Spidey asks them for help, he wants to be part of the team. He is turned down. The FF are not really a team, they're family and not looking to expand. When Spidey leaves, Reed says he was a great admirer of Peter's father.

The Torch follows Spidey, not to make things worse, but to comfort Spidey. His message, you choose to see the powers as a blessing, or you don't. And should Spidey ever want to go to a ball game or something, he invites him to swing by, for the Torch has absolutely no friends anymore.

Back to school, Kong is doing his presentation of the Punisher. Peter's next. The subject of his presentation, his father. It's a touching essay about selflessness, fighting for the underdog and making choices. A man he never met, has given him words to live by, words that define a hero, "With great power there must also come great responsibility". And the man who told those words to his departed uncle who told them to Peter, is his father. Silence.

In General...

It's a double, no triple sized issue, 64 pages. Each scene is drawn by a different artist. At first I thought it was annoying, but after reading it I thought it is well done. But much irritating is the teacher, she's an ugly old white bat when we first see her, later on she's a stunning young black woman. Come on guys, this should have been edited out! Eh... I mean, the old bat of course.

Several new Ultimate characters are introduced and that's all. No origin, just an appearance. These characters are like their regular Marvel Timeline counterparts, and at the same time they are not. Makes you wonder what would have happened had the Ultimate Marvel Team-Up series been continued.

What more can I say? It's all there, character building, action, an actual story and a message. All done by several artists. So you can just pick the pieces you like and discard the rest. Best would be to read the book yourself, twice.

Overall Rating...

Well, I'd like to give this story a regular 3 webs. That is, after reading it for the first time. This is the kinda book that needs to soak in. The ending is long and tends to be boring. Heck, after all the action, it's kinda wierd. After reading it again, I changed my mind. I got the point, so it'll be 4 webs. Perhaps after I've read it again it could even become a wee bit more, that is, if I ingore the old bat.