Rave : 2004 : Ultimate Blunder?
First off, I should say that I am expressing only my sole opinion, which many not be shared by other staff members here at spiderfan.org. Now that I got that out of the way, lets begin.
Brian, Brian, Brian. What are you thinking? What are you doing? I have been so impressed with Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate Marvel Team Up, Ultimate Six, even the crossover in Ultimate X-Men, with all of your stuff up until Ultimate Spider-Man #52. What am I talking about? Spidey getting whipped by Elektra! Whats up with that?
Did you forget who you were writing about? Will the title now be changed to Ultimate Punching-Bag Man? What is going on here? I'm calling Brian out that he screwed up and misrepresented my favorite character. Lets start back with Ultimate Spider-Man #50 shall we? Black Cat takes out Spidey in less than two pages! And then he slips? I'm not reading Ultimate Spider-Man, apparently I'm reading Ultimate Clumsy Oaf.
First off, Spider-Man sticks to things, he doesn't slip. Second, his reflexes were once written as 40 times faster than a normal human. Third, his body is very limber and he is arguably the most agile being in the Ultimate Universe, with unmatched equilibrium, so he should never fall on his face. Fourth, his ever trusty Spider-Sense which warns him about potential danger ahead of time, even from the general direction its coming from. Whats all this add up to? Spider-Man should be near impossible to hit.
Yet get hit he does. And many times, by normal humans. Even at their peak physical condition, there simply should be no contest. If the story requires that a certain character is to get away from Spider-Man, surely you could think of a way to do it without comprimising the known abilities of the main star. Might as well have been Flash Thompson in that Spidey suit, I couldn't tell a difference.
Where is the escape route here? Does Black Cat have those infamous 'bad luck' powers? Well, that might explain their bout back in #50, but even thats a stretch, bad luck wouldn't cause you to be too darn slow to dodge. Something better would have been Spidey dodged her kick or punch in his usual faster-than-the-blink-of-an-eye manner, but in doing so smacked the back of his head against the wall, not realizing how close he was to it... ouch, bad luck.
If that is what it is, then it should have been thought about very carefully. Bad luck simply would not make all the super abilites you possess useless, bad luck would make your super abilites a crutch. Say Spidey throws a punch and said villain evades and his fist goes through a wall (due to his strength) and some sharp object in the wall combined with the force of his punch pierces a web cartridge causing it to explode, in effect gluing his arm inside the wall. Bad luck again. Now he would be set up to get beat on a little.
If Black Cat does have said power, why didn't Elektra go down during their fight? She held Elektra off better than Spider-Man did! For that matter, when it was Spidey vs. Elektra, how is it that only Spidey seemed to be afflicted with such horrid abilites? Are we to believe that Elektra is immune somehow? I don't buy it. Bad luck power or not, Elektra could be the best fighter on the planet yet still human, there should still be no logical reason for Spidey getting pummeled the way he did unless you removed his powers for that issue and forgot to tell us.
It can't be that Spidey is simply not good at fighting, that much is irrelevant. With all his given abilites I previously mentioned, he could never have been in a fight before in his life and still not performed as badly as he did in #52. By the way, being that it is #52, one would think he finally has some battle experience under his belt. If you are going to turn Spidey into a whipping boy, at least make it more plausible than this.
Temporarily blind him with a flash, overload his Spider-Sense by directing attacks making him evade specifically to move him into a position where he cannot avoid the last strike. Make him catch a virus, gas him, drug him, just do something that makes it more believable even by a fraction. The guy has dodged bullets and Electro blasts for petes sake, but he can't avoid a punch by a black belt?
I love Brians writing, really I do. Ultimate Spider-Man is a killer title and has reigned supreme since issue #1. I truly hope he comes up with something to make me eat my words, and so far the best bet is a 'bad luck' explanation, but even then its going to be grasping at straws the way #52 played out. All I can say is this better be good, and with Brian at the pen, that just might happen.