Ultimate Spider-Man #96

Background

Having recently broken up with his girlfriend Mary Jane Watson, Peter started dating Kitty Pryde, member of the super-powered mutant team, the X-Men. Kitty - whose identity as the super hero Shadowcat is known to the world - tried to create as normal a relationship as circumstances would allow. Unfortunately, a televised team-up romantically linked Shadowcat and Spider-Man, meaning that, without revealing Peter's secret identity, Kitty couldn't also be dating Peter...

While this association puts a huge strain on Peter and MJ's friendship, Peter's job at the Daily Bugle newspaper leads him to the apartment of one Jennifer Grünwald - a vampire who has bitten Peter's co-worker, reporter Ben Urich. As Peter tries to rescue his friend - who's being fought over by Jennifer and another vampire - a third creature of the night appears...

Story Details

Ben Urich is on the floor, paralyzed. Spider-Man is between Jennifer and a wolf on one side and Morbius on the other. He tries to attack all of them. Morbius goes for the wolf, who then transforms into a flog of bats and escapes. Then he kills Jennifer by sticking a wooden stake through her heart. Spidey picks up Ben and runs off, to a hospital.

Spider-Man's upset, the doctors need to help his friend. They take him to a room, Spidey leaves. Once the doctors leave, Morbius visits Ben. As he tries to bite Ben, Spidey crashes through the window. They fight, Morbius tries to tell Spidey that he wants to save Ben. Spidey doesn't trust Morbius and the fight continues.

Suddenly, there are three more vampires in the hospital. One of them bites Spidey. Morbius comes to the rescue and kills all three of them. He then smells Spidey's blood. It's diseased, meaning Spider-Man doesn't have to worry about becoming a vampire. He then points Spidey towards Ben, who's just fine. Morbius leaves, leaving Spider-Man confused.

At school, Peter is staring at a frog. They are going to dissect it. He shows Mary Jane the bite marks in his neck. He wonders when he's old enough to see those "things". Daredevil warned him, they all did, he says. MJ asks, how old do you think is old enough? She then hugs him, he accepts her help.

General Comments

Well, I had fun reading this issue. The übervampire from last issue gets his name, it's Morbius. Which was a pretty safe bet after last issue. And he's a good guy, great. His bite can cure people of the vampire effect. Cool. No 22 page issue long explanations, just 'coz his father is Dracul, he can do so.

And finally, or so it seems, MJ and Peter are back together. Kitty was grounded, as told in the previous issue. Will she be back? I hope not. Peter is supposed to be with MJ, no matter what.

Hmmm... writing this review, I suddenly noticed that the violence in this particular comic series has increased over the last couple of months. There's more death lately... is Bendis building up to something? The Ultimate Clone Saga is next, who knows? OK, easy one, Bendis does, but you catch my drift...

Overall Rating

Great story. Perfect mix of action and drama. And because the Morbius story isn't dragged over 5 issues or more, I'm more than happy!