After 9 issues of Ultimate rubbish, I'm about to give up on this title. All we've got so far are origins and silly fights. True, this is a Team-Up book, we need fights, but for a change, a story would be cool. Does that happen with issue 10? Read on!
The story starts with two guys who rob a women. They run away and in order to escape from the police, they enter the sewer. Well, one of them does and we hear a terrible sound followed by a big sploosh. A glowing eye is seen from the manhole.
Cut to Marsha Conners. She's reading a letter from her husband, Curt. In this letter he explains what has happened. The short version is that he's been working on a project to grow back limbs like lizards do when they loose one. After five years, with very little results, the funding is cut. Curt does not accept it and does one more experiment, on himself.
On television, Ms. Li, one of the co-workers of Curt, finishes the story about what happened, after Curt injected himself. Curt fel on the floor, screaming in pain. And he was making noises, very strange guttural noises. She fainted as she saw his face when he turned around. A reporter asks whether she thinks Dr. Conners is the sewer monster. They show her a picture of this so-called Man-Thing. She says she doesn't know.
Peter Parker is watching television, he just saw the interview with Ms. Li and decides to go outside, on his bike. Aunt May tells him to stay on the sidewalk. So, a few minutes later, Spider-Man is cruising town, thinking about Mary Jane, his girlfriend. He visits the laboratory of Dr. Conners and after being disturbed by a security guard, he jumps out the window. He then goes to the manhole where one of the muggers disappeared earlier. Inside the sewer he wishes he had taken a flashlight with him when a creature jumps at him from behind.
A fight follows. Spider-Man realises this is Dr. Curt Conners, transformed into some sort of lizard. He tries to talk to him, the Lizard hesitates. Then a large, green, plant-like creature appears. The Lizard turns and lashes out into the chest of this new character. Nothing happens. The creature extends his arm and grabs the Lizard by the head. An energy burst follows and Dr. Curt Conners falls down to the ground. The large, green creature (who is of course Man-Thing) disappears, without ever saying a word. Spidey takes the doctor to a hospital.
The story ends with Peter writing his side of the story in an email to Mary Jane, just before sending it, he decides to tell it to her face to face. We then see a hand dropping a letter in the mail. Cut back to Mrs. Conners, reading the final part of the letter she started earlier in the story. Curt explains to her in the letter that he loves her and that he will come back when he has redeemed himself and considers himself to be whole again.
Truely, an Ultimate story in the Marvel Team-Up series, at last. After 9 issues of rubbish, we finally get to see a decent story with cool art. And this time around, we actually get to read a story, just take a look at the thousands of thought balloons. A quick flip through the pages won't do it here.
The origin of the Lizard had a nice little twist to it. Like the Ulimate origin of Spider-Man, very close to the original but a bit more realistic. And the ending, not a happy one. True, Curt is no longer a Lizard. But for how long? And that creature in the sewer, who is he, where did he come from? I would like to know more of him.
Basically when teaming up, two heroes need to fight each other first, then cooperate to finish the job at hand. Here Spidey fights the Lizard and Man-Thing saves the day. They don't team-up at all, meaning they don't follow the team-up rules. Which I think is nice for a change and adds to the ultimate feeling of this story.
Great story. Nice pacing, cool art, which kinda reminded my of some Conan tales I once read, dark and moody. Perfect for this story. Especially the ending makes this one a 4 webs story. What happens to Curt? Why is he back in the sewer on the final panel? I suspect we'll meet him again in the near Ultimate future. Right, Mr. Bendis? Or should I say please?