Issue 1 had a team-up between Spider-Man and Wolverine. That is, the Ultimate version of both characters. I found that to be a very disapointing story, you can imagine I raised a few eyebrows when I found out issue 11 was to be a team-up with not one but with all of the X-Men.
Peter is sitting in the living room, his aunt May is preparing for work. She's fussing all over and says she's happy he's not one of those kids that skip school whenever they feel like it. She drives off to work as Peter is stading on the sidewalk. When she's gone, he climbs a building, scales the roof and casually meets his friends on the other side. It seems this is senior skip day and Liz, Gwen, Mary Jane are waiting for Peter. Kong is also there, Peter doesn't like that. An argument follows, then Gwen kinda makes them stop fussing by yelling at them and they drive off.
Since they can not decide where to go, they end up in a mall. Major bummer, every kids that's skipping school went to the mall. OK, it's not their mall, but when you've seen one mall, you've seen them all. They're ordering pizza when Mary Jane asks Peter to take her swinging around. He tries to explain he can't do that when he spots a group of 5 other kids. He recognises one them, it's Logan. That group of 5 are the X-Men.
The X-Men have the day off and they ended up in a mall. Major bummer, a day off and they went to the mall. OK, it's not their mall, but when you've seen one mall, you've seen them all. Then Logan senses something. He's spotted Peter and he knows Peter is secretly Spider-Man, for he himself is Wolverine and has enhanced senses. He asks the others in his party whether they wanna have some fun.
Peter is at a table with his group and eats his pizza. Mary Jane is talking about leaving the mall and do something cultural, like visiting a museum. Then Logan taps Peter on the back, saying hi and pretending to be his cousin, well, sort of. Mary Jane asks some questions and Jean (Grey, aka Marvel Girl) tells them they're from upstate. When the small talk kinda dies down, Liz suddenly asks whether they are mutants.
After a long silence, Scott (Summers, aka Cyclops) says yes. Liz is scared and runs off. Gwen says she heard Liz say once that her uncle was a mutant or something. Kong asks them whether they get that a lot. Unfortunately, Scott has to say yes. He then wants to leave as Gwen wants to know more. Although very frightened, she asks the questions everbody want to ask. Like do they have powers, what kind of and did they kill anyone with them.
The X-Men are quite frank about everything and the conversation is more about discrimination and how they deal with the fact that they are mutants. Kong compares it to being gay, in relation to telling your parents about it. And Scott says it doesn't matter whether they wish to be normal, it's just they way they are. Wishing things like that would be a waste of time.
As they leave, Jean tells them it's OK to ask those questions. She understands where they're coming from. You just gotta learn to play the hand that's dealt you, is her answer. Then they start to leave. Gwen asks wether they are afraid, afraid that history might repeat itself, that the government might decide to round them up. Sadly, Scott says absolutely.
Going home from the mall, Peter is distracted, Gwen is happy and Mary Jane thought Jean had great earrings on. Kong ends this story with saying "See, I told you guys the mall was cool!".
The story starts with a note that this story takes place before Ultimate X-Men #7. Which is good, because in that issue the Weapon X story kicks off and there we meet a group of X-Men very different than those we see here. A tale like the one we just saw would no longer be possible since it ages the X-Men too much. In this story they're just kids. Kids talking to other kids, about things that matter.
I found aunt May having a job and driving a car a nice touch. Those are ingredients that make this story an ultimate story. Finally, I would like to add. Finally something that makes this different from the vanilla Marvel Team-Up stories.
The topic of discrimination was well laid out. Without being a scolar and teaching us readers a lesson, Brian Michael Bendis made a story about how horrible discrimination can be. He doesn't say it directly, it's all between the lines. And for that he only needed two groups of kids, talking to each other. No fist fights, no cursing and yelling, no crying.
Yes, like issue 10 another 4 webs. This was a great read. No fights, no Spider-Man in action, but a great story. I guess Brian Michael Bendis finally found out how he's supposed to write good team-up stories. Please, keep this up! Oh, throw in a fist fight next time, just for the fun of it.