The Ultimate Marvel Team-Up series has seen its ups and downs. The last 2 were good, will issue 12 receive a high rating as well? Hmm, art by Ted McKeever...... we'll see.
After a splash showing a very odd looking Spider-Man we go back in time, one year. A couple of guys are sitting on a couch when the bell rings. Pizza? Nah, just some chinese guy with a box. It's for Stephen Strange, it concerns his father.
Back to Spidey, sitting on a wall. He's talking to himself, out loud. An old lady hangs out the window and asks him to leave, she would like to get some sleep. While he swings off, we see a creepy figure entering a bar. This figure goes by the name of Jackson and he takes a seat at a table where Xandu is having a drink.
Jackson shows some photographs and tells Xandu he found it. He didn't bring it with him, because he just had to find it. Besides, it's in the possession of Dr. Strange. Xandu doesn't understand this so Jackson tells about this surgeon named Stephen Strange.
Read the book for the full version, the short version goes like this. He was doing great, crashed his car, killing his wife and his unborn child and damaged his hands. Could not operate anymore, went to Tibet to heal himself, met the Ancient One, became his disciple and took over when he died thus becoming Sorcerer Supreme.
He became trusted keeper of dozens of special artifacts. With his servant Wong and disciple Clea he lived in Soho, NYC. He fell in love with Clea, they were going to have a baby but then he disappeared. Never been seen since. Twenty years and not a peep. Clea gave birth and on the 21th birthday of the boy, Wong gave one of the articfacts to young Stephen. Stephen then goes into training to become a socerer.
When the story ends, Xandu tries to put a spell on Jackson to give back the money and go kill himself. Which doesn't work. So he tells some punks to take Jackson outside and beat him to death. They do, or, try to do because Spidey just happens to swing by. He breaks up the fight. Jackson warns him that his soul is in danger. Then Xandu puts a spell on Spidey, ordering him to follow him.
You know, this book really shows how well Chris Eliopoulos is at doing the letters. Because the art looks terrible smeared, you really notice the crispy lettering. Great job Chris! And for those of you who didn't know, Chris can draw pretty well too. Just go and find an issue of Desperate Times and see for yourself. Eh... sorry about the plug, won't happen again [yeah right, ed.].
Anyway, that's about the only thing good about this issue. The story was nothing more than a very long origin to Doctor Strange. With lots and lots of voice over boxes telling what happened. Guess Ted McKeever doesn't know how to draw the action so Brian Michael Bendis had to tell the story himself. Kinda like the 'Nuff Said month the other way around.
The story: A nice attempt to create an ultimate version of Doctor Strange, but it takes too long, worth 2.5 webs. The art: Downright UGLY, worth minus 1 webs. Giving a total of 1.5 webs. And you know what the worst part is? The next installment will be made by the same creative team. So you'll understand I'm really looking forward to see the lettering. Now where did I put my copy of Desperate Times.....