The Ultimatum Wave has hit New York City. Peter abandons his friends to go save lives as Spider-Man. Aunt May is arrested back at the Parker household on a rumor that Peter may be Spider-Man.
Aunt May is being held for questioning at the 103rd precinct in Queens. The police are overrun with calls as a result of the Ultimatum Wave (caused by the X-Men antagonist Magneto in the events of Ultimatum #1).
The police subject May to the "good cop / bad cop" routine. One of the cops mentions May's past arrest thirty ears ago fro burning a flag on the steps of the United Nations building. The lights go out before May can be interrogated further. May steps outside to watch the aftermath of the wave's destruction.
Back in Manhattan, Spider-Man tries to save as many lives as he can. He receives a telepathic message from Professor Charles Xavier warning him of Magneto's deadly intentions. Spider-Man is stressed out from what has transpired. Back on the L train in the New York City subway, Kitty makes it her business to save the lives as well.
Meanwhile, May saves the life of a child outside the police station. Without warning, the clone of Peter, otherwise known as Spider-Woman arrives to help May. Mary Jane, Gwen, Kitty, and Kong drop off the train's occupants outside Battery Park. Mary Jane hopes Peter is okay.
However, Peter receives one huge problem in the form of the angry Hulk as he tries to rescue people.
I have been surprised at the quality of storytelling being done under the Ultimatum event title. Spider-Man's life genuinely feels dangerous to him and his supporting cast, a rare feat indeed in an ongoing comic book series. This issue is perhaps weaker in that it mainly serves as a set-up for things to come.
Spider-Man is typically heroic and a likeable protagonist. We also get further into Aunt May's dilemma. And we also get the anticipated return of Spider-Woman. That said, a certain spark was missing in the structure of the plot.
There's way too many quick scenes interspersed amongst each other. This was done by design but I feel that Bendis was too quick to pull away from certain scenes that may have needed more exposition or time to develop. For example, I would have liked to have seen more of May's reaction to the disaster around her.
There's some fantastic art from Immonen in this issue. The splash pages are a particular treat. However, Immonen shows that his attention to sequential storytelling is not gone, rendering what could have been a boring exposition scene into a kinetic action sequence.
There's a rather "by the book" rescue element to the plot. However, I was intrigued by Spider-Woman's appearance and the promise presented by the cliffhanger. Immonen is also in fine form.