Home > Ultimate Comics > Ultimate Spider-Man #65

Ultimate Spider-Man #65

September 5, 2004

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Detention

Peter Parker and the gang are thrown into detention… what landed them there?

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Mark Bagley
Inks: Scott Hanna
Colors: J.D. Smith
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Cover Art: Mark Bagley
Publisher: Marvel Comics

In the aftermath of Gwen Stacy’s death, Peter Parker and several of his classmates – both friends and enemies – have been tossed in detention. The reason they’re there and how they handle their punishment combine to make one of the best issues of Ultimate Spider-Man since the infamous Aunt May in therapy issue.

In truth, this is a, extremely fitting, effective memorial to Gwen. We see exactly how her death has impacted her classmates, both in the obvious ways (Peter), and the utterly unexpected ways (you’ll know it when you see it). What’s more, it becomes a launching pad to understand more about what makes some of the satellite characters tick – Flash Thompson and Kong each get some serious development in this issue. Bendis even works in a little action just at the end, and again, it’s not gratuitous action, but action that shows how Peter has been affected and changed by events of the last few issues.

Mark Bagley does a very good job with the artwork, especially since so much of the issue takes place in a tiny little detention all, with characters sitting in their desks and talking to each other. Each character has his or her own look, and there is a lot of real, genuine emotion in their faces. He even manages to play with the layout a bit so that each page isn’t just a standard, boring grid.

This is, in short, one of the best issues of Ultimate Spider-Man in a very long time. I’m very relieved to learn that the next several issues will be a series of one or two-issue stories, though – the longer arcs, frequently dragging on longer than the story demands – have hurt the book quite a bit since the 50th issue, perhaps even earlier. Bendis seems to be pulling back and getting a bit more into the character side of things, which is where he really shines. I hope he manages to keep it up.

Rating: 8/10

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