Home > Uncategorized > Ultimate Spider-Man #68

Ultimate Spider-Man #68

November 8, 2004

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Popular

The Human Torch is going back to high school… with a certain arachnid.

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

When Reed Richards and Sue Storm suggest Johnny goes back to school to get his high school diploma, he’s not wild about the idea. You know he’s going to break down and go, though, because if he didn’t there would be no team-up. Johnny, predictably, winds up attending Peter Parker’s high school and falls in with his group of friends, including a smitten Liz Allen.

You’ve got to remind yourself, as you’re reading this, that the Ultimate Fantastic Four is not yet the world-famous team of adventurers their mainstream counterparts are. The characters are in hiding and the sight of someone bursting into flame is pretty startling, even for a guy with spider-powers. Bendis balances these reactions very well. In addition, this is a surprisingly strong issue for Mary Jane. We get to see several sides of her as she struggles to help her friends with various problems, and even see her slip up a bit with Peter.

After the laugh-out-loud Wolverine team-up and the unrelenting bleak tone of Carnage, this issue is kind of back to normal. There are some amusing, lighthearted moments, but there are heavier moments too. The issue is light on action but heavy on character content, and that makes up for any deficiency.

Mark Bagley gets to play with some characters he doesn’t get to use as much this issue, doing a solid job on the FF, particularly the Thing. It’s still weird to see a young Reed Richards, but you learn to get used to it. The issue is extremely heavy on dialogue and Bagley has to carry the weight of a lot of talking heads scenes – something, as luck would have it – he does very well.

As usual, Ultimate Spider-Man is a solid title, the strongest of Marvel’s Ultimate line. This issue works for people who read the title for the emotion and character interaction. If you’re looking for fisticuffs, you’ll have to wait.

Rating: 8/10

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