Overview

Ultimate Spider-Man #108

Review

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Ultimate Spider-Man #108

Credits

  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Mark Bagley
  • Inks: Drew Hennessey
  • Colors: Justin Ponsor
  • Story Title: Ultimate Knights: Part 3
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Apr 18, 2007

The plan to infiltrate the Kingpin’s empire and destroy him from within moves forth with yet another personality for the already schizophrenic Marc Spector.

Marc Spector is a sick man. He has several personalities living inside his mind, including the vigilante Moon Knight. Now he must form another in order to penetrate the Kingpin’s well-guarded inner circle. This personality, the nunchaku-wielding Ronin, proves to be both lethal and out of control. To prove himself worthy of the Kingpin’s trust, Ronin is charged with finding Spider-Man and bringing him to the crime lord’s central command…by any means necessary. Even though this action-heavy issue primarily focuses on Spector’s other personalities trying to stop Ronin from losing control while attacking the high school where Spider-Man is suspected of attending, the Kingpin’s heavy hand is felt throughout. There is very little that happens without Fisk’s say so, and by the almost foregone conclusion the reader is left wondering what the Kingpin’s intentions might be now.

I find that as much as I love this comic regardless of who stars in it, my favorite stories always seem to be those that include Wilson Fisk. Brian Michael Bendis gained notoriety on his creator-owned crime series, Jinx, Torso and aka Goldfish. Clearly the man has made a name for himself in the superhero realm at Marvel over the past seven years or so, but it’s when he incorporates those roots that got him where he is today that his work shines the most.

Bendis also throws in some rather interesting sub-plots worth mentioning. Peter Parker’s ex-girlfriend Kitty Pride’s sudden appearance at Midtown High not only brings out the worst in a fellow student, but it adds a great degree of tension to the renewed love between Mary Jane and Peter as well. Bendis handles this subplot with a great deal of care—nothing is brushed over—considering how dramatic teen love can seem to those involved. Then there’s the question of who Spider-Man might be, and does he really go to Midtown? Little pieces of this puzzle have been dropped throughout the series, and Bendis brings the reader face to face with the reality that even though everybody who has met Spidey in person knows who he is, Peter’s own fellow students are just one slip up away from figuring it out as well.

Two to go. As in that’s how many issues are left in Mark Bagley’s historic run on Ultimate Spider-Man. It’s almost impossible to fathom that the book will go on without him, but Stuart Immonen will be taking over the pencils in a couple short months. I’ve often noted that Bagley’s mastery of the action sequence as well as character emotion could only be outshined by his amazing ability to churn out pages at a blinding rate. For all that speed, none of his work suffers at all. Hennessey and Ponsor round out the artwork superbly by making it a bit darker (I particularly liked that Spector’s other personas have darkened eyes) to go right along with the Bendis’s worrisome story.

As usual, Ultimate Spider-Man is a thoroughly entertaining, if not intricately plotted book. With plenty of action, outstanding characterization and dialogue that’s always on the button, it remains one of the best books currently being published.

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