Ultimate Spider-Man #133


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Ultimate Spider-Man #133


  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Stuart Immonen
  • Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger
  • Colors: Justin Ponsor
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Jun 3, 2009

For a silent issue, this book speaks volumes.

Ultimate Spider-Man #133
returns us to Manhattan just as Dr. Strange’s magic has been detonated.  In this issue, Hulk is relentless, Spider-Woman and Kitty Pryde search for hope, and Spider-Man is all washed up.

Since Magneto unleashed the Ultimatum Wave on New York City and washed over Manhattan, things have been a bit chaotic.  This issue takes the reader into the aftermath of an explosion at Dr. Strange’s mansion; an explosion caused by a raging Hulk and one that a certain Spider-Man happens to be right in the middle of.  As the explosion rips through an already ravaged Manhattan, Spider-Woman inadvertently finds herself in the crosshairs of a raging Hulk.  A well-timed spat of web in the eyes of the Hulk gives her enough time to get away.  Spider-Woman watches on as the Hulk’s attention turns to oncoming hostile helicopters.  Hulk makes the confrontation quick and hyper-jumps to safety. 

With Hulk gone, a relieved Spider-Woman is able to focus her efforts toward searching for Spider-Man.  She runs into Kitty Pryde, and the two of them head out to find Parker.  Along the way, they are able to rescue a few stranded survivors of the wave and get them to safety.  Although their search efforts turn up empty, everyone is expecting the worst.

Bendis shows courage in allowing this story to be told visually, without a single word.  A writer must have great confidence in his art team to convey the story the way he intends it to be understood.  Although there are no words in the issue aside from a synoptic introduction, Bendis was more than likely involved in the storyboarding process, aiding in the direction of the issue.

The fact that this comic works so well is a testament to the creative team of Bendis and Immonen.  The structure of the panels is integral to how any story plays out, but is especially important when there is no dialogue to control how the reader understands the story.  This issue is carefully pieced together between the action scenes with the Hulk and Spider-Woman, the search for Spider-Man by Spider-Woman and Kitty Pryde, and the final scenes when Aunt May and company are told of Spider-Man’s disappearance.  Immonen expertly pencils the facial expressions that are such an important component of this issue.  The reader can read the loss, despair, anguish and frustration on all the character’s faces in this issue, making it equally compelling as a story with full dialogue.

Bendis continues to recreate his take on Ultimate Spider-Man, and this silent issue is just another creative leap for the popular writer.  Of note, the last several pages treat readers to a great interview with Bendis.  If one was unsure about Bendis’ decisions in Ultimate Spider-Man, this interview should shed light on his intentions

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