Overview

Ultimate Spider-Man #92

Review

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Ultimate Spider-Man #92

Credits

  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Mark Bagley
  • Inks: John Dell with Mark McKenna
  • Colors: Laura Martin and Richard Isanove
  • Story Title: Deadpool, Part 2
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.50
  • Release Date: Mar 29, 2006

Spider-Man is thrown from a plane, attacked by a giant cyborg, and loses a boot in the first few pages. Could it get worse? Do you have to ask?

In the second part of the Deadpool story-arc, Spidey sees a lot more action than he did in the previous issue. On page one he wakes up in the clutches of Deadpool and his gang, only to be tossed into the middle of a mutant melee. Spider-Man and the X-Men have been kidnapped and taken to the island of Krakoa. It rests off the coast of the infamous Genosha and is used by that country as a prison for mutant criminals where they are hunted and killed for sport. Oh, and it is all broadcast by Ultimate Mojo. In short, it isn’t a pleasant place to find oneself and Spider-Man deals with it the way you might expect him to.

Bendis knows the Ultimate Universe inside and out and this is often evident in brief statements made by characters or newspaper headlines here and there throughout the series reflecting what is going on in other books. But in issue #92 he goes all out, placing Spider-Man on Krakoa, thusly giving a nod to an Ultimate X-Men arc that introduced a particularly horrifying notion to this line of comics (see above explanation). Spidey is on an island in the middle of nowhere, cyborgs are attacking him, and the X-Men know more about what is going on than he does. Naturally he reacts the way any fifteen year old boy with superpowers and anxiety issues would react. He cracks jokes.

Bendis is constantly reminding us that Ultimate Spider-Man may have many similarities with his Marvel Main counterpart; but despite that, he is still a teen. When Spider-Man mixes it up with the X-Men, who are mostly in their teens and early twenties, the dialogue is right on. I’m a high school teacher; I know how teenagers talk. Apparently, Bendis does too. He is not shy of sprinkling curses in with the characters’ rapport. They snap at each other, they yell, they joke, they laugh, they behave like children do and children should. These kids just happen to have earth shattering powers and get into fights with monsters and madmen.

An issue like this, full of monsters, madmen, and traditional comic book action and adventure, is where Bagley shines his brightest. Spider-Man’s movements and poses are drawn in such a way that they scream classic superhero. But Bagley’s edges are sharp and refined creating a unique feel for the new Spider-Man that makes the artist more than memorable. He can stand alongside the greats. Bagley has been penciling everyone’s favorite wallcrawler off and on since the mid-1990s (filling the enormous shoes of Todd McFarlane and Erik Larsen who had long runs on Amazing Spider-Man before him) and his Spider-Man is the definitive twenty-first century version. While at times his characters may seem a bit less fluid than many popular artists, they are nonetheless beautifully rendered, larger-than-life superheroes. When the action wanes, like it is wont to do in many Bendis books (though not always a bad thing), the art works with the words. Whether it is a double page action sequence or a nine paneled dialogue heavy page, the art flows with the story well, and thanks to Dell’s inks and Martin’s colors, the book would have to try very hard to look better.

Bendis, Bagley, and company are striving to reach issue 100 and doing so in style. Despite the fact that he is a boy with radioactive spider powers, Ultimate Spider-Man has consistently been a real character. Ultimate Spider-Man is the heart of the Ultimate line, maybe even the heart of the whole Marvel line. Keep reading it, and who knows, maybe Ultimate Deadpool will be a bit more imposing than the Marvel Main version. I know I don’t remember a time he captured all the X-Men and Spider-Man to boot…

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