Overview

Ultimate Spider-Man #98

Review

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Ultimate Spider-Man #98

Credits

  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Mark Bagley
  • Inks: John Dell & Drew Hennessy
  • Colors: Justin Ponsor
  • Story Title: Clone Sage Part 4
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 2, 2006

Peter Parker is freaking out. A boy wearing a scorpion suit started a fight with Spider-Man, wrecked a mall, and lost his mask, revealing…Peter Parker??!!

The monumental issue #100 is almost here and things are getting curiouser and curiouser for everyone’s favorite ultimate wall-crawler. In #98, a disturbed Spidey runs to the Fantastic Four seeking any kind of explanation why the man behind Scorpion’s mask is wearing Peter Parker’s face. Meanwhile, Mary Jane has troubles of her own, Spider-Girl shows up, and Peter finds an unexpected guest back at his old house…

What is Bendis doing? Is it bravery, stupidity, or arrogance making him think it was a good idea to revive one of the most hated stories in the Spider-Man pantheon of tales? Whatever the reason, so far, it is working. I have always enjoyed Bendis’ writing, but with this issue he has shown there is no slowing his momentum. In fact, if anything, he is getting better. Peter Parker, who, you must remember, is a fifteen-year-old kid, is in super-freak-out-mode upon the unmasking of Scorpion. As things escalate at the Baxter Building and Reed Richards realizes Scorpion is a clone, the boy inside the Spider-Man costume comes out more than he ever has before, showing his insecurities, his emotions, and his fear fully. Bendis captures the teenage panic with spot-on dialogue, breathless pacing, and not one, but two shock endings leaving readers salivating for more.

Mark Bagley is also at the top of his game right now. Every expression of fear and panic Peter wears is painstakingly accurate. Every minute detail in every panel is carefully explored. The battle sequence between Spider-Girl and Peter is alive with action that almost burns through the pages. But perhaps the highlights of Bagley’s work in this issue are the two splash pages, one showcasing Spider-Girl, and the other showcasing…well…that would be telling and I won’t do that. It is suffice to say, however, Peter’s look of shock on both pages is the selfsame look of shock I wore when reading this issue.

Bendis and Bagley are wizards weaving their magic on one of the most atrocious stories in comic history to create something that will, as hard as this may be for the hardcore Spider-Man fans to believe, leave you pacing the floor, anxious for the next issue. Who would have thought…the "Clone Saga" is…good?!

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