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Ultimatum: Spider-Man Requiem #1

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Ultimatum: Spider-Man Requiem #1

Credits

  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Mark Bagley & Stuart Immonen
  • Inks: Scott Hanna & Wade von Grawbadger
  • Colors: Pete Pantazis, Justin Ponsor & Edgar Delgado
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Jun 16, 2009

J. Jonah Jameson does have a heart!

We return to the scene of the crime:  Spider-Man is still missing and there are no survivors in Manhattan, all thanks to the Ultimatum Wave.  In this issue J. Jonah Jameson finds his conscience, Spidey saves Stark and the Daily Bugle reinvents a long-time villain.

In Ultimatum: Spider-Man Requiem #1, a Daily Bugle helicopter is surveying the decimation of New York City the day after Magneto’s Ultimatum Wave hit.  J. Jonah Jameson is one of the passengers in this helicopter, which is headed for what’s left of the Daily Bugle.  Jameson was visibly shaken up by the disaster, but it’s a deeper grief that has tangled his depression.  Always the skeptic to Spider-Man’s heroic efforts, Jameson witnessed these very heroics first hand as the wave was tearing through the city.  The years of denouncing the web-slinging arachnid have caused Jameson to boil over with guilt over the way he allowed his paper to portray Spider-Man.  His decision now is to set the record straight and give the teen crusader his due.  A staff writer for the Bugle gives Jameson his flash drive containing many positive stories written about Spider-Man that never made it off the cutting room floor.  A certain story about Spider-Man saving Tony Stark triggers Jameson’s memory, and a lengthy Hydra-packed flashback ensues.  But with Peter Parker still missing, this conscience-clearing editorial may be Spider-Man’s last headline.

Writer Brian Michael Bendis is interested in telling Spider-Man’s story through the eyes of his greatest antagonist, J. Jonah Jameson.  The perspective of these stories jumps between what eye-witnesses have seen and what Jameson sees.  Bendis is remarkable at writing separate voices, and is quite capable of creating unique Spider-Man-worship stories that have never been told before.  Many of the flashbacks were written by Bendis some time ago, and readers will enjoy the situations Bendis places our web-slinging hero in. 

Co-artists Mark Bagley and Stuart Immonen help bring Requiem to life.  In this series, Immonen draws the present time, whereas Bagley draws the flashbacks.  Since Bagley is now with DC, these stories were obviously drawn before he left Marvel.  They both have much to offer this series, and their styles complement each other well.  Immonen uses more shadow to convey his characters’ emotions or the mood of a conversation, while Bagley tells much of his story through the character’s eyes.  Another subtle difference readers may enjoy is the different rendering of notable characters such as Jonah Jameson.  The two artists work in this arc, allowing readers to differentiate between how they view Jameson and the present world and how Jameson views the world and himself.

Overall, this issue is inventive and clever.  Readers will revel in analyzing the story and what is means for Spider-Man and the Marvel Universe.

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