April 29, 2013

Marvel Reviews: Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #22

ultimate-comics-spider-man-22-1Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #22
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Sara Pichelli
Cover: Sara Pichelli & Rainier Beredo

One thing that has always struck a chord with fans about Spider-Man is the ability of a writer to get to the heart of the character. Bendis has excelled with that since he first introduced us to Miles Morales. Now, with things hitting very close to home for the young new hero, Bendis not only cranks things up a notch but makes sure that the confrontation with this new Venom marks a serious turning point for Miles.

There’s been a steady and exciting buildup during this Venom War arc that reminds you exactly why this is one of THE best titles in the Marvel stable right now. Miles’s world is crumbling apart, and Bendis doesn’t pull any punches with how bad things are going to get. He also makes it hard to point out just one great moment in the book, because everything flows together so seamlessly. As the story builds to its climax you can almost hear a dramatic musical score reaching its crescendo during the hospital battle. One more constant about this title is that the background characters are just as strong and relevant as Miles. From Ganke to the inclusion of Mary Jane and Gwen, each one has been written to hold their own and provide that tether to the “real world” Miles needs. My only complaint regarding this issue would be the identity reveal of the new Venom and how things played out. Though I’m sure it will be rendered moot at some point later in the series.

Once again with Pichelli providing the artwork and Ponsor on colors there’s no worry that your eyes will be just as impressed as you will be by the plot. There was a point early in the issue where Miles didn’t look like himself, but this was quickly remedied in a few panels. Aside from that small infraction you get exactly what you’d expect from this art team. A great visual story that moves just as fluid and if not better than the narrative. The Venom/Spider-Man battle in the hospital is a great looking fight, but it’s the interaction between Miles and his mother that just puts this over the top. Every panel hits a certain beat that is nothing short of fantastic.


With the lives of his parents on the line along with his secret identity, this could be one of the most intense issues in the series. By now there shouldn’t be any doubters when it comes to Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man. Words like “epic” and “worth your time” get tossed around too loosely and are usually assigned to titles that aren’t worth either. Well, Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man is both epic and worth your time with its combination of superb art and intense storytelling; you’d be hard pressed to find something better on the shelves today.

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