February 17, 2010

A Dandy Review: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #7

Title: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #7
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist/Inks: Takeshi Miyazawa
Colors: Justin Ponsor

“Spider-Man and his amazing friends, Iceman and the Human Torch, team up to help the newly powered Rick Jones deal with the crazy changes and responsibilities that come with…power. But what side of the coin is Rick Jones on? Is this the birth of a new hero? Or the birth of an ultimate…enemy?”

Welcome Comic Attackers! Your fabulous goofballs, Decapitated Dan and Andy Liegl, thumb wrestled over which comic would be spotlighted for this week’s Dandy Review, and luckily with Andy’s victory the guys settled on Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #7. Had Decapitated Dan won, things would have been…ugly. Onto the review!

Andy: Holy hell has this series been great so far!  Ultimate Comics Spider-Man could be re-named Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and I seriously doubt anyone would care. The idea to add The Human Torch, Shadowcat, Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane, and our boy Iceman to the cast was f-ing genius. They all blend incredibly well together as an ensemble that the potential here is limitless. With each issue the series builds momentum, the plot thickens, and the characters develop. I’m loving the ride and have high expectations for issue #7!

Our trio discusses how to approach Rick Jones. Click to enlarge.

Dan: I agree. When I got back into comics I gave Ultimate Spider-Man a shot and have loved every minute of it. It’s the Spider-Man I remembered as a kid, full of fun and excitement. But being older now I can also appreciate how well Bendis builds on who Peter is here, as opposed to just fighting and what not. Now when you add in my all time favorite character, Iceman, you have a solid winner on your hands. So bring on issue #7 because I am still amped up after that ending to issue #6, even though I had a feeling it was “her”.

Andy: …I feel like there’s a joke in there somewhere, but I’ll just leave it alone. Ok, this series keeps getting better and better with each installment. Bendis’ pacing is spot on. The series began focusing on Peter dealing with the fallout of Ultimatum, then progressively introduced the supporting characters in MJ, Gwen, Aunt May, and Johnny Storm. Then there was the whole Shadowcat reveal (as you mentioned, Dan) and Iceman joined the cast, and in this issue everything comes together very nicely! We finally get to see Johnny, Spidey, and Iceman hit the beat in costume and I gotta say, I’m digging these new Amazing Friends. The 1981 cartoon series starred Firestar instead of the Human Torch, but I think the change works well here in the Ultimate Universe. My favorite moment was when Iceman approached Rick Jones (a new character who has a HUGE future in the Ultimate U as explained at the end of this issue) on his ice slide and the kid ran away screaming in terror! It makes sense: if I saw an iced man appear out of nowhere courting my friendship in my own backyard, I’d probably freak out too. Oh, and speaking of Rick Jones, how awesome is his apparent connection with the events of Ultimate Origins?

Beware Rick Jones, the Iceman cometh! Click to enlarge.

Dan: I agree. I really wondered where this series would go after Ultimatum and Bendis is nailing it month after month. The story in this one moves at a great pace, and I have to say one thing I love about Ultimate Comics Spider-Man is that you get your money’s worth every time. By that I mean this issue is full of dialogue and it is all so spot on. Like you Andy, I also love the throwback to the Amazing Friends but I don’t see Iceman sustaining a large role here. I am beginning to wonder if we are already in over our heads with the cast. Especially now that we added Rick Jones into the mix. To me it’s the one downside when it comes to the writing, but overall I am still sold each and every month. Adding in Iceman just makes it that much more appealing.

Andy: …so no comment on Rick’s connection with Ultimate Origins, huh? Ok, well I’ll just comment on it then: IT’S AWESOME!! And I’ll leave it at that. If you’re right about Iceman being only a temporary character in this series, I may have to picket in front of Bendis’ house wearing only an Iceman speedo, and force-serve him my special yellow “ice” cones. They’re delicious. Seriously though- Iceman gets next to no face time in the 616 Universe and he deserves the spotlight with Johnny and Peter here. They’re a great dynamic! So what do you think Rick’s power is? Obviously it has something to do with flame and teleportation…but any other predictions?

Rick Jones…a mutant!?

Dan: Well first of all I had to Wiki who the hell this Rick Jones kid was. Not impressed. HAHA! Yeah all I can guess is he has some strange teleportation power, whoop dee doo. You want a prediction? I predict he will be a minor factor in this book. Maybe he is the Ultimate Enemy? I didn’t like how Bendis went all the way back to some Ultimate Fantastic Four storyline to cover ground here. Guess I better go out and buy that trade. Seems a little strange especially because if you think about it, wasn’t the new Ultimate Universe supposed to be a clean slate? So moving on past that fluff you call fun, how did you feel about the art?

Andy: Speaking of Rick, I think this is a cool way to introduce the character to the Ultimate U: Hulkless. After all, he is the kid whom Bruce Banner had to save in the 616 Universe which gave Banner his Gamma powers, but changing Rick’s character history a bit here is fine by me. Can’t say I’m a huge fan of his current 616 incarnation anyway, the blue Abomination, A-Bomb. As for the art, I think Takeshi Miyazawa does a bang-up job! I know some people criticize his work because it has a “manga” look to it, but aside from Peter’s hairstyle, I don’t really see it. I thought he did a cool take on Iceman: ditching that grungy old bandanna and giving him a more spiked look. It works well and I’m glad Iceman is given some visual development. Also props to colorist Justin Ponsor; he makes Miyazawa’s art really stand out! How about you Dan?

Dan: I agree for the most part. In previous issues I had no problem with anything but in this one I started to see some minor things. The hair issue on Peter has been constant, reminds me ‘a this hippy I review with (Andy: Ayo!). But aside from that I don’t like the way he draws Bobby. Seems to make him a little on the husky side and the buzz cut? I don’t know…maybe I am being to critical. I love the fact that he ditched the bandanna but didn’t care for the strange ice dreadlocks. Every other character in the books looks great and I emphasize that with The Human Torch and Mysterio. They are fantastic. And major props on the coloring too; it gives this issue that extra something that makes it just rock. So overall I am going to have to give Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #7 a solid 8/10.

Andy: I see what you mean about Bobby’s buzz cut…it makes him look, I dunno, frumpy? But once he iced up I thought he looked way cool. The dreads I didn’t like at first either, but once I realized the spikes all over his back and shoulders, they didn’t bother me anymore. Prior to Ultimatum, Ultimate Spider-Man was easily the best Ultimate title out there, and so far this run of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man has been both amazing and spectacular, so I’m going to one-up you Dan and give this issue my highest rating yet: 9/10!

Check back in next week for another Dandy Review!

Decapitated Dan

Andy Liegl



  1. I gave up on this title a while ago. I guess I’m missing out.

  2. billy

    Good review guys!

  3. Infinite Speech

    I didnt pick this book up because i wasnt feelin’ spidey in any universe. I do keep hearing good things about this title so i might just grab the trade. I am interested about this “connection” rick has to ultimate origins though. I thought it was a decent story but wasnt told to its potential

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