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February 12, 2013

Marvel Reviews: Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #20

Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #20
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Sara Pichelli
Cover: Sara Pichelli & Christina Strain

A longtime rivalry is reignited, but with two new players. A new symbiote is on the trail of the new Spider-Man, which has led him to mistake Miles’s father as the web slinger. So now, Miles must protect his family, friends, and identity while fighting off one of the most vicious looking versions of Venom to appear in comics.

Venom War kicks off pretty strong as Spidey and Venom face off, but as many times as we’ve seen this play out, Bendis and Pichelli make it look fresh and new. From Miles still struggling to adapt to his new life as Spider-Man, to the new character design of Venom, everything in this issue is pure excellence! Bendis teases a lot in this issue as Venom seems to know quite a bit about how the new Spider-Man acquired his powers and then some. He also carries the intensity of the story well, as the human element involved here sometimes outshines the superhero action taking place.

This version of Venom is downright visceral, and he looks more like a force of nature than a guy in a costume, which is perfect. This awesomeness is Pichelli doing what she does best, and that’s give you some of the best visuals in comics on every panel. The entire fight scene bounces from pure action to drama, and she hits every emotional chord necessary to pull off great visual storytelling. One of  the standout scenes had to be when Ganke’s web fluid doesn’t do exactly what Spider-Man needs it to do, and they both have the same reaction. It’s small moments like this that help with the heart of the story and give it that little something extra. As great as Pichelli’s work is, you have to take into account those great colors by Justin Ponsor that help make everything pop as you read the story. He’s the reason why Venom looks even better in this story.

This new arc is starting off very promising, and Bendis seems to have a lot of very cool things up his sleeve for this one. Who is the new Venom? How did he make a connection to the identity of Spider-Man that is so close to Miles? How does he know about the genetically altered spider? All of these questions and probably more should be answered soon, so I’d suggest you stick around for the ride. This has been one of the stronger books in Marvel’s catalog for some time now, and it’s a shame if you aren’t checking it out!

Infinite Speech
infinitespeech@comicattack.net

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